How the media portrays natural hair in the black community The images that are portrayed in the media can shape how young black girls think about themselves. What these young girls see in the media, plays a vital role in their personal development into Black women. The media has shown black women as objects, dehumanizing them. This representation has held a long-lasting impact on the black community. These negative impressions could leave young black girls feeling the need to prove the media wrong and working two times as hard as everyone else, following Social Media trends, having self-hatred and anger due to the comparisons to girls of different ethnicities, and thinking all black girls are uneducated and have little opportunities, especially if they’re wearing their natural hair.
Black natural hair has long struggled to be accepted in the media and the public at large. Many girls and women who rock their natural hair, have had to deal with the pressure of conforming to what other people believe is beautiful. To help combat this, numerous websites, YouTube tutorials, blogs, magazines, documentaries, books, and print publications have promoted celebrities with natural hairstyles. These efforts aim to celebrate black girls and women with natural hair, share more awareness and further the conversation about natural hair in the black community.
These efforts have also created a hybrid beauty-cultural pride movement that is being noticed by businesses like Target, Walmart, and Amazon. This movement has encouraged stores to dedicate shelves just for natural hair products, as well as the numerous companies that use braided hair and black women in TV commercials to help sell cars, dish detergent, cereal, and other goods. Mainstream media is noticing the trend. Even corporations and government organizations are addressing controversial dress code guidelines that banned many natural styles including twists, headbands, and dreadlocks.
Despite the growing trend of natural hair, it is still rarely worn by leading characters in the media. Even actresses who have natural hair rarely get to show it on-air. Our #naturalhairbeauties need to understand the negative impression the media has on their views of natural hair. Help her reverse those impressions. As a community, we must work harder to help black girls grow without prejudices. Though efforts are being made, there’s still a lot of work to be done to have natural hair accepted in society and to show that there are different standards of beauty. We must speak power into them! We can and must change the narrative by teaching our little black girls to LOVE their natural hair against all stereotypes.