It's 2015 and natural hair is uncommon on the red carpet, on TV and on fashion runways, though mainstream media and publications are making an more of an effort to embrace and celebrate women of color and naturally curly/kinky hair. Last week, Angolan model Maria Borges became the first model to walk in the Victoria's Secret fashion show with natural hair. This month's issue of Teen Vogue features an entire spread about how to style your natural hair—with Black-ish star Yara Shadidi. The personal care brand Dove released the first curly-haired emojis in early November. In September, New York Fashion Week not only saw an improvement in diversity on the runways, but also an increase of models with natural hair.
Yet, there are still the same conversations and reservations around how black men and women with natural hair are perceived. In March, former E! News anchor Giuliana Rancic made comments suggesting Zendaya's faux locs might smell like weed or patchouli oil. Last week, Afro-Braziallian actress Taís Araújo posted a Facebook photo of herself with natural hair—and got loads of racist comments in response.
Safe spaces—to empower, celebrate and vent—are still necessary. In Brooklyn, tons of curly haired women gathered in August for the CurlFest, a summer picnic celebrating natural hair. And last weekend, 3,000 Afro-Brazillians in Salvador da Bahia, Brazil, held their first natural hair empowerment march, Marcha do Empoderamento Crespo, a response to the prejudices in Brazil against Afro-Brazillian women, according to a Brazilian news outlet.
Feel empowered and get some hair inspiration from these 25 beautiful Instagram photos from Marcha do Empoderamento Crespo:
And don't forget to check out our natural hair video series The Curls Room!
Tahirah Hairston is a style writer from Detroit who likes Susan Miller, Rihanna's friend's Instagram accounts, ramen and ugly-but cute shoes.