"I Am Not My Hair" - March 2017
“Your hair is a statement of style, an affirmation of beauty, and an expression of self-love” - Ademola Mandella
Think of the Rom-Com movie you most likely just watched with your girl friends on a Sunday night - sharing that magnum bottle of wine. Think about that scene where the girl that everyone wants to date walks into the room and all eyes turn to her. What did she look like? Did she have her hair in a bun and nonchalantly take it down as she walked into the scene - probably in slow motion - towards all the men who adore her? Did her long luscious locks begin to slowly fall down her back as she shook them down around her? Was it meant to be a sensuous scene to show you the most beautiful girl in the movie - the “American Beauty?”
For reasons beyond our comprehension society decided many years ago what was considered the A-typical beauty for women. Of course some parts of society have changed over the years - but for the most part many men are stuck in the past with the ideal image of what is feminine - their hair. For all of us women we are told the longer the hair the more attractive men find you. If your hair is short, you know what we have a solution - extensions. Short hair for women automatically means you are gay, duh. For women with curls we are told to tame our curls - here is an $80 straightener that you can buy to hot press those curls into oblivion. Bright pink hair - forget it - you are most likely emo with a hidden anti-government agenda. Or maybe it’s not the bright pink hair that throws people off but the natural red heads that don’t dye their hair blonde or brunette. For whatever reason the red heads are shunned for their hair color just as much as the ones that let their curls fly free. It’s unnerving the amount of flack women get for the way their hair looks and we need to help change this.
R&B singer India Arie said it perfectly with her 2005 hit single, “I Am Not My Hair.” The song focused on the idea of female beauty and not defining women by the length, color or texture of their hair. The success of a person, their intelligence, femininity and beauty is not based on what is on their head. To celebrate the New Year - and as always to celebrate women - we wanted to share our "I Am Not My Hair" photo series in the hope of encouraging women to embrace their natural texture and color or to chop off those locks and feel the freedom of non-conformity and to celebrate the choice of their hairstyle. What's that the kids are always saying the first few months of the year? "New Year, New Me!"
Photographs by: Frank Chiodo