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Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) said she has the autoimmune ataxia alopecia areata, which has rendered her hairless.
Pressley absolute her baldheaded arch about opened the adverse chat about atramentous beard – abnormally for African American women.
Related: A Texas academy has banned a adolescent boy until he cuts his continued hair
Our accouchement beyond America are actuality ashamed and punished because of racist rules and behavior that discriminate adjoin their beard arrangement and accustomed hairstyles.
Last year the video of an African American aerial academy wrestler affected to cut off his dreadlocks to attempt went viral. The referee, who was white, said, “His beard and headgear did not accede with rules, and that if he capital to compete, he would accept to anon cut his dreadlocks – or forfeit.”
Pressley, accepted for her signature Senegalese twists – as her claimed character and political cast – has been criticized as actuality “too ethnic” and “too urban.” However, to adolescent atramentous girls, Pressley’s hairstyle was both an afflatus and an affirmation to bedrock proudly.
African American women and girls abide some of the harshest punishments apropos our hair, thereby allowing racist workplaces, institutions, and educators to discriminate adjoin us afterwards repercussion.
In 2017, Mystic Valley Regional Charter School, in Malden, banned atramentous twins Deanna and Maya Cook from arena afterwards academy sports and from accessory their brawl because they wore beard extensions to school, actionable academy policy. Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey stepped in on the twins’ behalf. Healey beatific a letter to the academy flatly advertence that its action “includes a cardinal of prohibitions that are either foolishly abstract or arise to finer distinct out acceptance of color.”
In the blockbuster hit Atramentous Panther, the adorableness of atramentous unstraightened accustomed beard was placed advanced and center. Lupita Nyong’o as Nakia wore Bantu knots. Letitia Wright as Shuri donned abandoned braids and Danai Gurira boastful a baldheaded head. While abounding African American women today abrasion their beard in afros, cornrows, locks, braids, Senegalese twists, wraps, or bald, our beard – both symbolically and actually – continues to be a battlefield in this country’s backroom of beard and adorableness aesthetics.
For example, in 2007, radio personality shock amateur Don Imus angered the Rutgers women’s basketball team, calling them “some nappy-headed hos.” He addled a raw assumption in the African American association – our hair. “Nappy” derogatorily referenced as a ancestral epithet, as Imus did, is the added n-word in the African American community.
Many sisters today ability use a hot adjust on their hair, which were about in the 1880s and awash in Sears and Bloomingdale’s catalogs to a predominantly white changeable clientele. Madam C.J. Walker, the aboriginal African American millionaire for her inventions of atramentous beard products, didn’t ad-lib the hot comb; she affected its use by alleviative the perceived “curse” of bristling beard with her hair-straightening articles that abide to this day accompany abundance to abounding atramentous women.
Black hairstyles are not criticized back they are actuality appointed by white culture, abnormally back white celebs or models abrasion our coiffed styles. In 1979 extra Bo Derek donned cornrows in her advance blur 10. In 1980 People annual accustomed Derek for authoritative the appearance a “cross-cultural craze.”
In 2018 back Kim Kardashian acquaint a video of herself affected braids to Snapchat, she accustomed them as cutting “Bo Derek braids.”
Just aftermost anniversary at the men’s fall/winter 2020/2021 appearance appearance in Paris models presented creations by Comme Des Garçons cutting cornrow wigs.
Renowned African American feminist columnist Alice Walker batten about the constraints of beard and adorableness ethics in African American culture. In her abode “Oppressed beard puts a beam on the brain,” Walker, at the women’s historically atramentous academy Spelman in Atlanta in April 1987, declared the following:
I am activity to allocution to you about hair. Don’t accord a anticipation to the accompaniment of castigation at the moment. This is not an appraisal… it occurred to me that in my concrete self, there remained one aftermost barrier to my airy liberation: my hair. I accomplished I accept never been accustomed the befalling to acknowledge my beard for its accurate self. Eventually, I knew absolutely what beard wanted: it capital to grow, to be itself… to be larboard abandoned by anyone, including me, who did not adulation it as it was.
In California, the CROWN ACT (“Create a Respectful and Open World for Accustomed Hair”), a law prohibiting bigotry based on hairstyle and beard texture, went into aftereffect on January 1. Femininity and affability are integrally affiliated to beard as a Eurocentric aesthetic.
Pressley, however, disrupts this angle because she’s stunningly attractive and august – with or afterwards hair.
“I’m not actuality aloof to absorb space,” Pressley declared in a video account with The Root. “I’m actuality to actualize it.”