Last year was a monumental year for the natural hair movement. I don’t remember seeing as much media attention on natural hair, TV shows focused to the topic, natural hair products in stores, or social events dedicated to natural curls. Yet, the movement boomed and reached what I believe is a tipping point last year!
Here is how the movement made national headlines in 2014!
Even though I think the online platform is saturated with natural hair blogs, vlogs, and websites, there were some exciting new sites that popped up last year.
The Natural Hair Blog Directory, provides a one-stop site that connects users to any natural hair blog. The site sorts bloggers by hair type and also provides weekly and archived articles from their bloggers ranging from style tutorials, hair journey stories, social movement critiques, and giveaways.
Similar to the NHBD is The Natural Hair Academy which is a social network for naturals. Its goal is the provide a supportive community for naturals to make their natural hair journey “easy and fun.” This site offers you a personal profile page to share your pictures and advice, weekly deals and giveaways, and a mini-course on natural hair.
EMBRACE magazine is a new quarterly publication that highlights the natural hair movement’s most contemporary topics and showcases the latest in fashion and beauty. EMBRACE magazine was developed by its founder Donna Jenkins who originally started the website “EMBRACE the curl.” Currently, the magazine is only available for download on your iPhone or Android.
I was excited to see last year that Essence magazine created a natural hair page on their website. I have been a consistent reader of Essence magazine and subscribed to their website for many years. They are a leader in empowering and celebrating all aspects of the lives of Black women so it was no surprise to me when they began supporting the natural hair movement.
Both Steve Harvey and Dr. Oz have aired episodes on natural hair but the show that has done the best job of representing the complexities and beauty of our curls is the Melissa Harris Perry show!
Professor Harris-Perry is a genius at making the connection between politics, race, and gender. She dedicated multiple segments of her show to talk about our identities and hair. She gave us a crash course on Black hair and had actress Nicole Ari Parker, author Joan Morgan, and natural hair blogger Nikki Walton on her show to discuss the natural hair movement. In past episodes, she brought our attention to the shameful hair discrimination that Tiana Parker endured last year by letting her school district know how despicable they were in her Letter of the Week segment! Professor Harris-Perry always has a Black woman’s back!
In case you missed it, natural hair was also in the news! We learned about how Rhonda Lee a meteorologist was fired (but found a better job later) because of her natural hair. News host Tamron Hall made headlines when she wore her natural hair on air and even got feedback from her viewers showing their support of her natural over relaxed hair. Then there was the Army regulations that blatantly showed their lack of understanding or consideration for Black women service officers and their hair care needs. Many people came out against the regulations (including a petition) and eventually, they loosed their requirements.
The movement has become so big that a White women even tried to join it. But that was quickly shut down. For the next installment of this series I will discuss what the movement lost last year and end with where I see the movement headed for the future.
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