Several years ago, a French haircare brand launched a marketing campaign called ‘stop to curly hair’*. What better word to define this than "upsetting"?
Can you imagine how harmful these marketing choices can be to young curly girls who try to convince themselves that what they have on their heads is ok?
Cleverer choices are being made nowadays, but we need to see more of these.
Most of the work so far has been done by afro-feminists. They played an important role in this process, if not the strongest!
In my younger years, none of the models, TV hosts or even animation movie characters had curly hair.
The few times it would happen, they would never have a neutral role, and would necessarily have strong personality traits that would make them stand out. Not always in the best way.
This completely changed when Carrie Bradshaw appeared for the first time on TV. She was my first curly encouragement, but the ultimate one was Princess Merida in Disney’s Brave.
I read the most enlightening article about the latter, which was responding to the following question: “Why is Merida the first Disney character with curly hair?”
This piece made me understand curly hair deep psychological and sociological significance.
It explained that in our western cultures, curly hair symbolics and perception have historically been highly negative. Women had to look neat and had to wear their hair perfectly pulled back or covered.
Anything that couldn’t fit or adapt to these rules ("rebellious" curls for instance) was seen as marginal and disruptive.
Reading this piece enlightened me, showed me that hair isn’t a neutral characteristic. Hair is more than a superficial girly topic, it’s way more than keratin on our head!
*J’arrête de boucler