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Black Women’s Transitions To Pure Hair

The filmmaker Zina Saro-Wiwa presents an Op-Doc on black women’s decision to embrace their naturally kinky hair, reasonably than use chemical straighteners.

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When i set out to make a documentary about black ladies who are “transitioning” — reducing off their chemically straightened hair and embracing their natural kinky afro texture — I had no intention of showing within the film. I felt I was an objective observer and actually just wanted to highlight a rising motion. (Of the 50 or so women I struck up conversations with randomly on the street, the vast majority had gone natural throughout the final three years. In accordance to 1 trade examine, sales of chemical straightening kits, which may be harmful, reportedly dropped by 17 p.c between 2006 and 2011.) However together with my own story pressured me to examine how I felt about my hair human hair half wigs for sale with more honesty than ever before.

There are as many “natural hair journeys” as there are transitioning girls. What I discover exceptional about the motion is the way it is spreading by means of black girls in America. Many are transitioning silently, with out a lot fanfare. Some are inspired by mates and relations who’ve already made the switch. As Anu Prestonia, the proprietor of Khamit Kinks, a pure hair salon in Brooklyn, informed me, “There’s been an evolutionary process that has turned right into a revolution.” It is not an offended motion. Women aren’t saying their motivation is to combat Eurocentric ideals of beauty. Fairly, this is a movement characterized by self-discovery and well being.

But black hair and the black physique generally have lengthy been a site of political contest in American history and within the American imagination. Against this backdrop, the transition motion has a political dimension — whether transitioners themselves believe it or not. Demonstrating this stage of self-acceptance represents a strong evolution in black political expression. If racial politics has led to an internalization of self-loathing, then true transformation will come internally, too. It is not going to be a performative act. Saying it loud: “I’m black and I’m proud” is one factor. Believing it quietly is another. So the transition movement is much more profound and rather more highly effective — and that i consider it affords lessons in self-acceptance for folks of all hues and all genders.

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Zina Saro-Wiwa is a documentary maker and video artist. Her work consists of the documentary “This Is My Africa,” which was broadcast on HBO. She is British-Nigerian and lives in Brooklyn.

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