As most of you know I work in a hair salon, there are quite a few perks to this job! one being that I get to read all the latest magazines without buying them, this lunch hour I grabbed Harpers, Vanity Fair and UK Vogue, mostly to just look at the pictures and past the time. I'm almost always left disappointed by the major glossies as I've seen most of the stuff on various blogs months before and mostly because I feel I'm not included in these pages. So I was pleased to see Julia Sarr Jamois (my hair idol) in a double page spread afro and all. Ok so UK Vogue does occasionally feature the odd woman of colour (Naomi, Janelle, Beyonce insert black woman of the moment!) so imagine my shock when a few pages later I find an article by Funmi Fetto on afro hair politics......say what? in Vogue? what would Anna Wintour say?
Fetto discusses her relationship with her hair, and how her hair (and what she choices to do with it) is received by others. The article asks many questions on how afro hair (natural hair) is received but offers few answers, ending with the usual 'I am not my hair' look how versatile my weave is ect ect.
Fetto talks to Italian Vogue editor Bethann Hardison who makes some rather misplaced statements about natural hair in the work place she says "In America one needs to be seriously luscious-looking to get away with an afro in a corporate environment" it's obvious our hair is still fighting against prejudice as this is not just the views of corporate america, Bethann also talks about afro hair in the fashion industry and how she does not believe wearing a weave stems from wanting to be white, she speaks on Naomi Campbell being one of the first models to wear a weave due to stylist being unable to work with natural hair and the time element, Bethann says "stylists could not handle natural afro hair. It took to long and if that happened, you wouldn't get the job. It was a professional need" this perhaps is the reason that many women still relax or weave their hair, the people that they put their trust in do not have the tools/patience/skills to care for their hair.
On some points I agree with Fetto "a woman should not feel more or less black because of how she wears her hair" she says fashion and style determines her hairstyle choices but I ask if it stems from a dislike consciously or unconsciously of your natural texture then we must talk about the reasons behind this and perhaps Vogue it self has a lot to answer for.
You can read the full article in Vogue UK out now