#TeamNatural?

As the natural hair movement grows, Black woman of all ages are being exposed to different standards and faces of beauty. Straight and long locks are no longer the only kind images that are portrayed by major companies such as this featured photo from fashion magazine, Vogue Italia.

As the natural hair movement grows, Black woman of all ages are being exposed to different standards and faces of beauty. Straight and long locks are no longer the only popularized images. This is a featured photo from fashion magazine, Vogue Italia.

The natural hair movement advocates self-empowerment and creative expression, but is #teamnatural advancing is own set of restrictive rules and unrealistic beauty standards?
(more…)

The Story of a Morena Boriqueña

A version of this post was originally published on February 29, 2012

I remember going to church as a child and understanding that I was different.  My abuela and I used to go to a Pentecostal church that was mostly white Latinos, but I had darker skin.  I would see the Pastor’s wife and I yearned to look like her.  In my eyes, she had milky white skin and silky hair to her ankles.  Though she never knew this, I would go home, look in the mirror and wonder why my skin was darker and my hair was significantly shorter than hers.  I did not understand what it was to be Latina and black.

Puerto Ricans are descendants of Africans, Europeans and the indigenous Tainos, so it shouldn’t be surprising that Puerto Ricans come in many colors.

Me and my aunt Tamara. Photo taken by Carmen Medina.

(more…)

Top Ten Reasons I Love My Natural Hair

Showing off my dreadlocks! Photo courtesy of Carmen Medina.

Good hair means curls and waves
Bad hair means you look like a slave
At the turn of the century
Its time for us to redefine who we be
You can shave it off
Like a South African beauty
Or get in on lock
Like Bob Marley
You can rock it straight
Like Oprah Winfrey
If it’s not what’s on your head
Its what’s underneath

-India.Arie “I Am Not My Hair”

As a young woman of color, I have had a million different hairstyles: relaxed or permed, a Jheri curl, a short Afro and box braids.  Now I have dreadlocks and I love them. Having dreadlocks has given me a new sense of confidence and I feel very comfortable in my own skin. While some women chop off their relaxed hair, I decided to transition to natural.  The transition process was long because I let my natural hair grow out and slowly cut off the relaxed hair so I could maintain length. While making the decision to go natural is a big one, I am an advocate of natural hair.  These are the top ten reasons why I love being natural:

(more…)

The Story of a Morena Boriqueña

I remember going to church as a child and understanding that I was different.  My abuela and I used to go to a Pentecostal church that was mostly white Latinos, but I had darker skin.  I would see the Pastor’s wife and I yearned to look like her.  In my eyes, she had milky white skin and silky hair to her ankles.  Though she never knew this, I would go home, look in the mirror and wonder why my skin was darker and my hair was significantly shorter than hers.  I did not understand what it was to be Latina and black.

Puerto Ricans are descendants of Africans, Europeans and the indigenous Tainos, so it shouldn’t be surprising that Puerto Ricans come in many colors.

(more…)