So as you may have heard—because when ish like this happens it damn near shuts down social media for like a week— Beyonce got a new haircut!
I’m usually pretty hands-off when it comes to celebs and their various styles, but this one reeled me right on in and here’s why….
Awhile back, someone asked me what I thought the largest barrier was for women going natural. Without flinching, my response:
“They’re afraid of short hair.”
When I was first considering going natural back in 2008, one of the main reasons I was nervous was because I didn’t want to have short hair and look like a dude. Put simply, my hair was my physical representation of my own femininity.
Fast forward almost five years: I have clearly gotten over this fear of the crop. However, I still hear it constantly in various forms from women all over the world:
- “I want to transition for 2-3 years because I want to have some length.”
- “You cut 10″ off your hair? I would have cried to lose all that work.“
- “Do you still feel like a woman?” – a male fried of mine
- “Long hair don’t care! I’m going for BSL!”
Whether women of color are natural or not, there exists this obsession with length. But where does this come from? Is it sort of a “the grass is always greener” idea, that we want what we can’t have? News flash: your hair will never tumble in silken golden billows from a tower like Rapunzel. But hey, at least you don’t have to worry about getting kidnapped and forced to do manual labor with your own hair! Or is it because we’ve been drilled with this idea that our hair, especially when it’s long, defines us as women and is what makes us feminine.
Celebrities and the media have huge amounts of power when it comes to creating these idealistic images of women and how they should look, act, and dress. So for the woman who has never, and I mean never, once appeared in the public spotlight without extensions or a weave is a pretty big deal. The fact that Beyonce wearing her own hair, her own SHORT hair, I believe has the ability to encourage and empower women of color to break away from this preoccupation with length.
Texture aside, I think this is a pretty powerful statement of embracing one’s own natural beauty! Go ‘head, Bey!