Black culture embraces inclusiveness, but it also yearns to be heard and personally catered to. A glimpse into who we are! She told me my hair was beautiful, and it would never be the same. This book explores the multiple heterogeneous and complex ways in which black women negotiate their relation to social conventions of beauty, or black beauty. Study is first demonstration of a fully 3D-printed thruster using pure ion emission for propulsion. Looking back, what I think my mom was trying to tell me was that my hair, and specifically I, was beautiful without being altered. Chavonna Adams, local artist & author, I Love My Hair! Edoh introduced the presentation by saying that we see in news and popular culture today how the black body, the female body, and the black female body in particular, are routinely politicized. By Flashpoint. Yakpo concluded that meanings behind hair are flexible and reflect a mix of influences that change over time and geography. The book suggests that there isn’t a “one-size-fits-all” approach to understanding how individual women navigate these questions. — Hair, it is part of our identity. As market researchers, it's our job to never lose sight of these core values, beliefs, and emotional connections that give brands life. Yakpo’s research on the ideals of beauty for black women, in relation to their hair particularly, Edoh said, thus speaks to a topic of both enduring concern and great political importance. What proceeded me was countless hours of styling, researching and trying new products, and many hours spent in the salon to finally find what worked best for my hair type. IDENTITY offers a full range of services including hair styling, color, nail care, eyelash extensions (tint and perming), full service day spa, and full service men's salon. Niditch examines the meaning of the Nazirite identity held by Samuel as well as Samson arguing that long hair … In an award-winning paper, the PhD student and MIT CSHub research assistant measures how the weight of vehicles deteriorates pavements. Massachusetts Institute of Technology77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA, USA. Hair can also influence the way you define yourself to yourself, as an extension of your identity. Providing the space for not just Blacks, but all cultures, to feel accepted and celebrated for the things that make them unique is what it's all about! However, it doesn't escape controversy. Indeed, the ways that Obama and her daughters wore their hair became a political issue during U.S. presidential elections, for instance. Yakpo’s research consisted in the analysis of two bodies of primary sources, AWA: la revue de la femme noire, a French-language independent magazine produced in Dakar, Senegal, by a network of African women between 1964 and 1973, and videos from a very popular YouTube channel on black hair created by a young Franco-Senegalese woman. Africa’s colonial past can't be ignored; certainly, for some women, straightening hair can be a conscious or unconscious rejection of their natural hair type. My mom was enraged and a bit heartbroken. In … As a young girl, I was often subjected to teasing because of my big "puffy" mane; however, my mom vowed to not ruin my natural curls with processed relaxers or straighteners. The hair loss itself can cause more stress, Dr. Khetarpal said, especially for women, whose hair is often more closely tied to identity and self-confidence. [CDATA[ She pointed to the media portrayal of U.S. former first lady, Michelle Obama, or in France, to that of the former Minister of Justice, Christiane Taubira, and the fact that both women’s physical appearance has been the focus of political attacks. This website is managed by the MIT News Office, part of the MIT Office of Communications. Sefa Yakpo has always been interested in the question of the beauty standards that shape the lives of women of African descent. She wanted to have the sleek, shiny, hair of the girl on the box for the “Beautiful Beginnings” hair products. Prior to coming to MIT, Yakpo was winner of the 2014 Math Olympiad in Ghana. To help in understanding the emotional significance hair has on Black culture and identity, one doesn't have to look too far within our Black communities to understand the effects. Philosophy is to develop our talent in order to deliver the highest level of exposure to top tier photographers and brands throughout the global fashion industry. The historical and societal significant of hair have informed notions of beauty and are a testament to its connection with identity… What kind of social, cultural, and economic factors lead to the situation that for women of African descent, a simple matter of hair styling becomes imbued with bigger issues? Shea Moisture is a brand that has always embraced these experiences and emotional connections in their products and ads. Segment 1: Hair and Identity. At a well-attended meeting on Dec. 4, Yakpo presented her findings from her project, titled “Kinks and Identity: Unravelling Francophone African Women’s Attitudes to and Perspectives on their hair… MIT senior Sefa Yakpo explores the politics of beauty among Francophone African women. How does society's emphasis on hair affect those who have lost it due to an auto-immune disease called alopecia areata? Have you seen the photo circulating this week of a little boy in the Oval Office touching President Obama’s hair? We explore a growing movement to recognize that fact. We often see our hair as a reflection of our identity because it is both personal and public. And then I realized what changed was that I finally felt comfortable being "me" regardless of the opinions of others. Yakpo was struck by the author’s conclusion that a particular style of hair doesn’t imbue the wearer with any inherent meanings. From the book Hair Matters by Ingrid Banks. Edoh remarked that with her thesis, Yakpo has realized educators’ greatest wish for their students: that they leverage their academic work and their personal experience to mutually elucidate each other and the world around them. In this case, the brand may have briefly lost sight of its roots, of its core audience, their values, struggles, and triumphs. But today many young Francophone African women want the option to play with their hair styles and to alternate between hair textures. It all came full circle when I took a trip back home after college with my natural curls in full force and someone said to me, "Wow you look beautiful, that hairstyle really fits you...Why didn't you wear your hair like that back in high school?" For example, before the emancipation, hair wraps were used as a sign of oppression/social status and a means for Black women to make themselves less attractive to their owners. Their recent digital ad campaign sparked outrage when the company looked to appeal to a more mainstream audience by including Non-Hispanic Whites (NHWs) while excluding any representation of their core Black audience. Historically, the brand has prided itself on filling in the beauty gap, normalizing and bringing more awareness to Black beauty while providing Black women with products that otherwise could not be found in traditional retail channels. Join us as we continue to explore our own journeys in understanding our cultural history and how we define our cultural identities in a new series of blogs around culture and ancestry coming soon! Identity Salon Studio has the most respected hairdressers in Northampton that lead a highly-experienced, award winning, creative … We offer cutting-edge hair cuts and colors, barber services, facials,make-up, special effects, and waxing by a team of experts. My hair is one of the most integral pieces of my identity because as a Black person, my hair has been policed and devalued by society for centuries, so for me my hair is a connection to the … The resulting thesis, which was written entirely in French, weaved passages describing Sefa’s personal relationship to and trajectory with her hair over the course of the year when she worked on the thesis, with discussion and analysis of her research data. A form of self-expression. Model agency in NYC working with clients and brands worldwide. January 25, 2020 01/25/2020 11:05 pm. From the "fro" to hair wraps to braids, Black women use their hairstyles as a personal expression of who they are and to show the evolution of Black culture over time, an evolution which has brought us to a time when more and more Black women are embracing the natural beauty of their own hair. Flashpoint: Hair and identity, truancy or asbestos, and a compassionate food truck Photo credit Cherri Gregg/KYW Newsradio. Looking back, it was the best decision I made and correlated with a bigger milestone in my life, a sense of confidence and acceptance of the person I was becoming. For decades, experts at the Institute have been shaping the future of the game. The hair that assures Samson's strength is a common folktale motif, but is also important to his sacred status as a Nazirite. (312) 828-9200, The Connection Between Hair and Identity in Black Culture, YouthBeat’s Year In Review – 2020 Edition, View our live consumer panels and proprietary research studies. One book in particular had a lot of impact on Yakpo’s thinking on her research subject: critical race and gender studies scholar Shirley Anne Tate’s book, "Black Beauty: Aesthetics, Stylization, Politics." MIT News | Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She narrates a personal anecdote to relate her experiences to broader conceptualizations of identity. View our live consumer panels and proprietary research studies. Beauty, and specifically hair, in Black culture has been a sensitive topic of discussion for decades with roots all the way back to the Civil Rights Movement and beyond. By Amie Lee. How you wear your hair is part of your identity. May 28, 2012. The expression of beauty through hairstyles has been a long-standing signature of Black culture. At a well-attended meeting on Dec. 4, Yakpo presented her findings from her project, titled “Kinks and Identity: Unravelling Francophone African Women’s Attitudes to and Perspectives on their hair” [“Cheveux crépus et identité: Démêler les attitudes des femmes d’origine africaine vis-à-vis de leurs cheveux”]. At the time, all I wanted was "manageable hair," and if I were brutally honest with myself, I simply wanted hair that would help me blend in with everyone else in my small Springfield, Illinois community. Yakpo begged her mother to let her have her hair straightened. // , 150 North Michigan Avenue “Whether that was a story about hair loss, or about embracing natural hair as a Black trans woman or even a few fun pieces that looked iconic hairstyles in film, music, politics and sports — it was important for there to be a variety of perspectives and voices since Black hair … Beauty, and specifically hair, in Black culture has been a sensitive topic of discussion for decades with roots all the way back to the Civil Rights Movement and beyond. Wow how empowering! 5 were here. This originally appeared on The Good Men Project. Identity Hair & Spa is a modern hair salon located in Beaverton & Portland. Our hair makes us stick out form the crowd in most cases it is viewed as the ultimate expression of blackness. The way we treat our hair has to do with aesthetics, social structure, religious identity, and a host of other aspects of culture. MIT Task Force on the Work of the Future releases research brief "Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Work.". I'll never forget one day when I came home from my aunt's house with a fresh relaxer (that my aunt applied without permission). ». By virtue of being on a black body, any hair style is “black.”. Yakpo wondered whether her own complicated relationship to her hair might be a microcosm of the broader social and cultural questions facing African women. Chicago, IL 60601 As a Black woman, I've experienced my own struggles to embrace my hair in its natural state and, to this day, consider it a vital step in accepting and defining my own cultural identity.