By now you’ve seen the pictures of our beautiful black little sister from the H&M ad circulating the internet and attached to them, are some of the most contradictory statements we’ve seen in a while.
H&M is notorious for getting it wrong with their marketing ads as it pertains to offending the Black community, but this isn’t one of those times. This time, they heard us loud and clear and did exactly what we asked, allow our black to be displayed as beautiful in its most natural form and what did y’all do? Get butt hurt and fake outraged because baby girls edges weren’t laid in swirls of pomade.
Some of you even had the audacity to blame everyone from her mama to white baby Jesus for allowing the campaign to air because surely, we can’t handle truth.
As a whole, the Black community still has a long way to go in the area of loving the various ways our bodies and our hair present themselves in a world where beautiful and black have never meant the same thing. Well family, we really put our foot in our mouths this time and we gotta have a talk. Sometimes, a lot of the time, we are our own worst enemy and it’s going to be impossible for anyone else to take us seriously if we continue to despise ourselves.
On one hand, we yell from the rooftops that Black is beautiful and that we have to change the standard of which we define beauty. On the other hand, we collectively spend over $54 million annually on ethnic hair and beauty products to accentuate and transform ourselves into a version of beauty that both we and society still struggle to accept. Instead of further perpetuating this outrage culture where we fly off the handle every time a new topic trends. Let’s try to save some of that rage, silence those knee-jerk reactions and think before we speak.
If your first thought when seeing these pictures was “why they got that baby head looking like that”, I encourage you to explore why? What exactly were you expecting to see from a campaign where all the child models wore “messy” bed-head hairstyles? Did you get so caught up in messaging like, “I woke up like this” that you forgot how many of you actually look underneath the bonnets, protective styles and wig caps? Admit it, you don’t feel pretty unless your natural hair coils a certain way. You aren’t viewing yourselves as attractive when your hair is short, dry and partially combed. Society has only deemed black hair acceptable when it mimics euro centric styles. Black men, you struggle to look our way when our hair is less than “perfect”. Black moms, you associate length and silkier texture with “good hair” or only straighten out kinks for special occasions as if to say fros and braids aren’t special enough in and of themselves.
Let’s face it, we are still dealing with the residual damage of being made to believe we are less than in all ways. Listen up, no one is going to change this narrative until we do. Your hair was beautiful before you hopped on YouTube to get the latest tutorial, before you moisturized , detangled or swooped those edges. Your bodies, are beautiful whether they are built like Serena’s or are plump with undefined waistlines and stop feeding into any limiting belief that makes you feel otherwise.