What our fixation on Michelle Obama’s hair says about the space we give Black women to breathe

I can probably count on my two hands how many times I’ve seen my mother’s hair outside of its headwrap. For modesty’s sake, she has religiously worn the garment almost every day for as long as I have been alive. To my mother, hair is an intimate experience, to be let down only in intimately personal moments–and she has always had far, far too few of those in a world that demands she give all her energy simply to survive.

CRWN Is The Black Women’s Magazine We Have All Been Waiting For

Originally from Sacramento, CA Lindsey Day, the co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of the new Black women’s hair magazine CRWN, said she got her tough attitude from her dad’s relatives on the east coast. Not only that, she has always had the drive to change the world around her and the tenacity to see it through.

“I always wanted to help people,” Day said, “that was something that was like a common thread I really wanted to do something in my work that would help others.”

Cutting our hair won’t guarantee our “success” but ending white supremacy will

Changing our hair has never been enough to protect Black people from anything in this country. The mere notion is unfounded and problematic. But that hasn’t kept some especially respectable Negros from suggesting otherwise.

Last week, educator and television personality, Dr. Steve Perry, came under fire for suggesting that young Black people, specifically young Black men, cutting their dreads, braids, and “unkept frosh” might garner them greater professional and social success. Social media erupted in response.

What They Really Mean When They Call Black Hair ‘Unprofessional’

There is something particularly violent about White women being the phenotypic referent of beauty in every social space. While it can make life logistically difficult for folks who do not share physical characteristics with whites (like hair, skin type, figure, etc.), the real problem arises when that difference is seen as a flaw. This is especially frustrating in public spaces like the workplace as a Zara employee recently learned when she wore box braids to work.