Braids In The Film 10 And African-Black Communities

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Braids. The action of using three or more strands to weave hair together and form a cohesive piece. Braids have been around for thousands of years as a means to maintain and protect one’s hair, scalp, and edges. Over time, different ethnic groups came up with different techniques on how to braid hair. In the African and African-American communities, cornrows became a popular technique because of its protective value and versatility. However, in mainstream media, cornrows were not nearly as accepted. There have been several instances where cornrows have been dubbed as on trend, edgy, and/or beautiful, but these titles are overwhelmingly awarded to the white women who wear them. In the past, it was Bo Derek in the 1979 romantic comedy 10 or Christina…show more content…
There is a consensus that hair types are another way that colorism–the preference for lighter skin‒permeates the community. Women with a 3b/3c hair texture have a loose, ringlet, or spiral curl pattern and are often praised and more widely accepted in comparison to women who have a 4b/4c texture with a coarser, kinky, or zig-zag curl pattern. This notion highlights how Eurocentric standards of beauty can still influence pro-black spaces like the natural hair community, but it also shows how there is a pressure within the black community to adapt and conform to whatever style or aesthetic is deemed as “acceptable” at the time. This is where the “good hair” controversy comes into play. Whitney Bellinger studied a group of young African-American women to talk about their sentiments towards their hair in her piece WHY AFRICAN AMERICAN WOMEN TRY TO OBTAIN GOOD HAIR. When she asked the group of women to describe good hair, terms like “long”, “silky”, “fine”, and “healthy” were commonly used (Bellinger 68). While these terms are not exclusive to one hair type or texture, it doesn’t specifically describe a kinky or curly hair type and in turn alludes to a favorability towards non-black textures. Also in the interview, the young women discuss how their mother 's decisions on hair styles growing up impacted their current hair preferences (Bellinger 69). There was a direct relationship between the women who had relaxers growing up and who are still relaxed, as well as the women who were natural growing up and are currently natural (Bellinger 70). On the other hand, there was a smaller group of women who had switched their affiliations on the matter. It is interesting to note that there seem to be feelings of guilt evident with women who went from being natural to being relaxed. The women almost felt like they were denying some of the “racial pride” they previously held and that

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