Natural sistas shattering beauty standards

Celebrating culture

Top+from+left+to+right%3A+Darniesha+Thornton%2C+Zana+Taylor%2C+Daniesha+Thornton%0A%0ABottom+from+left+to+right%3A+Ciara+Walker%2C+Natalie+Jarmon%2C+Akilah+Green

Jeffery Davis

Top from left to right: Darniesha Thornton, Zana Taylor, Daniesha Thornton Bottom from left to right: Ciara Walker, Natalie Jarmon, Akilah Green

Shanice Davis and Andrea Martinez

Zana Taylor, junior

“I think that we should embrace it if we feel comfortable embracing it … As black people we should embrace our natural hair, our naturals curls, our kinks and everything that comes along with it because it is a beautiful feature that we have … I’m wearing protective styles like braids, and I like that too, but when I take my braids out I like to embrace the natural me.”

Daniesha Thornton, senior

“I believe it’s like taking a stand against what the American beauty is because straight hair is idolized in America and we’re finally saying, ‘No, that’s not okay, my hair doesn’t actually grow like that.’ And we’re finally showing that this is beautiful … In the commercials, it’s women with straight hair and they have all of these hair care products, so we never actually learn about how to take care of our hair.”

Natalie Jarmon, freshman

“It should be a personal choice. Some people don’t like having their hair natural, so they should have the choice to straighten it or get a weave or braids. But for people who want to have their hair natural, they shouldn’t be put down and told, ‘You shouldn’t have it because it’s not professional and it doesn’t look according to society’s standards.’”

Darniesha Thornton, senior

“I think the key word is that it’s unique … For me it connects me to my African culture … I do think it can be a choice, but it shouldn’t be a burden on people where they hate their natural hair and they hate their identity, because again, it is our identity as black people. It kind of just shows power … when I think of black power I think of the afro, so it’s in correlation with being black and being powerful.”

Akilah Green, senior

“I think natural black hair is the most versatile hair to have and it’s so beautiful in its natural state that it doesn’t require changing or hiding. I’m glad to see more representation of black folks with natural hair in commercials and in television shows, but there still seems to be that barrier for women who get the media spotlight and have to conform to be successful in the eyes of mainstream popular culture.”

Ciara Walker, senior

“I think it’s important to embrace who you are … I used to press (straighten) my hair all the time until my mom told me to stop causing heat damage and running from water. Natural hair is bigger than a trend and is more so about self-love and expression. Like my hair, I can maintain my integrity and strength no matter how many times I’ve been stretched, cut or damaged. I always bounce back like my curls.”

Akilah Green, senior

“I think natural hair is essential to my identity. As a black woman, I have learned to love myself for the person I am, despite degradation of natural black hair. I think natural black hair is the most versatile hair to have and it’s so beautiful in its natural state that it doesn’t require changing or hiding. I’m glad to see more representation of black folks with natural hair in commercials and in television shows, but there still seems to be that barrier for women who get the media spotlight and have to conform to be successful in the eyes of mainstream popular culture.”

Natalie Jarmon, freshman

“It should be a personal choice. Some people don’t like having their hair natural, so they should have the choice to straighten it or get a weave or braids. But for people who want to have their hair natural, they shouldn’t be put down and told, ‘You shouldn’t have it because it’s not professional and it doesn’t look according to society’s standards.’”

Zana Taylor, junior

“I think that we should embrace it if we feel comfortable embracing it … As black people we should embrace our natural hair, our naturals curls, our kinks and everything that comes along with it because it is a beautiful feature that we have … I’m wearing protective styles like braids, and I like that too, but when I take my braids out I like to embrace the natural me.”

Daniesha Thornton, senior

“I believe it’s like taking a stand against what the American beauty is because straight hair is idolized in America and we’re finally saying, ‘No, that’s not okay, my hair doesn’t actually grow like that.’ And we’re finally showing that this is beautiful and there’s more hairstyles that are in the world besides straight hair … In the commercials, it’s women with straight hair and they have all of these hair care products, so we never actually learn about how to take care of our hair.”

Darniesha Thornton, senior

“It’s beautiful. I think the key word is that it’s unique … For me it connects me to my African culture … I do think it can be a choice, but it shouldn’t be a burden on people where they hate their natural hair and they hate their identity, because again, it is our identity as black people. It kind of just shows power … when I think of black power I think of the afro, so it’s in correlation with being black and being powerful.”

Ciara Walker, senior

“I think it’s important to embrace who you are and not try to fit in with the status quo of what beauty is. I wasn’t always that way. I used to press (straighten) my hair all the time until my mom told me to stop causing heat damage and running from water. Natural hair is bigger than a trend and is more so about self-love and expression. Like my hair, I can maintain my integrity and strength no matter how many times I’ve been stretched, cut or damaged. I always bounce back like my curls.”

The Cougar Chronicle The independent student news site of California