That’s All Me: Celebrities and Natural Hair

More and more you see celebs like Tracy Ellis Ross, Issa Rae, Oprah Winfrey, and Sanaa Lathan rocking their natural locks, curly or straight, and looking great while doing so! We’ve even gone as far as to see Sanaa Lathan chop off all of her hair and start rocking a full-on fade. It’s amazing to see so many black celebrities embracing and loving their natural hair, despite the celebrity critics and pressure to look the way everyone thinks they should look, with long, straight hair.

You meet women every day that enjoy the idea of their natural hair, but aren’t really sure if they’re ready to showcase it to the world. Imagine these women, women like Taraji P. Henson or Alicia Keys, whose every move, big or small, is constantly being watched, observed, and judged.

Lupita Nyong’o. Photo courtesy of klassy kinks

No matter the woman, it can be a very personal and emotional journey. And the stigma or negativity connected to a black woman’s hair has caused a lot of us to be extremely sensitive to the judgement of those around us who don’t and will never fully understand what it takes to nurture and embrace their natural hair; nor do they understand that the judgements that these celebrities face can cause them to begin judging themselves.

Kimberly Elise is a great example of a black female celebrity that no longer cares about the judgement or “requirements” of critics and people who think all celebrities should look the same. She’s breaking the mold that people have for black women in Hollywood. “For me, my natural hair is the truest reflection of my authentic inner self: original, bold, against the grain, sometimes rough, sometimes soft, blossoming, vibrant glowing…me!”

Kimberly Elise. Photo courtesy of madame noire

From the outside looking in, people who don’t understand what our natural hair means to us, could look at us and not get why we make the “fuss” that we do. As black women, we’ve never really been accepted as we were, but always critiqued and given suggestions on what we should change or do differently to be accepted.

Seeing these celebrities wear their natural hair, seeing them represent who they really are, who we really are, is more liberating and powerful than anyone who doesn’t have natural hair will know. It’s almost as if these famous black women are not only giving us the cultural “head nod” to be who we are, but they’re making it so much easier for those who never thought they could.

It’s so liberating and inspirational to see such strong and influential women comfortable enough to walk the red carpet in their natural state, which is so beautiful. I’m sure there are times when we, celebrities included, feel as though we’re barely breaking the ice with the “natural hair movement”; but this is a huge step forward. Every day more and more black female celebrities are opening doors for those that look up to them to embrace and love every coil.

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