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Watch Tina’s Television Interview!!!

I was recently interviewed by Emily Rooney on the WGBH Boston show “Greater Boston” about the army’s ban on particular hairstyles.  Here’s a link to the show:  Tina’s WGBH interview. Please let me know what you think!

Now, for a litle bit of trivia.  Who is this?

gene anthony ray fame newspaper report 1983

Post your answers in the comments section before you watch the video!

Once you watch the video, you’ll understand why this particular image is in this post!!!!  

  • Erica Addison

    Leroy!!!!

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naiga girls: (un)imaginable by verta ayanna

 


verta ayanna- bring_back_our_girls_2014_37my heart stopped when i first learned of the 234 young girls kidnapped on april 14, 2014 by boko haram, a militant Islamist group in Nigeria whose name literally means “western education is forbidden.” i felt helpless. i felt–
i could not even imagine. i find myself using that saying all too often when i hear of atrocities in the world, especially those that involve children. when a gunman kills innocent children on our city streets, i automatically think, i could not even imagine. when beautiful black boys are stolen from their homes in the darkness of night to become soldiers in wars they cannot even understand, i have thought,  i could not even imagine. after 234 girls were kidnapped from their school in Nigeria and now more than 20 days later the only ones reported found are those who escaped, i think to myself, i could not even imagine

could i really not imagine? this saying  has caused me pause since hearing of the young girls abducted by boko haram in Nigeria. i realized there are parts of these things i can imagine. i am a human being. i am a mother. i have witnessed fear. as my daughter sat crying amidst shatters glass on the roof of our overturned car after a near fatal car accident, i saw fear in her eyes. as i lay on the side of the road. my blood all around us. the scent undoubtedly picked up by the wild animals in the gaming park, i heard my son’s fear. “will someone come and get us?” he asked. when the Beninios doctor saw my file days later and asked, very nonchalantly i must add, “combien de morts? how many died?” i felt fear and imagined far worse. i cried as i imagined what could have been on the side of that dirt road in august of 2011.

not wanting to imagine and not being able to imagine are two very different things.  so, i can imagine. and i believe that others can too. even if only for a moment, we can imagine fear. we have all experienced it on some level. recall your own or that of a loved one at some moment in time. multiply that fear by all the stars in the universe and we may each get just a few heartbeats closer to what just one girl may have felt as armed men came to steal her away from what she only seconds before considered a safe place. take a moment to simply recall your humanity and you will be able to imagine, even if just for one thousandth of a second, the fear and anguish of just one parent of just one abducted girl.

what is unimaginable is that it’s been over 20 days and the only girls reported found were those who escaped. what is unimaginable is that in a world with the technology to witness my every keystroke remotely and locate me right now on this city block in harlem from outer space we have not rescued one girl. what is unimaginable is that until a few days ago we could not find space in the mass media next to the racist rants of a billionaire basketball team owner to report regularly and consistently about these girls literally stolen from their school. what is unimaginable is that in 2014 we have to use grassroots measures to allow the world to be informed and bear witness to this disregard for human life. what is unimaginable is to dwell in helplessness when the truth will always remain that our mere existence, each and everyone of ours, is an opportunity to act. to act with love and to act loudly if we must.

In verta’s next post, she shares some specific actions you can take to make a difference.


Verta Maloneyverta is writing her first book, loving out loud, because she believes that love should never be silent! her purpose in this life is to love out loud, to live on purpose, to laugh a whole bunch, to create, to share stories, to inspire others, to make a difference and to leave the world better than she found her. verta shares how she is inspired by stories, by memories and by life at www.vertaayanna.com.

 

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Press Release: New Online Platform Launches to Open Conversation

(June, 2012)– Today, blogger and researcher Dr. Tina Opie launched Hair as Identity, a new website that will serve as a hub of untapped conversations, stories and research on the social implications and reactions to natural hair. The site will explore topics from eliminating coloring to dealing with balding to sporting curly hair.

inPress

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Boston, MA (June, 2012)– Today, blogger and researcher Dr. Tina Opie launched Hair as Identity, a new website that will serve as a hub of untapped conversations, stories and research on the social implications and reactions to natural hair. The site will explore topics from eliminating coloring to dealing with balding to sporting curly hair.The new website is designed to promote and initiate discussion around the relationships between hair and self-esteem and perceptions about professionalism.

Through videos, blogs, photos and personal stories, the website will provide an ongoing series of key topics that will echo the sentiments of people striving to manage their professional image.Funded by Babson College, Hair as Identity is designed to complement and prompt dialogue around the research of Dr. Tina Opie, a Boston-based Babson College professor. Her research explores how issues of race, power and status influence public perception about hair, particularly as it relates to what is accepted in the workplace. For the past twelve years, Dr. Opie has consulted, researched and written about creating workplaces that leverage individual differences and motivate members of workgroups to engage. This consulting and research is the basis for many of the discussion topics shared on Hair as Identity.

“I look forward to creating a community where there’s open dialogue between men and women from diverse backgrounds about how natural hair is perceived,” said Dr. Opie. “It is our hope that this site will be the starting point to redefining the perceptions and challenge the stereotypes around natural hair.”

As the hair and beauty industry gears up to celebrate this year’s National Natural Hair Day on May 19, Hair as Identity prepares to be a key  voice in the natural hair community that will reflect the sentiments of not only African-American women, but also of men and women from other ethnicities. Discussions on the site will include considerations about wearing natural hair, the challenges of hair in the workplace and struggles with self-confidence as it relates to hair.
Media inquiries and guest bloggers are welcome. Dr. Tina Opie, editorial director of Hair as Identity, is also available to answer questions about the background of her research or featured discussion topics.

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Hair as Identity is an online platform headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts. Its mission is to promote and initiate discussion between men and women from diverse backgrounds around the relationships between hair and self-esteem and perceptions about professionalism. For more information about Hair as Identity, please visit www.hairasidentity.com.

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“Good Hair” Building Positive Identity & Self Esteem

Recently, the Big Sister staff watched Good Hair, a documentary by Chris Rock, to further explore the different hair typologies and the implications that this can have for women’s and girl’s self-esteem and sense of self. Additionally, Big Sister staff had the opportunity to meet with Dr. Tina Opie who is a professor at Babson College and has studied how hair affects an individual’s self-esteem, identity and the way women are perceived in the workplace.

Recently, the Big Sister staff watched Good Hair, a documentary by Chris Rock, to further explore the different hair typologies and the implications that this can have for women’s and girl’s self-esteem and sense of self. Additionally, Big Sister staff had the opportunity to meet with Dr. Tina Opie who is a professor at Babson College and has studied how hair affects an individual’s self-esteem, identity and the way women are perceived in the workplace. Just because society may stigmatize certain girls, and women, based on the texture of their hair, it does not mean there isn’t anything that we can do to combat these stereotypes and assumptions.

Has your Little Sister ever asked about your hair or made a comment about her hair? Hair is often seen as a marker of status and beauty, but it may be hard to talk about it with your Little Sister. Women and girls that have coarse, curly, or kinky hair are often labeled by media as less beautiful and having less status. This can impact their perception of themselves as well as their professional and social opportunities. For instance when you look at the above image of Beyonce and Solange what immediate perceptions come to mind, what time of professional or social circles’ would you envision these women being part of? The media defines “good hair” as straight, relaxed, and often blonde, while “bad hair” is thick, kinky/curly, and often dark. In the pictures above, Beyonce’s hair is relaxed and dyed so that it is “good hair” but Solange’s hair is worn naturally and would be identified as “bad hair.”

Here are a few suggestions that you may want to consider before talking with your Little Sister about her hair:

· Think about your hair, its texture and how it relates to your sense of self. Before approaching the topic with your Little Sister it will be helpful to think about your views of hair and how these may explicitly or implicitly be communicated to her.
· Watch Chris Rock’s Good Hair documentary to learn more about the ways in which the concept of “good hair” and “bad hair” impacts women and girls – particularly women and girls of color.
· Consider the way in which your Little Sister wears her hair. Does she wear it naturally, in braids, or relaxed? The way that you approach the conversation will vary based on how she wears her hair.
· Think about where you draw a line between grooming and identity alterations according to what other people want you to look like and not what you want to look like.
· Many of us may consider dying our hair grooming, while others may feel that is identity alteration. How do you feel about dying hair? What about relaxing your hair?
· When discussing hair with your Little Sister, approach the conversation with curiosity. Do not assume that if she relaxes her hair it is because she has low self-esteem and feels her natural hair is not beautiful. Ask questions about how she decides what to do with her hair and why she made those decisions.
· Read Dr. Tina Opie’s blog at www.hairasidentity.com where she discusses hair and features women that are sporting their natural hair. This would even be great to read with your Little Sister to help get the conversation started.
· Call your Match Support Specialist if you want more information on how to have this discussion with your Little Sister.

–By Kristie Smith, Impact Specialist

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What We Can Learn From Chrystèle Saint-Louis Augustin

I imagine that the pressures of modelling must be overwhelming at times. It must be much easier to go with the flow and blend in with all of the other models. That is why I admire Chrystèle Saint-Louis Augustin, a French model of Caribbean descent (both of her parents are from Martinique according to information I found about her). Why do I admire Ms. Augustin? Well, among other things as the pictures illustrate, she sports a head full of coily hair. In my opinion, she ROCKS HER FRO! It could be said that Ms. Augustin’s mane is remniscent of an earlier super model, Ms. Peggy Dillard.



I imagine that the pressures of modelling must be overwhelming at times. It must be much easier to go with the flow and blend in with all of the other models. That is why I admire Chrystèle Saint-Louis Augustin, a French model of Caribbean descent (both of her parents are from Martinique according to information I found about her). Why do I admire Ms. Augustin? Well, among other things as the pictures illustrate, she sports a head full of coily hair. In my opinion, she ROCKS HER FRO! It could be said that Ms. Augustin’s mane is remniscent of an earlier super model, Ms. Peggy Dillard. Don’t know who she is? I’ll be sharing more details about her in an upcoming post.

What can Ms. Augustin teach us? Well, I’d argue that if she can make her coily and/or curly hair part of her brand, we can all think about how we can do the same. Granted, we don’t all have model looks, nor do we all work in the entertainment / fashion industries. However, perhaps we each can revisit an unstated (and sometimes stated!) assumption that straightening our tresses is a necessity if we desire to project a professional image.

TOP IMAGE: http://bit.ly/LG6u3q

BOTTOM IMAGE: http://bit.ly/NIzgwb

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MTV Does Hair

As we’ve discussed over the several months on this blog, hair matters. It affects how we feel, the image that we portray, how others receive us. It appears that we’re not the only ones who accept that hair is important. MTV is casting for an episode called “I hate my hair” on it’s show “True Life”. TRUE LIFE: I HATE MY HAIR Is your hair your obsession? Do you spend hours of your day and week to style and manage your hair? Are you digging yourself into a financial hole just to deal with your hair? Do you have unwanted hair, or not the “right” hair? Are you undergoing a procedure to alter your hair or do you go to great lengths to manage it?


As we’ve discussed over the several months on this blog, hair matters. It affects how we feel, the image that we portray, how others receive us. It appears that we’re not the only ones who accept that hair is important.

MTV is casting for an episode called “I hate my hair” on it’s show “True Life”. Here’s the casting call :

TRUE LIFE: I HATE MY HAIR
Is your hair your obsession? Do you spend hours of your day and week to style and manage your hair? Are you digging yourself into a financial hole just to deal with your hair? Do you have unwanted hair, or not the “right” hair? Are you someone with a hormone imbalance that leads to hair loss, or facial hair growth?

How does your hair affect your social life? Does your hair make you feel unattractive and affect how you interact with members of the opposite sex? Do your friends and family think you are out of control with your hair obsession? Are you undergoing a procedure to alter your hair or do you go to great lengths to manage it?

If you appear to be between the ages of 15 -28 and have hair that’s making you unhappy, email us at casting@lintonmedia.com and tell us about your story. Please include your name, location, phone number and recent photos of yourself.

I can happily say that I don’t hate my hair…I am learning to love it in all of it’s shapes (wow, still working on loving that just woke up, mashed in shape, whew!).

So, while this casting call’s not for me, I wanted to share it because: 1) some one may be interested in the casting call; 2) it strikes me as interesting that MTV is interested in this topic. A few days ago, MTV even did a casting call for women going natural (see this article on The Root). I couldn’t find the actual MTV casting for the natural hair show so I didn’t blog about it but I thought that you all might like to hear about it. What do you think? How would you like the hair stories to be portrayed? Any True Life fans out there? What do you think?

IMAGE: http://bit.ly/NmsgTC

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Barbie!

It seems that a trend is afoot. Folks are taking “regular” Barbie Dolls and turning them into coily-haired goddesses. A visit to the Mattel website, revealed only one Black doll: However, dolls like this are showing up: Can you say GORGEOUS!!!!? Wow, if only such dolls were readily available. The thing is, it sounds like the “regular” hair can be converted to coily glory with hot water and pipe cleaners. Would it really be that difficult for Mattel to figure out how to manufacture such dolls? I guess it’s going to take significant consumer demand before such adjustments are made. What do you think? Would you buy one?

It seems that a trend is afoot. Folks are taking “regular” Barbie Dolls and turning them into coily-haired goddesses. A visit to the Mattel website, revealed only one Black doll:

BARBIE® SPARKLE LIGHTS™ Mermaid Doll - Shop.Mattel.com
However, dolls like this are showing up. Can you say GORGEOUS!!!!? Wow, if only such dolls were readily available. The thing is, it sounds like the “regular” hair can be converted to coily glory with hot water and pipe cleaners (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/14/natural-hair-group-in-geo_n_1149574.html?ref=hair-beauty). Would it really be that difficult for Mattel to figure out how to manufacture such dolls? I guess it’s going to take significant consumer demand before such adjustments are made. What do you think? Would you buy one?
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Sex Kitten and Psyche

Black women have had to overcome the idea that they were sexually promiscuous so, in Madame C.J. Walker’s times, they behaved and dressed in ways to negate that stereotype.This was viewed as a form of racial progress and meant that Blacks experienced a tension between respectability and sexuality in advertisement. In other words, while the Black beauty industry promoted the notion that Black women were beautiful, it did not convey overly sexualized images of Black women; rather, Black women were often presented as respectable, upright citizens.


Black women have had to overcome the idea that they were sexually promiscuous so, in Madame C.J. Walker’s times, they behaved and dressed in ways to negate that stereotype.This was viewed as a form of racial progress and meant that Blacks experienced a tension between respectability and sexuality in advertisement. In other words, while the Black beauty industry promoted the notion that Black women were beautiful, it did not convey overly sexualized images of Black women; rather, Black women were often presented as respectable, upright citizens.For example, Madame CJ Walkers Wonderful Hair Grower ad showed a “Prominent Minister’s Wife” as a model in the advertisement.There has been a dramatic change:nowadays, sex sells.This presents a convergence of issues where Black women (heck, all types of women!) are often portrayed in hypersexual ways.When this is combined with the societal view that beauty equals long, straight hair, you end up with a flood of Black sex kitten imagery complete with long mane. This magazine cover drives home the point. What does such imagery do to a woman’s psyche?

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