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Is Beauty Political?

Deciding to loc my hair was based on more than the style itself. I also realized that my identity would be affected. Not saying that my core self would change but I knew that dreadlocks would impact how people see me and interact with me. Most importantly, dreadlocks would impact the way that I saw myself. After all, the way that you wear your hair is a political statement. Right? Right?

On one hand, one look at the 7/21/08 cover of the New Yorker and there is no doubt that hair is political. It is no coincidence that Michelle Obama was depicted as an AFROED, gun-toting, fatigue-wearing, booted, fist-bumping woman. The afro aligns with the stereotype that black women are somehow militant, out of line with the status quo. Take that a step further, challenging to the status quo. I have heard of Jewish people with “Jew-fros” (their word, not mine). I wonder if people think of Jewish folks donning afros as militant?


On the other hand, how you wear your hair is about convenience, attractiveness and professionalism. It has absolutely NOTHING to do with politics. Women, all women, are simply adhering to beauty standards.


What do you all think? Is beauty, specifically, the way you wear your hair, political? Does your choice of hairstyle say anything about your politics?

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