For centuries, black women have been measured by a white standard of beauty.
Lighter skin was preferred to dark skin, willowy figures preferred to curves, straight hair preferred to curly hair; and the list goes on.
“I was born in Senegal, and relaxing your hair is, like, as normal as waking up and brushing your teeth,” said model Khoudia Diop. “My sister relaxed my hair when I was 2 years old, so I didn’t really have any choices.”
Hair is a part of black women’s identity, and black women have reclaimed this facet of their identity with the natural-hair movement—a movement that says kinky and coily hair is beautiful.
Still, with texture discrimination, some say that representation in the natural-hair movement has gotten away from its roots.
“I don’t think there’s a simple answer as to whether texturism is something imagined or created,” says author and activist Michaela Angela Davis.
We spoke with several proud black women at Curlfest in New York City to discuss natural hair, texturism and the direction of the movement. Watch the video above.