“This ain’t f—ked up hair, ya know? This is natural. Natural, strong hair,” Cardi B once said in an old Instagram video that she recently reposted on her story on June 8.
On that day for her story, she gave her 67 million followers a treat by showcasing her natural face and natural, “puffed up” mane amid the uprising of Black Lives Matter protests and conversations in the United States.
The comedic and outspoken 27-year old is notorious for glam looks and a vast wig collection of bold and unique hair colors and textures- each crafting their own fashion-forward statement – but on June 8, she was all natural.
In addition to her glam, Cardi B is also known for her willingness to speak out on controversies and injustices such as the murder of George Floyd, which has ignited the most recent Black Lives Matter protests in the United States. Seeing people in her community outraged, she pridefully joined the chorus.
“Yes! Finally! Finally motherf—–s is gonna hear us now. Yeah!’” she also recently posted on Instagram.
On June 8, In the midst of her showing off her natural hair and how she cares for her ‘pajon’ or ‘poof,’ she indirectly made another fashion-forward and political statement challenging the Eurocentric beauty standards embedded in society that many African Americans know too well.
She showcased how she embraces her African roots from her Dominican and Trinidadian parents as evident in her hair, especially during a time in America where being Black is considered not beautiful and worthless.
In the Black community, Eurocentric hair types are often sought after as they are what is deemed as beautiful and feminine in American media and society.
Taking into consideration the different hair textures they and or their descendants possess, the hair types produced are often stereotyped as being “incapable of growing,” “dry,” and with “bad texture.”
The stereotype runs so deep that Black people and others with Black roots such as Dominicans, also believe their hair is “bad,” and other negative perceptions about it that propel a lot of them to hide under wigs, or change their hair texture through straightening, relaxing, and more.
This idea was evident in the astonishment expressed by the rapper’s fans after she shared pictures of her natural hair.
Many of her fans of or mixed with African descent applauded the length of her hair and demanded she wear it as such more often.
“Unbelievable” was the comment of many. Another asked on Twitter: “is that your natural hair or a wig?” to which she replied “my hair.”
There is a steady rise in the Latinx community with African roots challenging the American standard of beauty and its misrepresentation of all Latinas worldwide.
Amara La Negra, is another Dominican-American artist who rejects her Dominican culture’s pressure of straightening one’s hair to make it appear “bueno” or “good” and is empowering those who may not fit the mainstream Latina stereotype.
She rocks her afro and challenges the Dominican norm of only embracing their Caucasian roots and forgetting about the African ones. Amara shares the same anxiety experienced by many of African descent in the U.S about living with melanated skin and African features.
“I go into a total panic because even though I’m Afro-Latina, we feel the same fears as the African-American community,” she told Allure. “Until you talk to us, you don’t know that we’re Latino. We’re seen as black and we have the same fears.”
In a moment of realization, Amara saw she was altering her hair for others and stopped perming it.
“Years later, I’m still rocking my ‘fro. I’m just not open-minded to feeling that I have to change the way I look to fit society’s standards of beauty,” she said.
In Cardi B’s case, this is not the first time she’s flaunted her natural hair for her fans. However, considering she did this amid the activism and solidarity shown to the Black community in present times, it’s yet another show of solidarity with Black lives and the physical features of those Black lives.
Having short and or textured hair does not deem one less attractive or worthy. As Cardi B and her fans proved, Black features are no less beautiful than what one has been taught.
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