On April 25th, hundreds of people and organizations across the United States stood together through YWCA’s “Stand Against Racism” movement. On this day, each organization has the liberty to create their own stand at their own discretion. While events my differ, all attendees are given the opportunity to pledge to uphold YWCA’s mission, which is to be dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women, and promoting peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all.
Strong Women, Strong Girls decided to host a documentary and discussion event at their Headquarters/Boston office. “Good Hair,” produced by American comedian Chris Rock, is a documentary based upon African American women and their hair, the styling industry that surrounds them, and the media portrayals that illustrate what is deemed “appropriate” hairstyles in this complex and critical society.
Rock “sets out to explore the historically fraught concept of “good hair,” which for African Americans burdened by the twin legacies of slavery and racism, has traditionally been defined more like white people’s hair. “Do black women,” he wonders, “spend countless hours and hundreds of dollars in hair salons to make their hair straighter and silkier because they want to look white?”
After watching the documentary, staff members and guests shared their experiences around what they witnessed growing up or what they had to endure. Many questions were asked and a lot of those questions were left unanswered.
Tell us what you think: As an individual a part of this demanding and critical society, when it comes to beauty and looks, what are some ways that you have seen women go through changes within their physical appearance in order to keep up with what society wants them to look like? What factors aside from social media images play a role in this? Why do you think that women must conform to society’s pressures?