Black Hairstyles On Middle-Aged White Women: Do You Wanna Touch It?

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black hairBy Madam Prezident

African American women are a group of women who truly believes in hair liberation. We will wrap our hair, curl it, weave it, braid it, cut it, lock it, twist it, perm it, and wear it natural.

Most people never imaged, in a million years, they would see the day middle aged cooperate white women would be wearing their hairstyles for a photo-shoot. Endia Beale took the middle aged white women from Woodstock, N.Y to a black salon, requested a black hair-do and she took their picture afterwards.

Beal was an intern in the IT department at Yale, working toward her M.F.A. in photography. Endia Beale was inspired to complete this project because of the reaction she got in the workplace with her own hair; which was a natural red afro. Beal explained there were times her colleagues asked, “Can I touch your hair?”

This kind of response, led Beale her independent photography project. “I wanted to allow someone to feel something different, to experience something they never had before, and through that experience, they felt uncomfortable,” Beal said. “And then to talk about it kind of amplifies that feeling.”

You might wonder how Beale got these middle aged ladies to agree to this. Well, after they agreed to the project—that was it. Beale chose the hairstyle, the women agreed to be photographed in a corporate portrait, even if they didn’t like the style.

“I said, ‘I am going to give you a black hairstyle,’ and they were like, ‘You’re going to give me cornrows?’ ” Beal recalled of her conversations with her subjects. “And I said, ‘No, we’re going to do finger waves.’ ‘Finger waves? What’s that? You mean from the ’20s?’ And I said, ‘These are a little bit different type of finger waves!’ ”

“I wanted people that had a certain idea of what you’re supposed to look like in the workspace, because it would be a challenge for them to understand what I experienced in that space,” she said.

I congratulate Endia Beale on expressing her creativity and making it go viral.

Tell me, have you ever thought someone’s hair was unprofessional in the workplace?

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  1. Minah

    October 18, 2013 at 5:52 pm

    This is total b to the s. Our hair is our hair & we need to embrace it & get over it and what others think won’t matter. White women who are willing to take these photos have no influence where institutionalized racism is concerned. All this garbage about I want to make people feel a certain way then they’ll see where I’m coming from has never worked. White women wear cornrows, finger waves, etc everyday. They also have children that are considered Black yet Black people are still given subprime loans, red lined & profiled. If we spent as much time developing ourselves spiritually (which has zero to do with religion) emotionally, mentally & financially as we do on trying to get White people to accept us, or understand us, we’d be in a much better place.

  2. Carolyn M.

    October 18, 2013 at 6:21 pm

    This white woman looks ridiculous! Middle aged black women look ridiculous with this style. That style is for young girls. If this woman truly believes that this project enabled white women to get a feel for her experience, she is nuts.

    • Maggie

      October 19, 2013 at 8:23 am

      Well said, this is a young girl hair style, it would look silly on a middle age black woman also.This proves nothing


    October 19, 2013 at 6:44 pm



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