Throughout the years in television and media one little detail has always been apparent. Every female has the same hairstyle. Y’all know what I am talking about. Those same straight hair styles with long loose curls at the ends. In television and various forms media, we have become accustom to seeing Black females on television with the same long straight extensions and wigs. Straight hair has always been deemed the ideal hair type. Straight hair is what we have been conditioned to think is beautiful. Anything other texture is undesirable. Natural Black hair in particular. Black women have additional struggles that we have to surpass more so than others. Especially in media and television. This includes strict beauty standards and pressure to conform to those so called standards. However, in recent years Black women are saying no to the weaves and wigs and flaunting their natural hair with pride! And the movement has become revolutionary and it’s showing throughout media and television.
Now don’t get me wrong. Us girls here at PBN love a good lace-front that will just slay your world. To see representation in media, where girls who look like us are slaying as their authentic natural selves on camera and in comics means so much more. Whether you’ve been natural since birth or transitioned, we have all felt that same pressure. Questioning our decision to transition. I have had those thoughts every now and then. I find myself continuing to try to break past these road blocks. Seeing that Iconic scene in How To Get Away With Murder when Viola Davis took off her wig on national TV was just one of the groundbreaking moments that would lead up to the present times. Many Actresses are on board with the movement and saying no to those standards of built out hate and oppression and rock their natural hair in these predominantly white spaces in media and television.
The impact has shown in recent television hits such as Riverdale. Actresses Ashleigh Murray, Hayley Law and Asha Bromfield have made a big impact. Three gorgeous fierce Black women, who play The Pussycats in the shows adaption of the Archie comics. Bromfield and Law stated in an interview with PBN that they were eager to share their stories about the response of Black fans who were happy to see themselves in the Josie and the Pussycats. The two spoke specifically about how sporting their natural hair on the show was important to them. Along with how it has helped form a positive impact on how some viewers perceive natural hair and how they loved it.
“I feel like girls that have hair like that are scared to embrace it. But it’s your God-given hair, just own it.” Law stated in our San Diego Comic-Con interview. Bromfield (Melody Valentine) even stated how at first she too struggled with the stigma, how she felt she needed to have the straight weaves, and how she overcame it.
Black women are fans of Sci-Fi, movies and television. We love to play video games and read comics just like anyone else. We want to see ourselves in these spaces. When we see ourselves being represented in media that we enjoy it’s groundbreaking— it means so much more than some might think. Seeing comic characters like Gwendolyn(Saga), Dee (Rat Queens) , or the badass Nadine from Naughty Dog’s Uncharted game franchise meant so much to me as a video game and comic book fan. The movement continues to grow with upcoming film Black Panther , with a majority Black cast rocking fros, locs and braids. Along with Deadpool 2, currently in production starring Zazie Beetz (Atlanta) as Domino.
There has been some controversy over the actress playing the character. She does not have white skin and straight black hair— traits of the comic book variation of the character. Comic book purists (racists, honestly) were quick to display their disapproval of her appearance. Spouting their usual racist rhetoric. However, we are absolutely living for the representation and cannot wait to see her kick ass in the film. Whether some like it or not natural hair in media is here to stay. I am looking forward to many more characters who represent us in media. Because representation is important. It has an impact and will influence young black girls who are getting into nerd culture as well for the years to come.