The opening of the school year has seen some unexpected drama in the recent past as the issue of hair, and how it should be worn whilst in school, has come under the spotlight. While it may seem simply a matter of fashion or discipline, most people will be aware that there’s far more to the tale than that. Issues of cultural identity and pride enter the debate, and sadly there is also South Africa’s long history of oppression that cannot be ignored.
Fortunately though, there seems to be more of a move towards celebrating natural hair, rather than the opposite. The market is littered with hair products aimed at promoting natural curls, and proponents of natural hair such as Hugh Masakela have helped to raise awareness around the issue.
But it seems that the problem is not ours alone. American photographic duo, Regis and Kahran, have created a series of portraits entitled AfroArt of young girls in elaborate costuming and hairstyles, from the Baroque period to steampunk and fierce high-fashion ensembles.
We feel that it is so important for kids of color to be able to see positive images that look like them in the media,” Kahran told My Modern Met. “Unfortunately the lack of diversity often plays into the stereotypes that they are not ‘good enough’ and often forces kids to have low self-esteem.”
The photos are a celebration of natural African hair and are true works of art!
Click here to read more about this wonderful project and to view more images.