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Flashpoint: Hair and identity, truancy or asbestos, and a compassionate food truck Photo credit Cherri Gregg/KYW Newsradio. How does society's emphasis on hair affect those who have lost it due to an auto-immune disease called alopecia areata? Philosophy is to develop our talent in order to deliver the highest level of exposure to top tier photographers and brands throughout the global fashion industry. Have you seen the photo circulating this week of a little boy in the Oval Office touching President Obama’s hair? Yakpo’s research consisted in the analysis of two bodies of primary sources, AWA: la revue de la femme noire, a French-language independent magazine produced in Dakar, Senegal, by a network of African women between 1964 and 1973, and videos from a very popular YouTube channel on black hair created by a young Franco-Senegalese woman. In an award-winning paper, the PhD student and MIT CSHub research assistant measures how the weight of vehicles deteriorates pavements. Looking back, it was the best decision I made and correlated with a bigger milestone in my life, a sense of confidence and acceptance of the person I was becoming. As a young girl, I was often subjected to teasing because of my big "puffy" mane; however, my mom vowed to not ruin my natural curls with processed relaxers or straighteners. However, it doesn't escape controversy. At the time, all I wanted was "manageable hair," and if I were brutally honest with myself, I simply wanted hair that would help me blend in with everyone else in my small Springfield, Illinois community. 5 were here. January 25, 2020 01/25/2020 11:05 pm. Hair plays an important role for women as a marker of their gender. Massachusetts Institute of Technology77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA, USA. Even today, in certain places, industries, or workplaces, traditionally Black hairstyles, such as dreadlocks, are restricted and can be a cause for termination. We often see our hair as a reflection of our identity because it is both personal and public. To say that there is only one acceptable hair style for women who are proud and self-loving steals their autonomy, Yakpo argues in her thesis. Throughout high school and into my first years of college, I continued processing my hair, in part for ease as well as to prevent any damage or breakage (a side effect of discontinuing these chemical products). Looking back, what I think my mom was trying to tell me was that my hair, and specifically I, was beautiful without being altered. She pointed to the media portrayal of U.S. former first lady, Michelle Obama, or in France, to that of the former Minister of Justice, Christiane Taubira, and the fact that both women’s physical appearance has been the focus of political attacks. My mom was enraged and a bit heartbroken. Ask any other Black women, and they will have their own personal stories, experiences, and journeys with their hair. A graduating senior majoring in French and management science, Yakpo decided to take up the challenge of doing a senior thesis in French, and to use this opportunity to explore the politics of beauty among Francophone African women. Sefa Yakpo has always been interested in the question of the beauty standards that shape the lives of women of African descent. Historically, the brand has prided itself on filling in the beauty gap, normalizing and bringing more awareness to Black beauty while providing Black women with products that otherwise could not be found in traditional retail channels. She was also honored as a Burchard Scholar in 2017. She wanted to have the sleek, shiny, hair of the girl on the box for the “Beautiful Beginnings” hair products. Specifically, the ads seemed to gloss over the history and social hardships Black women have experienced in association with black hair stereotypes when compared to other cultural groups. Yakpo was struck by the author’s conclusion that a particular style of hair doesn’t imbue the wearer with any inherent meanings. Working with her thesis advisor, Professor M. Amah Edoh, Yakpo decided to investigate criteria of beauty for Black Francophone African women now and in a historical perspective. And then I realized what changed was that I finally felt comfortable being "me" regardless of the opinions of others. Beauty, and specifically hair, in Black culture has been a sensitive topic of discussion for decades with roots all the way back to the Civil Rights Movement and beyond. ; … Yakpo concluded that meanings behind hair are flexible and reflect a mix of influences that change over time and geography. Beauty, and specifically hair, in Black culture has been a sensitive topic of discussion for decades with roots all the way back to the Civil Rights Movement and beyond. An 11th circuit court of appeals recently ruled that banning employees for wearing their hair in "locs" does not qualify as racial discrimination. Hair plays an integral role in the way we represent and identify ourselves. Chicago, IL 60601 As a society, we attach so many parts of a person’s identity to their hair: their sexuality, history, gender, and even personality, and when women have short hair, people tend to think of that as … Chavonna Adams, local artist & author, I Love My Hair! Looking to hair as an extension of the human body, Hair: Untangling Roots of Identity examines hair’s function as an object open to both stereotypes and self-fashioning. By Flashpoint. Yakpo’s other achievements during her undergraduate career at MIT include internships in France and Belgium, participating in the January Scholars in France IAP program, and winning second place in the 2017 Isabelle de Courtivron Writing Prize for creative or expository student writing about immigrant, diaspora, bicultural, bilingual and/or mixed-race experiences. IDENTITY offers a full range of services including hair styling, color, nail care, eyelash extensions (tint and perming), full service day spa, and full service men's salon. What informs ideals of beauty? NEEDHAM, Mass. What proceeded me was countless hours of styling, researching and trying new products, and many hours spent in the salon to finally find what worked best for my hair type. She narrates a personal anecdote to relate her experiences to broader conceptualizations of identity. Hair completes an outfit, it dictates whether you are dressed up or down. The way we treat our hair has to do with aesthetics, social structure, religious identity, and a host of other aspects of culture. When a brand disassociates itself from the attributes that have played such a major role in defining and establishing its identity, what exactly has the brand done wrong? Skin and hair can be integral to a young black person’s sense of self. This website is managed by the MIT News Office, part of the MIT Office of Communications. The hair loss itself can cause more stress, Dr. Khetarpal said, especially for women, whose hair is often more closely tied to identity and self-confidence. Chavonna Adams, local artist & author, I Love My Hair! [CDATA[ The Identity … However, it doesn't escape controversy. ». Shea Moisture is a brand that has always embraced these experiences and emotional connections in their products and ads. — Hair, it is part of our identity. Yakpo wondered whether her own complicated relationship to her hair might be a microcosm of the broader social and cultural questions facing African women. A glimpse into who we are! The hair that assures Samson's strength is a common folktale motif, but is also important to his sacred status as a Nazirite. The historical and societal significant of hair have informed notions of beauty and are a testament to its connection with identity… I'll never forget one day when I came home from my aunt's house with a fresh relaxer (that my aunt applied without permission). It all came full circle when I took a trip back home after college with my natural curls in full force and someone said to me, "Wow you look beautiful, that hairstyle really fits you...Why didn't you wear your hair like that back in high school?" History, culture, traditions, social struggles can't be denied. Their recent digital ad campaign sparked outrage when the company looked to appeal to a more mainstream audience by including Non-Hispanic Whites (NHWs) while excluding any representation of their core Black audience. Our hair makes us stick out form the crowd in most cases it is viewed as the ultimate expression of blackness. Join us as we continue to explore our own journeys in understanding our cultural history and how we define our cultural identities in a new series of blogs around culture and ancestry coming soon! In … May 28, 2012. Segment 1: Hair and Identity. Hair can also influence the way you define yourself to yourself, as an extension of your identity. Using CRISPR technology, researchers are tracking the lineage of individual cancer cells as they proliferate and metastasize in real-time. As both a biological byproduct and cultural construction, hair is at once natural and contrived. At a well-attended meeting on Dec. 4, Yakpo presented her findings from her project, titled “Kinks and Identity: Unravelling Francophone African Women’s Attitudes to and Perspectives on their hair” [“Cheveux crépus et identité: Démêler les attitudes des femmes d’origine africaine vis-à-vis de leurs cheveux”]. Looking to hair as an extension of the human body, Hair: Untangling Roots of Identity examines hair’s function as … We offer cutting-edge hair cuts and colors, barber services, make-up, special effects, and waxing by a team of experts. Providing the space for not just Blacks, but all cultures, to feel accepted and celebrated for the things that make them unique is what it's all about! //

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