In the Latin community, hair is side by side with colorism as it sometimes divides us. History proves that the issue of hair has made us question our beauty and put us against each other when it comes to having "good hair" or "bad hair" as known as pelo malo. Today, hair is still a topic many struggle to grasp as it's on the frontline of beauty and fashion companies. Recently, J.Crew's millennial sister brand, Madewell, was backlashed for producing a photoshoot where Dominican model, Marihenny Pasible's natural hair is seen uncombed and "did not reflect the natural hair movement at all."
As a result, many women especially Afro-Latinas were outraged by the clothing company's idea of this being "okay" and took to Twitter to express themselves. Some users were faulting the model for not speaking up, while others were blaming the American multi-brand for not having natural hair stylists available. Here are some of the Tweets in response to the photo.
But here's the truth: while the natural hair movement may be loud and proud among your circle of friends, social media feed, and maybe even for some at their workplace, there's still a lot of teaching and learning to be done. Most brands are still unaware of how to market Latinos, African-American, and other minorities as we are becoming the majority. Therefore, when brands book multi-cultural models who are embracing their natural hair but fail to book a natural hairstylist, this may result in a PR meltdown for the company along with embarrassment and racial issues for those offended. Across social media, many followers felt the need to troll the Dominican model for not being "outspoken," which can be justified with one's own personal experiences. Ever let your hairdresser chop off all your hair, and in your head, you're screaming inside yet you smile and nod that you love it? Though we weren't present for the shoot, that could have been the case here. Needless to say, J.Crew should begin to educate themselves more on the natural hair movement and book more natural stylists to prevent a situation like this. Let's rewrite hair-story, and recreate beauty standards for all women.
Shortly after the frenzy, J.Crew released a tweet saying the following, "J. Crew strives to represent every race, gender, and background. We sincerely apologize for the styling of this model and the offense that was caused. We assure you that we are taking steps to address it, and to prevent this from happening again.” What are your thoughts? Sound off in the comments section below.