Afro-tising

I was browsing through the current issue of Marie Claire magazine and I came across the latest Marc Cain  SS12 campaign ad.

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The model’s afro-esque hair style really caught my attention.

The next day I travelled to central London and as I was exiting Oxford Circus tube station, the new Benetton SS12 ads also caught my eye – again beautiful models – black and white – sporting afro-inspired hair!!!

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Here are some more images from the lighthearted, playful campaign, that has the signature Benetton look and feel – young, fun and fresh!Image

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Natural, afro hair is on the up and up and is being fully embraced by women of colour in droves  Recent research conducted by the market research agency Mintel, showed that the natural resurgence in the US has resulted in sales of relaxer kits dropping by 17% over the last 5 years (Black Hair Care US- August 2011, Mintel).

Many African – American celebrities are staunch advocates of wearing their natural hair and Oscar nominated actress Viola Davis’ natural style garnered numerous column inches and commentary as she steeped out onto the red carpet at the recent awards ceremony.  My Twitter timeline went CRAZY!!  Tweets and retweets flew across cyberspace as natural hair bloggers and vloggers, beauty critics and others commented and congratulated the actress’ stylish mane.

Viola Davis wearing Vera Wang...and her natural hair! Stunning!

One thing I love about being a black women, is the many choices we have in how we can wear our hair – be it chemically relaxed, in its natural form or accentuated with weaves and extensions.  For me, what is more important is the fact that we have the CHOICE to express our individuality, personality and sense of style in the way that feels right to us.

For the month of February, another poster child for the Naturalista’s,  Solange Knowles, was British Vogue’s ‘Today I’m Wearing…’  Photo Blogger of the month.

 

Two of my favourite looks of the month are shown below – her unique, individual style is the epitome of today’s empowered black woman.

Image: www.vogue.co.uk

Image: www.vogue.co.uk

I love!!

 

11 comments for “Afro-tising

  1. March 5, 2012 at 9:31 pm

    I love how the afro is becoming so much more mainstream and not just for the reserve of the uber natural brigade. And right on cue, I’ve had a massive crop and totally embracing my natural curls, though more out of necessity than fashion. I do support your point about CHOICE. I appreciate the choice I have to so some much to my hair now, rather than I can only do one thing and thats it! Choice for me, means I’m empowered to do so many more things.

    • beautypulselondon
      March 5, 2012 at 9:59 pm

      I totally agree! Choice is empowering and change is refreshing! Thanks for reading 🙂

  2. March 5, 2012 at 10:06 pm

    Hello from across the pond! I love these ads you’ve posted, especially the ones with the black models who have natural hair. Like you, I was excited to see Viola Davis rock her natural hair to the Oscars. But I don’t know of many other African Americans who “are staunch advocates” of wearing their natural hair. Solange Knowles, Esperanza Spalding, Tracie Ellis Ross, Kim Wayans, Goapele, Ledisi, Wanda Sykes, Macy Gray, India.Arie, Kimberly Elise, and the list goes on, rock their natural hair. However, I’m hard pressed to think of many mainstream celebrities (not to say they don’t exist). Just to be clear, when I say mainstream I mean people that are known outside of their work on BET, in Tyler Perry movies, etc., and are just as likely to be seen on cable tv or the national news as they are to be seen on TV One (that is, if we’re being honest). There are a number of women who are natural, but you would never know because they don’t wear it out.

    I think Viola Davis and her TWA were such a big deal because there are not a lot of black celebrities who say no to wigs, weaves, and perms. And especially because it was a prime-time awards show (i.e. The Oscars). In the U.S., we are just starting to see multiple celebrities wear their natural hair. There are a few natural hair celebrities I can also think of who are popular in America, but are actually English: Corrinne Bailey Rae, Thandie Newton. I’m sure someone is missing…sorry!

    Ultimately, I am glad to see natural hair in the media. My blog talks about this very subject, and today I featured a piece from Vogue Italia on natural hair in the fashion industry. Check it out here: http://naturalhairinthemedia.com/2012/03/05/natural-hair-in-italian-vogue/

    • beautypulselondon
      March 6, 2012 at 1:09 pm

      Hi Tiffany! Thanks so much for reading my post! Your comment is very insightful because the impression I have of the US is that all types of black beauty is represented in the mainstream media, so it is great to hear the perspective of a US resident! The UK still has a way to go to truely represent black people in the mainstream media, not just with regards to health and beauty…it is still rare for a person of colour to advertise general household items, such as washing up powder unless they are a celebrity of some sort! It is getting better, but there is much room for improvement! We are very far behind the US in this regards.

      • March 9, 2012 at 1:57 am

        It’s so interesting to hear how black people are represented in other cultures. Nowadays, you have a number of black women and men in American commercials. Some fulfill stereotypes about blacks, and some don’t.

        But you do see black people in commercials selling everything from cars to shoes to clothes to beverages, the list goes on and on. And, recently, I’ve noticed a lot of those women have natural hair (which is why I started my blog). I definitely find that empowering, and recognize that we can always improve. Just think about the Nivea Re-Civilize Yourself campaign (if you haven’t heard of, Google it). Sometimes, what passes for acceptable by advertisers is very far from ok. Thanks for this post, by the way. I’ll be sure to come by and check out your blog.

  3. JC
    March 9, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    OMG thanks for postng this!! i am amazed at the mainstream’s embrace of the afro and also noted the Benneton ad in Oxford Circus Station today. i have also noticed H & M and Boots (UK chain of Pharmacy) all have natural models and Gap too. plus I also noted Vougue Italia’s spread on the afro

    I am so pleased that you have also shown White models sporting afro textures and now Marni and H& M have embraced African -esq textiles in their designs. (The queue on the opening evening was around the corner almost refelective of Apple store type queues on launch days)

    All of the this sudden appreciation of African aestetics is cool BUT it is a way of life for many of us not just a passing fad and as much as it encourages some black people to embrace their natural selves I truely hope that the once the mainstream tires of its facination that we do not forget the beauty of our natural and cultural selves and it when a new trend is pushed by the fashion world.

    Once again thanks for sharing!!!!!!

  4. January 28, 2013 at 9:20 pm

    Great post. I was thinking recently that I Actually see more afro hair than relaxed hair on ads lately. It’s great and ofcourse it should be by choice.

    • February 1, 2013 at 7:15 pm

      Thanks for your comment Leillah! I had fun compiling this post!

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