WELL would you look at the change in the air! Glamour Magazine unveiled their September issue today and low and behold, the entire magazine is devoted to Black Hair! The issue delves into both the discriminatory stigmas Black women often face in the workplace over their hairstyles, as well as our unique styles and beauty rituals.
The issue was guest edited by writer Ashley Alese Edwards, the US Partnerships Manager in the Google News Lab and a freelance writer who covers the intersection of culture and beauty. Edwards penned the cover story which features six Black women (Farryn Johnson, Destiny Tompkins, Rachel Sakabo, Brittany Noble and Kimberly and Gale Young-McLear) detailing past work experiences where they encountered negative comments or treatment because of their hair. The women hail from a variety of backgrounds and work environments, including a newsroom, a restaurant, a store, a hotel and the military. Each woman was photographed for the issue using socially-distant measures by Bethany Mollenkof, Makeda Sandford, Demond Meek, and Danielle Finney.
“The relationship between Black women and their hair is unique, powerful, and extraordinary,” says Edwards. “Yet for too long, Black hair has been the subject of unwarranted scrutiny and controversy. I’m so glad Glamour recognized the importance of the issue and lent me their platform to create this package to amplify the message that our hair is beautiful, complex, professional, and not up for debate.”
The cover story also highlights the CROWN Act (Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair), which was created in 2019 to ensure protection against discrimination based on race-based hairstyles. The act aims to extend statutory protection to hair texture and protective styles such as braids, locs, twists, and knots in the workplace and public schools. Black women are 1.5x more likely to be sent home from the workplace because of their hair. The CROWN Act has been passed in California, Colorado, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Virginia, and Washington so far.
Throughout the month Glamour Magazine will continue to highlight black women’s hair with editorial features that include: Wash Day Diaries, where Black women walk readers through their Wash Day ritual; a story on why it’s still so hard to get a good curly haircut, a reported piece on how retailer “look policies” police Black women’s hair and a feature on the enduring comfort of the beauty-supply store.
You can read the full cover story HERE