We Were Always Beautiful
Black women and hair go together like the sun and the moon. We are a part of a life force connected by similar experiences, trials, tribulations, accomplishments, joy and pains. We have fought with it, played with it, chopped it off, nourished and grew it back with heads held high. We have wrestled it, fought for it, curled it, braided it, straightened, and made it relax. Our hair tells the story of our lives.
It was important for me to reflect the beautiful and extravagant hairstyles that black women have displayed throughout time in my children's book (Brown Sugar Fairies). Our crown is our glory and my Enchanted Fairy Goddess was to exhibit an exceptional style just like our ancestors. My fascination with history, (particularly African cultures), led me to love the many hairstyles worn by women and men across the diaspora.
African culture from Senegal, or the Sande Society of Sierra Leon, are a great examples. They view elaborate hairstyles to symbolize wealth, high status and education. Many of the braided and combed styles that we see today were once worn on the heads of our ancestors. Also as a symbol of beauty.
Mende Helmet Mask Sowei Sande Society.
Illustration: "The Cotton Fairy" Brown Sugar Fairies
Artist: Joyceline Furniss 2017
Created by Aiysha Sinclair
British Vogue: Rihanna 2020
Just recently Rhianna (Singer, Songwriter and Business woman) was photographed on the cover of British Vogue magazine with a glorious crown reminiscent of the hairstyles of black women in the late 1800's - early 1900's. I roared with excitement when I saw it!!! Yes! Proud to see her embrace these intricate and unique styles for the modern viewer. She'd make a good Fairy Queen, don't you think?
We were always beautiful. No comparison needed.