Mane Addicts should not have done that. They shouldn't have published that 'How to Do Mini-Sized Buns' tutorial on their page. It caused outrage and frustration in the black American community, especially considering I wore Bantu Knots in the 2nd grade. For those who don't know the story, Mane Addicts credited the creation of Bantu Knots from Guido Palau (hairstylist for the Marc by Marc Jacobs' SS15 show). Of course, Guido Palau said his inspiration came from another non Black source, Björk. When will we finally get our credit for the trends in fashion and pop culture?
Don't get me wrong. Black women have been inspired by hairstyles from the white American culture as well including dying their hair blonde, straightening their hair, putting in weaves, wearing a sloppy bun, the list goes on.
Well, the project I completed in July 2015 was directly focused on the topic at hand. I call it "Hair Wars: You Inspire Me," a depiction of the reappropriation of hair in black and white American cultures. My subjects, Emily Gerteis and video blogger, Candace Rogue, were excited to be apart of the experiment because they believed in the idea of putting a positive spin to this controversial topic and creating a unified bond between both cultures. This illustration highlights a sense of acceptance and gratitude for one another's influences. It says "Thank you for inspiring me." There is nothing wrong with wearing your hair the way you want to, it's your hair! I find it beautiful that both cultures can influence one another when it comes to hair styling. It's just time to give credit where credit is due.
These images highlight three separate styles. The Blowout, The Sloppy Bun, The Bantu Knots; worn in individual ways and yet one common feature.