I came across this lovely article below on CNN talking about Ivorian women embracing their natural hair.
Ode to hair: Ivorian women champion afros - By Nosmot Gbadamosi and Earl Nurse, CNN
“Growing up with afro hair can be a harrowing experience, especially if forced to chemically straighten it. "Once you are eight, all hairdressers say, oh you have to relax your hair... we can't manage your hair, you have to relax it, it will be beautiful," says Mariam Diaby, a hairdresser and founder of Nappys de Babi, an online community focused on promoting natural hair. Read more HERE…”
What I found interesting in this article is that it took living in Paris for the subject matter an African woman from Ivory Coast to embrace her natural hair. Interesting because most African women for the longest time had been subjected to unrealistic standards of “neat hair” like having long silky straight hair for it to be considered neat and it took this black African lady living in a European capital where long silky straight hair was the norm to embrace her natural hair. In hindsight the whole long silky straight hair is a product of the 80s and 90s if you ask me because I remember looking at photos of the older women in my family and circle and they all had natural hair back in the 70s, 60s and beyond. Nine out ten photos featured women with large Afros and hair braided in beautiful patterns or threaded (African threading) and woven. The few who did not have Afros or braided hair wore wigs. It is only in photos from the 80s and 90s that the relaxer revolution was seen in full effect.