Headwraps are not only a fun and festive hair accessory, they are indeed a tie to our rich ancestry from the motherland! This challenge allowed the ladies to showcase some beautiful headwraps as well as share their thoughts on the cultural connection these headwraps represent. For this challenge, I was looking not only for polished pictures of diverse headwraps, but I was also looking for some photos that showed instruction (how do I create this style). While my top two three were Carlie, Nefertiti, and Kala, my choice is CARLIE!
Carlie’s photos showed a story and a direct link to her heritage! All of these ladies did an exceptional job of giving me diverse looks with the same scarf. All of the ladies in this challenge showcased beautiful photos and touching stories of history and cultural connection! Good luck for the next challenge!
I wanted to share some of what really touched me from all of the ladies (in no particular order).
- Kala: While modeling each style I felt like an African Queen. Proud. Fearless. Beautiful. My mother, being raised in Jackson, Mississippi, passed down stories of struggle and heartache from her experiences during the Civil Rights Movement. She instilled in my brother and I, a sense of strength and pride from our history. We marveled at the strength she and so many others had during the movement led by King. I’m grateful for his sacrifices and thankful for his unyielding passion to command justice for all.
- Carlie: Culturally, my great grandmother, my , and my mother were merchants in Haiti. Merchants often wear scarves to protect their hair while carrying baskets loaded with goods on top of their heads. I am glad and very grateful to all those who stood up and said no to injustice, and I am thankful for their sacrifices which enables us today to reach our goals.
- Jalita: For me, wearing beautifully printed garments on my head shows an effort to stay connected to my roots. For example, the pioneer and leader, Harriet Tubman, always rocked an ivory head wrap as she lead her people to freedom. With this said, it is more than a fashion statement; it is symbolic of the strength of our past, present, and future.
- Desray: I enjoy feeling set apart from the crowd that abides by the rules of the mannequin model in the department store. I’m not afraid to allow myself diversity. I truly feel that once the last number is discovered, at that moment the last hat will be created! The diverse fashion world allows me to be who I chose to be rather than what society deems as acceptable or the norm.
- ReShonda: My children are biracial and i talk to them about loving themselves, not just on this day, but each day. I want them to grow up knowing that they were lovingly created by the Father and he doesn’t make any mistakes!! I tell them that they are a beautiful representation of the melting pot Dr. King wanted us all to be. When I rock my head wraps, it makes me feel like i can do anything! I feel confident! I feel regal! i feel like that African Queen lol! That is a part of our culture, something that goes way back to slavery. Back then, it was a way to identify the slaves and used as a means of separation. I learned that later it was turned around to symbolize courage, like a badge of honor!!
- Nefertiti: I wear headwraps and turbans anywhere and everywhere, challenging notions of whether there are times when a wrap is “inappropriate,” and showing that what matters most is presentation, and how you carry yourself. There are still many who feel that headwraps are not fit to be worn outside of the house, that they cannot be worn to work, or in other professional settings. While this debate seems to be a relatively trivial matter, I think it echoes a broader sentiment of pressures to conform to American or European standards of what is acceptable or beautiful.
- Chassity: The history of head wraps goes far back, before slavery. Whether a sistah was wearing a head wrap to protect her hair and keep it clean or to show her social class, it has been a part of our history for quite some time. I appreciate Josephine Baker a beautiful sistah that could turn a head wrap into a masterpiece. The headwrap is embedded in our roots, our soul and our culture. Donning a head wrap happens whenever the mood hits me. It could work with my outfit or be a bad hair day. However, I choose to wear it, it makes me feel regal and confident.
- Justyce: Thinking back to how far we as people have come since Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech just makes me want to continue striving to make a difference in the world by being proud of who I am and showing other African Americans that they too have something to be proud of.
- Natasha: As I heard the challenge, the first thing that came to mind with the head wrap was African beauty that birthed African women. It was as if my mind went to pictures that I had previously seen of the big head wraps, with women carrying children and balancing baskets displaying the strength that we come from. I want my life to capture the strength, grace and beauty that we come from. I desire to create from a pure heart and impact diverse cultures for years to come. I too have dreams. I record them and pray that someday others will read them and run with them. There’s a song that I love that says, “I’m just an ordinary servant, with extraordinary purpose. Lord use me, however you please”. This is my heart’s cry.
Recommendation for elimination: Desray. I do not feel as if she has been putting 100% into the two challenges thus far. I am not seeing the diversity in styling that I believe a top model must have. I feel like she is holding back somehow and not giving all of herself. I think she is a very beautiful woman and would really have liked to see a better showing from her.