During the Miss Black Hair Nederland pageant, the idea is usually to pass across the message that the hair is the crown of a woman and it should be worn with pride. However, in this last concluded Miss Black Hair Netherlands election, something shocking took place when the winner, Miss Ritania Wirht made an even more empowering statement. She took to the stage and proceeded to capture and keep the attention of both the judges and the crowd by shaving off her 5 inch natural hair while sharing her story of empowerment during a spoken word performance.
Natural hair and Black beauty are a Black woman’s pride and should be carried with dignity and pride. The traditions and cultures related to natural hair and beauty connect Black women throughout the Diaspora and also allow the empowerment of Black women. This is the message that that Miss Black Hair Nederland pushes to convey each year.
When Miss Ritania Wirht took to the stage; she proceeded to send across her own personal growth in a message that could be interpreted as her personification of India Arie’s, ‘I am not my hair.’
A message of empowerment, pride, courage, and strength. While shaving off her beautiful 5 inch “crown” and “pride” she proved that the empowerment of a woman is not just in her natural hair, or, in her black beauty, it is in the heart of a woman. In front of the world to see did what scares most women deeply. In showing that she proved that even without the glory of her natural hair, she remains a black beauty and pushed to show that empowerment does not come from any features that you may have but, that the strength comes from within.
More than about beauty and Hair Miss Black Hair Nederland is about sisterhood and empowerment and Ritania Wirht nailed it. In essence, even though the natural hair and the black beauty of an African woman should be a thing of pride, true empowerment should come from self-awareness with the help of a sisterhood.
For more info and photos visit the Facebook page of Miss Black Hair Nederland. A special shout out to the organizers Ashaki Leito and Sherlon Gerard who have been empowering the community for years.