In this episode we’re talking about hair. Now, before you jump to any conclusions about this topic and maybe skip this episode because you’re not into talking about hair, we’re not talking tips and tricks for teasing the perfect curls or how to get out of your house in the morning with the perfect hairstyle in less than 30 minutes; we’re talking about our hair journeys. How we feel about our hair, stereotypes that are out there for girls and women, and how our hair ties to our identity.
This is also our last episode with our co-host Shanna, who got a new job and is moving on to do other great things. We’re going to miss her a ton, but we wish her well!
We’ll be talking about our relationship with our hair. Shanna talks about how her hair routine is like a workout – it makes her feel good but is a lot of work and is kind of the boss of her, and Idelle shares her experience both as a girl and now as an adult navigating the world with short hair paired with her androgynous style.
We get into Shanna’s journey from perming and straightening her hair to letting it grow naturally. This is partly because she wants to try something new that’s better for her hair’s health in general, but it’s also to connect with her cultural identity as a black woman. Shanna shares that this isn’t always easy – there are barriers for African American girls and women, like being accepted at school or in their workplace and being seen as fitting into the dominant culture. She talks about experiences with societal pressures and microaggressions or times she’s been singled out in school, workplaces, and other communities, including people touching her hair in public without asking.
Idelle talks about having short hair for her whole life. She shares that she’s only herself when she has short hair, but it’s not always easy. Even though she loves having short hair and it’s such an important part of her identity, Idelle shares her experiences with being mis-gendered in bathrooms, feeling uncomfortable in certain spaces, and having to be conscious of how she’s presenting in those spaces in order to feel safe or just not be noticed. It’s not all negative – Idelle talks about the comfort she feels with her friends and family and in her workplace, and when she’s out in the gay community with other people who identify as LGBT and share some of the same life experiences.
It’s about identity, how you show up in different spaces, and how you’re allowed to show up. Shanna and Idelle both talk about the importance of finding the right stylist who makes them feel comfortable, powerful, and connected by helping them show up as their full selves in the world, as well as finding safe spaces and people who they feel solidarity with.
How do you feel about your hair? Maybe you feel some connections to Shanna or Idelle’s stories, or maybe your journey is totally different. Think about it!
Stay tuned at the end for our segments Girls Pick and Would You Rather 😊
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