What's not to love about Solange Knowles? The DJ and model is finally getting the recognition she deserves for her flawless and original sense of style but sadly her hair sadly hasn't gone down quite as well with some. Recently ESSENCE magazine received a barrage or critical comments on an article they recently published where the 26 year-old shared her hair secrets.
'Natural hair can VERY beautiful. Solange's hair is not. Even if she wore an afro, pick it out even or something. It always looks unkempt...Boo for not even trying to represent with her natural fro'ness,' one commenter said. 'She really needs to put some work into STYLING her hair. This is why people think natural hair looks bad,' another added.
Solange decided to respond to the comments on Twitter on Thursday:
'I never painted myself as a team natural vice president. I don't know the lingo and don't sleep with a satin cap... However, I did [notice] when I picked out my hair, I kept seeing feedback about needing a "twist out". Connnnfesssioonnn: I HATE twist outs. Correction, I hate the way they look on me SO I end up always picking them/ steaming them out. Look, all I'm saying is. My hair is not very important to me... so [i] don't encourage it to be important to you.'
The saga got me thinking. Where's the backlash coming from? Knowles is one of the few African-American women in the public eye actually embracing her natural hair so shouldn't this be supported rather than criticised? 'It's disappointing that when the target of criticism is a successful woman, the attack usually focuses on some aspect of her appearance,' Michelle Bobb-Parris of blog Who Is Bobb Parris, told me in an email. 'I think that the comments speak more to the insecurities that some women have about their own hair than Solange's choice of hairstyle. I feel her frustration, as whether I choose to define or straighten curls, or to go with the 'fro can be quite polarising. Ultimately, Solange's hair is beautiful, and the natural hair police have no business with how she chooses to style it.'
Natural hair is something that Miggy Likes The Internet blogger Michelle Gibbs has focused on and celebrated on her blog. 'There's a lot of people out there who are looking for tips and inspiration and I'm always happy if I can give that to even only one person,' she said over email. 'No doubt some negativity will arise at some point but I guess that is just something that you have to expect when you are choosing to put information about yourself on the web.' Is she surprised about the backlash against Knowles, well, no. 'So many people see wearing their natural hair as some kind of 'movement' and they have made Solange Knowles the leader of that so-called movement but the fact is, that like me, she is not interested in that side of the natural hair story,' she said. 'Of course people will idolize and scrutinize her because she is in the limelight but people who feel 'let down' by her as an example for the natural hair community are just being ridiculous.'
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