Protective Style is a piece made in response to a prompt from my second Semester Design Foundations studio. We were told to make a piece about identity after the contemporary artist Kara Walker.
I wanted to address my culture's fixation on hair! As a black woman, I've had the experience of everyone in my community associating femininity, beauty, and class with the condition of my hair.
Hand cut black paper against white wall, around 4 ft x 7 ft (?)
Recently I've decided to stop processing my hair with heat and chemicals, both of which brought me closer to a eurocentric ideal of beauty. I've resorted to wearing "protective styles" (methods of styling black hair, that help to preserve its texture and length).
But, in embracing my culture and my hair (the way it sprouts from my roots and nothing more) I am rejecting an ideal propagated by western media.
We must look as little like ourselves
and be as little of ourselves
do everything for ourselves
to be beautiful.