Even the most confident and stylish natural can sometimes feel pressured to straighten her hair in efforts to ‘blend in’ or conform to the idea that a woman is more beautiful with sleek strands. Even young goddess/ultralight beam of utmost confidence Amandla Stenberg, admits she too is sometimes tempted to conform.
In an interview with Glamour, the Hunger Games starlette discussed filming Lemonade, what it means to be a woman in 2016 and what being all American means to her. When the mag asked her to describe her relationship with her hair, her response was as follows:
“I’ve gone through so many different hair stages. My first stage was when I was younger, and I thought my hair was too big, so I always kept it in this giant poof on top of my head. I wasn’t that great at doing ponytails, and so it was always really messy, and after that, as I kind of hit puberty and went to middle school and everything, I started doing things to make it smaller and straighter. I got Keratin treatments, and then I had bangs that I straightened every day. It was awful. It was like frying the front part of my hair off. And I was basically doing anything to make it look straight, and then I came to the realization that I—because of the internet honestly, because of seeing people on the internet post pictures with their natural hair, I realized like, “Oh, wait, this is actually so cool. Why have I been fighting this component of myself for so long?” And so I chopped it all off and slowly grew it back in its natural state, and now I love it. And I still have moments once in a while where I feel the need to conform, but that’s also not really my—those are not my original ideas, like I don’t really feel that inside. It’s just when you look around and you see people with straight hair in media, you kind of feel the need to fit in, so it’s kind of a constant battle loving my hair. It’s something that I’m continuously working on.”
When asked what her best of beauty advice was she said, “I think the best piece of advice that I would give is beauty is really just—I know it sounds cheesy—being true to who you are. Beauty is not something that is acquired necessarily through like makeup or clothing. The thing that makes makeup or clothing or fashion beautiful is the fact that the person wearing them loves themselves and loves being able to kind of use them as artistic tools. And so if I was to give one piece of advice, it would be to find beauty in your core first before you go out into the world and find it in other ways.”
Amandla also expressed her hopes for the ‘Black Girl Magic’ movement.
“I hope that kind of this movement centered around black women becomes more inclusive because there is a lot of colorism within the movement that even I benefit from, and so I hope it’s more inclusive of dark-skinned women. I hope it’s more inclusive of sex workers. I hope it’s more inclusive of girls who haven’t gone natural and still have straight hair, wear weaves, I hope it’s inclusive of all kind of different representations of blackness instead of one that’s become more mainstream, that’s become more acceptable, you know.”