1 in 3 Black Women Missed School Photo Day Due to Hair Discrimination, New Study Shows

by Xara Aziz
Voiced by Amazon Polly

A startling new study released by Dove has revealed that more than half of Black and mixed-race women have experienced discrimination at school because of their hair.

Out of 2,000 respondents to the survey, more than half (57%) said they still deal with hair-related trauma as adults and many of them began to notice the discrimination as early as five years old.

Other disheartening data showed that:

  • Nearly half of Black or mixed-race women with afro or textured hair have experienced race based-hair discrimination, sometimes as early as age five.
  • 1 in 4 of Black adults have been sent home from work or faced disciplinary action as a result of wearing their hair in a natural or protective style.
  • More than half of Black children have been sent home from school due to wearing their hair naturally or in a protective style.

“We want inclusive beauty. All beauty should be recognized and welcomed in schools, at work and everywhere else,” Dove said in a statement published online. “Narrow beauty standards make it difficult for women and girls to freely express and celebrate their own beauty. And while all women experience appearance-based pressures, Black and mixed-race women are disproportionately impacted by the Eurocentric beauty standards that so often define what’s seen as beautiful.”

To raise awareness of the issue, Dove has launched Reclaiming School Picture Day, a campaign seeking Black and mixed-raced women, who missed their school picture or had to alter their natural hair to conform to their school’s standards, to have their photo taken in a hairstyle of their choice.

The personal care brand has also developed the Dove Self-Esteem Project, which is “committed to designing self-esteem tools and experiences with unique cultural nuances in mind.” Through the project, Dove representatives have unveiled the My Hair, My Crown – a two-hour session for educators, parents, and mentors to boost hair confidence in children with coils, curls, waves and protective styles.

To learn more about Reclaiming School Picture Day, Dove Self-Esteem Project and My Hair, My Crown, visit here.

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