So in a recent interview with Lurve Magazine, Solange Knowles revealed that she is out as a Carol’s Daughter spokesperson, in part because of disagreements with the company’s messaging:
I’m actually no longer a part of Carol’s Daughter, but throughout my entire time working with them, I was constantly fighting for the right message to be heard. The message that, the way we wear our hair is a personal choice, there’s no right or wrong way; one way doesn’t make us more intelligent, or more superficial, and every one makes that choice for very different reasons.
It’s interesting, though, since one of Carol’s Daughter’s other celebrity spokeswomen — Selita Ebanks — does wear her hair straightened and in the past several years the company has distanced itself from its original branding as natural hair only.
Still, Solange was definitely the face of the ‘natural hair arm’ of Carol’s Daughter’s marketing, with her image used to promote the company’s transitioning products and website.
But apparently she was not prepared for the intensity/scrutiny that came along with being a natural hair icon, and didn’t know until recently that a hair typing system even existed. Some of these frustrations were the cause for her recent rant on Twitter:
I made some comments on Twitter recently about an article someone sent me that a young writer wrote about how much energy we are putting into other people’s natural hair. I thought it was really interesting, and in a lot of ways true. That is until I came across the part of the article that mentioned how certain commenters were debating on the texture of my hair in its natural state.
I really, truly was not even aware that there was a natural hair system in place to measure the texture of your hair. At that point I thought to myself, ‘This is really crazy. That these people know more about my hair than the human that even carries it!’ I went to my Twitter and sort of impulsively expressed that. I don’t regret it one bit, but sometimes trying to put how you feel in an one-hundred forty character structure is not really successful. [...] I’m actually really trying to navigate my feelings on the entire hair issue and it’s tough doing that publicly.
Some have suggested that Solange’s frustration is her own fault, since she came out the gate speaking about her big chop on The Oprah Winfrey Show in 2009, and followed up with a Carol’s Daughter endorsement deal. But the singer insists that she didn’t know that her hair would come to define her public image.
On one hand, I can’t ignore the fact that I have done things that have put attention on my hair with going on Oprah and being apart of Carol’s Daughter.
I was asked to go on Oprah on an episode that was dedicated to Black Hair, and to speak about why I cut my hair. I honestly thought, “Number one, it’s Oprah, and who wouldn’t want to go on Oprah and meet her?!?! She’s amazing! But also, I thought if I addressed it then, then maybe I wouldn’t have to on that level again.
I spoke about how I felt like my hair was holding me back in some ways from fully utilizing my life, in terms of the time, energy and money I was spending. I also remember very clearly saying that this was the phase I am in at the time and that if I wanted to wear a weave down to my calves–when and if that time came–I very much so would. I still feel that way now. I realize for some people that this was a big turning point in terms of how they saw me.
Interesting. Ladies, what are your thoughts on all this?