You can tell when a magazine is featuring a black actress with her real hair. Usually it’s in a special issue dedicated to “real” (i.e. not thin and white) women, or it has a headline like, “Such-and-such actress gets real.” Basically the word “real” is thrown around a lot and it’s code for “we’re not really going to do this all the time because we have a eurocentric standard of beauty to uphold, but here’s this.”

One of the most annoying things about all this, to me, is the idea that you can’t do a high caliber beauty editorial without the use of significant hair alterations. And if you try, you have to use the word “real” to kind of lower expectations.

Kerry Washington is the covergirl for the November issue of Allure. The article is mostly about her transition away from her iconic role as Olivia Pope in Scandal (the show is in its last season) and her hair isn’t referenced until the fifth paragraph (and even then only in passing.)

Meanwhile several shots in the accompanying editorial are done with Washington’s real hair.

Allure Magazine
Allure Magazine
Allure Magazine
Allure Magazine

I’m here for the normalization of black hair.

Black Girl With Long Hair

Leila Noelliste, founder of Black Girl with Long Hair (April 2008). Social media, pop culture and black beauty enthusiast. bell hooks' hair twin...

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7 Comments on "[Pics] Kerry Washington Wearing Her Real Hair in Allure is a Big Deal Because It Wasn’t Treated Like a Big Deal"

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Dean

The narrative is random and uninformative. The pic shows her hair in braids and somewhat disarray. I m sure she does not wear braids all the time

TWA4now

Wow! Beautiful! I DON’T they wear their REAL hair more OFTEN…they should.

Margaretcnb

Did they really have to let a good part of the front of her hair stick out? It’s not baby hair, just some awkward long strings… I guess it’s the ”real” look

Todra

She looks beautiful. I love the hair, the styling, the makeup – it’s all wonderful! Just like we don’t often see black women’s natural hair in editorial spreads, we also don’t see a lot of this really soft, beautiful makeup. We’re always done up diva style, which is fine. But some of us don’t want the YouTube beauty tutorial as an everyday look.

pat

those rope braids are soooo editorial! ….jk, she looks amazing <3

idk

hmm

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