Going Natural: The Psychological and Health Implications of a Social Media Movement of African American Women Transitioning from Chemically Styled Hair to Natural Textured Hair

November 13, 2017 | 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm | CETLS, Room S510D

Controversies around hair characteristics influence the self-identities of Black women around the world. Historically, Black women have been exposed to parental expectations, cultural pressures and media representations that impose upon them an ideal image; however this image may or may not conform to ones’ own sense of identity. Herein lies the unresolved struggle for self-identity. In response, some have internalized negative representations of themselves leading to low self-esteem and/or acceptance which adversely affect emotional health and well-being. Recently, African American women have deflected externally imposed standards by embracing and accepting natural hairstyles as a form of self-expression and identity. This new movement primarily has been facilitated by social media. In this sense, social media has served as a modern-day source of social capital and thus a new medium to attain self-identity. This project posits that this relatively new movement has been used as a source of social capital among African American women to enhance psychological well-being, encourage healthy living, and help define self-identity.

Presenter: Professor Lesley Rennis of the Health Education Department

This event is organized by the Africana Studies FIG. Please contact Jill Richardson (jirichardson@bmcc.cuny.edu) or Kelly Secovnie (ksecovnie@bmcc.cuny.edu) for more information.

Please RSVP to cetls@bmcc.cuny.edu.