Braids weren’t always the epitome of beauty, especially Hollywood beauty. That’s probably why it started out as a joke for Zoë Kravitz. “Like and ode to the 90’s,” she said to C Magazine.
Now, you can’t find her without them and let’s just say, it’s refreshing. What initially started as an ode to the 90’s, seems to have evolved into an ode to Black Girls. “They aren’t some symbolic thing, but it still feels important, I think, to be a brown girl with natural hair. You see blond girls with the same hair in every movie.”
The reawakening of self-awareness in Black culture has revived itself from the early 60’s. Natural was in and natural was it. The refusal to fit in with our “fair-skin counterparts”, holding our tongues and outcry for equity was a critical period in our culture. To witness the resurgence of natural beauty, once sported in a profound piece of our history is a mesmeric nostalgia.
Zoë, 28, didn’t initiate the natural hair renaissance of the new millennium, but she did add her own twist, discovering a new metamorphosis of original box braid styles.
Zoë goes sports waist-length, thick, Bohemian braids with unraveled ends.
Zoë keeps it cool but bold with tailbone wavy, micro-locks.
Zoë keeps her sides low while her braids play a more sinuous role, half up-half down.
Dare to be blonde? Platinum, that is! Zoë did it and she looked stunning!
As a Black woman in the forefront, the Mad-Max bombshell has let one of her biggest insecurities be known, her hair. “The struggle’s always been real for me and my hair,” Kravitz revealed to Refinery29. “And the options can seem limited when you have a kinkier texture.” It is here, when one realizes the common struggles that arise with the common Black female, famous or not.
There was a time, not so long ago, where women of color had to “tame” or “refine” their look to appeal to the masses, especially in media. Casting directors wouldn’t even consider Viola Davis or Issa Rae for star roles without a perm. Now, these women and so many after them will continue to defy all odds, creating opportunities where they didn’t, don’t and have yet to exist; making it conceivably possible for young Black girls to strut those red carpets, believing they breath fire.
Braids…they’re far more than just a style. They carry a symbolic undertone that do not allow us to conform, but to blossom. Embracing natural beauty is breaking those sub-conscious barriers that kept us from our well-deserved shine!
So, to the Solange’s, Alicia Keys’s, Lupita Nyong’o’s and the Zoë Kravitz’s of the world, keep the fire alive and let your braids pave the way!
Written by The Queen Sessions Contributor, Alyvia Russell