Hollywood: the birthplace of the film industry, home to TCL Chinese Theatre (formerly Grauman’s Chinese Theatre), the luxury of Beverly Hills and, of course, the celebrities who star in those movies and shows. While many of Hollywood’s actors and actresses have a common love for entertainment, if you have naturally curly hair—you probably always take notice when you see an actor or actress showing their lovely locks.
But what happens when Hollywood doesn’t see those natural curls as quite so lovely? Yes, the likes of trendsetters in popular cities such as New York and LA often dictate how to wear your ‘do, and it seems to be no different with Latinas with curly hair. It seems that while many Latinas and Afro-Latinas show off their waves and curls, the longer they’re in Hollywood, the more reluctant they are to show it in public.
Ok, so maybe it isn’t them. Maybe it’s their stylist. Maybe it isn’t. Either way, this truly makes us question if wearing natural curls isn’t socially acceptable for these actresses and entertainers. After all, we see so many actresses who seem to wear their natural curls loose and free upon entering stardom—but we watch those curls begin to fade behind flat irons, hair extensions, and chemical treatments. Several great examples are the contrasts below behind some faces we all know.
Is There More To This Curly Hair Dilemma Than We Realize?
In Cosmopolitan’s 2015 feature on Curly Hair Stigmas in the Workplace, the author cited that when it comes to getting work in Hollywood, curly hair just isn't taken that seriously. Perhaps this is one of the challenges many Latinos with curly hair are facing, making them more reluctant to show their curls.
Midge Wilson, Ph.D., a professor of Psychology and Women's & Gender studies at DePaul University, stated in the article, “The '60s were tolerant of curly hair among whites as well as the Afro for African-Americans and Jews. It seemed loose, free-spirited, even wild." Once the Free Love era was over, that perception became a prejudice. "In pop culture, deranged women often have big, uncombed curls. Well-groomed hair is seen as no-nonsense and serious."
In Latino culture, this isn’t much different. In fact, many women are culturally raised with the idea that beauty is defined by fine, straight hair. The term “pelo malo” (which means "bad hair") refers to kinky, curly, unmanageable hair. As the term has been passed down from generation to generation, some Latinas have taken it to heart, preferring to wear their hair straightened over curly.
Latinas & Their Curly ‘Do’s in Hollywood
So what’s the standard for Latino women when it comes to natural curls in Hollywood?
Our guess is that Hollywood’s stance won’t change. But, we do see small glimmers of a reemergence of Latina entertainers and actresses who hang on to their curls past initial stardom and who don’t allow the showing of their curls to be defined by cultural taboos, stylists, glam squads, or producers. We can already see this with some young entertainers like Jamila Velazquez, the actress and singer on Empire, whose natural waves are front and center on every show. With actress and singer Selena Gomez, we see her getting more comfortable with showing her curls on Instagram. In a recent interview she stated, “When my hair is natural, I have that Latina feel—it gets wavy and frizzy and I’ve had to learn to love it. You obviously always want what you don’t have, which is why I wear it straight so often. Recently though, I’ve been trying to wear it beachy because that’s a little more natural to who I am."
According to research done by Unilever, prior to launching their curly hair emoji campaign they found that one in three women in the United States has curly or wavy hair, but you rarely find images of them. This begs the question: If the standard is continuously set, is curly unacceptable? It’s up to us in the curly hair community to be our own trailblazers and set a new standard.
While we won’t see the curls of our favorite Latina actresses on red carpets much, we’ll continue to happily and refreshingly look for their photos on social media or blogs….for now.
What are your thoughts about this challenge, and/or are you a Latina facing this curly hair struggle? Post your comments on our social media pages. And remember, PuffCuff is designed for every type of curly hair, whether you have loose curls or tight ringlets! Explore our selection of PuffCuffs and PuffCuff accessories to create your perfect style – using one or multiple products! We're here to help you feel comfortable in your own skin – or should we say, in your own hair!
Sources: Cosmopolitan (Hair Stigma in the Workplace), Twist Magazine, Huffington Post
Photo Credit: DailyMakeover.com, NaturallyCurly.com, TheRichest.com