Changemaker: Raquel Silva
Brazil is a very diverse country with many different historical influences, of Native Indians, Europeans and Africans. The African heritage specifically is very visible in the hair of Brazilian women, sometimes curly, wavy or frizzy hair. Due to the beauty standards imposed by the media, many girls and women feel uncomfortable with their hair and chemically modify it, to fit in the social convention of “beautiful hair”. We strongly believe that everyone has the right to chose how to use their hair. However, we also believe that many girls and women have a low self-esteem and do not wear their hair naturally because of the reactions it might cause in the environment they live. To change this reality and to empower girls and women so that they can acknowledge their heritage and be comfortable using their hair as a self-expression, we have come up with the project My hair, My identity. We want to raise awareness around black beauty and discuss taboos and themes related to black hair. We will use social media to spread our message, but we will also have events with workshops and group discussions. We will have a t-shirt to be the visual identity of our vision an instrument to keep the project sustainable. There will also be the drawing of a girl/woman with curly hair on the t-shirt and every person will have the chance to customize her hair according to their taste or even reflecting their own hair. Another workshop will teach how to braid and deal with curly hair. We want to promote the woman as a whole; therefore, the hair is just the starting point. We will also have accessories such as ribbon flowers and bags that will have the same function of the t-shirt. Awareness material will be given in the event, with drawings and experiences of women that have become much more confident and empowered once they decided to wear their hair in its natural form. Once My hair, My identity is implemented, we hope to have reached more than 5000 people virtually and physically. We intend to open up a channel to discuss a very important topic that is often covered. We hope the girls and women reached by the project will feel empowered to use they hair naturally if they want to. Above all, we hope that the whole community engages in the conversation, that further dialogues take place and patterns are questioned and that new perspectives and possibilities emerge.