Oftentimes, logging on to Twitter can feel a lot like trying to find a table at lunch in high school. There are the "cool kids," the newsies, the intense sustainability people, and then there are the black girls. Few people venture over and that's just fine, because for once, there is a space that is completely theirs. As someone who has sat at the table my whole life, I can confirm that there is something special that happens between women of color when they congregate; in short, magic. And Twitter is the perfect place to find your table, have a seat and enjoy the discussion.
At this table, black women share experiences and talk about almost everything. And personally, interacting with smart, funny black women has changed my life. Imagine walking into a hair salon on a busy Saturday and you have a better idea of what I'm talking about. Women of color, more specifically black women, have carved out their own space on Twitter to discuss everything from street harassment or #YouOKSis to celebrating the things that make them unique, like the #blackgirlhairchallenge. But this isn't the first time that Twitter was blessed with a healthy dose of melanin, unique styles, and funny GIFs and responses. If you've seen hashtags like #flexininmycomplexion or even #blackgirlmagic, you already know what's coming.
In that same tradition, here are all of the times that #blackgirlhairchallenge showed your TL that celebrating black hair is self-love, self-care and most importantly, reclaiming the word beauty and expanding it.
1. Braids/twists are beautiful when they aren't appropriated.
Even when it seems like corn rows are the latest trend, black girls have been rocking them since girlhood. And it's definitely time to start acknowledging that this is part of a culture worth celebrating.
2. Versatility is key.
Black women spend an estimated $1.3 trillion and spend 80 percent more of their money on cosmetics and beauty than their non-black counterparts, and companies are just starting to wake up to a very powerful audience. But black women are also a unique audience because of that versatility. They are looking for a variety of products that help them shape, mold, and create new styles.
3. No texture or length is better than the other.
When you see natural hair commercials what hair textures are seen? Usually, kinkier/thicker textures aren't represented or at the center of natural hair conversations.
4. The "big chop" is about more than just cutting your hair off.
Ahh, the big chop. This can not only be a liberating experience, but for anyone going natural it can be a journey to self acceptance.
5. Loving your hair is a journey and an act of self love.
Having your fro recognized as beautiful is harder than you think! When a black woman declares this love for her hair, it demonstrates a radical idea: black hair is beautiful.
6. Ask "Is that your real hair?", and you've missed the point.
Sometimes people just can't believe that your hair can defy gravity, expand, flatten, and grow length. Yes, length! Sites like Black Girl with Long Hair have dedicated themselves to what products you can use and how to care for your hair at every length.
7. The glo'up is always about embracing you.
Frizz and hat hair days happen, but your confidence and relationship with your hair speaks volumes.
Looking into these celebratory hashtags doesn't mean that hair bias doesn't exist. In fact, that is why these hashtags are an important part of challenging rigid beauty standards. So ask not what Twitter can do for black hair conversations, but ask what black hair can do for Twitter.