From childhood, young Black women are taught to believe that their hair is "unkempt," "unmanageable," and even "unprofessional." It's banned in schools and workplaces, targeted in relaxer ads, and even keeps many teens from participating in physical activity. And Regis and Kahran Bethencourt of CreativeSoul Photography want to change that.
The visual storytellers went viral on social media in 2016 for their striking AfroArt photo series, which depicts young girls proudly wearing their natural hair in intricate and breathtaking styles. "We feel that it's so important for kids of color to be able to see positive images that look like them in the media," Kahran tells Refinery29. "Unfortunately, the lack of diversity often plays into the stereotypes that they aren't 'good enough,' which often leads to low self-esteem."
Recently, the Bethencourts signed a book deal to bring their powerful series to the masses. Check out their work, and the inspiration behind it, ahead.