A new photography exhibition aims to challenge beauty standards by exploring the relationship between natural hair, femininity, female empowerment and race with a collection of portraits of curly haired women.
The Curl Talk Project features portraits of over 100 women with curly hair from diverse countries, backgrounds and ethnicities. Each describes their realities and what it means to have textured hair.
Creator Johanna Yaovi, who is originally from Paris and lives in London, photographed and interviewed the women about their relationship with their hair and how it is impacted by race, diversity and representation.
Yaovi said she created the project out of frustration at the lack of mainstream representation for women, ethnic minorities and people with natural, curly hair.
"As a mixed-race, curly haired woman raised by a black mother, understanding our hair in a society where it wasn't the standard was a real hassle for both of us," she tells Refinery29. "Most of us made our hair go through damaging relaxing and straightening procedures, but I couldn't find women testimonials explaining why we would make our curls suffer as such. I was convinced that this was going beyond aesthetic or practical purposes.
"I hope people understand that we are all important and deserve concrete representation, whatever our hair type, skin tone, sexuality or condition is."
Click through to see some of the beautiful portraits that will be featured in the exhibition.
The exhibition will take place 6th-9th March at Hoxton 253 Gallery in London to mark International Women's Day. Tickets are free.