When Bill O’Reilly mocked U.S. Representative Maxine Waters’ hair earlier this week, women everywhere were in an uproar. And although he and his PR team have been stumbling over themselves trying to do some major damage control, what’s done is done.
Of course, Waters reply was exactly what the doctor ordered: “I am a strong Black woman, and I cannot be intimidated. I cannot be undermined...And I’d like to say to women out there everywhere: Don’t allow these right wing talking heads, these dishonorable people, to intimidate you or scare you. Be who you are. Do what you do. And let us get on with discussing the real issues of this country." Enter: A slow clap in the R29 offices.
Waters is incredibly inspiring, this we know, but she's not the only one. In fact, we’ve got Usher to advocate for women, too – especially those with natural hair. In a recent video, he showed major love to ladies with unprocessed manes. “I like my natural hair. I like your natural hair, baby. Grow it,” he said. “Females, I appreciate your natural hair. Let me see it. That’s what I’m fucking with.”
Insert all the heart eye emojis here. And to really put the “b” in “bae,” his proclamation comes after he was spotted helping his wife take out her braids on vacation.
Usher probably knows some of the struggles that naturalistas face all too well. In 2013, he grew out his hair for his role in Hands of Stone, where he played Sugar Ray Leonard. Personally, I loved the ‘fro…but it turns out his mom did not. She even (jokingly?) drew up a petition to get her superstar son to cut his hair after the movie came out. Ouch. Despite the criticism, Usher’s still not afraid to play up his texture. While his hair isn’t as big as it was a few years ago, he still lets it grow and even dyed the front green. So much inspo!
You don't need a celeb (or a man's) validation to appreciate something like natural hair — which isn’t a trend — but damn, it feels good to be celebrated, especially when it's in such sharp contrast to sexist comments heard in popular culture today. Of course, it's also not to say that relaxing your hair is wrong by any means, but there's no denying this is a moment worth reporting on in the journey toward further inclusivity in beauty.
In addition to the video, Usher Instagrammed a super #woke Marcus Garvey quote, along with the hashtag #AppreciateNatural. “Do not remove the kinks from your hair — remove them from your brain.” With that motivation, kinky, curly, braided, and twisted fans took to social media to show off their unprocessed ‘dos.
Check out some of our favorite Instagrams and tweets from the ladies who love their curls (and Usher, too, but who can blame them?).