Don’t touch her hair
There’s one thing Solange wanted to make clear and it’s: “don’t touch my hair”. I don’t blame her, in the original image of her recent Evening Standard cover, her halo braided hair was supposed to grace the cover, as she sat almost regally and goddess-like for the magazine. However, the magazine opted to photoshop this elaborate braid which caused quite the controversy amongst many of her fans, including myself.
I feel that the magazine’s choice to erase her braid is problematic in terms of Solange’s identity, her artistic vision, and her values.
It’s problematic in terms of Solange’s identity, her artistic vision and her values
Solange has a song dedicated to the importance of black women’s hair called “Don’t touch my hair” from her album A Seat at the Table, which mentions how touching a black woman’s hair does not grant them respect and control over their own bodies, in a white patriarchal society.
Solange uses the song as an empowering declaration to embrace her personal identity. Yet the Evening Standard rejected to display her braids on the cover even though this is pivotal to her message.
In my opinion, the Evening Standard evidently obtain a lack of understanding of the singer and are ignorant to what Solange stands for. Overall, this proceeding of photoshopping the image shows a lack of integrity for this iconic singer, who is a woman of her principles.
Solange also attains a large platform of fans, many of them are people of colour who can relate to the ordeals that she is referencing in her songs. She is an inspiration by encouraging diversity to those who face the oppression and exclusion from successful opportunities, all because of the beauty of their braids. Solange is actively using her artistry and is a source of representation for many people who look up to her. So, for the Evening Standard to edit her braids out, it is truly upsetting that they have chosen to do this and create a misrepresentation to many who idolise her.
In my opinion, it’s such a shame and disappointment that the publication has decided to the eradicate the most significant part of who Solange is. This still shows that there’s a lot of work to be done to create more representation in the media.