The Met Gala featured a variety of black hair art, including the hair sculpture of Naomi Osaka and the waves of Lupita Nyong’o. Dr Joseph L Underwood is coauthor of Textures. The History and Art of Black Hair. Haute couture was inspired by the theme of America and the black hair vernacular was used.
“I believe that the Met Gala can allow celebrities to support and celebrate Black designers, stylists, and Black glam teams, in a manner that hasn’t been done before,” Naemah, the stylist who did the hair on Gossip Girl’s Whitney Peak, says. “Fashion has often borrowed from the experience in design and beauty aesthetics of black women.”
The politics of black hair is still a problem in the United States. The Crown Act, which prohibits discrimination against black hair in the US, has been passed by only 12 states. Reports of black hair mismanaged on set of Hollywood movies is a sign of the misconceptions surrounding black hair. Jada Pinkett Smith recalled her “rough” experience at The Nutty Professor.
Alongside the political fashion statements, many used the red carpet to send messages through their hair. Dr. Underwood believes that Naomi Osaka’s message was the most clear. The tennis star wore thick braids, top knots with braids and a fanned-out-design that combined her Japanese and Haitian ancestry. “It” asserted that contemporary America is defined by cultural mixing.
Harper states, “I felt it was essential that we marry (Osaka’s) beauty and pride in (Haitian and Japanese heritages), allowing them to the same platform.” The bow is a tribute to the innocence of Haitian schoolgirl ribbons that were worn for school. Jennifer Behr’s braids, adorned with red cherry blossom bloom flowers, were meant to symbolize renewal and transience.”
Gabrielle Union, an actor on America’s Got Talent, was fired because her hair was too black. Her appearance with a sleek up-do was important to her. St Clair Detrick Jules, author of My Beautiful Black Hair, says that “Her hair is the story about black women refusing [to perform] for a white society which still suffers from antiblackness.”
Giuliana Rancic, the host of 2015 Oscars said that Zendaya’s locks probably smelled like “patchouli oil or weed” (she later apologised), it was significant to see black celebrities making their locks a centrepiece of their outfits”.