The Problem With Clean Girl Beauty

The Downside With “Clear Woman” Magnificence

When my journey towards styling and embracing my pure hair started in highschool, one in all my go-to kinds was a slicked-back bun. This was the right type as a result of my hair was nonetheless pure and I used to be avoiding warmth, however I wasn’t prepared but to let my curls free.

My white associates begged for me to indicate my curls and to put on my hair in its fully pure state as a result of it was “completely different” and “distinctive,” however I selected to stay to the consolation that got here with my slicked-back ’do. Most of the different Black ladies I knew additionally wore this type, however to others, carrying your hair flowing down your again was seen as probably the most engaging look, whereas a good bun was perceived to be matronly.

To my shock, the slicked-back bun has now emerged because the go-to coiffure amongst white ladies — a defining a part of what the TikTok neighborhood calls the “clear lady” magnificence pattern. Credited to the model-off-duty type impressed by celebs like Hailey Bieber and Bella Hadid, the look typically pairs a slicked bun with gold hoops and neat acrylic nails — two different parts which have been part of Black and Latinx magnificence cultures for years. Why is it that after I wore this look it was thought of much less fascinating, however now it’s a model-approved type that makes its wearers “that lady”?

When Kaelyn Montoya, a advertising strategist in Austin, Texas, noticed that the “clear lady” look was trending on TikTok, she was instantly confused as to how folks thought this was one thing new. She posted a video to her web page, styling her hair in a slicked bun, saying that she was “reclaiming the clear lady bun” that Latina ladies had been carrying for many years. Her video amassed over 1,000,000 views, however was met with controversy within the feedback over whether or not a sure cultural group may declare a glance.

“When [the clean girl trend] first got here throughout my web page, it wasn’t anyone that appears such as you or me,” stated Montoya. “It [was] a blonde [woman], she had blue-green eyes, and he or she was carrying what seemed like prep-wear. [She had] a bun, a bit of little bit of a hoop earring on, and [lip gloss]. It instantly felt very acquainted, like one thing I might truly been doing my entire life. I believed, ‘This can be a pattern?”

Montoya was shocked to see that her personal neighborhood was disregarded of the combination. With each of her dad and mom being from Honduras, Montoya grew up as a member of the Latinx neighborhood, and this bun, she says, was an vital a part of Latina magnificence requirements. She emphasizes that the look was particularly prevalent amongst ladies of shade who had textured hair.

Curly hair could be time-consuming to type, so for her, this was the simplest coiffure to put on to high school rising up. Regardless of its recognition amongst ladies of shade on the time, there have been nonetheless ignorant connotations across the type. “I bear in mind being in center college and somebody asking me if I [wore] it as a result of I had lice,” Montoya says.

Like Montoya, superstar hairstylist Sabrina Rowe Holdsworth stated this look has been a “paramount type” inside Black and Brown communities — one thing she’s been carrying since she was a toddler.

“It has been a staple without end for good purpose,” stated Holdsworth. “Our hair has been typically described as unruly, wild, and unprofessional. A slicked bun was a method to ‘tame’ our hair — now it is only a primary ’do for a fly lady.”

Holdsworth doesn’t actually thoughts that the slick-back bun itself is now being worn by white ladies, particularly due to its similarities to the French chignon, a mode the place the hair is pulled into a good knot on the nape of the neck; the type additionally has long-time recognition in ballet. The problem with the type is when it’s touted as a part of a brand new magnificence “pattern” with out acknowledging its origins.

“When white ladies re-discover one thing, it turns into a pattern,” Holdsworth. “[The “clean girl” look] has been round without end, so my solely request is for folks to cease saying it is new and provides the credit score to Black and Brown ladies who it’s fully impressed and created by.”

Montoya shares an analogous sentiment. “Development feels momentary,” she says. “It additionally looks like a move and go — one thing that you simply’re doing as a result of it is cute for the second and for the season. Our hair texture just isn’t a season; we’ll must put on the bun on a regular basis as a result of that is simply the form of hair we now have. To say it’s a ‘pattern’ diminishes what that id is for us.”

Our hair texture just isn’t a season; to say it’s a ‘pattern’ diminishes what that id is for us.

The “clear lady” look is derived from the heritage and tradition of marginalized communities — which makes it unfair that white magnificence creators on the app are making the most of this look that they only now determined was appropriate for them. “The bun, the acrylic nails, the nameplate [necklace], the hoops — they’re all issues which have marginalized [us] as a bunch, so for those who’re making a revenue out of it, it might be thought of appropriation,” Montoya says.

In the long run, Holdsworth says she doesn’t take into account it an issue that the clear lady look has gone mainstream, however stresses the significance of creators giving correct credit score for issues they didn’t create. “There’s little or no within the magnificence area that’s truly new,” she says. “ So long as you method [these looks] with respect and [proper credit], you ought to be nice to take pleasure in.”

To me, my slicked-back bun was greater than only a coiffure; it provided consolation and safety in an area the place I felt like each I and my hair could be judged. It began off as a manner for Black and brown ladies to cover and conceal, however quickly grew to turn into a core aspect that characterised the wonder tradition of our communities — gold hoops, acrylic nails, and all. This type was vital to us manner earlier than it turned a trending hashtag on TikTok.

If this “pattern” taught the wonder world something, it’s that nothing is new and all the things is imbued with which means. It’s vital that we perceive this to be able to not erase cultural teams from the narrative of their very own magnificence traditions. By no means declare one thing new with out correct analysis — as a result of chances are high, it may not have been yours within the first place.

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