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Welcome to The United KinKdom!
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My blog is dedicated to celebrating Afro hair and the experiences of UK Naturals. Dont be a stranger, spread the word and lets keep Uniting the KinKdom one curl at a time. International visitors are ALWAYS welcome. Enjoy!
Much Love Crystal Afro x
(Natural since Jan 2011) (Contact Me: crystalafro@hotmail.co.uk) View my complete profile

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Black Hair Adverts In Britain

  >>Click Here To Watch the Ad<< (source)

A couple of days ago I saw a Tweet by @TheNaprika about a television advert for hair relaxer. Now if you're reading this in the USA, this is probably nothing new to you, but being from the UK where you hardly ever see a Black woman in a televised hair commercial, this was big news to me. At the moment I don’t really watch a lot of TV so I had to watch it on YouTube, click the link under the above photo to view the ad.


I initially thought the ad had aired on terrestrial TV but it turned out to be on Channel E!, which is an American channel but we can get it over here on SKY. It did get me thinking about the rarity of adverts for Black hair on British TV and off the top of my head I cant think of any. The below Dove Ad is the closet I can think of.

Nowadays we can occasionally spot posters for Black Hair care products at the bus stop or on the tube (in London at least), and even if the model's hair is relaxed I still feel a mini "pang" of excitement at seeing Black women represented where they previously weren't.

It's no longer the case that we call the whole family to the TV when a Black person comes on (although in some cases it still happens - anyone else spot the Black and the Mixed Race Horse Guards during the Queen's Jubilee?) but those days aren't as far behind us as the music channels may have us think. I imagine that if I do ever catch a glimpse of a Black hair Ad on TV it'll probably be for a weave or relaxer, before it'll be for natural hair. I'm happy to be proved wrong about this, and I wont complain either way.

I'll reserve my deeper thoughts on the power of advertising for another Blog post and simply say that I think never seeing any adverts to promote healthy, beautiful Afro hair, definitely has a subconscious impact on how you form your own ideas of beauty as a child.
If there have ever been any ads for Black hair on British TV please let me know, but until then I leave you yet again, with my favourite quote and the simple task of imagining what the Afro hair version of this ad might look like:
"What does the Black spectator identify with when his(/her) mirror image is absent, or present only as other?"
(K. Mercer, 1996)
Who would you choose for a BRITISH natural hair ad?