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Advertising and the Curly-haired Black Woman

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

oh, it's far more than a passing coincidence: Corporate America has picked the curly-haired black woman as the prototypical avatar to lure customers.

In what was once the staunch territory of white faces with long European hair, there's been a big push to get away from the traditional customer base and widen out. Now, in various marketing and promotional campaigns, you see here wiggly hair and big smile next to a corporate logo. Is this a recent phenomenon? Surely it is. Why, how else to describe the sudden rash of similarly-coifed chicks?

It's amazing really: Corporate America has obviously determined that they can draw the middle-aged cash-spending black man, white woman and white man by the curly-haired black chick. Are curls making a comeback? Did they ever leave?
Wikidepedia sheds some light on hair and says that, while genetics play a part in who has straight hair and who does'nt, humidity and climate play just as important a role.
"Hair is genetically programmed to be straight, curly, 'kinky' or wavy, and it can change over time.
"Curly and/or 'kinky' hair is shaped like an elongated oval and grows at a sharp angle to the scalp. This growth pattern, in turn, determines the cross-section of the shafts.
"Hair, whether it is curly or straight, is affected by the amount of humidity in the air. It serves as a restoring force for the hair, forcing water back into the hair fiber and forcing hair shaft to return to its original structure. This may be more noticeable in somebody with curly hair because it tends to get frizzy when the humidity rises."
Black women know a thing or two about frizziness. But they didn't know it was now big business.


Anonymous said...

I heard curly hair actually sells products because it's equated with trust. women are also encouraged to wear their hair curly to job interviews because it means she is more serious. straight hair, especially long, shiny straight hair is sexually stimulating so it is discouraged.

i don't know if this is true. just something i've heard.

February 18, 2009 at 8:04 PM

2009 ·Popwife Blog by TNB