Schools should have a hair policy

Hair policy with Mrs. Obama

Michelle Obama no longer wears her hair artificially straightened, but in a wild natural curl. A long-awaited breakthrough for Afro activists.

A photo of Michelle Obama with frizzy hair tied in a voluminous ponytail is frenetically celebrated on the Internet. “I've been waiting for this picture for three years,” writes Twitter user Meagnacarta about the snapshot of unknown origin. She and many others see the new hairstyle as Obama's commitment to her black identity that she has waited a long time for: As first lady, she always appeared with strictly straightened hair.

Michelle Obama is an important role model for black women, also visually. Dark-skinned beauty is massively underrepresented in advertising and in beauty and fashion magazines. And when a model makes it onto the cover, it is usually with smooth hair, adapted to the prevailing ideal of beauty. “All over the world, black women rape their hair with carcinogenic hair removal agents and red-hot irons because, for some inexplicable reason, straight hair is accepted as the standard. Afros are considered neglected and unprofessional, ”explained the Nigerian bestselling author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie in an interview with the“ Tages-Anzeiger ”.

An incident at a South African school last autumn testified how serious the situation is: a 13-year-old student and Afro-wearer was reprimanded by her teacher at the South African Pretoria High School for "checking her hair". So it is to be hoped that Michelle Obama is aware of her reputation as a style icon and has now consciously introduced the afro look into the world. So that the frizzy hair simply becomes one possible hairstyle among many.