Let’s End Childhood Hair Discrimination
In the very first CROWN Awards, Dove and the CROWN Coalition honored Black women who are richly contributing to culture, community and the advancement of Black beauty. From entrepreneur and actress Tabitha Brown to immunologist Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett, all awardees shared the importance of welcoming textured hair and protective styles, which are often a source of cultural identity in the Black community.
By the time you’re five years old, you can recognize the letters of the alphabet, you know the names of at least four colors, you can draw a person with a head, body, arms and legs, and you can tell stories about your day at school.
Those stories should be full of new experiences, and hair discrimination should never be one of them. Yet, according to our latest CROWN Research Study for Girls, 53% of Black mothers, whose daughters have experienced hair discrimination, say that their daughters have experienced race-based hair discrimination as early as five years old. Something no child should ever have to deal with.
On Faith’s first day of school, her teacher asked if Faith’s braids were real in front of the entire classroom before sending her home with a dress code violation. After changing her braided hairstyle to accommodate the school rules and being disciplined again, the school asked Faith to take out her braids or be expelled from school. Now 15 years old, the experience has stuck with Faith to this day. The lasting impact on developing self-confidence is real.
Faith said about the incident. “It was one of the most difficult things that I’ve gone through. The whole thing made me feel like there was something wrong with me."
Unfortunately, Faith is one of many Black children with natural hairstyles who experience race-based hair discrimination at an early age. According to our newest Dove research, even though 90% of Black girls believe that their hair is beautiful, the microaggressions and discrimination that they endure impacts their self-esteem.
Black girls are scrutinized unfairly in school for wearing their natural hair. This discrimination against Black hairstyles needs to end, once and for all. Protecting the right for Black children to wear natural and protective hairstyles freely is a critical step in building their self-confidence at an early age. Together, we can change things for the next generation, and for good.
Since we created the CROWN Coalition in 2019 and released a study examining race-based hair discrimination in the workplace, 18 states (CA, NY, NJ, VA, CO, WA, MD, CT, DE, NM, NV, NE, OR, IL, ME, TN, LA, MA) have enacted the CROWN Act or legislation inspired by the CROWN Act. This important progress fuels our commitment to advocating for CROWN Act legislation to make race-based hair discrimination illegal in all 50 states.
As we continue to champion a more inclusive and equitable world, join our movement to make race-based hair discrimination illegal. Create positive change for the future. Sign The CROWN Act petition at Dove.com/CROWN today.
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