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ZORA
Celebrating and centering the experiences of women of color.

I took the plunge and stopped relaxing my hair a few years ago, and I haven’t looked back

The entitlement of White men is notorious and well-documented. They think nothing of laying claim to land they just sailed their ships up to and forcing their religion upon other cultures they haven’t deigned to understand. Also, boat shoes. Therefore, it should not surprise you to hear that after spending…


I’m also officially done feeling guilty about it.

“I’m actually surprised you never decided to get on board with the natural hair movement. You’re one of the strongest, most authentic women I know, so I would have thought you’d be one of the first.” …


Introspection

Lessons learned while boldly embracing this body


It Has to Be Said

Mo’Nique’s ‘auntie’ comments prop up supremacist standards

Throughout the decades of my life as a Black woman, I have worn nearly every hairstyle known to humankind. I spent my childhood quivering at the sizzle of a hot comb that transformed my hair into neat plaits or ponytails. …


It’s okay if your edges aren’t laid.

Black woman covering face with a hand, standing in a field of tall grass.

When I was a small child, I spent every morning on the floor watching cartoons while my momma secured my hair in tight braids wound with hard plastic bobos and fastened with butterfly-shaped barrettes. All of my outfits were perfectly color-coordinated and pressed free of any wrinkles. …


An excerpt from the ECHOING IDA collection

A self-proclaimed “undisciplined” artist, Amina Ross’ generous making practice includes curating a vibrant workshop series called Beauty Breaks — a series that saved me from isolation as a friendless transplant bumbling around Chicago only a year before. The irregularly scheduled workshop, hosted in F4F’s attic and performance space, brought together…


Changing your hair starts with changing your mind about what it means to love yourself as you are

Smiling Black woman with natural hair.

When I was growing up in 1990s Nigeria, achievable “beautiful” hair was roughly shoulder length, relaxed, straight hair on a strict six-to-eight-week maintenance schedule, where your new growth would be retouched once “due.” …


Putting on your face isn’t as important as it used to be

Black woman applying cream to her face in front of a mirror.

I grew up with a mother who believed in “putting on her face” before even venturing downstairs to greet company. She long proselytized the power of wearing makeup as a spiritual pick-me-up. Beauty was an exercise I was expected to perform from my earliest stages. Makeup and clothing were types…


The beauty industry is changing during the pandemic but Branch thinks that’s a good thing

A photo of Miko Branch.

Sisters Miko and Titi Branch did not set out to revolutionize the hair care industry when they invented Miss Jessie’s natural hair products nearly 20 years ago. They were simply trying to keep the lights on.

“I had just had a baby and we had closed down our storefront salon…


She hates exactly half of me, the Latina half

She dislikes exactly 50% of me — the Brown half. The Latina half. The half that invaded her suburban fairy tale to knock up her daughter.

She has itemized me in dressing rooms. She likes my “White” legs but not my “Latin” hips. She likes my eye shape but not…

ZORA

Celebrating and centering the experiences of women of color.

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