Our hair tells the story of who we are, past and present, and is a representation of our style and spirit. Antonia Opiah, founder of Un-ruly, not only understands this, but she wants to tell those stories in an effort to give voice to the black women who have come before her.
Her newest project, #Hairties, is a seven-part video series that shares the stories of three generations of women across three continents in partnership with Smooth ‘n Shine. It discusses the people who influenced how they view and do their hair, as well as how they might shape how the next generation of women views their hair.
You can join Antonia and watch the incredible #Hairties videos on her site, Unruly.
What can be better than women who are telling each other’s stories, amplifying their voices, and lifting each other up. It’s the best way to empower the next generation and give light to black women’s universal experiences.
We spoke to Antonia about #Hairties, and she was able to shed light on why this project is so meaningful to her.
When asked about the inspiration for the project, Antonia told HelloGiggles:
Antonia noticed that social media changed the beauty landscape and asked herself how she could change the conversation so that black women could “start off right.”
We can’t think of a better or more effective way to reach a large audience of young women with this positive and healthy message. When we asked Antonia about the idea she hopes to send to younger generations with this series, she told us a big part of it has to do with questioning beauty ideals.
We LOVE hearing how women are breaking down beauty barriers and redefining what it means. It’s the only way that we will make the industry more inclusive, accepting, and healthy for women everywhere. As Antonia told us,
We couldn’t agree more, Antonia.
We asked Antonia how women’s hair history reflects larger societal attitudes toward black hair, and she told us that, “Across the board, our hair history has mostly been defined by the ethos of the society around us, and as a result, generations of black women have altered or tucked away their hair in order to conform to standards that considered black hair ugly. But now things are changing, the traditional gatekeepers of beauty have been let go, the structures that put some people on a pedestal and left others out are being dismantled.”
The magic of the internet has done so much in terms of changing the narrative and opening up the borders of the beauty world.
These beautiful stories allow women to shine and unite each other under the commonalities of hair. We love #Hairties and highly recommend you check them out. Thanks to Antonia Opiah for taking the time to chat with us about her unique, powerful, and moving project.