Redefining What “Beauty” Means in the Latinx Community
The natural hair movement has grown in numbers in Latin America over the past few years. In the Dominican Republic and it’s diaspora, Black women are redefining what beauty means to them, but despite this rise, the discrimination against afro-textured hair is still vastly common.
Thanks to spaces like Miss Rizos, the first all-natural hair salon on the island, women are rejecting European beauty standards.
“I feel like every single part of the black woman has been picked apart and deemed not beautiful for so many years,” says Sofia Reyes, owner of the natural hair store Sofia Styles Me.
In 2017, before launching her business, Reyes was the Operations Manager and Social Impact Coordinator at Miss Rizos.
“I’d see how some of our clients would be so excited to finally get their big chop and how liberated they would feel at the moment… just to come back crying at their next appointment because they were fired, suspended from school, or dumped by their significant others,” says Reyes.
“It’s so powerful to see a woman own their natural beauty in a society that consistently tells you, explicitly and implicitly, that you are not meeting the beauty standard—the Eurocentric beauty standard,” she says. Her store’s “Don’t Touch My Crown” long-sleeve tee is not only an ode to Solange’s “Don’t Touch My Hair” but an appreciation to The CROWN Act, which prohibits discrimination based on hairstyle and hair texture...
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