Over the past few years, Black women and girls across the globe have embraced their natural hair and kicked harsh chemical straighteners to the curb. And while fierce ‘fros can be spotted in just about every corner of the world, some folks still haven’t come around to the beauty of our kinky, coily, and curly manes.
Earlier this month, a group of students at C.R. Walker Senior High School in the Bahamas were told that their natural hair looked “untidy and unkept,” and they’d have to change it or risk suspension.
Over on Facebook, one student gave her account of the principal’s warning:
So as a student of C.R.Walker today my principal made one of the pointless points today at our 12th grade assembly we were told that girls who have natural hair would not be allowed to have our hair in a high puff or afro because it looks nasty or as if it hasn’t been combed and if its not fixed we would be suspended. I really don’t see what my hair has to do with my education ?? and why would she make such a rasist [sic] comment.
Once parents found out about the incident, they took to social media to vent their frustration and the hashtag #SupportThePuff was born.
Kessa Deleveaux, the parent of a senior with natural hair, wondered why the principal would issue such a statement.
I have a question.. Why would a high school principal tell my daughter that she cannot wear her hair like this anymore because it does not look like a schoolgirl hairstyle and it looks as if it’s not combed…What could possibly be so wrong with this hairstyle?! SHE IS A BLACK CHILD WITH THICK NATURAL HAIR!
Deleveaux continued to use her social media platform to question the school’s decision, and even inspired men and women from around the world to #SupportThePuff.
— BlackBeautyBag.com (@blackbeautybag) February 18, 2016
— Amber (@TheTvSherpa) February 17, 2016
— Zélika (@zelika_ismail) February 17, 2016
— Toné Marshall (@ill_lustrous) February 20, 2016
— shakira miles (@caramel1107) February 19, 2016
Although Tayjha Deleveaux said she was initially humiliated by her principal’s stance on natural hair, she isn’t letting it bother her.
“Deep down I didn’t let it get to me,” she said. “She made me feel ugly, she made me feel less than beautiful because of natural my hair. She wanted to embarrass me and make everyone feel like I was ugly, like my natural hair was ugly.”
Tayjha continued: “No one can tell me anything about my natural hair. I know my hair is pretty but for me to help other girls to see that too is something I would love to do now because I want to show them that their hair is beautiful,” she explained. “You don’t have to be permed to be beautiful.
Now that #SupportThePuff has gone viral, something tells me they might already know.