Wigs are fun as hell, and they are empowering all kinds of women
Humor me with a quick round of word association.
Let’s start with this word: wig.
Some of you may be envisioning a parliament meeting in 1795 feat. a bunch of old white dudes in white tights (and corresponding white wigs).
For others, the mention of wigs may bring the acclaimed Ru Paul’s drag race to mind. For someone else, a wig may be an extremely sentimental symbol of health, or of hope. Or, to you, the terms ‘wig’ and ‘hair’ may as well be mutually exclusive.
There’s something to be said for the unique way a wig can empower a woman. It’s almost ironic how covering one’s hair can actually be one of the most freeing things.
Women deal with endless projection from the outside world with regard to our hair, what it means, and how we should present it.
The social discourse surrounding hair is an extremely intriguing one. To many women, hair is something that is deeply personal. In some cultures, women choose or are encouraged to cover their hair in public, as it is considered an intimate part of one’s body.
At the very least, it’s a testament to the significance we place on hair as a whole in society. Though some may take issue with this view and may conflate it with the way women’s hair is sometimes sexualized, this act can be extremely empowering and allows women to take agency over their own bodies.
This boss influencer worked with Swarovski to create her own luxury hijab line, for example:
But hair is also something that has been used to ostracize people. People of color (namely black women) have been made to feel ugly and inadequate because of their inability to adhere to the Eurocentric beauty standard (I wrote a little more about this here). Gabby Douglas had to deal with backlash about her hair despite winning a gold medal at the Summer Olympics in 2012.
The list goes on.
Although women are made to feel different because of our hair, it is also something we’ve embraced and used as a tool of showcasing what makes us unique.
Enter wigs into the conversation. Wigs are special in their transformative nature; they possess the ability ‘turn’ you into whoever you want to be, while simultaneously making you feel more like yourself. They’re the ultimate vehicle of self-expression that anyone can get behind.
As I mentioned before, hair has always been somewhat of a sore spot for me, and oddly enough, experimenting with wigs was a huge part of what helped me embrace my natural hair:
This wig almost allowed me to act as myself, but with training wheels. It’s so ironic that I felt more comfortable with literal Sia hair than I did with my own, but such was the case regardless. But once I became comfortable with myself in the context of this persona, I eventually came to love myself from the outside-in. I’m not saying that wigs solved the problem, but they definitely helped.
Thus, to a lot of black women, wigs are both ornamental and sentimental, an alter ego and an extension of oneself.
On Monday, SZA debuted this incredible brown afro look on her Gram:
It left everyone shaking (understandably so) and sent fans and followers into a back-and-fourth regarding whether look was ‘hit or miss’:
SZA replied to the post, “Lmao jus a wig n a good ole time. Love to everybody!!”
Other major babes like model Domyenn debut tens and tens of wig looks on their Gram and show us just how much fun you can have with hair:
Others have also had fun experimenting with different styles, colors and textures:
Im a Blue Ice Princess!!!!!!! I was so bored with my hair & I decided to go blue !! I was reallly nervous 😂 and I think turned out sexyyyy!!! Do you guys want to see a tutorial on how I created this wig whole wig for under $20 Subscribe to my YouTube Channel : Africancreature to see how I did it ❤👑❤👑 Whatcha think? Oh and I got my nose pierced 😩😩😩
I think it’s encouraging to see that despite society trying to dictate and police what women do with their hair, we find more and more ways to do what we fucking want.
Hair is important, liberating, and freeing, among many other things. Wigs arm women with agency and allow us to look and feel more like ourselves, all while having fun and looking dope.