When I said there were a lot of advertisements with natural hair in the latest issue of Sister 2 Sister, I was not joking. Here is another advertisement, this time for hair color.
The tagline is: “Color that reveals the fabulous in me”. Each model is shown with a different color, a different cut, and a different tagline. For the model with the curly hair, her tagline is “the natural in me”. Interestingly, the model with the bold color (the one in the middle) has “the daring in me”, and the model with the straight hair has “the sophisticated in me”.

I think this particular advertisement is interesting because it almost sets up the straight hair and the natural hair on two opposite sides: sophisticated versus natural.


I have to be honest. I have not picked up an issue of Sister 2 Sister in years. I’d say probably since I was a teenager. But with my new quest to document advertisements featuring natural hair, it was the only magazine that catered to black women in the Barnes N Noble by my job (and I live in Atlanta).

I was really surprised to see the number of ads for hair products in their July 2011 issue catering to women with natural hair and the number of articles featuring women with natural hair. As soon as I picked the magazine up, the first page was a Ford ad.

The concept behind this ad was that we may physically age, but we may still find joy in some things: in this case, riding a bike versus driving. I continued to flip the magazine and found an article entitled “Do What Comes Naturally: Grow, style and maintain healthy natural hair. It gave tips on different ways to wear your natural hair: curly, straight, etc along with product recommendations.

Here is a screenshot of their online version of the article.

Stay tuned, because there’s more to come.

Cosmopolitan surprised me today. Something (I’m not sure what) told me to pick up the July 2011 issue and just see what kind of advertisements they had. I’ve never been a devoted reader of the magazine and just assumed that most of the ads and articles would feature white women. Boy, was I wrong! There were a number (not a majority) of ads and articles that featured black women. I kept flipping through Cosmo and found an article for Daily’s Fabulous Frozen Cocktails that depicted one woman with curly hair. Whether she looks biracial or not, her hair is curly! I don’t know about you, but this ad is pushing my idea of what it means to be natural. Can only African American women be natural? Or can bi-racial women with curly hair be considered natural, too? If so, this model definitely qualifies. If not, she just had curly hair. What do you think?

Without going too deep, I’m going to post this advertisement for My Black is Beautiful. I found it in the May 2011 issue of Essence Magazine. For those not familiar, My Black is Beautiful is a movement started by the makers of Proctor and Gamble (which includes Crest, Always, Olay, Pantene, CoverGirl Queen, and Secret). Some people seem to love it, some people to hate it. I haven’t made a decision one way or the other, which is why I’m not analyzing this image. But I will post it, and invite comments. It’s simply a mother and her daughter enjoying their home, both featured with natural hair.

Sorry the picture quality is so bad! I’m working on it. Please bear with me.

So…again. I was listening to my Mint Condition Pandora radio station online. It is jamming, by the way. It’s like my old school R&B station. It plays Levert, Guy, Hi-Five, Mint Condition, Toni Tony Tone, etc.

And another advertisement popped up. I immediately perked up, because I saw yet another model that could be me! One with natural hair (see the model on the left). This particular ad was marketing T.G.I. Friday’s Pre-Mixed cocktails.

Until the next ad strikes me, I’m out!

So….given that this advertisement depicts two people snuggling up for a cigarette company, does that make it negative? Is it a negative association with natural hair because black people stereotypically smoke this particular brand? Back to my earlier question, does the advertisement become positive or negative depending on what product is being marketed?

It’s interesting to see that this young black couple is not even being shown smoking. The only reason you know it’s an advertisement for cigarettes is because of Newport’s brand recognition and the pack of cigarettes featured in the word “Newport”. Personally, I am not a smoker. And before this blog, never really paid attention to ads for cigarettes. This may just be a marketing strategy for cigarette companies.

I found it in Essence magazine.