They can’t stop, and they won’t stop. Not until every single Caribbean woman learns to love the hair she was born with. 758 Naturals is on a mission to undo the damage done by society’s bombardment of what constitutes as beauty, and they’re starting right here in St. Lucia!
The Natural Hair Advocacy Group celebrated their one year anniversary this month with a beachside event. Organizers Liz-Anne Debeauville and Sydel Charles made it clear that the intention of the group was not to discriminate against women who choose alternative hair styling options and processing, but to encourage women to grow in confidence while wearing nothing but the hair they were born with!
“What’s more important than encouraging a girl, a woman or even a man from a Caribbean nation that has throughout history taught people of colour to hate themselves, to love instead? To embrace their natural hair and all that comes with it?” Group Creator Liz-Anne Debeauville told the STAR. “Embracing natural hair doesn’t mean hating everyone else who decides to do otherwise. Returning natural doesn’t mean we’ll never wear weave, or braids, or any other protective style ever again. It just means that we recognize what black women have had to fight for, for so many years, and that is being themselves.”
All over the world protests have erupted in schools and workplaces over rules and policies that are largely not accommodating for women of color. Attendees at the event spoke out against double standards and discrimination.
“I am here to support this event because what is happening right now, especially in the schools is damaging,” an event attendee and member of 758 Naturals told the STAR. “Often even the most carefully styled natural hair is considered unkept, or unprofessional. It’s frustrating because we all know how much work goes into our hair!”
“Things need to change,” she added. “And it starts with us accepting ourselves.”
Speaking about what being part of the group has done for her on a personal level Photographer and Co-manager of 758 Naturals Sydel Charles expressed: “The group has been an avenue for me to express my creativity and spread my love for Natural hair. I am ever so proud to be able to say that I am part of something that has begun to and will continue to change the “good hair, bad hair” mentality of persons in Saint Lucia. I want people to love themselves and love their hair.”
758 Naturals celebrated their one year anniversary on Sunday, October 9!