Light skin and silky hair has long been the standard for beauty across many parts of the world. Entertainment and fashion industries tend to promote Caucasian features, either choosing models that fit that image or using technology to remake them.
Critics say such choices have created a racialised perception of beauty, along with a multi-billion dollar market for chemical products that alter skin tone and hair texture.
In the United States, African American women have increasingly been dumping harsh chemicals and embracing natural hair. Some call this a liberating movement; others say the trend is simply another standard to meet.
In this community-requested episode of The Stream, we talk to Afrobella.com creator Patrice Yursik (@afrobella) and Black Studies professor and author Ingrid Banks. Members of our community also join the conversation through Google+.
What do you think? Could the natural hair trend change traditional notions of beauty forever? Send us your thoughts and comments on Facebook or Twitter using #AJStream.