afropunk’s “afro of the day” series in collaboration with pantene

August 11, 2014

Whitney Richardson is a journalist and photographer based in Brooklyn, New York. She currently works as a writer and producer for The New York Times Lens photography blog and was previously the web producer for AFROPUNK.COM. During this year’s AFROPUNK Festival, she will be photographing people for AFROPUNK’s “Afro of the Day” series in collaboration with Pantene. Check out Whitney’s words below, sharing her thoughts on both “Afro of the Day” and her own growing fro.

“Afro of the Day is one of the most wonderful visual collections on the internet. It truly shows how diverse an Afro can be worn, and how beautiful women of color are wearing their hair in its natural state.”

(Photographer: Barron Claiborne)

“I remember the first time I stepped outside of my house after I had made the decision to wear my hair in its natural state — at the time, a tiny unruly Afro. After years of relaxers, extensions and braids, at the age of 21, I knew that I was ready to explore the complexities of my coils. One of my hesitations with wearing my hair in its natural state is that I still wanted to look feminine, polished and beautiful. But according to beauty magazines and those faces that graced the front pages of magazines, beauty meant straight, long, colored and magically blowing in the wind — my hair was far from fitting any of these desired styles.”

(Photographer: Phil Knott) 

“It’s hard, at any age, to not see your image represented or acknowledged in mainstream media. It takes complete courage and confidence to redefine your own standard of beauty and to question social norms that have been deeply embedded in our social fabric for many generations. As the conversation about natural hair continues to develop and more men and women of color continue to celebrate each other’s uniqueness, I am excited and honored to document this process.”

(Photographer: Quazi King) 

“See you at the festival! Look out for myself or the Pantene girls who will be wearing Pantene shirts.”