On the Couch With Jacqueline

Jacqui, an illustration major, recently did a piece about hair and societal pressures. She shared it with me... and I'm sharing it with you!


"Societal Standards" by Jacqueline D. Moranti

The point of my illustration was to show a conflict one might struggle with. I chose to make it about hair. I've been natural for about 14 months now, it's a lengthy amount of time to get comfortable with the new 'do but sometimes I find myself shying away from doing elaborate or wild styles because of what others will think of it. I wanted to capture that feeling in the piece by showing the female straightening her strands, it shows that she is submitting to society just to be accepted by any and everyone. Most naturals hang posters of other naturals or keep magazine clippings of beautiful curly, coily hair, but instead she chooses to believe that straight hair is the way to be.

18 Weigh in!:
kisha said...

loves the artwork esp with a strong message behind it. for sale?

Robyn's Nest said...

Love this illustration!

I am currently transitioning and this journey is really taking me places emotionally! I am now struggling with the question, "Why was I so terrified to see my natural texture?!?!"...was it "Societal Standards"?!?!

Anonymous said...

I really love the illustration. Such beautiful imagery.

Melinda said...

So So true, I myself am somewhat guilty of this myself, soooo much pressure sometimes, I get it from my husband, from my daughter and even sometimes my Mother, the only reason that I don't get it from my Mother more is because I choose not 2 c her that often but I see my dh everyday and his position is Klear(yes with a "K"), he prefers long straight hair so sometimes I find myself conforming and I HATE IT!! I feel like I am cheating on myself and not being true 2 me!

Anonymous said...

This piece is great! lt speaks volumes on the struggle that women go through when facing the issue of "beautiful hair". Some women are afraid of letting their natural texture show, to the point that they would risk burning or damaging it, just to make it straight. To be honest, l think women with natural hair are GORGEOUS!, and none you should hold back from embarking on this journey. Embrace what God blessed you with! I personally know Jacqui, and the dedication she put into her own journey with her natural hair is phenomenal. Her perseverance is one to be admired, and the fact that she was given the opportunity to share her message with others is great! I truly hope that a lot of women will find courage to be proud of their hair by looking at this image. All women are beautiful, and natural hair is like icing on the cake. :)

He's faithful said...

Jacqui -
Beautiful illustration. I'm @ 13 months natural myself and although I've rocked some nice styles I recently struggled with wearing a straight-up afro (with no curls in sight).

An afro in my mind was just too far "out there" for Conservative Me. I had some real issues w/conformity and self concept stemming from having pressed natural/relaxed hair most of my life so it was a challenge for me to get out of my own head and rock it.

By sporting a 'fro several times over now I feel like I shook off a lot of that and it was yet another way I've felt liberated since doing the BC last year. You really said something with your illustration. Great job!

Anonymous said...

Beautifully done! I'm a natural who straightens and I can identify with the piece. Kudos!

Anonymous said...

LOOOOVE it! Beautiful piece of work.

Anonymous said...

This is a beautiful piece of art and I can relate to this in so many ways. Ive been natural for 7 months going on 8 and im so afraid of going outside with my natural hair out so I hide behind braids,twist & wigs . I convince myself that im "Protective Styling" but the truth is Im really nervous about what people are going to say and think about my hair. I dont get any support at home , My household family looks at my hair like its something nasty or ugly. It makes me uncomfortable to the point where I dont want to go outside with my natural hair because If my family going to look at my hair this way , then I think other people will to.

I can't wait for the day I finally gain the courage and just DO IT! loll

Jacqui dm said...

Thank you everyone for your support and thank you Nikki, for this wonderful opportunity! It's great to know that my work can relate to other people because I put so much of me into it.

@Kisha- I've never had anyone ask for my work but I would gladly sell it you!

Unfortunately I don't have a website yet, but for those interested I have some work on my myspace(http://www.myspace.com/angelita_j).

Anonymous said...

Love this post! I have been natural for going on twenty years. I spent the first ten years with back to back braided extensions (never being seen in public without my braids). Thoroughly sick of braids, I wen to long natural hair which I always kept twisted, bunned or ponytailed, not because I was protective styling but because I felt more comfortable with my hair confined. The few times I did wear it loose I was uncomfortable with the attention it drew (this was back in the days before all of the wonderful natural hair forums. I felt alone in a sea of relaxers and weaves and pineapple updos. Even so, I never considered going back to the relaxers of my teens and early twentys. I had put the fear of rain and sweat behind me and I was never going back.
Several times in the past 12 years I have cut my hair down to a TWA and grown it back out to APL. I like the TWA but as it grows longer I start looking for ways to control and confine and redefine my hair, fom braids to twists to wigs to clip-on ponys.
About two months ago I once again cut my hair from BSL down to 1 inch. I am over 50% gray and have decided not to color anymore so instead of cutting off the dyed ends as they grew out, I went cold-turkey and just cut them off. I am going to grow it out, but this time without the masks and crutches of wigs and buns and ponytails and whatever. I am just going to let it do its thing. I will wear it out every day. As it it grows up and out I will not seek to confine or tame. I will co-wash and deep condition and aside from fingering a little Kinky Curly through it (LOVE that stuff)I will just let it be. I just can't see the point anymore of being natural if I am spending hours a week slaving over my hair. Took me almost two decades to get here, but I am happy with where my natural hair journey has delivered me.
Stay Natural, sisters

Alicia James said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alicia James said...

Wow! Interesting illustration. Just watched some of your videos and read some of your information on transitioning and your story. You are an inspiration. I have been natural myself for about three years. Where were you in 2007? (smile)
P.S. messed up (typo mistake)on previous post-so removed.

Redbonegirl97 said...

Great piece of art.

Tiffany
http://liferequiresmorechocolate.blogspot.com

Jacqui dm said...

I know this is a bit late, but school really takes a toll in time! Thanks again everyone for your support!
@ alicia james, I don't actually have any videos on the internet of me..... I think you might have mistaken me for someone else?

ashley said...

You are what you surround yourself with. I totally agree with this message. My daily inspiration to maintain on my natural journey? CURLYNIKKI.COM and I absolutely LOVE lecoil.tumblr.com. I promise you, I visit these sites daily. It is beautiful to see beautiful black, red, white and blue persons in their true nature, just the way God made them. For whatever reasons they are going natural, I know they are my daily inspiration. I definitely need to remind myself daily with these images.

Anonymous said...

It's so much better when you don't care what people think!

Anonymous said...

deep...i luv it gurl!

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