Inspo: Curly Hair Outfits Are Poetry in Motion

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By: Mia Taylor | Photo: @ariana_almira

Beautiful coils that grow from the heads of Black women have been met with controversy, ridicule, and envy.

I was reading Pablo Neruda’s “Ode to a Tuna at the Market.” And I thought, why haven’t I heard more poetry about Black women’s hair? If someone told me there was this magical element that could defy gravity and effectively become a chameleon, I would be amazed. Black hair is a tangible example of sorcery, transforming into whatever shape, length, and size you desire if you’re a skilled enough artist. Here’s an ode to curls with some sonnet worthy outfits. 

I pray to whatever God that could best moisten the coil of my hair

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Ariana Almira (@ariana_almira) on Aug 18, 2020 at 11:34pm PDT

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A Brief History of Coconut Oil by Crystal Valentine

You want to know what God I pray to/ I pray to whatever

God that could best moisten the coil of my hair/ There is a

myth that states brown women have fountains levitating

above our skulls/ We walk with our palms stretched out

Gold and humming/ Ready to lead a choked desert to

salvation/

This beauty has the most hydrated and plump curls of 2020, hands down. I love the nebulous, cloud-like shape of her afro. Her hair looks like it’s in bloom. A bloom, mimicked in the romantic floral pattern of her dress, evoking a sunlit garden. Her dress makes me think of eating watercress sandwiches and drinking from fine china. It’s very Pride and Prejudice; rejecting Mr. Darcy but with just enough cleavage to show him what he’s missing. I love the deep plunge of her neckline, leaving space for jewelry. If you like the dress, you can shop a similar style here.

Like obsidian as she moved

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Kiitan A. (@kiitana) on May 7, 2020 at 10:51am PDT

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Woman and Jaguar by David St. John

Although she was beautiful,

Although her black hair, clipped

Just at her shoulders, glistened

Like obsidian as she moved

With that same slow combination

Of muscles as a dancer stepping

Casually beyond the spotlight

If you adore loose waves with lots of attitude, this hairstyle is for you. I’m calling this, the unbothered bob. We love a monochromatic moment and that’s what’s happening with the dress and heels. The coral handbag reminds me of the Valentino micro purse Lizzo carried at the 2019 American Music Awards.  The entire vibe is Carrie Bradshaw circa 1998. I’m talking Season 1 of Sex and the City when Carrie was wearing slip dresses cinched to her waist and chasing after Mr. Big. One of the easiest ways to have a more expensive-looking wardrobe is to play with different textures. A luxurious fabric like satin is a great place to start, shop the look here.

[If you like this, you might also like: How To Be A… Poet: Elizabeth Acevedo]

My mother warns me not to blow-dry my hair too hard, turning it from black to rust

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by CHIZI DURU (@chiziduru) on Apr 5, 2020 at 12:28pm PDT

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Triple Sonnet for Black Hair by Dorothy Chan

My mother warns me not to blow-dry my hair

too hard, turning it from black to rust, and

I must wear my black hair proudly. Black,

the color of clothing my grandmother hates,

because young women should always wear red

I love the way this beauty’s soft textured afro contrasts with the sleekness of her polka-dotted dress. Her outfit is simple, but powerful. If there’s one hard and fast rule of fashion, it’s that a mini-dress and a clutch will always be in style. Forget about the LBD, there’s something timeless about a little red dress. Dorothy’s grandmother was on to something. Red is muy caliente, the color of spicy peppers and sultry salsa gowns. But while red is bold, it’s also balanced and iconic. This was the chosen color for the Betty Boop’s and the Jessica Rabbit’s of the world. Get your own sassy polka-dotted dress here

bein’ colored is a metaphysical dilemma I haven’t conquered yet

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Taneeya A. 💋 (@fashion_ova_everything) on Mar 5, 2020 at 3:11pm PST

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For Colored Girls by Ntozake Shange

“Bein’ alive and bein’ a woman and bein’ colored is a metaphysical dilemma I haven’t conquered yet.”

If you’re familiar with Ntozake Shange‘s 1975 choreopoem for colored girls who have considered suicide / when the rainbow is enuf, then you know this line is delivered by the Lady in Yellow. 

Shifting from Shange’s Lady in Yellow to this one, I am in awe. Her afro frames her face like a lion’s mane. I feel like she’s channeling an inner whimsicality with her color choices. I call this look the #sesamestreetbaddie. Mustard yellow, zebra stripes, and fur combine into an outfit that looks like something Erykah Badu would wear to a meeting with her lawyers. I love the color contrast and imagination that went into this eye-catching and drool-worthy outfit. Embody this bright, bold energy and get your own neon fur coat here.

Let us know in the comments below which look or poem excerpt was your favorite! If you’re interested in finding more beautiful curly-haired women, follow #kinkycurly on Instagram.

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