It’s laughable even if it wasn’t met to be a joke. Photographer Endia Beal discussed her new series, “Can I Touch It?”.
The rules were simple: After getting their new styles, the women had to agree to be photographed in a traditional corporate portrait, even if they weren’t happy with the result.
Beal decided not to give the women an option of choosing a style. “I said, ‘I am going to give you a black hairstyle,’ and they were like, ‘You’re going to give me cornrows?’ ” Beal recalled of her conversations with her subjects. “And I said, ‘No, we’re going to do finger waves.’ ‘Finger waves? What’s that? You mean from the ’20s?’ And I said, ‘These are a little bit different type of finger waves!’ ”
I think that will definitely get people talking. Only an artist would be able to pull this off in order to start a debate about discrimination, against African American women. Every women knows what it’s like to wake up in the morning and not know what to do with your hair, and for Black women that problem can only exacerbate. This and more is being explored in the series.
photo by Endia Beal