Sunday, January 27, 2013

Black Brazilian women protest against racist hair ad

Hair product Cadiveu Brasil launched a controversial campaign were various white people were photographed using huge afro wigs and holding a sign that says “eu preciso de Cadiveu (I need Cadiveu)”. Check the whole story at 

After this picture was posted, a protest was started on facebook and on the website of the natural black hair movement project “Meninas Black Power”. As a response to the protest Cadiveu decided to publish other pictures with  more people with the same wig and with the same slogan. The company reacted that it was meant as joke and that people should not be offended by it. But racism is Brazil is not a joke, writes journalist Daniella Gomes on her blog AFROatitudes.

Most of these Brazilian Brazilian hair straightening treatments are apparently very dangerous. Check the video which Daniella Gomes shared with us, about a girl whose hair was burned away when she tried to straight her hair.  See the Brazilian news video "Produto para alisamento faz cabelos de telespectadora cair" here.


  1. Afro hair is beautiful and feels good to touch. We should embrace our identity with pride rather than try to be what we are clearly not created to be.

  2. Damn right !!!@ Son of A Gun

  3. I didn't like the way this article is portraying having straight or curly hair as a sign of racism by whoever decided this.

    As a brazilian I feel offended by this, maybe because europeans have a sense of afro-origins different from brazilians of afro-origins, but our heritage have little to do with our hair or how we should treat it. I'm a mixed-race brazilian and I like to straight my hair because I like it that way, not to look european, I'm damn proud of my afro-heritage and this doesn't concern what I do with my body, but rather what I am and represent in society. I don't need to look african or white for the world to know that I have african or european descent, because I'm brazilian and Brazil on it's greater part, is synonymous of miscegenation.

    1. Larissa, thanks for comment. I think this protest - correct me if I am wrong - has to do with the fact that an Afro is used as an example of hair that needs to be straightened. This ad is considered racist because an Afro is a sign of black pride and because white women with an Afro wig are used in the ad. I don’t think the protesters feel that having straight or curly hair is a sign of racism. I think they just feel you don’t have use black hair to promote how to go from "bad" hair to “good” hair. And of course there is also a Brazilian context here.

    2. this is what happens when we alloe those people in our circle, they make fun and belittle black culture, colonizers and colonized can not dine in the same table, white people have murdered not only idndigenous people, enslaved black people and now they ridicule our culture, black brazilians like to play pretend games, they go to camdomble and other stuff, but allow white people among our culture and they do this type of shit with us,to show us that we are nothing to them,we have to stop fooling ourselves, haiti is down because they taught white people vadoun, brazil going the same way because we teach white people our ancient mistery systems,black brazilian women complain and then join the white feminist movement, people has to stop fooling themselves first

  4. My two favourite blogs afro Europ and Black women of Brazil. This isn't no joke on another note I'm always surprised about the amount of black women who don't wear thier hair natural

  5. My interpretation of this protest is the advertisement was making fun of afros by having White women wear a large matted afro wigs and hold signs indicating that they need a hair product to straighten their hair.

    As a woman who has worn an afro since 1966, I want to share the following information:
    First of all, during the 1970s in the USA, the bigger the afro, the more it was admired. However, the large afros which were admired were those that were taken care of- meaning the hair was washed, conditioned, combed, and further maintained with hair grease or hair oil. Also, some people put hair sheen in their afros to give their hair a shine. In addition, those with large afros usually braided their hair at night and took out the braids in the morning to make the hair easier to comb. Without a doubt, large afros that were admired definitely DID NOT look like those large afro wigs in that Brazil advertisement campaign.

    Also, the afro meant different things to different people. I think that in the heyday of the afro-in the 1970s- many Black people-particularly young Black people- considered afros to be an "in" hairstyle. Check out the hairstyles worn by Soul Train dancers in the 1970s to see how many young Black people wore their hair in afros. Then check out Soul Train in the 1980s to see how that ideas of what was "in" hair styles changed from the afro back to straightened hair styles and to weaves (hair) weaves. This confirms my sense that most Black people considered the afro to be just another hair style choice. I believe that is how Black people think about the shorter afro hairstyles today.

    However, in the 1970s I think that the White establishment, some White people, and some Black people thought that anyone who wore an afro was a militant who hated White people. That was NOT what the afro really meant to most Black people then, Nor is it what afros mean now.

    The reason why the afro was so important in the late 1960s and 1970s was that it showed that Black people could accept other forms of beauty besides those sanctioned by or imitative of White culture. In other words, the afro demonstrated that Black people recognized that people could be beautiful without straight hair or straightened hair.

    That said, I think it's important to reinforce the fact that a Black person who doesn't wear their hair in an afro or in any other natural hairstyle can have just as much Black pride as a Black person who doesn't [didn't] wear their hair those ways.

    I hope that the Brazilian protest against that hair product is successful. More power to the protestors!

    1. Correction:
      I believe that is how Black people think about the much shorter afro hairstyles or the larger afro hair styles that are worn today.[meaning that they mostly just considered to be hairstyle choices]

  6. Some readers of this post may be interested in The Changing Shape Of Women's Afro Hair Styles
    post on my cultural blog:

    I added the link to this Afro-Europe blog post and my comment to this post as a comment to that pancocojams blog post.


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