In Israel, female politicians, models, and celebrities are pressured to straighten their hair. But a curly haired rebellion is taking root.
By Flora Tsapovsky
December 2, 2019 • 12:00 AM
Walk down the streets of Tel Aviv or Haifa, and you’ll see many women with naturally curly hair. But turn on Israeli TV news, and you’ll be hard pressed to find a female anchor who hasn’t pressed her hair flat. And this isn’t just a trend among news anchors. In Israel, female politicians, entrepreneurs, and celebrities who step into the limelight are soon found featuring straight, shiny locks, no matter their hair’s original texture.
It’s not fashion, it’s oppression.
Male politicians and celebrities with curly hair exist in Israel, but since they tend to keep their hair short, it’s been less of an issue; women, who more often keep their hair long, are in the eye of this cultural storm. But recently, there’s been a cultural uprising brewing, as curls take center stage in the national conversation.
… Last spring, on March 3 (3/3 reminds her of the shape of curls, Paz says) the group celebrated the second National Curls Day, a holiday Paz invented to bring awareness to her cause. The event included women’s empowerment circles, concerts by curly haired performers, workshops by hairdressers, and a marketplace. … Paz points to the fact that the natural hair movement is not unique to Israel. “In the U.S. I see the movement primarily among women of color, who take pride in their heritage and talk about the complex history around hair,” she said. “In Israel, the problem is that hair types vary significantly, and no one is leading a single discussion.”
As a curly haired blonde myself …
I just wanted to mention that fact.
I felt it was important that you know about my personal hair.
I’m an oppressed curly.
But I’m also a blonde.