June 1, 2011

What is Motions Telling Us About Black Hair?

dara adeeyo wearing a wig
Wiggin' out!
When I opened my weekly email from totalbeauty.com, and saw that there was a post entitled Must-Have Products for African-American Women, I gasped with excitement. I thought I could attain some true advice. Well, I was wrong. The slideshow of products was sponsored by Motions, which is a distributor of African-American hair care and styling products.

Most of the products in the slideshow were super general, mentioning that the respective item could be used on all skin types. I scratched my head when I read this because the gallery was not addressing all skin types. It was showcasing products specific for African-American women.

Anyway, that's besides the point because I saw the effort in the article and can appreciate that. I was more so annoyed by the blatant product placement of Motions hair care products. While the slideshow was sponsored by Motions, Motions is not the only maker of styling products for women of color.

This then got the wheels in my brain going. I feel like Motions is the poster child for black hair care. It is the only product that is shoved in the public's face. Don't get me wrong, I love Motions. Heck, I use their pommade every single day. I just think that it is saying something about black hair that I find perplexing.

When you look at a box of any Motions product, the model usually has shiny and seemingly movable "fabulous" hair. A little Dara (me) sees this and begs her mommy to buy the Motions shampoo, conditioner and etc. so she can look like the model on the box. And as expected, the little girl's hair comes out looking nothing like the picture on the box (read: disappointed Dara). Granted, this scenario goes for most black hair care product advertisements. We are promised weave-fabulous hair and end up with something very different.

There are other products out there that do just as good a job as (sometimes, better than) Motions. I ultimately think that Motions is sending a message to the less-wise that what they advertise is what black women want their hair to look like. But hm. Isn't it?

Let's discuss! Tell me your thoughts in the comments below.

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