Why Little Mix's Leigh-Anne Pinnock's Empowering Post About Afros Received A Backlash
Should it have done?
If you’ve had your eyes on Leigh-Anne from Little Mix’s social profiles (obvs we have - she’s literal fire), you’ll have seen the tweet/Instagram post she sent out on Saturday about her 7-year-old niece who said she was feeling under-confident about her afro.
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Leigh-Anne’s message encouraged young black girls with afros to accept and embrace their natural hair, and it gave us all the feels. "It broke my heart that she didn’t consider what she had as beautiful," she captioned the post. "Love your curls, love your Afro.. we need to teach young black girls that that IS just as beautiful".
But the reaction to the tweet wasn’t entirely positive. Why? The picture Leigh-Anne attached to the post was a selfie showing her curls in their full glory, but people were quick to point out that curls are very different to afros.
Curls have always fit right in with mainstream European beauty ideals, while afros have often been excluded. We like to think things are changing, with more and more examples of Insta influencers embracing their afros and encouraging others to do the same, but there definitely hasn’t been enough representation of women with afros in the spotlight.
To the negative feedback Leigh-Anne replied that while she had curls in the pic and accepts that's different to an afro, her message was to love the skin you’re in and to be proud of your natural hair. Despite the criticism, the reaction to the post was largely positive, as fans have been taking to Twitter and Instagram to hail her for speaking up about the issue, and generally cite her as an amazing role model.
At the end of the day, Leigh-Anne didn't show herself rocking an afro in the post, but she didn’t say she did either. Her post was aimed at young black girls like her niece who don't feel like their afro is beautiful, and her message is a great one. We love Leigh-Anne for always using her massive platform to remind young girls that you should be comfortable in your own skin, and for always promoting messages of self-love and acceptance above all else.