“Hair Stories” Represents the Beauty and Diversity of Black Women


22-year-old photographer Sol Bela started immersing herself into the fashion world after feeling underrepresented in media. She began to see the Eurocentric beauty standards and cultural appropriation that took place in all corners of the fashion industry. So Bela created the photography project “Hair Stories” to celebrate the diversity and versatility of black women. Her series depicts hairstyles that her mother would do for her when she was growing up, showing how important her cultural identity is to her as an artist.

For Further Reading

Look through Sol Bela’s portraits that represent minorities through her own gaze.

Discussion Question

Sol Bela talks about how cultural appropriation is rampant in the fashion industry- has there ever been a time where you saw cultural appropriation or misrepresentation in an advertisement or in media?

Action Item:

“Hair Stories” celebrates Bela’s cultural identity and roots. Think about creating a series based on your identity. Talk about what your series would look like and what you would add with a friend.

Read more on Paper/ Image: Photography & Concept: Sol Bela 
Styling: Débora Rodríguez 
Hair: Vanessa Bela