In Brazil, the beauty industry focused on the black population is growing

Besides women, men are vainer with new techniques and products (Photo: Rogério Soares)

Note from BW of Brazil: It something that you can notice in many cities throughout the country. Everywhere you look, you see black men and women rockin’ enormous ‘fros loud and proud. Sometimes you even see a brotha walking the streets with a pick buried in his hair in the same manner that it was seen in American cities in the 1970s and again, during a revival of ’70s fashion in the mid to late 1990s. Only now this is going down in a country located thousands of miles away from the States. Yes, nowadays, you are just as likely to see these styles in cities such as São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Porto Alegre, Belo Horizonte and Salvador, all large Brazilian metropolitan cities. With more and more events and expos as well as black entrepreneurs, it’s quite common seeing Afro-Brazilian wearing clothing and accessories that symbolize a newly found black identity.  

The beauty industry focused on the black population is growing

Products to define curls or colors with nude lipsticks for dark skin have gained strength in the market

By Tatiane Calixto

More and more armed with picks to give volume to black power (afros). Activated with products to define curls or colored with nude lipsticks for dark skins or vibrant shadows that were once practically forbidden. The fact is that the beauty industry has begun to see the black population, which had been releasing aesthetic standards not fitting to this black population. This, which for many may seem a mere detail, has been transformed into a powerful weapon of resistance and fight against prejudice, perpetuating a known cry: negro é belo (black is beautiful).

Camila Vertejo La Petina is 33 years old and confesses that although it is not the ideal scenario, there is a difference between today and the time when she was a child. “When I was little there was no such variety because, in fact, the beautiful had nothing to do with black people. The child grew up thinking that, to be beautiful, he/she had to be white. Today, this has been changing and black beauty is being valued.”

Tutorial Turbantes com Preta Pires
Preta Pires YouTube page offers tutorials on how to wears turbans and headwraps

If Camila can perceive the change, for Maria Aparecida Gonçalves, 84, the difference is even more evident. In her youth, she says, the iron combs heated in the fire straightened her hair. “And we did it because we had no choice. There were no products. Today, you can choose and this helps you to believe in yourself more. We’re evolving in hair, in college, at work.”


For Raquel Pires, it was not enough to be able to go to parties without having a whitish face due to the lack of options for a base for her skin tone. She wanted more.

“I’ve always liked vibrantly colored clothing. Once, at work, they called me and told me that I needed to be less, because I was already outside of the standard. I kept thinking about it and decided to create a brand to free other people from that idea.” Thus came Preta Pires, which offers brightly colored clothing and turbans.

Luciana da Cruz is a makeup artist, black skin specialist and celebrates the advances. “The beauty industry is seeing black people. Having options increases our self-esteem. You choose the right makeup, choose which hair to wear, it is a feeling of freedom and pride. And all this strengthens the luta do negro (black struggle) struggle in Brazil.”

It’s not only among women with which this empowerment through beauty has been happening. Speaking on this is Marcelo de Campos, of the Buiú Black Barber Style. He explains that men, in a general way, are vainer, and for many blacks, this goes for valuing Afro techniques and styles.

Today, according to him, the trend is hair with picks, with volume and bounce, an ode to the 80s style. “I do a lot of sponge,” says Buiú, referring to a technique that curls the hair with a sponge.

Fear of being black

Jonas Santos, or Popó, from Popó Barbershop, also ensures that the demand for men for works, including those exclusively from Africa, has increased. “In addition to the bearded works, they are well on the rise.”

Still, in the opinion of the artisan and expositor Rosangela Teixeira, there is still a long road ahead. Really because, many blacks are still afraid to show themselves as such.

Com Preta Pires
Still from Preta Pires video

“Seeing earrings inspired by Africa, turbans. Many whites buy and many blacks do not. They are afraid. The white woman wearing a turban is cool, but the black woman can be associated with some religion of African origin, and she can suffer prejudice. So, they don’t wear it out of fear. Don’t have the courage to put on a colorful outfit because they will be made fun of. I know black people who say they think they’re beautiful, but are ashamed to wear it. This shows that society is still prejudiced and we still have to move forward, especially on the issue of self-esteem and freedom,” he explains.

Source: A Tribuna

About Marques Travae 3747 Articles
Marques Travae. For more on the creator and editor of BLACK WOMEN OF BRAZIL, see the interview here.

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