New Photo Series Shows Corporate White Women in Braid, Twist and Curly Styles

by BlackGirlLongHair


Seeking to spark a discussion on self expression and acceptability in corporate culture, photographer Endia Beal has launched a photo series called “Can I Touch It“. For the series, Beal selected white middle-aged women, sent them to a black salon to get their hair done, then put them in corporate attire and took her photos.

“I wanted people that had a certain idea of what you’re supposed to look like in the workspace, because it would be a challenge for them to understand what I experienced in that space. And to a degree, many young white women have shared that experience, but for older white women it’s an experience they haven’t necessarily had,” Beal shared.


The photo series was inspired by Beal’s experience working in the IT department at Yale, where her big, red afro generated attention from her mostly white, male co-workers.


Slate Magazine has an awesome write up on the photo series. You can find it here.Ladies, I’d love to hear your thoughts!

About Jenell B Stewart

Jenell Stewart MS, the founder and editor in chief of the award winning website KinkyCurlyCoilyMe.com dedicates most of her free time educating and uplifting women with natural hair by way of her extremely popular website and YouTube channel. Jenell has been featured in Essence Magazine, Black Enterprise.com, and starred on the Dr.Oz television show as a Beauty Expert. In 2012 she was named one of Essences top Instagramers and that same year KinkyCurlyCoilyMe won an award for “Favorite Website” of the Natural Hair Community.
  • queenbee9

    This is not about acceptance or even exploring diversity. This is about a photographer seeking to advance her own mien by taking a page from the other “can I touch it firestorm” hoping that such an act of “style biting” will foment dialogue or backlash to use as publicity. As a black female who has worn braids of some sort for over 30 years– and the ladies look very awkward and uncomfortable for the most part. The problem is not our hair or misunderstandings of our culture, the problems is understanding black females within the context of our culture instead of continually comparing and contrasting us (or our men) to the dominant culture. Copying people does not create either empathy or understanding but often it does create caricature and a diminishment of their right to seek a personal sense of self through natural attributes..

  • Erica

    A caucasian woman will never experience the hair of a black woman. What is the point of putting a middle age corporate woman in a black woman’s shoes? She will NEVER know what if feels like to be us naturals, because they do not have wool like hair.

    • queenbee9

      Not all naturals have wool like hair either. All hair that is not chemically treated or processed is natural hair and some “naturals” have type 2 or 3 hair. Consider Traci Ellis Ross–many black women hold her up as a natural icon but her hair is actually not wool like–it is like silky coils–a mixture of several types of hair none of them type 4.

      I agree that there is no point in putting a middle aged corporate or even a young white woman in a black hair style just to do it–it is a totally different experience and their reactions and experience will have little to NOTHING to do with what black women perceive and experience while trying to navigate and create their own sense of beauty of their own hair on their own terms–all things cannot be copied and copying all things does not necessarily mean understanding or empathy–how could it–we have our hair and our issues 24/7 all of our lives and we have the travails and rewards and backlash that goes along with our natural hair–for white women in braids or weave or anything else, what is the reality and helps to shape black female perspectives is at most a HAIR TOURISM and each woman knows her foray into black styles is a choice not a destiny.