Hair is simply a collection of protein filaments that sprout from our scalp, yet it carries great meaning for us and our society. From twists and tapers to braids and buns, what’s on top of our head and how it is received by others often reflects society’s standards of beauty and desirability. Using song, video, poetry, and imagery, this interactive presentation encourages us to examine our cultural conceptions of gender, class, and race. Why, for example, is one kind of hair or hair style understood as “better” than another? Who says so? What are the consequences of sporting an unruly doo, and how has that changed over the years? Join University of Washington professor Anu Taranath to untangle the meaning of hair, and better understand the stories we tell about beauty, bias, and belonging.
Thank you to our sponsor, Humanities Washington.