Black Women of Brazil

The site dedicated to Brazilian women of African descent

Stylist pays homage to black people using models who wear scouring pad material as hair

Who comes up with this stuff? I have to admit that I’m beyond being upset with some of things ridiculous displays of racism that come out of Brazil nowadays. I mean, beyond the penchant of everyday Brazilians for calling black people monkeys, or the blatant whiteness of TV programs, magazine coversmodeling runways, etc, then you have the actual creativity of racism. Take the blackface slave routine and allegiance to Hitler yesterday, the updating of the belief in Africans being “cursed” or the idea that afro textured hair needs to be “fixed” for recent examples. 

Now, in the latest example of creativity, we have a stylist that puts models on a runway wearing scouring pad material for hair in “homage” to black people. There’s a black woman wearing it also! A little background here. In Brazil, this scouring pad is called “bombril” and has for many years been a racist insult used against persons with cabelo crespo (kinky/curly hair) or what is known in Brazil as “cabelo ruim (bad hair)”. It was how a blogger depicted a black reality show contestant several years ago and was also the topic of a protest of a sponsor’s advertisement on a television show last year. Does someone really think that comparing afro textured hair to a scouring pad is an “homage”? Really? Brazil never fails to amaze me! Read the story below courtesy of Vogue Brasil

black hair
Models wearing “bombril” (scouring pad) styled hair

Sharing space with hairpins and sprays, on the bench of the backstage parade of popular Brazilian stylist Ronaldo Fraga, was some unusual material: steel wool. In homage to the arrival of blacks in Brazilian soccer, the beauty artist Marcos Costa created a hairstyle using a range of metallic utensil. This served as a crown on the head of the models, fastened with strategically placed hairpins wrapping hair strands stuck into a low bun. “The supposedly bad hair is actually a potential sculpture,” he said.

Representing the joy of the sport, Marcos idealized colored lipsticks (some models wore orange, while others wore pink, all were products of Natura). To complete the looks, skin with a lightweight base finished with bronze powder on the cheeks.

Photos taken during the 2014 São Paulo Fashion Week (SPFW)

Source: Vogue Brasil

22 comments on “Stylist pays homage to black people using models who wear scouring pad material as hair

  1. Anonymous
    March 20, 2013

    Well we still have a lot of issues in Brasil…but plz we do not NEED or WANT that histerical atittudes of americans have when someone say or do something about the blackness of someone.what in USA can be seen as offensive has in Brasil sometimes an affectionate meaning and not racist at all. The racism that exist in Brasil is SOCIAL, we do not have separations like in US…black suburbs, black Schoos etc. When others understand that…maybe we could have a better outlook in life, than being offendid for any little thing as people from color does or feel in USA. We in Brasil have a much different culture and story. I guess very few people can understand how RACE ISSUE is taken/treated in Brasil.

  2. Umber
    March 20, 2013

    We don't have black schools or black suburbs, the term black suburb is a oxymoron. Suburbs are primarily composed of the educated and well-off middle and upper class. This is offensive becuase it pinpoints a single aspect of black culture and uses it in a offensive fashion. While it may be different in Brazil, race is a big and oft-contested issue here in the United States and we, the black populace, still fight for equality and against racism that we've fought since the 60s. Black people are still paid less, black people are still the first considered for crimes, this isn't just in Brazil any longer. It also addresses problems we have here in the US.

  3. Anonymous
    March 20, 2013

    because its social and not institutional …is it not wrong? your argument is elementary and has no basis. racism is wrong period. and for a culture to be mocked in this way is appalling. It is 2013 we ned to stop dismissing this type of crass disregard for black people.jazz

  4. Anonymous
    March 20, 2013

    No offense but, different country same problem. You may choose not to accept it that's fine but, if stuff like this is happening comparing kinky/afro type hair to a scouring pad. Than have the nerve to say its suppose to be paying homage to us. Really? I am a African American women with kinky hair I find that extremely offensive.At the end of the day humans are humans no matter what country; some humans are ignorant point blank.

  5. Anonymous
    March 20, 2013

    To me this wasn't reminiscent of African American hair textures. It's not what came to mind at first. The first thing I thought immediately when I saw these images was how U.S. and European presidents and even royalty in the early 18th and 19th centuries used to wear their hair. I thought of George Washington and John Adams. So it's interesting to see the references of stupidity here, whether intentionally interpreted or unintentionally misinterpreted. What gets me, though, is the quote about bad hair and sculpture. I think the designer/artist missed the mark. The hair is "so bad" that he/she wanted to showcase it as an art in high fashion…

  6. Anonymous
    March 20, 2013

    Correction * Black hair textures

  7. Anonymous
    March 20, 2013

    The "stylist" is beyond misguided. Not only is this mess racist but it is also tacky. There is nothing bad about the natural hair of black people. What's bad is these idiots attitude towards it. And for the one poster who said it's not racism it's social; Get your head out of your butt and face the reality of what this really is. Ignorance at it's best. Your country and everyone else's needs to work on that. Like I said, this stylist is tacky, insensitive, and ignorant. The fashion world, as weird as it gets sometimes, could do without this kind of crap.

  8. When Black American women decided to start wearing our hair in its natural state, the resistance and the remarks about that transition were often so very ugly and insulting.There is nothing wrong with the way that we are as women of color. I sincerely believe that we are beautiful because we have a different texture about our bodies, minds and spirits.But the person who thought this homage up, needs to be denounced by the global Black community for this type of insult.

  9. Anonymous
    March 20, 2013

    Really??? How about you look at the political grid(historically as well as currently.) Do the same in respect to corporate structures leadership and power brokers. In Brazil, yal do a "soft shoe samba and you kmow who's best at that. Same sports and entertainment. I have not seen much Brazilian TV but I bet most news anchors and such(Soap opera stars etc.) are white-bread complexion.Peacefully wake up WAKE UP!!!

  10. We cannot get totally mad at what other races portray of us if self hatred is so rampant in our own communities. Ive heard and seen black ppl say that "my hair is like brillo pad" or "his/her hair is so hard and rough like brillo pad….ugly" etc. so if we ourselves have these thoughts….and a white person or another black person decides to use a brillo pad in a play….. why are we mad….Yes it is an insult etc. but All this self hatred is the biggest reason why blacks cannot get ahead/do better and why we are misrepresented… And yes there are injustices and unfairness towards blacks around the world…. But it all starts at home…

  11. Luiz Fernando Ribeiro
    March 21, 2013

    Yeah man! I live in Brazil and it's really embarrassing!! How come they do stuff like that. It's really a shame.

  12. Anonymous
    March 21, 2013

    Not sure I agree with the comment "we do not have separations like in US…black suburbs, black Schoos etc". I don't think brazillian favelas are any different from American "projects" prevalent in most major urban ghettos. As they tend to be overwhelmingly populated black and brown people, you in effect create naturally segrated suburbs and schools. Ultimately, any society that breeds and promotes racial inequality will forever bear these blemishes.

  13. Rachel Montiel
    March 21, 2013

    To the first anonymous post: It is time to take your head out of the sand. Racism is alive and well even in Brasil. Case in point: how many black elected officials do you have and is that a proper representation of the mulato and black population? What is the poverty breakdown of whites to asians to mulatos and blacks? And the percentage breakdown of those with a higher education? I find it condescending and ironic when non-blacks tell blacks how they should feel. One more form of elitist and racist attitudes. The last time I was in Brasil the favela population still contrasted greatly from the rich neighborhoods and suburbs. Ask any black person in Brasil and they will tell you that when it comes to racism, the culture and story isn't that much different. Que vergonha.

  14. Anonymous
    March 21, 2013

    Thank You, finally someone getting to the root of the problem.

  15. Anonymous
    March 21, 2013

    When walking into my hotel in Rio a year ago, the receptionist stopped me entering because he thought I was a prostitute. I was dressed modestly. He apologised immediately on hearing my British accent. The racism in Brazil is tragic. The lack of black representation in the media is frightening almost non existent if you don't include the black women playing maids on the soaps.

  16. Point of View Photography
    March 22, 2013


  17. Isha Ahmon
    March 22, 2013

    As a black woman, i see that black people are the butt-end of everyone's jokes. Even the trashiest discriminated non-blacks, make jokes and say evil things about us to make themselves feel better. Is a very hurtful thing to deal with, especially when i look around and see most of my people hating themselves for even being a black person. I know that we as black people have come a long way, but we still have a longer way to go, being that there are so many evil mean-spirited people out there who love to belittle, a black person for sport. I've been in a mode of hate, out of retaliations for my people being hated. I've posted hate speeches, thrown cheap shots, and have tried to defend my people to no end, but that was all wrong. I finally came to understand that vengeance doesn't belong to me, it belongs to The Most High, and our peace is in HIM, for those who choose to believe it. Its HARD to ignore, some sadistic racist a-hole, who is calling you a monkey, ape, n!gger, and saying that you have "n!gger sh!t skin", black woman are only good for entertainment, Black men prefer white, Asian, and Latino woman" (oh yes, i've heard it all!) however, the most important thing to do, is ignore it, to the best of your ability. Trust and believe that This Kingdom will fall, just like Babylon, Assyria, and Rome. This empire will not last forever, and when it falls, these devils are falling with it. We see the signs in the news everyday. The Most High is shaking up the world, and guess what… its for OUR sakes. You may have heard about being a Hebrew Israelite, and you may have ignored it, doubted it, or just flat out didn't think it was possible, but im here to tell you that IT IS possible, and its THE TRUTH! After all that I've mentioned about how bad we are hated and verbally abused, and after knowing the oppression of the suffering that we as a people have faced as a race of people, have you ever asked yourself WHY? Why have we lost our heritage, and have no firm foundation. Why dont we have no government of our own, no country, no nothing? and WHY are we HATED all over the world, seemingly for nothing?? Well i cried out and asked those questions 4 years ago, and i received my answer Through a series of prayers and events that had taken place, and what i found out was– my heritage is written of in the bible, and I AM a Hebrew by blood, just as many of you. Theres no way that The Bible can prophecy the end of the world, and be ON POINT with it, yet fail to mention our hard bondage and struggle, that has persisted over 400+ years! Why would the bible mention everything else, except that?? No The bible DID mention it, and it explains WHY our people are suffering as we are! However, i can type for hours, but to bring this to a close, i want to point out that- The Most High is on our side, just like He was when He delivered the Israelites out of Egypt with great plagues (all of which is even documented in ancient literature, not just the bible. What took place in Egypt, is a hysteric Fact) He is calling His people back to Himself, and as the The TRUE gospel is being preached throughout the four corners of the Earth, The Most High and Christ is SHAKING UP this world. Why else would there be 9000 dead pigs floating in a river, or plagues of locusts back in Egypt, and etc. Get involved, research and bring awareness to yourselves, and rise up from these ashes. Also Not every Hebrew group that you may come across, will teach truth. Many of them are hate groups, however i will recommend Israel United in Christ, and The Gathering of Christ Church. Nonetheless, let the spirit of truth guide you, as it did me. Bless you all, and for those who are spiritual, pray about what I've said, and May truth and awareness consume you. If you want to contact me, my name is Isha Ahmon on Youtube

  18. Gatas Negras
    March 22, 2013

    To Anonymous from March 20, 2013 at 10:50AM who wrote: "Well we still have a lot of issues in Brasil…but plz we do not NEED or WANT that histerical atittudes of americans"…There is an entire response to your comment posted here. Please DO read this!

  19. Selma
    March 23, 2013

    Alot of brazilian women got offended by this and in Brazil you do have a lot of separations. Black woman suffer descrimination in Brazil because of her hair. I read a lot of blogs and I speak portuguese that's why i know it. Have you ever heard about Cadiveu? This is not the first time someone in Brazil disrespect black people.

  20. Anonymous
    March 24, 2013

    Here here!

  21. AfricanFrench
    October 2, 2013

    What a silly way to pays homage to black people using scouring pad material to mimic our hair. My hair do not look like scouring pad at all ! What a very poor sense of observation for a stylist. May be your intention was good, but your choice has been inept.

  22. nelly sajous
    August 10, 2016

    What level of foolish IGNORANCE is this bullshyt? That STUPID COUNTRY WILL NEVER GET ANY. MONEY FROM ME! I hope the dark skinned people of Brazil continue to fight and know we support them here in the US.

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This entry was posted on March 20, 2013 by in bad hair, Bombril, curly/kinky hair, models, natural black hair, racism and tagged , , .
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