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Dove UK helps Black and mixed-race women reclaim school picture day

School picture days are childhood milestones. But they're not happy memories for all. According to recent research by Dove, a third of Black or mixed-race women with afro or textured hair missed their school picture day as a result of race-based hair discrimination.

In a new campaign by the beauty brand, women explain what it was like growing up with textured hair — from classmates bullying them to teachers forcing them to change the way they did their hair. They ripped up school photos instead of bringing them home with pride. Dove invited those women to reclaim school picture day and have their portraits taken with their hair worn exactly as they chose.

In addition to sharing personal stories in Reclaiming School Picture Day, Dove developed a two-hour session that educators can use to boost hair confidence in kids aged 10-14. Part of the Dove Self-Esteem Project, 'My Hair, My Crown' helps kids critically evaluate current hair beauty stereotypes and teaches them to advocate for themselves in response to hair bullies.

Dove is also calling on its customers to sign petitions to make hair discrimination illegal under the UK Equalities Act.

Trend Bite

Dove's research among British adults found that nearly half of Black or mixed-race women with afro or textured hair have experienced race based-hair discrimination, sometimes as early as age five. One in four Black adults has been sent home from work or faced disciplinary action because they wore their hair in a natural or protective style, and more than half of Black children were sent home from school for the same reason.

No child should ever have their education disrupted because their hair is braided. And no adult should ever face any consequence at work for wearing Bantu knots. But until the world gets its act together and drops race-based discrimination, consumers will welcome brands that use their resources to call for — and resolutely work towards — constructive change.

Innovation of the day

Spotted by: Bruna Boucinha