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Hair Hall of Fame

Hair Hall of Fame: Diana & Tracee Ellis Ross

Do you know where you’re going to? Do you like the things that life is showing you?” ~ Lyrics from the legendary movie, Mahogany, starring Diana Ross.

Diana and Tracee Ellis Ross

From left,  Tracee Ellis Ross and Diana Ross

When I think of Diana Ross, I remember being a young girl and listening to my mother crank up the volume to her favorite singer’s albums … yes, albums. My mind conjures up images of a rail thin body; long, bedazzled Bob Mackie gowns; and let us not forget—voluptuous, flowing hair. Once the pieces are put together, you know that Miss Ross has arrrriiiiiived (throws arms in air in a grande dame pose)!

In case you’re completely out of the loop … or too far removed from this generation (sniffles), you should already know that Diana Ross is a legendary performer. She is an Academy Award Nominated Actress, Golden Globe winner, Lifetime Achievement Grammy Award winner, and Tony award winner, among other honors. Diana and her daughter, actress Tracee Ellis Ross, are also the second inductees into My Curly Mane’s Hair Hall of Fame! Cue the horns!

At 68 years old, Diana Ross is still fabulous and continues to rock out with her huge, curly mane. Rewind to the ‘60s, and young Diana Ross was the “it girl” in the Motown group, The Supremes. In case you missed it, rent or order the movie Dreamgirls on Netflick. 😉

During her time as the group’s lead singer, Miss Ross wore straight-haired beehives wigs. She moved on and sported a tight, natural afro, as seen in the movie, The Wiz. Flash forward decades later, and she introduced us to her looong curly mane. You can often spot it being gracefully whipped or combed through her fingers during her many sold out concerts.

Diana Ross - My Curly Mane's Hair Hall of Fame Inductee

Diana Ross

Before you get worked up, let me explain. I understand Diana Ross’ long, fluffy look isn’t au naturel. Much like unicorns, I really, really want to believe that this is true. While it isn’t, let us not forget the times in which she wore her sensational afro. Plus her magically enhanced coiffed has been desired and imitated by many (see my post on Kim K’s ‘wild’ mane). We have to give Miss Ross credit for showcasing variations of what natural hair can look like. She captures the beauty of what many natural ladies have or can achieve. To top it off, Diana also gave us the stunning Tracee Ellis Ross.

I was first introduced to Tracee as one of the stars of UPN/CW’s Girlfriends. Where Diana possesses and has the essence of glorious natural hair, Tracee solely showcases the real deal. A longtime natural hair icon, Tracee has worn her hair full and curly, poofy, wavy, and straight. Regardless of the style, her beauty, which she can credit to her mother, is always amplified by her luscious locks. Tracee recently shared some hair advice and words and wisdom (in line with My Curly Mane’s credo), during an August 2012 interview with Essence magazine.

Tracee Ellis Ross - My Curly Mane's Hair Hall of Fame Inductee

Tracee Ellis Ross

She says, “Just embrace your hair! I really feel like I am not an advocate for people doing what I do. I’m an advocate for people discovering and finding what works for them. For some people the relaxer is everything that made them love their hair. For some people, getting a weave is what made them love their hair. For some people getting wigs is what made them love their hair. For some people it is just a bun or a topknot. It’s all about you and it’s about what makes you feel comfortable, what makes you feel beautiful and what makes you feel good. Anybody that tells you that there’s a way to do something— whether it be hair, dating, anything— there’s no such thing. We’re all different, it works differently for each of us and I think you should really let yourself find your own way.”

Somebody thank that woman! Tracee, who is unbelievably 40 years old, has won two NAACP Image Awards for Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series. She is a lady who sets examples, and today, she joins her mother, the iconic Diana Ross, as our proud Hair Hall of Fame inductees.

Hair Hall of Fame: Supermodels Roshumba & Gail, First Inductees

Gail O’Neill and Roshumba Williams

From left, Gail O’Neill and Roshumba Williams model in the July 2012 issue of Essence magazine.

I was in the middle of whipping up my favorite pasta dish when I took a moment to flip through this month’s Essence magazine. I stopped mid page turn and gasped as I curlspotted two of my favorite supermodels from the 90’s–Roshumba Williams and Gail O’Neill.

Growing up, I admired Roshumba’s long legs, toned body, and of course, her afro. Roshumba was the only model I knew with short, natural hair, and she wore it well. In the Sports Illustrated swimsuit specials that aired on TV, you could easily spot Roshumba with her delicious, chocolate complexion and bone structure. She didn’t need long, flowing hair to be sexy. She just was, and her afro was an accessory to her beauty rather than the central piece of it.

Where Roshumba caught me at afro, Gail’s long, natural hair had me at a loss for words. Whether straight or curly, it looked full and healthy. On her own, Gail is stunning, but her hair amplifies her beauty. I always looked forward to seeing her in magazines because she was so striking and a good model. She was one of the rare examples of real, naturally curly, black hair.

In my previous post on the return of MTV’s House of Style, I mentioned that we are past the era of the supermodel. While we do have well-known models whom we can even call supermodels, it isn’t like before. Supermodels were revered, so much so that we regular un-super humans knew them by first name.

While the period has passed, let’s honor both ladies. For their contributions to fashion as black models who proudly displayed their natural hair, I am happy to announce that Roshumba Williams and Gail O’Neill are the first inductees into My Curly Mane’s Hair Hall of Fame!


Photos of Roshumba Williams and her afro

Photos of Gail O’Neill and her long, natural hair (a short haired pic is included)



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