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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