United Women of Color’s Dripping Melanin Hair Show showcases black beauty

Haley Candelario

United Women of Color, a student organization within the Black/African American Cultural Center, hosted a hair show Sunday afternoon in the Lory Student Center Theatre.

The show is one of many events for Black History Month hosted by the diversity office.

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Three hairstylists, Tiana Porter, Corrine Fenster and Taylor Scott, competed in four rounds showcasing different hairstyles. The rounds consisted of natural hair, short hair, updos and classic black hair to a panel of students and community members. The winner of the show would receive $300.

Jhasmyne Cooper-Moore, the president of United Women of Color, said the annual show is popular within the diversity office and aims to showcase the beauty of black hair.

CSU Alum Corrinne Fenster’s hair model here portrays the “updo” style of hair at the United Women of Color’s fashion show in the LSC Theatre. (Javon Harris | Collegian)

“Everybody knows (United Women of Color) is going to be doing a hair show for Black History Month and I think as time goes on … we just kinda realize that there is a need to tell a story about black hair and there is a need to really educate people about the beauty of black hair and the sacredness that comes along with it,” Cooper-Moore said. “A lot of times people aren’t aware so it’s just something we want to continue to put on because it has shown to be a good cause and people love it. It’s just a great time.”

In addition to showcasing the beauty of black hair Cooper-Moore said the show aims to educate people about the cultural significance of black hair.

“As a black woman I’m constantly told that my natural hair is not beautiful,” Cooper-Moore said. “In order for me to be beautiful I need to straighten my hair, I need to put relaxers on my hair. I think there’s something about black hair when it’s in the natural state, when it doesn’t have any chemicals on it, that just makes it somewhat sacred.”

Cooper-Moore pointed out how through the show she hopes to educate people about disrespectful actions towards black hair such as touching it.

CSU Alum Corrinne Fenster’s hair model here portrays the “natural” style of hair at the United Women of Color’s fashion show in the LSC Theatre. (Javon Harris | Collegian)

“(My hair) is my crown,” Cooper-Moore said. “(Solange Knowles’s “Don’t Touch My Hair”) is really influential to me (because) it tells the story about how this is something that I live, this is who I am and for you to ask to touch my hair or for you to go ahead and touch my hair is disrespectful because this is sacred to me.”

In between the hair models strutting across the LSC Theatre’s runway were members of United Women of Color showing off clothing designs of Colorado-based designers. Various members of UWC modeled clothes from four local clothing brands who sold their products off to the side of the stage.

The show concluded with an extra round that only one of the hair stylists, Corrine Fenster, competed in. Fenster’s model strutted out on stage with a shaved head. Fenster said she chose a bald model because anyone can be beautiful whether or not they have a full head of hair.

Fenster was named the runner-up of the competition while Tiana Porter took home the grand prize.

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CSU Student Taylor Scott’s hair model here portrays the “classic” style of hair at the United Women of Color’s fashion show in the LSC Theatre. (Javon Harris | Collegian)

Cooper-Moore said she hopes the event overall shows Colorado State University students the beauty of black women and black hair.

“We would just like to share our gifts, our talents and our beauty with being black women with the campus,” Cooper-Moore said.

Collegian reporter Haley Candelario can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @H_Candelario98.