‘It is so important to teach our daughters to embrace their uniqueness and love every aspect of their image.‘ Lekia Lée expresses as she delivers the value of her inspiring advertising campaign, Project Embrace; designed to ‘make afro hair more visible in the media as beautiful hair.‘
The idea for this particular project grew out of worry for her 11 year-old daughter Siira, ‘I didn’t what her to think that there is anything wrong with her hair,‘ Lée told the BBC. Despite her lack of experience in the advertising industry Lekia’s tenacity prevailed, and as a result she has created a social media and advertising campaign to empower not only her daughter, but women of all ages. Diversity in advertising means using models whose natural appearance mirrors the desired look, not imposing the desired look on a white woman and Lée has without a doubt shown advertising professionals how true diversity can be executed.
The importance of Lée’s campaign is vital; afro hair has been seen for far too long as wild or exotic, attached with demeaning synonyms and leaving women to feel ultimately ashamed of their natural hair texture. Lée argues this to be ‘a result of the continued ‘bad press’ afro texture hair has received over the centuries,‘ and her point rings true. A simple hair choice by Halle Berry at the Oscars this year prompted an article stating her look ‘sparked controversy‘, while some employers in the UK have even go as far to state afro hair is ‘not professional‘.
The numerous discussions surrounding afro hair across mainstream media further prove how crucial Lée’s campaign really is. Although she initially failed to secure enough money for a billboard through crowdfunding, a double-sided billboard was donated to Lekia free of charge by UK Billboards, and now images of elated women with their natural afro hair cover the poster.
You can donate to Project Embrace here.