During one of my many hashtag deep dives over the November and December 2021 holidays, I started noticing something: very few of the women on the #BlackWomeninLuxury hashtag sported their natural hair. I’d see a few box braids here and there (usually worn on vacation to somewhere like Bali or the Maldives), but the overwhelming majority of women under the hashtag are devoted to their bundles. As I scrolled I discovered that I wasn’t the only one with this thought. Almost as soon as it crossed my mind, a TikTok video of Atlanta-based model Tyler Simone answered my question.
“Where are all the natural products on luxury TikTok for black women?” the voiceover asked as the viewer is treated to short snippets of Simone with her tightly wound pixie on a golf course with selfies of her holding a bouquet of roses. It was supposed to be a simple TikTok to add to the file, but it turns out that Simone unwittingly walked into a firestorm she didn’t expect.
“I was like, ‘Well, I’m doing some cool stuff,'” says Simone Seduce during a phone call explaining why she decided to respond to the prompt. And she looks good doing it too. Her video got over 55,000 likes which came as a surprise to her. “I made the video but I didn’t expect people to see it. None of my TikToks had done any pull ups or anything and this is the one who did “, she says. “I just got sucked into this #BlackGirlLuxury world.”
And what did she find in this world? Many, many, uh, fiery speech in his comments on the merits of his videos in the broader context of the movement. Many commenters doubled down on the question posed in his voiceover: why do not do are we seeing more women with natural hair in this space? “That’s my only complaint,” wrote a commenter on Tyler Simone’s video. “Why is the TikTok luxury black girl only silky straight hair?” another wrote, “YES. Because social media makes it seem like you always have to have a weave to look good.” These are all valid observations, but as TikTokker @her_majesty.musu pointed out, when you think about it, it’s only natural that those silky long beams are a feature of the aesthetic.
“Some women see hair extensions as a status symbol,” she said in a TikTok that she has since taken down from the platform and uploaded to her YouTube channel. “It’s not necessarily about self-hatred.” She notes the phenomenon of black women buying multiple strands of hair — more than they actually need to achieve a certain look — as part of the flex. If you can afford all that human hair, you definitely have a few pieces to your name. “It shows other women, ‘I got it like that,'” she explained.