Your recently published video (posted at the bottom) and the interviews for #BREAKTHEWALLS heavily reminded me of this photo I took and uploaded July 30, 2013 on my personal Facebook page.
I was over a year into my natural hair and I was working for a merchandising company that would send me to grocery stores around Northeast Ohio. We were in one part of the aisle with the cleaners and paper goods. While on a brief break, I noticed the tiny area with hair care products for people with curly, coily, and kinky hair. Above was this sign. The original reaction when I posted this was, “Hm. I don’t know how feel about the phrase “Ethnic Needs” and the isle that it’s in. :|” The first photo was taken at a Giant Eagle grocery store more than 20 miles west of me.
Almost three years later, I know how I feel and how to describe it a bit better.
I feel like for the longest time we were, and in some places still are an afterthought. In most stores, our hair care needs are with the household cleansers, the facial cleansers, and the bath soaps. In my opinion, it translates “Servants’ Entrance”. I’m not saying that other people with straight hair don’t buy cleaning products to clean their own house OR even have children with curly, coily, and kinky hair. What I AM saying is that, this sign reminded me of how we, with textured hair are still excluded and put in the back with the broom, mop, and dust pan. If my memory serves me correctly, we were merchandising the paper towels and facial tissues and moving them down closer to the “Ethinic Needs” products. I am not sure if the “Ethnic Needs” were merchandised to another area after I had left that day, but it bothered me enough to share on Facebook and I haven’t forgotten this. Just to include, there were no SheaMoisture products on the shelves at the location of the first picture.
You, SheaMoisture, are changing the game and have been changing the game. The video I watched this morning made me so happy because I feel so included. I feel that all over inclusion and not that illusion of inclusion.
The type of inclusion that makes me happy that I can get used to seeing myself and women and men like me with textured hair shopping with people with straighter hair.
Feeling included makes me feel appreciated and wanted as a person and not just for the change in my wallet. I honestly don’t have much. So, yes I meant change.
The second photo was taken February 1st, 2016 at the Giant Eagle a little over 2 miles down the street from me. And it’s with the the other hair care products!
Yop! It’s sitting ABOVE the the L’Oreal and John Frieda products. It’s been over two years since I have merchandised, but whoever made the planogram for this shelf MUST be #TeamSheaMoisture…err… I mean a SheaMoisture merchandiser. I was right the first time 😀.
So, I mean this wholeheartedly. Thank you! Thank you so much! Thank you for helping me with my hair over the years. Thank you for helping me take care of my son’s long hair over the years and thank you for helping me feel valued!
P.S. You can find some of my favorite SheaMoisture products at the bottom of my page.