When my journey into styling and adopting natural hair began in high school, one of my go-to styles was a sleek bun. So this was the perfect style, but I wasn’t ready to release my curls yet.
Caucasian friends asked me to show off my curls and wear my hair completely natural. Because it was “different” and “unique”. Many of the other black girls I know wore this style as well, but for others, having their hair flowing down their back was considered the most attractive look. However, tight buns were perceived as feminine.
Surprisingly, the sleek back bun has now emerged as the go-to hairstyle among white women. It’s a defining part of what the TikTok community calls the “clean girl” beauty trend. Thanks to the off-duty style of celebrity-inspired models like Hailey Bieber and Bella Hadid, the look often pairs sleek buns and gold hoops with neat acrylic nails. When I was wearing it, it was a style that wasn’t liked so much, but now it’s a model-approved “that girl”.
When Kaelyn Montoya, a marketing strategist in Austin, Texas, saw the “clean girl” look trending on TikTok, she was immediately puzzled that people thought it was new. She posted a video on her page where she styled her hair into a sleek bun and said she was “bringing back the pretty girl bun” that Latina women wore for decades. rice field. Her videos got her over one million views, but the comments sparked controversy over whether certain cultural groups could claim viewing.
“when [the clean girl trend] It wasn’t someone like you or me who first stumbled upon my page,” said Montoya. [was] blonde [woman]she had blue-green eyes and wore something like prep wear. [She had] A bun, a little hoop earring, and [lip gloss]It immediately felt so relatable and felt like something I’d actually been doing all my life.
Montoya is shocked to find her community left behind. With his parents from Honduras, Montoya grew up as part of the Latino community. According to her, the bun was an important part of Latina beauty standards. She emphasizes that her look was particularly prevalent among women of color with textured hair.
For her, this was the easiest hairstyle to grow up with in school, as curly hair can be time consuming to style. This style still had ignorant connotations. [wore] Because there were lice,” says Montoya.
Like Montoya, celebrity hairstylist Sabrina Lowe Holdsworth said the look was “the most important style” within the black and brown community, and she’s been wearing it since she was a toddler.
“It’s been a staple forever for good reason,” said Holdsworth. “Our hair is often said to be unruly, rough and unprofessional. The sleek bun was a way to ‘tame’ our hair.
Holdsworth doesn’t particularly care that the slickback bun itself is now being worn by white women. Especially because it resembles a French chignon. This style has also been popular in ballet for many years. The problem with style is when it’s advertised as part of a new beauty “trend” without acknowledging its origin.
“When white women rediscover something, it becomes a trend,” says Holdsworth. “[The “clean girl” look] It’s been around forever, so my only request is that people stop calling it new and give credit to the black and brown women it was totally inspired and created for.
Montoya shares similar sentiments. “Trends feel like fleeting moments,” she says. “It also feels like a pass-and-go — something you do because it’s cute for the moment and the season. To say it’s a “trend” undermines what that identity is to us. ”
Our hair texture is not seasonal. To say it’s a “trend” undermines what that identity is to us.
The “clean girl” look is rooted in the traditions and culture of marginalized communities. So it’s unfair that the app’s White Beauty her creator is now profiting from this look she’s decided is right for her. “Dumplings, acrylic nails, nameplates. [necklace]hoops – they’re all alienated [us] If, as a group, we are profiting from it, it could be considered diversion,” says Montoya.
Finally, Holdsworth doesn’t think it matters that the pretty girl look has gone mainstream, but stresses the importance of giving proper credit to things the creators didn’t create. “There are very few real new beauty areas,” she says. “As long as you get close [these looks] Respectfully [proper credit]you should have fun.
For me, the sleek bun was more than just a hairstyle. It provided comfort and security in a space where both me and my hair felt judged. It started as a way for black and brown women to hide and hide, but it soon became a central element that characterized the beauty culture of our community.Gold hoops, acrylic nails, etc. , was important to us even before it became a trending hashtag on TikTok.
If this ‘trend’ has taught the beauty world anything, it’s that nothing is new and everything has meaning. It’s important to understand this, in order not to erase cultural groups from the narrative of their own beauty traditions.