IGDS Graduate Research Seminar - Jade Trim

Event Date(s): 16/12/2021

The Institute for Gender and Development Studies (IGDS) invites you to its Graduate Research Seminar on Thursday, December 16, 2021 at 10a.m.

Presenting will be Jade Trim, MPhil Interdisciplinary Gender Studies. The title of her presentation is “How Yuh Get Yuh Hair So?’: Exploring Afro-descended Women’s Interpretations of ‘Natural’ Hair, Presentation of Self and Other in Trinidad.”

Interested persons are invited to register in advance by clicking here.

For more information:

W: http://sta.uwi.edu/igds/graduatestudies.asp  

E: igdsgraduatestudies@sta.uwi.edu


Presentation Abstract

For my MPhil. thesis, I examined interpretations of Afro-descended women’s ‘natural’ hair by other Afro-descended women and its implication for their self-perception and hair-related presentation practices. In this paper, I sought to briefly outline my research design and elaborate my key findings. I engaged with ‘natural’ hair as hair that is performative, unaltered texturally, constructed and maintained through beauty work, and belonging to bodies read as Black or Afro-descended. There is a dearth in Caribbean feminist research on ‘natural’ hair interpretations within the interpersonal context. As such in my work, I intend to address this gap through my exploration of definitions and interpretations of ‘natural’ hair in the context of interactions between Afro-Trinidadian women and its implication for self. Specifically, through their questioning of how the hair is styled. Using a combination of methods, focus groups, autoethnography and content analysis of feedback loops and product descriptions, I interrogated the relevance of the question ‘how yuh get yuh hair so?’ to the lives of Afro-Trinidadian women. My key findings have indicated that there is a ‘natural’ hair ideal which draws from the colonial ‘good’ hair/‘bad’ hair binary and is promoted through presentation norms within the ‘natural’ hair community. Hair interpretations draw upon this ideal as reflected in the darker side of the question ‘how yuh get yuh hair so?’ which calls into question Afro-Trinidadian women’s claims to Blackness where their hair is seen as outside of stereotypical definitions of ‘Black hair’. Such interactions, though often dismissed as being non-threatening by Afro-Trinidadian women do have implications for future presentation practices.




Open to: | General Public | Staff | Student |