I was really excited when I learned Essence.com had launched a makeover tool, “Makeover Magic,” because I thought it would give me some options for styling my locks. Boy, was I wrong! Not only does the tool not have hairstyles for dreadlocks, but it doesn’t feature any natural hairstyles. Most of the looks are ones black celebrities have rocked in the past or are currently sporting, but I recognize some from the pages of Essence. While I’m disappointed that Essence.com chose to ignore a large segment of its demographic with this new tool, I can’t say I’m surprised. The magazine very rarely features photos of natural hairstyles, especially locks, and if it does, the styles all look the same. This is probably a reflection of what’s popular in mainstream black culture, but it isn’t an excuse. Essence.com could have combed through its photo archive and used natural styles that were featured in the magazine, like it did for the “Party Coifs” section of the tool, which contains photos of models, rather than celebs.
I did try out the “Makeover Magic” tool. As you can see, I went in a completely different direction with my hair, but I have decided to stick with my locks. [Essence.com]