This month, Shuly Wigs commemorates Women’s History Month with a bit of history you may not know. Congress made a declaration in 1987 officially designating March as Women’s History Month. Women make a significant contribution to history every day of the year, and this year is definitely no exception, so why specifically March?
Going Back a Little
It began in the early 20th century with a day acknowledging women internationally. Since 1911, International Women’s Day, which is celebrated March 8, was observed in some way and officially recognized by the United Nations in 1977.
In the 70s Women’s History Week developed and was celebrated by local groups and municipalities. The popularity of the movement, especially an event in Santa Rosa California, encouraged women to lobby for a more formal observance. The 1978 California event was organized by the Education Task Force of the Sonoma County Commission on the Status of Women and received national attention.
By 1980, the importance of the observance reached the White House. President Jimmy Carter designated the first official National Women’s History Week. That year it began on March 8. The achievements of women were celebrated during the week. But that was not all.
Women’s History Week was also a to time focus on women’s equality and opportunities. It was a time to educate people on the women who made history through their contributions which for so long had gone unnoticed or ignored. This focus on women prompted states to begin declaring the entire month as Women’s History Month. It became a celebrated month nationally when in 1987 Congress made it official.
Today, Women’s History Month is celebrated in the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom. In Canada it is celebrated in October. Women have contributed substantially to history in so many aspects. In 2021, women continue to inspire, encourage and motivate one another to strive for more. And there is still so much more to be done for women and their hair.
The Invisible Battle for Natural Hair
For many people, a woman’s hair is recognized as her “crowning glory.” There are several citations regarding the origins of the phrase, but one thing is clear – women’s hair has always been a personal identifying trait. Like it or not, our hair has been a way that we become categorized, judged and classified.
We all know about the Suffragettes and the battle for women to have the right to vote. What may not be so well known is the battle for a woman’s right to wear her hair the way she pleases. Today, we see a wide variety of hairstyles in the marketplace and in corporate offices, but it was not always that way.
The long flowing hair of the 60s and early seventies identified certain individuals as “hippies” and therefore anti-establishment. The natural hair of Africans and African Americans in this country has always been problematic, especially in the work arena. Women were fired for insisting on wearing their hair in its natural state rather than treating it with chemicals or heat.
For black women, wearing the hair they were born with became a symbol against the status quo. Consequently, at a very early age for decades, little black girls and black women of all ages had to subject their hair to harsh chemicals and hot combs because their natural hair was deemed inappropriate.
In September of 2020, California was the first state to pass the CROWN Act. CROWN is an acronym for Create a Respectful and Open Workplace for Natural Hair. The CROWN Act prohibits discrimination based on hair style and texture. Other states have adopted similar versions of this bill.
Many of us may take for granted our right to wear the hair we were born with and to wear hairstyles that please us. Women’s history month is a time to reflect on how far women have come in this world. It is also a time to reflect on how far we have yet to go.
Shuly Wigs honors your right to have your crowning glory be what you desire it to be. We offer a wide selection of natural human hair wigs and toppers so you can achieve the look you desire. Contact us today to speak with one of our stylists.