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Her Natural Hair, Loving Being a Black Woman & More! Brandy Norwood Shares with Essence.com

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Brandy Norwood - BellaNaija - July2015_001

R&B singer, Brandy has been giving us hits since the 90s. With her distinct voice and looks, she contributed to hair revolutions like tiny braids a.k.a ‘Million Braids’ and more. So when Essence.com decided to sit down and chat about beauty on and off the stage with the star, who now stars as Roxy in Broadway’s revival of Kandar & Ebb’s Chicago, the Grammy-winning singer had loads to share.

From what she does to keep her natural hair in check to what she loves most about being a black woman, we get all the scoop. Read excerpts below;

On why she wears her hair in black
I think my mom put it in my head [long ago] that black hair really brings out my features. Like my cheekbones and my Asian eyes features. She put that in my head, so I stuck with that.

On her “Natural Expression”
That’s one of my favorite styles, is the big curly hair and the braids. I love braids, and twists, and I love the natural expression, that’s my thing. If it were left up to me, I would actually loc my hair, but I’m an actress too, so I have to be versatile. If it were left up to me, I would do the locs.

…I think it’s so beautiful. It’s just a part of who I am. I’ve been wearing braids for years now. That’s what I first came on the scene, with braids. I just feel pretty in braids, and pretty in the natural stuff, it just makes me feel more like myself. I love it on other people. I love seeing it on other people. They look so beautiful to me when I see it on other people.

Her thoughts on the natural hair movement
The whole natural movement, it’s just different. It just feels like inner beauty is coming to the surface and it just comes out through your eyes, and face, and hair. That’s what it feels like.

On what she loves most about being black woman
I love the freedom and I love the feeling of feeling fearless. Fear can cripple you and I was afraid for a very long time. I just don’t feel that way anymore. I haven’t loved being me, the way I am now in a long time. I realized that I needed me the whole time. Now that I have that, I’m very, very blessed.

Can’t get enough? Read more from Brandy on Essence.com

Photo Credit: Getty Images/Steve Mack

Jennifer is the Beauty Editor & Style Representative of BellaNaija.com. Get in touch - Send an email to: beauty(at)bellanaija.com or style(at)bellanaija.com | Follow us on Instagram: @bellanaijabeauty OR @bellanaijastyle | Follow us on Twitter: @bellanaijastyle

13 Comments

  1. A Real Nigerian

    July 29, 2015 at 8:33 pm

    Why would you ask someone what she loves about being a black woman? Why play the race card? Is there anything special about being a woman of any particular colour? This is so wrong.
    And they say the white people are racists.

    • iCrossMyHeart

      July 29, 2015 at 11:32 pm

      As a black woman living in a country like the states, it is very difficult. So asking a celebrity what it is to be a black woman is to help a lot of black women who are constantly bombarded with images and comments that they are not good or beautiful enough because they are what? BLACK GIRLS, BLACK WOMEN. So that question is relevant.

      Note: Black people cannot be racist. They can be prejudiced against another group BUT THEY CANNOT BE RACIST. A black man can make denigrating comments or a racial comment to a white person, but the white person still has power over the black man. For an individual to be racist they must have BOTH POWER AND PREJUDICE.

      So miss me on that last comment of yours.

    • A Real Nigerian

      July 30, 2015 at 1:24 am

      “Black people cannot be racist” WHAT DID I JUST READ?!
      Racism simply means having the belief that one race is superior – or inferior, as the case may be – to another race. Being racist has nothing to do with having power. Simply thinking you are better than someone because of your skin colour is racism.
      A Senegalese father tells his children that all white men are useless, pale-skinned piles of trash, but hey, he isn’t racist just ’cause he’s black, yh?
      Your distorted definition of racism with the ridiculous insertion of the “power” nonsense to satisfy your own warped belief is utterly laughable. You are simply telling yourself what you want to hear. Simply making everything up to suit what your closed mind wants to believe.
      This is exactly what is wrong with the black community today. Rather than focus on solving issues within their own society and become better people, they just play the victim all the time, play the race card when it is completely unnecessary.
      With the way everything is labelled black this, black that these days, you have to wonder if it really is activism or simply just being racist in return.
      Fight a noble fight against racism, don’t whine, moan and bitch about everything while at the same time, you indulge in the same offence yourself.
      This whole approach the black community is taking towards fighting racism is just reminiscent of a hero who keeps making questionable decisions only to find out down the road that he was the villain all along.

      1
    • iCrossMyHeart

      July 30, 2015 at 10:55 am

      I do not want to exchange words with someone who does not really understand the history of the words black or white.

      How can a black man be racist when the word “black” was created specifically to oppress him? Read the history of the creation of racial categories and then come back here and tell me how a black man can be racist.

      A black man can teach his children to hate, BUT THAT IS ONLY THE EXTENSION OF HIS “POWER”. You should only read on the recent killings of black bodies in America and how the perpetrators get away with it to understand the concept of racism. Racism transcends a human’s hatred of another, it is systemic and systematic. In that a group can institutionalize racism specifically to continue to have an upper hand. That is why you will find that most black people live in the ghetto (read the history of the creation of the ghetto) and that black people are likely to spend life sentences for minor crimes that a white person will most likely walk.

      Look in South America and tell me who is at the bottom of the racial category….So do not come here with your lopsided version of racism and try to tear this woman’s comment down. AN AFFIRMATION OF BLACK PERSONHOOD AS WONDERFUL, AMAZING, BEAUTIFUL, is NECESSARY IN A WORLD THAT TRIES TO CONTINUALLY SAY OTHERWISE.

      My last comment to you. Goodluck.

    • Chinwe Obioko

      July 30, 2015 at 4:10 pm

      The only thing I can see in this comment is someone who is anything but a real Nigerian. Possibly a white American. Please go back to your own little haven and continue murdering innocent black people in your country. Or lions in our African countries. Or both.

  2. wise

    July 29, 2015 at 8:34 pm

    Loooooveeeee Brandy. You have kept it real since Moesha

  3. Princessofluv

    July 29, 2015 at 9:38 pm

    Pretty you Brandy.Love your songs like and your unique voice…You rock girl…

  4. Stella Kashmoney

    July 29, 2015 at 10:36 pm

    Gimme some Brandy any day. I love everything about her. I wrote about the national hair movement on my blog. Check on it.

  5. bim

    July 30, 2015 at 12:10 am

    She reminds me of a typical African woman.i luv brandy,she sure knows how to organise herself

  6. chy

    July 30, 2015 at 6:29 am

    brandy is black and black dont crack

  7. Flaquisaidso

    July 30, 2015 at 10:06 am

    The interview focussed so much on the fact that Brandy wears braids all the time yet the picture you chose doesn’t show her with braids!!! Go figure. A more appropriate photograph would have been one where she’s at least sporting her famous braids. BN you goofed.

    • iCrossMyHeart

      July 30, 2015 at 10:58 am

      She also said she would like to be in locs too. They should put a picture of that too?

      I think she wrote that she loves the natural look. Natural look includes braids and afro. And she would like to wear locs but since she is an actress, she cannot because it is not as flexible.

  8. Mz Socially Awkward...

    July 30, 2015 at 11:42 am

    I completely agree with her last statement – there’s truly something fearless about a being a black woman.

    Maybe it’s a holdover from the more dominant roles which women were able to command in pre-colonial African societies that’s been passed through all of our bloodlines (descendants of both enslaved and free black matriarchs alike) over the generations … or maybe it’s a function of how much we’ve seen life throw at us and others in the sisterhood which only seems to make us stronger instead of breaking us… can’t explain what it is exactly but I know there’s something lying deep in my genes that gives me the sassy confidence of refusing to do anything other than rise, irrespective of my sex and colour. And I absolutely love it. 😉

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