Nellisa from Santurce, Puerto Rico
We asked Nellisa (who has been donning her beautiful locs for 14 years) what was her opinion of the term “Pelo malo/Bad hair” (translated from Spanish):
The concept or term “pelo malo” is rooted in racism, and for many people, anything with a black/African origin has a negative connotation, they see it as unorganized or unkempt. There is no such thing as “pelo malo.” Our hair is strong, it has life, and it grows.
About her locs:
There are peope who ask if I’m Jamaican, Haitian, or from some other island in the Caribbean and I am 100% Puerto Rican. People can’t place a black woman with dread locs as being “Puerto Rican.” It’s like that combination doesn’t make sense to them. Sometimes people forget that slavery existed here on the island, in addition to being “Americanized,” as we are constantly getting a lot of influence and inspiration from other countries.
Photo by: Joaquin Medina for Diosas Al Natural