Who knew 20 years after rapper DMX air-dried the names of his sexual partners in his 1999 hit “What These Bitches Want” Black women of Twitter would be co-opting the lyrics? In a recent social media challenge circulating online, Black women are showing off the ways in which they can get creative with their looks. Dubbed #dmxchallenge, women have been syncing up their various hair selfies to the original lyric roll call.
The result is a master class in Black hair excellence and diversity.
In the challenge, Black women are proving the tumbao knows how to serve a lewk x 1000.
If you don’t remember the lyrics to the original song keep up:
“There was Brenda, LaTisha, Linda, Felicia, Dawn, LeShaun, Ines and Alicia, Teresa, Monica, Sharron, Nicki, Lisa, Veronica, Karen, Vicky (damn), Cookie, well I met her in a ice cream parlor, Tonya, Diane, Lori and Carla, Marina, Selena, Katrina, Sabrina, about three Kims (WHAT?) LaToya and Tina, Shelley, Bridget, Cathy, Rasheeda, Kelly, Nicole, Angel, Juanita, Stacy, Tracie, Ronna and Ronda, Donna, Yolanda, Tawana and Wanda..”
The viral hashtag is proof of Black women’s ability to compliment any style– no matter the length, color or curl pattern.
Now if you’re not up to date on the number of names DMX says in his piece never fear! We’ve done the math.
DMX spouts off the names of 46 different women that he’s slept with and you better believe the wigs of Black Nation are rising to the occasion.
Which means 46 looks that the challenge is trying to get women to show off.
And tbh the number of looks the women are serving in just a year alone are BEYOND beyond.
In case you didn’t know the looks form Yolanda and Vicky are so far the best.
And while spotting a hairstyle to match with each name might seem impossible, these girls are nailing it.
Literally not a single Becky look is being served in this challenge.
Like this woman even sneaks in a few extra looks.
Which is proof that when it comes to creativity and style, Black women will never come up short.
That’s right girl, the marathon continues. Tag us in your DMX challenge so we can see your looks of the year.
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According to research, African-American consumers will spend nearly $2 billion on hair-care products, this year alone. And although a lot of that expenditure goes toward products aimed at caring for natural hair —like shampoo, conditioner and styling products, which are also very important— a lot of $$$ is also being spent on wigs and extensions —of terrible quality, may I add. These black women grew tired of fighting and fussing with wigs and hair extensions of bad quality, so they created their own businesses to fix the problem.
Up until recently, products like wigs and extensions were primarily produced by people outside of the black community. And perhaps that’s why there were so many issues.
According to Mintel, between 2015 and 2019, the use of braids and extensions by Black consumers in the U.S. grew 64% and the use of wigs spiked 79%. It’s also Black women who are seen wearing the film lace frontals “Oba wigs” and drawstring ponytails and yet, a lot of companies are white or Asian-owned but Black-presenting. “It’s problematic and needs to be discussed,” says Stephanie Nolan, founder of XOXO Virgin Hair.
Nolan first came up with the idea to start her own hair business after working as a model in the early 200s.
Ever noticed how hairstylists spend the majority of prep time fussing and fighting with weaves and wigs before even being able to put them on? “They would have less-than-desirable experiences working with hair extensions or wigs that just weren’t cooperating,” says Nolan. “And it would end up really dragging out photoshoots.”
She had experimented with weaves in her personal life too, and in more than just a few occasions, the hair she bought just didn’t meet her expectations.
“I know that the everyday woman also doesn’t have time to fuss with their hair in the morning because she has to be at work at 8:30 in the morning,” she says. “And spending a lot of time on hair just takes away from being able to eat breakfast, being able to commute, so many things.” So she started her own company in 2014, aiming to release a product that would be convenient, easy to use and most importantly, of high quality.
Heat Free Hair by Ngozi Opara
Ngozi Opara owned a hair salon in Washington D.C. around the time when the natural hair movement started to take off. And she started to see a lot of clients that wanted to grow out their natural hair —which more often than not had been straightened or relaxed. They didn’t want to cut off their hair, so thy opted for sew-ins instead. “At the time, there weren’t any extension products on the market that would blend properly for women with coily hair textures (think 3B and 4C),” Opara says. “Clients were using virgin hair, but the only available options all came in straight, wavy and loose curly textures.”
The textures available meant that Opara had to straighten her clients’ hair in order to get it to blend properly, and she wanted to be able to manipulate their hair without using any heat. “I set myself up to be the first company to [make] virgin hair exclusively for natural hair textures.”
In 2013 Opara moved to China to learn about the manufacturing process.
After six months in China, she learned that not only did the factories have no concept of how the product they were making was being used, but also that a lot of the people producing the wigs didn’t know how to create textured hair without using chemicals. After a lot of tests, roundtable discussions and educating, they eventually got to a place of understanding and were able to create a product all parties were proud of. Now, Opara owns her own factory in China —with more than 50 employees.
Gina Knight, an influencer and wig designer based in the U.K., noticed that the same issue was prevalent in hair extensions across the pond.
Just as Opara hadn’t been happy with the texture of virgin hair for wigs, Knight couldn’t find options with hair similar to her own texture. “Having to have more of a Eurocentric wig just wasn’t me,” Knight says.
Black entrepreneurship in the wig and extension space is picking up speed but there’s still a lot of work to be done.
“We are the ones who are utilizing [the product] the most, we’re making it modern, we’re making it so that other races want to get in on it and want to wear wigs,” Knight explains in conversation with Fashionista. “But I think people need to be honest with the fact that, in the supply chain, we don’t have a stronghold,” she says. “Along the line, it does fall out of the hands of Black-owned because we have to source from all over.”
Many companies realized there was a market, and they jumped on it without considering the group they’re marketing to.
That’s probably what’s most upsetting about how the industry has evolved since these entrepreneurs first started their businesses. “When I created my brand, I had this customer in mind, I had my clients at the time in mind, I had myself in mind,” Opara says. “I shared the same pain points as the people who would benefit from my product and I didn’t even necessarily know it was going to take off, I just wanted to help solve a problem.” It’s unfortunate, she says, because the companies with more power take opportunities away from black female founders that are creating these products for their community.
It’s important to support Black women and their businesses so even more companies can thrive.
“I feel like it’s my duty almost to try to encourage people to support Black businesses because I know the value that it has for future entrepreneurs,” explains Opara. “But I also feel like, at least for myself as a consumer, I want to know that the brand I’m buying from is a brand that actually cares about me and not just about the money that they’re making from me.”
The 2010s will be missed. With less than a month left of this decade, the nostalgia is setting in. So we’re looking back on some of the accessories and fashion pieces that we were obsessed with in the last 10 years. Some of them seem strange now, cartoonish almost. They were exaggerated, wild and others were downright dangerous (platform heels, we’re talking to you). While the decade might be remembered for its divisive politics and the accelerating climate crisis, we want to remember it for its ugg-wearing, flower crown-clad fashion fads.
At the turn of the 2010s, who didn’t want various shapes of colorful rubber bands to wear on their wrists like cheap jewelry? A big hit during the earlier part of the decade, these animal/princess/anything-you-can-imagine-shaped rubber bands were all the rage.
Super skinny jeans
Sure, boot-cut jeans were considered cute in the ’90s, but once the clock flipped on a new millennium, suddenly every cool girl fell in lust with her skinny jeans. The flattering, goes-with-everything jeans style had a resurgence not seen since the ’80s and—despite the recent comeback of wide-leg jeans—it became a wardrobe favorite throughout the 2010s.
Ah, hair feathers, another gift of the early ‘10s. They were all the rage if you were in middle school at that time, and in the land of pop culture, celebrities like Miley Cyrus and Hilary Duff were embracing them the way fashion girls rock maximalist barrettes today.
These completely useless, absurd glasses were also one of the best trends and fads ever. Why wouldn’t you want a pair? Everyone looked good in them. I’m going to shoutout Kanye here for these.
Leggings as pants
Patterned leggings and leggings in general absolutely took over during the 2010s and I feel personally victimized by my choice in leggings. Did you ever fall victim to the see-through kind? Yeah, me too sis.
Flower crowns were definitely IT during the 2010s.
Remember those dresses and tops which were pretty much a mini length at the front, and the back went almost to the floor? Don’t remember why we were all so obsessed with them though.
The neckwear trend came in strong around 2015 and 2016 and it has pretty much stayed that way. From neckerchiefs to ribbons, to dainty chains and the classic 90s-era plastic ‘tattoo’ choker, we’ve seen them all.
Another gift from the 90s that made its grand return around 2017 and has stayed in the spotlight. The tiny sunglasses trend, evocative of The Matrix era, came out in full force and is still a thing.
Crop tops boldly came back in style around 2013–2014 and are still a pretty hot trend now.
A fresh alternative to the twinset sweater, the borrowed-from-the-boys blazer became a must-have for ladies looking to dress down a party dress—or glam up a pair of trusty jeans.
Often sported by the decade’s best dressed (Michelle Obama, and Blair Waldorf, we’re talking to you), the oversize necklace had all of us believing bigger was better. Paired with classic crew-neck tees and tailored work shirts, the conversation-starting accessory proved itself a statement worth making.
Ankle-breaking Platform shoes
Heels with chunku platforms that reached to crazy heights made perfect sense in a Lady Gaga-loving world. While the runways saw many models topple courtesy of such gravity-defying shoes, celebs—and, OK, we’re guilty as charged too—continued to go wild for the extra inches.
Girly, comfy ballet flats quickly gained wardrobe-staple status this past decade. No surprise: Cool girls like Sofia Coppola and Sienna Miller showed us how great they looked in that not-trying-too-hard kind of way when paired with everything from work clothes to weekend wear to fancy dresses.
Oversized, over the top statement rings
Style icons like Blake Lively’s fashionista character Serena Van der Woodsen, Fergie and Alexa Chung introduced us to the joy of sporting egg-size blingy rings not seen since our grandma’s generation. Faux or real, a big cocktail ring is the accessory version of the exclamation point (!!!).
Despite runway designers’ best efforts, years from now, fashion lovers will likely remember the decade for its comfy, fuzzy footwear: The Ugg frenzy and our insane passion for all other forms of furry winter boots was so 2000-2010. The snow-ready boots turned up coast to coast, far from any mountain—from sunny L.A. to the streets of NYC.
Remember the times when tops had a little frill at the bottom? Something like an in-built skirt?The last time peplum had its heyday was circa 2012, when it really was the reigning silhouette among trendy women everywhere.
Hidden Wedge sneakers
All high topped and puffy tongued, like a basketball/skater shoe hybrid with a child’s developmental building block jammed underneath. The shoe silhouette was first popularized by a luxury design by Isabel Marant —and boy, did we lose our minds for these. Maybe because the wedge sneaker offers us a magic formula: heel height plus comfort.
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