BROOKLYN, N.Y. — It was a steaming hot Saturday in Prospect Park, but the #BlackGirlMagic was even hotter as thousands of women ascended on the fourth annual Curlfest, the largest natural beauty festival in the U.S. From waist-length braids to decorative butterflies nestled in afros, the women stunned from their crowns to their sandaled toes.
The yearly event is produced by the five women of Curly Girl Collective, an experiential marketing group that specializes in multicultural beauty. The event’s mission is to create a space of celebration for women of color to celebrate their locs, afros and twist-outs. “Curlfest was founded on the idea of you all needing to be celebrated,” Tracey Coleman, director of events, said at the press conference as she pointed to the crowd. “If you look around, and you see images of beauty, they don’t necessarily look like us.”
Coleman was dressed in an Ankara jumpsuit with oversized earrings made of stitched leather and wore her hair in a puffed afro. When asked about the friction within the natural-hair movement of “good” hair versus “bad” hair, Coleman didn’t hesitate. “The great thing about the movement now is that barrier is being broken down; there’s no good hair and there’s no bad hair,” Coleman said in an interview with Mic. “Healthy hair is what’s good, so that’s what we’re here to promote.”
And on Saturday, it was hard not to believe that barriers everywhere were being broken. The thousands of women, and even a few men, who graced the lawn were all smiles, all black and all radiant in their bright prints and distinguishing hairstyles. Take a look at some of our favorite looks of the day: