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Actors team up with Glamour for 1st issue dedicated to Black hair

The magazine tapped four Black actors to film a PSA that features the stories of 13 women across the U.S. who have experienced hair discrimination.
The magazine collaborated with four Black actors to film a PSA for the September issue.
The magazine collaborated with four Black actors to film a PSA for the September issue.Glamour
/ Source: TODAY

Glamour is highlighting the topic of hair discrimination in its first Black hair issue.

This September, the magazine is shining a spotlight on the beauty of textured hair and exploring how hair discrimination has affected Black women.

As part of the issue, the magazine tapped four Black actors — Gabrielle Union, Keke Palmer, Marsai Martin and Uzo Aduba — to film a powerful PSA called "I've Been Told." In the video, the women share the stories of 13 anonymous Black women across the U.S. who have experienced hair discrimination at work.

"It's too big." "It blocks people's view." "Is it real?" These are just a few of the statements the actors read during the three-minute video. One of the women interviewed for the PSA said she's had strangers walk up and pet her hair, while another shared that a human resources employee said her hair looked "more professional pulled back in a bun than it did out curly."

After sharing several stories, the actors peppered in messages of hope from the Black women interviewed for the PSA. "I am not my hair, but my hair is a part of who I am and it deserves the same respect as the person beneath it," one woman said. Another expressed pride in her beautiful locks: "I wear my hair boldly and proudly as it is the crown that makes me unique."

This September, the magazine is releasing its first-ever Black hair issue.Glamour

The September cover features six Black women who were fired or left their jobs as a result of hair discrimination in industries ranging from retail to broadcast news. Each woman shares her story in the issue and explains why the Crown Act, a law that bans hair discrimination based on styles and texture in offices and schools, is so important.

The package features several other highlights, including "Wash Day Diaries" from Black women detailing their hair-washing routines, a story about retailers policing Black women's hair and another story about the difficulties associated with getting a decent curly haircut.

Journalist Ashley Alese Edwards, who guest edited the issue, expressed her excitement over the magazine in a release shared with TODAY.

“The relationship between Black women and their hair is unique, powerful, and extraordinary,” she said. “Yet for too long, Black hair has been the subject of unwarranted scrutiny and controversy. I’m so glad Glamour recognized the importance of the issue and lent me their platform to create this package to amplify the message that our hair is beautiful, complex, professional, and not up for debate.”