Collective suicide: The Social Construction of Beauty Relating to Black Women Hair in Maputo – Mozambique

Author(s): Marilú João
Final project
Year of publication:
Gender and Colonialism
Number of pages:


This essay discusses the prevalent oppressive moments of black hair through the ages, and questions the predominant, discriminatory, practice within the classification of femininity and beauty, related to the struggle of “looking white”. The first part questions the colonial legacy for black womanhood, crossing fashion, self-esteem, and identity implications for black women. The discussion then turns to exposing the metamorphosis of beauty, focusing on different kinds of artificial hair, their applications, and health implications. Finally, it presents the blueprint for an artistic awareness intervention in the capital city of Mozambique, where new emancipatory trends are proposed, based on Freire´s pedagogy of the oppressed.