First we must note that this story is not new, the advocacy blog Black Women of Brazil broke it back in September, but we wanted to share it because it’s so shocking. Last year the Brazilian hospital, Santa Joana, posted an article on its Facebook page recommending that mothers straighten their toddlers’ hair to make it “more beautiful”. According to the hospital the article was intended as an alternative to formaldehyde-based Brazilian blowouts, which are a popular treatment for Brazilian children. Black Women of Brazil reports;
A post directed at moms who want to straighten the hair of their small children “to make the children more beautiful”, as an alternative to those “born with cabelos crespos (kinky/curly hair)” or hair that is “unmanageable”, caused outrage on Facebook, on Thursday (24) among netizens (web searchers) who considered the publication racist and prejudiced.
The text, entitled “Minha filha tem o cabelo muito crespo. A partir de qual idade posso alisá-lo? (My daughter has very kinky/curly hair. At what age can I straighten it?)”, was published on the Nov. 16 blog of Hospital e Maternidade Santa Joana (Santa Joana Hospital and Maternity), with three paragraphs at the top of which appears the photo of a black child with cabelos crespos (curly/kinky) hair.
After outrage from Facebook users, the hospital apologized and took the post down. You can read the whole story here. It’s hard to say what’s more shocking; the fact that toddlers are being given Brazilian blowouts, or that a hospital would recommend hair straightening for kids.
Ladies, what are your thoughts?