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[Video] Record Executive L.A. Reid Says Female Singers Must Have Enviable Hair to Succeed

Avatar • Feb 18, 2016

Weave is the standard when it comes to famous black woman singers. And although weaves and clip-ins are worn by entertainers of all races, black women in particular face scrutiny for wearing them, all while the immense cultural pressure they face to look ‘acceptable’ is willfully ignored.

Sony music executive L.A. Reid inadvertently gave insight into that pressure when he recently appeared on talk show The Real.

When asked what elements are most important to a pop star’s image, hair was one of his replies.

Well first of all it’s talent. It’s talent, it’s personality. But you know what the big thing is to me, it’s the hair baby. You gotta have the hair. I’m looking at your hair the minute you walk in. Because the hair is as important as the chorus of a song. You know, we make choruses so people will sing along. You do the hair so people will imitate you. So if the hair is not right you miss half the battle.”

This weirdly drew applause from the audience. You can hear Reid’s remarks below at the 0:07 mark.

Reid never specified what kind of hair, but Rihanna, Tony Braxton, Mariah Carey and Ciara are among the many artists he has cultivated. All sport straight or loosely curled hair of various lengths.

LA Reid and Mariah Carey in 2005 Source

LA Reid and Mariah Carey in 2005
Source

The entertainment industry is all about money and image, I get that. But I don’t believe it justifies perpetuating beauty standards that deliberately devalue natural black beauty.

Ladies what are your thoughts?

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aja
aja
4 years ago

Once again, the perpetuation of white standards of beauty.

cryssi
cryssi
4 years ago

Well, he’s not lying. Jill Scott, Erykah Badu, Chili, Beyonce, Rihanna, Toni Braxton, even Teyana Taylor, and now Serayah all have wonderfully styled hair. Hair that people take pictures of and show to their stylists in hopes of achieving the same look. While most of his artists hair is not in its natural state even the ones whose hair is people love and admire it. When I first went natural people called me Jill Scott and I look nothing like her, we both just had big afros. I’m like thanks she’s beautiful, while in my head I’m like you’re only… Read more »

kiki
kiki
4 years ago

He is full of it. We know what his ‘type ’ is. Half the battle hair! Not being thin or having a pleasant personality.

Victoria Owl
Victoria Owl
4 years ago

I don’t think he was talking about hair texture/type. I think he meant it in terms of how fiercely it is styled be it faux hair or real hair. Hair that stands out, hairstyles that are so stunning and that frames the face so well to the point where everyone wants the look. Perfect examples of envious hair can be Janelle Monáe, Esperanza Spalding, Teyonah Parris, etc…

Sangha
Sangha
4 years ago

The music industry (part of the entertainment industry) does not value black women. This is no secret. European features and hair textures are valued by all races…especially black men. That is why black women wear weaves, clip-ins, perm their hair, etc. All because this is what the black man values. The black man values what the white race values.

LJG22
LJG22
4 years ago

Now Im no big LAReid fan, but you are all twisting that man’s words. The question was regarding IMAGE.. and he responded that the HAIR must be on point. He did NOT say, it could not be NATURAL.

Ms. Vee
Ms. Vee
4 years ago

Am I the only one that just doesn’t care?? With all these amazing natural hairstyles why do we care about white Hollywood valuing white beauty?? Makes no sense.

maralondon
maralondon
4 years ago

The industry is full of shallow people.

DSimone71
DSimone71
4 years ago

Yeah you’re inferring words in his mouth.…

carrie00987
carrie00987
4 years ago

I think he’s just talking about having an image or style. Not about natural vs perms. We like to read into everything as against us. chill.

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