Kate and Pippa Middleton both have "rich girl hair". Image via Getty.
When it comes to hair this season, fashion magazines and blogs are scrambling to tell us how to achieve “rich girl hair”. Having shiny, long hair with the barest hint of a wave in it – think Kate Middleton and Lauren Conrad when she was on The Hills – is what “rich girl hair” is all about.
I like the look of “rich girl hair”, but let’s make this clear: I hate the name of it.
Branding glossy, straight manes as “rich girl hair” implies that anyone with hair that doesn’t fit into that category is poor and undesirable. This immediately imbues one particular group of people – the ones with flat, gleaming hair – with privilege and status.
“It’s just a silly name,” you might say.
But it’s beauty terms like this that can unwittingly exclude people, and can cause those who don’t fit the bill to feel as though we cannot be beautiful.
The term “rich girl hair” represents what beauty writing used to be: a guide on how to look “right” and fit in with a non-diverse society.
Conversely, entire groups and races of people who are have tightly curled hair – beautiful, natural African hair comes to mind – cannot be included in the “rich girl hair” clique.
I’m all for a catchy names for beauty trends, and I’ve even used the word “rich” to describe eyebrows. Eyebrows are different; they’re small and take up limited real estate on our faces.