I’ve always been mystified by the appeal of Kylie Jenner. For better or worse, with a single tweet she has the power to take down billion-dollar companies, sell out clothing lines, and spark global conversations about how to cook ramen. But inarguably, the biggest influence she’s had is on the ways we talk about and perceive beauty. And beside maybe her lips, none have spurred more cultural conversations than her hair.
Whether it’s with her wig, color, or cut transformations, her hair changes surely haven’t come without controversy. But what’s always been personally captivating to me is her motivations behind her hair evolution. So for Glamour‘s inaugural video series “Celebrity Deep Dive,” I did just that—went deep—into her history to learn more about her impact.
Truth be told, I went into this thinking it would be pretty surface level. I’d get into some reporting, gather the facts, create a thorough timeline, speak with an expert, Antoinette Hill, to learn about the history and culture of wigs, and try out a Kylie-inspired wig for myself (she gets hers, apparently, from Wildform, a business that uses ethically sourced hair). But throughout this journey I realized some things—after all, Kylie is the queen of “like, realizing things,” so it’s no surprise I would too, right?
I grew up going to a very white, southern school where no one looked like me or had my curly Middle Eastern hair. I began straightening it at a young age to fit in better, and I’ve never colored it in my life. Everything I’d done up until this point with my hair was to blend in, so seeing myself in a bright blue wig was honestly shocking. At first I felt like I had to keep explaining myself to people who looked at me: “It’s for a work project.” “I’m testing something out for a video.”
But somewhere along the week I realized, why did I have to justify how I looked? I didn’t need to explain why my hair was blue. It was blue because I wanted it to be blue. Which led to an epiphany: if I can rock fantasy blue, mermaid-esque hair out in public, then I definitely can and should wear my natural curls. Kylie once said in a blog post on her site that changing up her hair helps give her confidence. I never thought I’d actually gain the same sense of confidence (ky-fidence?) as her, but that’s exactly what happened.
Check out what got me here in the video above.