Skip Nav
Makeup
Celestial Makeup Is Up 158% on Pinterest — and It’s Perfect For Halloween
Makeup
13 Halloween Makeup Looks That Are the Perfect Excuse to Get the Glitter Out
Hair
6 Celebrities Who Don't Dye Their Hair, Thank You Very Much
Astrology
30 Gorgeous Astrology Manicures For Every Zodiac Sign
Hair
Meghan Markle Ditched Her Signature Messy Bun For a Rare Ponytail While on the Royal Tour

Daphne Lee Ballerina Natural Hair

Why This Professional Ballerina Wears Her Hair Natural

Natural hair is not something you typically see on stage during a classical ballet performance. While strides toward diversity have certainly been made in the dance industry, you can't deny its same eurocentric beauty standards still hang overhead. After all, it's still considered headline-worthy — an exception, even — when someone like Misty Copeland rises up the ranks. For ballerina and Miss Black USA winner Daphne Lee, that's just another reason to proudly display her identity through her hair.

In an interview with Allure, Daphne opened up about facing the beauty standards of ballet as a black woman. When asked about chemically relaxing her hair, she said she used to do it when she was younger and saw others in dance and entertainment straighten their strands. Eventually, she started questioning, "Am I conforming into something that I'm not?"

The Afro-Latina dancer has type 4c hair, tightly coiled, and she's worn it in cornrows, locs, an afro, and in countless other styles. She said, "When I do photoshoots...I make sure that I show that yes, I'm a black ballerina, but I can show unique styles that can benefit staying true to myself, [while] also staying true to the classical form."

ADVERTISEMENT

As for the significance of her textured hairstyles, Daphne explained, "We never made it political. Our hair was always just our hair growing from our head. When we couldn't wear it a certain way and we couldn't get jobs because of it, that's when it got political. It's not our fault that our hair grows this way."

She also claimed, "I don't want to say that I'm using my hair to make a statement. It happens because it's still not the norm."

Daphne continued, "I'm just wearing my hair a regular way, you know. As long as I'm alive, it's going to grow, and I make sure that it's conducive to my job, which happens to be dance. So I want to make sure I'm able to have diverse styles."

In other words, the way Daphne wears her hair for dance should be NBD. As she said in the interview, "It's normal!" But, because ballet has long put forward singular (read: white) ideals of what beauty looks like, her "normal" is another necessary step forward in making dance more inclusive.

From Our Partners
Meghan Markle Australia Royal Tour Ponytail October 2018
Celebrities Who Don't Dye Their Hair
Princess Eugenie Wedding Hair and Makeup
Joey King Shaves Her Head October 2018
Iggy Azalea Pink Hair 2018
Olaplex Hair Perfector No. 3 Review
Emilia Clarke Pixie Cut September 2018
Ariana Grande's Hairstylist Chris Appleton Interview
Meghan Markle's Hair After the Wedding
Curtain Fringe Hairstyles
Coco and Eve Hair Mask
How Do I Shave My Pubic Hair?
From Our Partners
Latest Beauty
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds