BLAVITY: Can you tell us more about the impetus behind creating CRWN Mag?Lindsey Day: We created CRWN because we saw a ton of conversation online and in our personal/professional networks surrounding natural hair lifestyle; but we saw a void in the marketplace when it came to publications that are immortalizing our hairstory in print. In addition to conveying a beautiful aesthetic and authentically representing the diversity of black women, we want 'CRWN' to serve as a model for creating sustainable, for-profit businesses that serve our people. We see CRWN as a platform through which makers, creatives, professionals, stylists, influencers, etc. can speak directly to their target audience and catalyze real, substantial business opportunities.
B: What are your thoughts on the pressing need to challenge beauty norms?LD: The skewed, unrealistic beauty norms present in mainstream media are exactly why CRWN exists. We’re sick of seeing two or three 'types' of black women represented in publications and onscreen. We’re sick of hearing about “good hair” versus “bad hair” and light skin versus dark skin. We don’t think that our subjects should be contoured and airbrushed beyond recognition. Quite the contrary: We’re here to celebrate and edify black women in their natural state. Black women are so diverse and a huge segment of our sisters are consistently ignored and/or misrepresented. CRWN serves all types of black women, and our goal is that every woman who flips through our pages will be able to see themselves represented in some way. From Harlem to Compton, from London to Johannesburg – CRWN is showcasing the natural beauty of our community and redefining existing norms for good. Photo: CRWN magazine
B: Describe your personal experience with embracing your natural hair and beauty, and CRWNMAG's relationship to that experience.LD: Every black woman in the US (and beyond) has a hairstory – or several! Growing up as a bi-racial girl in California (with a black mother from Illinois and a white father from Boston) made me aware early on that I was "different.” I didn’t see many people who looked like me in the media, I struggled to find products that tamed my thick, frizzy hair; and getting my hair done was typically a traumatic experience. I noticed that the products in the 'ethnic' aisle were geared toward straightening or smoothing black hair, and the other products were overly drying or way too thin to effectively define my curls. I noticed that so many of my friends who rocked presses or perms in high school and college made the transition, too. My mother transitioned after being diagnosed with breast cancer and decided against putting unnecessary chemicals into her scalp. I’ve seen her and so many of my friends truly come into their own through their transition to natural hair, but that’s not to say that it hasn’t been a challenging process! Sadly, so many women have been taught from birth that they don’t have “wash-and-wear” hair and that the only option is to wear it straight. Working on CRWN has been like therapy in a way. It’s so easy to put up walls and mental blocks based on perceived differences. But when I started speaking to sisters about CRWN, I realized that so many of us have felt alienated because of our hair, background or upbringing. Whether I’m speaking to an East-African American woman who’s been told she doesn’t have "normal" black hair or features, someone who’s biracial, a young lady with kinky hair but light skin and eyes or someone who’s dark-skinned but “talks white,” according to her peers – it’s evident that there are so many norms and assumptions placed on what it means to be black in America. And when you don’t see yourself accurately represented in media, it’s very easy to feel like you’re abnormal. However, the reality is that we’re more interconnected and diverse than ever before – and that’s something to celebrate!
There is power in sisterhood, authenticity, knowledge of self and self-love. There’s power in taking ownership of our stories and instilling new norms and values in future generations. Those truths are exactly what 'CRWN' stands for.CRWN isn’t about my hairstory or my mom’s hairstory or my friend’s hairstory, it’s about our collective hairstory. Photo: CRWN magazine