Today, Dove releases a new body of research, “Dove 2021 CROWN Research Study for Girls,” unveiling the alarming rate and young age at which Black girls experience hair discrimination in schools.
As part of the brand’s ongoing commitment to ending race-based hair discrimination via The CROWN Act legislation (Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair), the study reveals that 53% of Black mothers, whose daughters have experienced hair discrimination, say their daughters experienced the discrimination as early as 5 years old, and approximately 86% of Black teens who experience discrimination have endured it by the age of 12.
Fueled by these research findings, Dove released a short film, As Early As Five, inspired by the far too many real stories of those who have experienced hair discrimination and bias in both schools and the workplace. As Early As Five depicts three scenarios of race-based hair discrimination experienced by a girl – starting in elementary school, in high school and into adulthood – all inspired by real life events.
Through this campaign, Dove continues its mission to raise awareness for CROWN Act legislation and spark urgency among parents, school administrators and advocates to sign The CROWN Act petition to make race-based hair discrimination illegal nationwide.
Dove believes Black women and girls should have the freedom to wear their hair how they choose without the fear of job loss or education. As CROWN Coalition co-founders committed to ending race-based hair discrimination nationwide, Dove continues to advocate for local and federal governments to pass The CROWN Act to help protect the estimated 2.3 million Black children nationwide who are most vulnerable to race-based hair discrimination. Currently, The CROWN Act is law in 14 states (CA, CT, CO, DE, IL, MD, NE, NM, OR, NY, NJ, NV, VA, WA) and 34 municipalities.
Key findings from the Dove 2021 CROWN Research Study for Girls:
Hair discrimination is happening early and continues as she gets older
– 53% of Black mothers, whose daughters have experienced hair discrimination, say their daughters experienced the discrimination as early as 5 years old
– 86% of Black teens who experience discrimination state they have experienced discrimination based on their hair by the age of 12
– 100% of Black elementary school girls in majority-white schools who report experiencing hair bias and discrimination state they experienced the discrimination by the age of 10
Exposure to hair discrimination has a negative impact on Black girls’ self-esteem
– While 90% of Black girls believe their hair is beautiful, the micro-aggressions and discrimination she endures has an impact on how she sees herself
– 81% of Black girls in majority-white schools say they sometimes wish their hair were straight
Hair discrimination also has a generational impact
– As previously revealed in the Dove CROWN Research Study (2019), Black women were 1.5 times more likely to have reported having been sent home or know of a Black women sent home from the workplace because of her hair
– The 2021 Dove CROWN Research for Girls reveals that 47% of Black mothers report having experienced discrimination related to their hair
– Among them, 81% remember the experience happening by the time they were 12 years old
Hair bias and discrimination is prevalent in predominately white schools where Black girls are most vulnerable to racial bias and discrimination
– 66% of Black girls in majority-white schools report experiencing discrimination
– 45% of Black girls in all school environments report experiencing hair bias and discrimination
– Trauma from these experiences cause girls to miss days from school
– Teenage Black girls are missing a week of school due to hair dissatisfaction
“Our groundbreaking 2019 CROWN research study revealed that Black women are 80% more likely to change their hair from its natural state to fit in at the office. Now, this new body of research illuminates the pervasive nature and deep impact hair discrimination has on Black girls highlighting the horrific multi-generational impact of narrow beauty standards in America. These biases continue to perpetuate unfair scrutiny and discrimination against Black women and girls for wearing hairstyles inherent to our culture. This is unacceptable and why it is imperative that everyone join the movement to make hair discrimination illegal nationwide through the passage of The CROWN Act,” says EVP & COO of Unilever North America, Esi Eggleston Bracey.
The 2021 Dove CROWN Research Study for Girls was conducted by JOY Collective, a Black and women-owned firm, in July-August 2021 to assess the impact of hair discrimination before adulthood and the effect on the self-esteem in young Black girls.
An online survey was completed in the US by 1000 girls (500 Black and 500 white) age 5-18. The group included a natural mix of Black girls who attend predominantly Black schools, diverse schools and predominantly white school environments. The survey included questions about personality descriptors, presence of bias in school, school hair policy, impact of hair bias and recreation of the 1954 Doll Test. All data tested at 95% confidence level.