100 Years of Beauty: Dominican Republic
The “100 Years of Beauty” video meme is a series of videos by the WatchCut YouTube channel (New York Media, LLC) that documents the various looks of beauty throughout the world and throughout the years. Models are dressed up in various styles of the time-periods of their country, with the focus being mostly on hair and makeup. With dozens of videos WatchCut covered most of the world, but did leave out the DR (and Haiti for that matter).
So the Dominican channel Lala Films figured, they’d do an independent video of their own.
Using the Dominican model Rhondda Matos, producer Kayla Lala Rodriguez created a variety of looks that reflect not just various styles, but also the history of the DR. For more details on that we recommend watching the ‘Behind the Looks’ featured in which Kayla herself explains the reasons for the looks — especially if you were wondering about the beer-in-hair sequence.
It is rather fascinating to see how much the looks change over the years, sometimes in line with the global styles, but often independent from them, influenced by local trendsetters and even political climates. Special homage is paid to revolutionary icons such as the Mirabal sisters and even Maria Montés, the first Dominican actress to make it big in Hollywood.
Particular attention is also given to the hair issue: in the DR (and a lot of other countries that have a strong African hair-type DNA strands) having natural black hair is almost seen as a no-no. Women are often forced to straighten their hair in order to be able to get or keep a job. A big issue was with the ID ‘cedula’ cards: a lot of women could not get the personal identification, drivers license, etc unless they hid or straightened their hair. But in recent years this has gotten better. The fight for natural hair is being won and the natural style has received a come back as is reflected in the modern hair styles of this great video.
Now all we need is a video about Haiti…