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The Communicator NEWS & POLITICS

Real People, Real Fashion: Dreads

Dreads panel

Photo credit: Rachel Von I The Communicator

Dreads panel
Written by: Communicator StaffSeptember 11, 2013

“Being an artist, I feel like my dreads reassure me that I know I’m confident and can do anything I want regardless of what others think and I can create beautiful things,” recalls Victoria Barker.

Barker has had quite the journey with her hair ever since she decided to dread it out 2 ½ years ago.

Victoria was still in high school when she changed her hair and met with a lot of discrimination when students and faculty didn’t understand the new hairstyle.

“When I got dreads, teachers called my mom wondering if something was wrong with me. I had the principal talk to me, and a week later I got a ‘random’ drug test,” says Barker.

Teachers, friends, family members as well as random people have all discriminated against Victoria, especially in the beginning. Though she could have succumbed to the pressure to turn back into a ‘normal’ person when faced with these reactions, she stayed strong. Part of this strength came from her mom, Kellie, who stayed by her side the whole time and defended her, especially to family members who questioned Barker’s hair choices.

“Having my dreadlocks has made me grow as a person and be stronger, I proved to myself that I know who I am and it doesn’t matter what other people think,” Barker said.

Even with the misconceptions about dreads from people in and around Barker’s life, she would never give them up. For Barker, each dread is special and different – some have beads, some feathers, and some even hold memories in the form of yarn that friends have been willing to add to her hair mosaic.

Story by: Rachel Von

Dreads panel