This Artist Is Using Her Hair To Say #MeToo

"Don't remain silent."

You might remember artist and aspiring fashion designer Laetitia Ky from when she went viral in the summer of 2017 thanks to her extraordinary hair designs.  

Ky styles her hair in creative masterpieces not only to express her passion for art, but to show the beauty and versatility of natural Black hair, which has long been ignored and rejected in mainstream spaces. Her work makes a statement about the importance of having more representation and celebration of natural hair, and to encourage people to embrace the locks they were born with.  

In an interview with A Plus a few months ago, Ky said that both her hair and her art represent a deeper message about Black womanhood and visibility. "With the return of natural hair to the Black community, hairstyles [have] become a beauty asset, a way of self-affirmation and [a] claim of its beauty," she said. "To use [these] hairstyles as means of expression is, therefore, [powerful] because it speaks to all its Black women who have had, for a long time, made believe that their hair was not dope enough."

Ky's pieces continue to amaze and inspire her viewers, and now her project's mission is expanding to address other topical issues.  The 21-year-old Côte d'Ivoire native is going viral again, and this time she presents possibly her most powerful piece of work yet.

In support of the many women who’ve come forward with their own stories of sexual abuse, Ky dedicated her new hair art to the #MeToo movement.

The social campaign, founded back in 2006 by Tarana Burke, resurged after reports of Hollywood sex abuse scandals flooded the media, encouraging other victims to speak out and find safety in their voice. 

Ky showcased her hair sculpture on Instagram along with an empowering message for sexual abuse survivors. The loc'd art piece depicts a man lifting up a woman's skirt, illustrating the fact that sexual abuse is not just rape, it's also harassment and overstepping boundaries. 

"Thousands of women are raped every day in the world, but very few are able to talk about it, to complain or fight," Ky wrote in her powerful Instagram caption.  "Why? Because our 'beautiful' society has the tendency to blame the victim almost every time."

Ky goes on to speak on the very common and toxic reasons most people use to justify abuse: 

" 'Oh but you should not have gone out so late!!!' 'Ah, but you had a mini skirt.' 'Why are you complaining if you agreed to have dinner with him?'  'Don't tell me that you were not trying to seduce him with all that makeup.'  Ladies ... NOTHING JUSTIFIES RAPE, SEXUAL ASSAULT OR HARASSMENT. Neither your clothing, your make-up, your relationship with the abuser (because even your husband doesn't have the right to force you to have sex if you don't want to, the concept of marital rape exists). There is no enabling circumstance for the abuser and you need to talk about it so that things start to change. Don't remain silent, don't let anyone tell you that you have some responsibility in this despicable act !!!! Speak out because you don't have to carry this burden alone, talk to help other women who are afraid, talk to start a revolution, talk to change things."

The artist ended her Instagram note saying that she offers her DM to anyone who needs someone to talk to. "You are not alone," she closed. Thousands of Instagram users were moved by Ky's message. 

"Love this so much, this has made my day 100× better and it encourages me to speak about it. Thank you so much for this amazing photo and beautiful caption ❤," one commenter said.

"You are an absolute goddess. This actually brought me to tears 💗," another said.

"You are such an inspiration. You give me strength and courage. Thank you," praised another.

Ky uses her art and platform to share other important messages, too. In another recent post, the artist expresses her anti-gun violence stance with a gun-shaped ponytail and a caption stating, "Against gun and violence use love and art ! 💖💖💖 cause art denounces, educates, and can make people smile, I am convinced that artists can change the world !"

Ky's striking images are reaching the masses in a beautiful and unique way. It goes to show that we can always tap into our creativity to make a difference in the world.

We can't wait to see what she inspires us with next. 

(H/T: Bustle)

Cover image via Instagram / @laetitiaky

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