Dominican Artist Crystal Rodriguez's "Pajon"

Considering that Dominican culture celebrates straight hair while referring to natural, kinkier hair textures as pelo malo, this series of comics by artist and activist Crystal Rodriguez is refreshing.

Pajon Comic 🌼Pagina 1. // I'm creating the Pajon series to highlight unique moments in a Dominican/afrolatinxs life. Dominican families like other afrolatinxs families look completely different from one another...for example, siblings express different recessive or dominant traits and cousins can look racially distinctive from one another as well. Navigating within a family and culture that is completely mixed can be beautiful, confusing and difficult because of all these intersecting identities. Dealing with privilege becomes especially sensitive and important. Knowing what to say at the right moment can protect someone from being hurt or their identity oppressed. I hope this comic can help us better understand our intersecting identities, harmful cultural conditioning (mejorar la raza, pajons etc) and how to recognize opportunities to honor our differences whether it be our racial, gender, or sexual identities. I especially made this comic for my possible future children and nieces and nephews to read together. #afrolatinx #decolonize #naturalhair #natural #blackgirlmagic #qpoc #dominican #pajoncomic
A photo posted by Crystal aka shadowbeast (@dominicanbrujaprincess) on


Pajon comic 🌼 Pagina 3.//You straighten your hair for every important event. And she has noticed this. She wants to be just like you. You spent hours straightening your hair and begin to wonder why you do it? To hear her say she doesn't love her squiggly hair broke your heart and you realize you are a part of her reasoning. ((The norm for a Latina woman is to straighten her hair when she wants to look especially beautiful. It's time to deconstruct that norm because it's hurting little girls...and it probably hurt you long ago when you first decided you looked more special with straight hair.))So you wash your hair that night and promise yourself to make choices independent of social norms. On special days you will wear your hair wild and free and on some days you might straighten your hair to then wear braids for a few weeks...whatever feels good to you🌼 #pajoncomic

A photo posted by Crystal aka shadowbeast (@dominicanbrujaprincess) on


Pajon comic 🌼 Pagina 4. // habits change #decolonize #afrolatinx #dominican #natural #naturalhair #pajoncomic

A photo posted by Crystal aka shadowbeast (@dominicanbrujaprincess) on


Recognize that shirt and those curls 😉 #pajoncomic

A photo posted by Crystal aka shadowbeast (@dominicanbrujaprincess) on