Fitness advocate and ICMN Contributing Editor Chelsey Luger stars in a branded mini-documentary series created by Vox Media sponsored by John Frieda, and the results are as stunning as they are uplifting. John Frieda, a widely-distributed hair products company founded by British hair stylist John Frieda and later sold to an international Japanese consumer company, tapped Vox to produce extended videos for a new promotional campaign under the banner, “Your Hair, Your Power.” Luger is the sole Native American in a campaign that will feature 10 “bold” women who share the stories of what their hair means to them.
Call us biased, but it will be hard to conceive of another video as absorbing and enlightening as the one with Luger, “In Native American Culture, Hair Meets Soul Meets Body.” In it, Luger relates how she was raised as a Lakota (Standing Rock Sioux) and Anishinaabe (Turtle Mountain Band) woman and learned that, “We take pride in our hair because it represents our nations, it represents our blood and who we are.” She talks about the thriving Indian community in Phoenix, and we’re introduced to other strong, Native women of various nations. Most important, the video showcases the work of Luger and Well For Culture (co-founded with Thosh Collins, noted photographer and ICMN contributor) in reviving healthy living practices throughout Indian country. “We have the answers within our cultures to be well and to heal,” says Luger in the video.
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“When the director approached me to film this mini-doc, I was skeptical at first, because it’s not uncommon for mainstream media to warp Native stories into something corny or inaccurate. But when I learned more about the project, that it featured diverse women from all over the country and all-female directors, it sounded like they really had something going,” Luger told us. “It turned out even better than I expected—the crew at Vox could not have been more respectful and careful with our stories. My favorite part was shooting scenes on the Salt River rez at Thosh’s dad’s house. I invited friends and family to join in, and everybody shared stories and laughed around the campfire. We had a great time.”
Alexandra Stergiou, the director of the video said of Luger, “Her story is one of greater purpose: Health and wellness is not just about the individual, but about society at large and the very fate of the land itself.”
Other women featured in the series include recording artist Tinashe, Brooklyn pastry chef Caroline Schiff, and Sisane, cohost of On the Air With Ryan Seacrest.