There once was a time when Erykah Badu had a specific look. Think back to her Baduizm days, when her petite body was always covered in flowy dresses, head wraps and clunky jewelry. We used to wonder how much bigger that head wrap might grow over the next few years.
Fast forward a decade and some change later, and Badu’s look is undefined. You never know what she might bless your eyes with, and the soulstress likes it that way. She recently explained to Essence that she’s seeking to be "uncategorized" with her style after having a spiritual experience in Cuba. When she traveled to the country for a Santeria reading in 2000, she recalled seeing many people that were dressed in what Americans might consider messy clothing, while she wore a “white head wrap and this white long dress and all of my jewelry, because it was part of me. It was who I was.” She sat next to a guy on a bus “whose nails were dirty.” To her surprise, he ended being the priest who did her reading.
His appearance changed her perspective. “I never wore the head wrap again. I realized it wasn't necessary anymore, because after all, that man was from a long line of healers and he didn't have to look like one. He was born with it. No matter what he did or what he said, no one could take that away from him. That's when I was freed and began to evolve. I began to focus on being more in here than out there.”
Thus, the birth of blonde mohawks, oversized overalls and purple eye shadow. We love it.
(Photo: Ben Rose/Picture Group)