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Professors at Scripps Howard Create "Big Hair Obsessions"

by Gabrielle Gant

Big Hair Obsessions Meeting

What happens when a women is so attached to her hair style that she hides from friends, won't go to work or class, spends enormous amounts of money on products, is afraid to let her significant other see her natural hair or even let it be seen in public?

On each episode of the reality show "Big Hair Obsessions" (BHO), a team of Wigmasters, Weavologists and Naturalists functions as hair-stylist therapists to help women discover their true selves beyond their hair. Some examples of episodes will be those that share the emotional stories of people suffering from alopecia, thinning hair, and hair loss due to cancer. By the end of each show, the unveiling of a new look will prove that hair is a great accessory, but true beauty comes from within.

The reality show's first official meeting was held Friday, Sept. 19. Scripps Howard Professors Allie-Ryan Butler, Carol Davis, and Chris Leonard told interested students that they will create a short, fast-paced video that incorporates sound, music and engaging images to demonstrate a television concept. The resulting "sizzle reel" will eventually be shopped to various media outlets. The Big Hair Obsessions show also has products attached to it; a hair oil and a wig/weave glue originally created by a Hampton mom. These products will ultimately be taken to market.

Though the show is about hair, it is designed to teach students about STEM and STEM entrepreneurialism. Through an accompanying app, students will learn about STEM careers such as the persons involved in creating hair oil, wig glue and new forms of synthetic hair and the process of branding, marketing and selling these products. The concept is based on the research of Professor Carol Davis as she looks at the use of entertainment and media vehicles to encourage mass audiences to lose their fear of STEM careers.

The BHO student teams include hosts, hairstylists, make-up artists, a wardrobe stylist, producers, directors, editors, videographers, casting directors, writers, chemists, computer science students and others in charge of the development of innovative ideas. Each team will produce a one-minute sizzle reel and compile them to make one that is five minutes long.

Production teams will meet at the teams' discretion, but all teams will convene every Friday in the studio of the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications to discuss the progress of the project and new ideas.