Girl groups that have stood the test of time always had more than just the vocals to show for it. It was everything that surrounded the music as well. For Destiny’s Child, they had the vocals and music, but also the visuals in conjunction with the hair and fashion played a major part.
Destiny’s Child originally consisted of Beyonce Knowles, Kelly Rowland, Letoya Luckett, and Latavia Roberson. A shake-up in the lineup would see a replacement of Letoya Luckett and Latavia Roberson with singers Michelle Williams and Farrah Franklin right before they were to shoot the “Say My Name” video. Farrah’s time in the group was extremely short-lived as she was soon kicked out, making Destiny’s Child a trio.
From the beginning of the group’s history, Destiny’s Child kept a lot of their team close knit and in house. Beyonce’s father, Mathew Knowles, served as the group’s manager while her mother, Tina Knowles-Lawson, was the group’s stylist for years.
Speaking with Essence, Tina reflected on her time being integral in the group’s styling. “The whole thing with Destiny’s Child is that we always drew inspiration from the old Motown girl groups,” Knowles-Lawson reflected. “When you think of a group like the Supremes, you not only wanted to hear them sing but you wanted to see what they were going to wear because they were different so, we wanted to create that on our little budget.
She added, “I always tried to look at what each girl liked about her body. Kelly and LaTavia both had beautiful legs, LeToya loved her stomach out and then Beyonce loved her long skirts… It definitely brings back memories.”
Beyonce as everyone knows was the lead singer of the group. With Kelly singing lead occasionally, she also donned a particular look that differentiated her from her group members. Her hair was noticeably shorter.
Kelly discussed her hair journey with Essence and revealed that it was actually Tina that made her cut her hair for image purposes. “For me, it’s been a journey in loving my hair,” Kelly told Essence. “What made me cut my hair was each lady in the group wanted to have their own identity,” she explained, “and for me, it was really important to have that, of course. So actually, I didn’t want to do it. I was nervous about doing it and Tina Knowles… Tina Knowles Lawson now, our hairstylist at the time, she said ‘You would look so great with short hair!’ And I got nervous.”
“But she cut my hair!” she added with a smile, “and it was so fly and I was one of a kind. I think that’s what I like the most. Everybody had their look, and short hair was mine. And I loved it.”
Seeing her hair as a statement for her image wasn’t always easy as she mentioned, as she had to cut off her long and flowing hair she grew to love. “When I was a kid, I remember my hair being super, super long, and super, super thick,” she said to Vogue in a Zoom interview.
But after a while she grew to love the short hair that she now had from Tina’s suggestion. “I felt so unique, and one of a kind, because out of the four ladies, I was the one with the short hair,” Kelly said. “Now, we’re in a place where you can buy five different hairstyles, and be five different girls if you want in one day. Hair, to me, is about expression, and being able to have fun with it.”