Friday, April 30, 2010

Beating A Dead Horse: It's Just Hair!

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I honestly can't believe that it's 2010 and we are STILL on the topic of Black women's hair. Well, I'm lying actually I can. We talked about it ALL 2009, and the year before that AND the year before that. So no, I really didn't have the expectation that we'd be over it by now. I actually think it's worse now, when we begin to throw into the mix all the self conscious Black women out there. Don't get me wrong, I'm natural myself but I think there is such a thing as being TOO natural.

The "TOO" natural women are from the lineage of Sampson and believe their self worth is in the coil of their locks. They are the women who still believe that a perm is a kin to hatred of self. The TOO natural women have replaced the bullies of "Straightened Hairs' Past." They are fascinated with the thought of them being rebels, while those who perm their hair are conformist. Paradoxically, in my opinion, the journey to be natural has become consumed with the journey to be contrary. In the same way in which women who straightened their hair were seen to do so for approval, natural women are pushing so hard for their own approval.

Top: Me rocking my natural hair, blown out straight. Bottom: My curly weave that I used to transition to natural.

Nevertheless, in their search they begin to implement coping mechanisms that are intimidating and darn near oppressive to women who chose to straighten their hair. As a natural woman who wears my hair curly, in twist outs, blow-dried straight, or weave I like the variety that my natural hair affords me. In the same token, I think it's counterproductive to judge those who desire to have their hair permed. It is very simplistic to assume straightened hair is equivalent to selling out.

Natural haired women who use their hair as a statement, create a double standard that contributes to the difficulty Black women have dealing with their locks. Stop using your hair as a statement. Our hair should be a personal choice not a political proclamation. Stop focusing on how the next chick's hair looks and we'll be better off. What you eat don't make her hair shiny. At the end of the day why can't hair just be hair?
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