Black women and their hair.
I had wanted to put this in my previous post as an example to illustrate the damage society has done to our self identity as women. I realized that this statement is deserving of a post on its own. Trying to explain the psychological trauma that women have with their body image is a lengthy one. One I will try to expound on here. These are not facts but, observations. They are blanket statements and does not speak about a particular individual. With that said let us jump into it.
Our standard of beauty and of self identification was based on the Caucasian woman. The closer you resembled a Caucasian woman the more favourable you were. Now you could argue that is not true. That we are passed that but, are we? As a woman I am judged by my skin complexion, the looseness of my curls and my conduct in society. My worth is tied to a man either my husband or my father. My success as an individual is usually because of these two men. I digress though.
I have let my natural hair grow close to 3 years. Like many naturals, natural hair was my gate way drug to a more natural lifestyle. As I did my research I realized that there were outright dangerous products in the beauty industry 90% been carcinogenic. For what? To alter the state of my hair to mimic another race’s natural hair? Women spend money straightening and maintain that hair because it what we have been told for a very long time is beautiful. The brain washing was so serve that our own natural hair care was foreign to us.
When I let my hair grow out I had no idea what to do about. Like many first time naturals I joined a natural hair forum. Prior to this I believed that we had moved away from traditional mental slavery and we are working towards embracing ourselves. I was wrong. We have only moved from traditional to modern day mental slavery. This is where alteration of the hair in its natural state to a straightened state is frowned upon. However, we worship looser curled hair to the point we alter our natural cotton candy texture to form curls we do not have. Now all I am saying if we are going to be Nazi about can we look both ways?
In the natural hair community there is a very loud and profound discrimination to the kinkier hair. Look at the “natural” hair industry. They are churning products to enhance curls, clump curls, make your curls pop,curl definition and use this gel to get ringlets products. Where are the products that enhance the health of my afro which is the natural state of my hair. As a young woman looking at society to define my self identity I do not see any love for the kinkier hair type. Degrading phrases such as you do not have good hair, my hair is like a carpet/steelwool is a clear illustration. Terms such as nappy, unkempt, unprofessional are used to describe hair that naturally grows from my scalp. What do you want me to do with it? straighten it or create curls that are not there?
catch you in part 2
Until next time