Summer '16 has been so full of Black Girl Magic and Melanin! It has flooded timelines across all platforms. Yet, there is still one thing that can always cast a shadow over our achievements, and it’s this little thing called hair. For some reason, our gloriously coiled strands cause mass pandemonium in a number of situations. Here are a few examples of what I mean.
A couple weeks ago, I was askee to be the guest on a radio show where we discussed black hair. The big issue was Ms. Gabby Douglas.
During the course of the Olympics, we watched Gabby Douglas, for the second time, get vilified over her edges. EDGES ya’ll! Because they were not ‘laid to the gods,’ she was dragged through the mud, by her own people. She is an OLYMPIAN folks; and not once, but twice. And yet, it doesn't seem to matter.
Youtuber Karen Constant, better know as Glamfun decides that being natural just wasn't working for her, so she relaxed her hair. She was tired of the hassle of finding the right products, detangling, the salons, etc. She was ready for a break. When she posted her video of her new ‘do’, her followers were not the most sympathetic to her very personal decision. The comments rolling in were so bad, that she removed the video altogether.
Alicia Keys decided in March to stop wearing make up because she desired to feel free. Many Black women were not pleased. So when attending the VMA's with no make up AND a cute messy bun, they now thought her hair was just as ‘uncouth’ as her face. It’s as if a bare face and curly hair is a crime now: when did it become a crime to be yourself?
With each of these situations, it seems impossible for black women to win. We are always between a rock and a hard place. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. As we struggle to fit into a society that doesn't deem us worthy of protection and love, now we can’t fit in with each other. Where is it safe for black women to be free?
We don't need any Relaxed Renegades, Natural Nazis, and Weave Warriors coming for each other about their hair choices. Last I checked, we were all black women and we all had hair. We have enough people out to get us. We have to stick together. Remember ladies, a house divided against itself cannot stand.
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15/9/2016 12:43:01 pm
Very well stated! I too struggle with my natural hair. Now, I'm learning to just do and be me. Kudos to Alicia Keys, Gabby Douglas and all black women who are finding themselves whether it be hair dos, less makeup, or your own style of attire! We should respect one another!
15/9/2016 12:57:48 pm
I'm just going to allow this to resonate...THANK YOU!
15/9/2016 03:36:04 pm
I almost never comment on anything on any platform but I had to respond to this. Amen and thank you to this. For the life of me I will never understand why or how people have the need or feel they have the right to police someone else's decisions! It's truly ridiculous. Worry about you, your hair and your life. I don't let anything anyone thinks deter me from doing what works for me. Whether it's my puff one week to crochet the next to a wig/weave after that whatever I feel like doing is what I do as should all women without being lambasted for it.
15/9/2016 03:42:40 pm
My gosh! C'mon. There are some people who just don't have anything constructive to do. Get a life! I agree with LaDonya. Those persons doing all of this criticizing, please take an inward look and see all the 'less than' in yourself. They are there and you do not have to look too far to see them. Remember, do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Ok?
15/9/2016 04:18:38 pm
I am so glad you stated what I am feeling. We have to many people against us. Why do we do this to ourselves. It really saddens me to my heart. We are always damned if we do and damned if we don't. Why can't we just love each other for whatever choices we make.
15/9/2016 04:27:07 pm
My hair has been its natural texture almost all my life. I had a relaxer once and it lasted all of about a month before it all curled up again. The curls won. I wear very little makeup, and always have-once or twice a week, usually eyeliner and lip-something. I save foundation for special occasions, which are maybe once or twice a year. I couldn't care less what choices others make, as they are the ones who must maintain whatever they do. I do, however, dislike when anyone doesn't care for their hair or skin-that is disrespecting yourself, natural or processed.
15/9/2016 04:49:51 pm
Wonderful article and seriously on point!!!
15/9/2016 05:08:27 pm
This is really hard to read because I embrace what God has given me and it's really hurtful to know that there are black women that despise their natural hair and mine for that matter...what I would say to them is your opinion is not required nor needed here, society has brain washed us far too long and it's time to break these chains and be who we were born to be. No one is ever satisfied. As long as you are satisfied in your own skin then why should you worry about anyone else black people can be so judgmental I know why people can too but I'm black and I'm speaking from a black perspective black people will frown on you for wearing your natural hair it's ugly you should relax it and then they'll talk about a white person for having dreadlocks saying that they are trying to be black so if dreadlocks for black people then that's natural hair so make up your mind to be who you are and let others be who they choose to be because no one will ever make me ashamed of where my natural hair.
19/9/2016 02:07:32 pm
I hear ya Sista, I'm 64 I wear little to no make and recently retired, most people don't believe that I actually worked for over 40 years and have Grown children that are in their 30's. I just recently went Natural and I love it, a lot of work at times, but no different then when I had a perm. Loving my Hair !
16/9/2016 05:37:59 am
I think that we as a people spend too much time dealing with hair issues. We need to embrace our HAIR and keep on keeping on. Women of all nationalities complain about some aspect of their hair and African American are no different. Just be thankful that you have hair to complain about. I would love to have what I call "Get up and go hair, but I was not born with get up and go hair.
16/9/2016 09:55:15 am
19/9/2016 08:16:42 pm
Great article! You are so right when you say that it seems black women sometimes have no solace, even within their own community! We have to learn to let people walk to their own journey. Berating and bashing never help.
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I now blog about wealth creation - so if you have any money questions meet me there, you can do all sorts of cool things like leave me a voicemail.
By Heather Katsonga-Woodward
I was a natural hair blogger and mixtress living between London & Chicago from 2012 to 2017. I always thought I was 4C but some say 4B; images below - you decide! Heather xx