The topic about Black American women and OUR hair issues keeps coming UP; so might as well go ahead and open it up for discussion…Again! Hang on tight though because I’m truly on 1 & going to write it out as I ride it out>>
Viola Davis: ‘I Took My Wig Off Because I No Longer Wanted to Apologize for Who I Am‘>>
Viola Davis recently said this & when I heard it? My eyes filled UP with tears! I didn’t realize until that moment that IS exactly what WE are doing anytime WE don’t wear our natural hair…And? That includes relaxing it. Even IF it’s a mild relaxer; which by the way would include ME. Oh, but this is such a personal topic..>>
First things first..The word NAPPY was not created to describe Black hair..That, sadly enough, is something Blacks did on their own. Using the word NAPPY as a negative note to Black hair in its natural state. Why, one might ask, would Black folks describe their OWN hair in a negative manner? Hmmmmm It would take going far back-in-the-day to pin down exactly when it was determined that wearing Black hair in its natural state was a BAD thing..Was it something Blacks sat down & thought of on their own? Or were they conditioned to believe their hair was ugly? >>
Allow me to backtrack for a minute…When I was a pre-teen the IN thing was to sport a fro! Yes, the 70s was a time of picks, fro’s, and afro sheen! Anyone out there remember those days??? Lawd, I had a natural curly fro SO big that it resembled this picture..(I really wish I could find the picture of me with me fro; if I find it later I’ll post it here..
Then suddenly it was no longer hip or cool to sport a fro…Next thing I know I’d have to sit for hours! having my hair hot pressed in our kitchen by my Mom..Took hours because I had/have a ton of hair..I clearly recall(even though it was a longgg time ago) the smell of the grease mixing with the heat & flinching if the hot comb got too close to my face>>
Fast forward a few years & next began getting my hair relaxed..Another process that took hours upon hours. By the time I left home as a young woman? I did NOT know how to style my own natural hair..Not only that I’d grown so used to having it in relaxed form; it became my idea of what it meant for me to look GOOD. To even think of wearing it in its natural thick state was a no-no…
Fast forward to the year 2013..There is a BIG movement of Black women wearing their hair in its natural state..Even my own Mom at 72 yrs of age finally went natural this year..And beautiful woman that she IS; she looks amazing and FREE>>
Recently Sheryl Underwood(who I dig as a comedian) made ugly comments about natural Black hair..Which she has since apologized for..BUT the damage is done! Problem is she said it in front of America; and more importantly TONS of Black children heard/saw/read her say it…I realize many Black parents don’t realize the message they send Black children when…a. relax or straighten their children’s hair b. use the word nappy to describe Black hair c. use the terms good & bad grains of hair…However, it keeps the mindset going from generation to generation that natural Black hair is not a good thing. And I’m of the opinion that doing so? Can cause severe identity issues..So much so that some Black adults do NOT even realize they’re held captive in the chains of slavery>>
Personally? I am absolutely ELATED every time I see a younger Sista sporting a natural hair style..And the conversations I’ve had with some of them & they say they REFUSE to straighten their daughter’s hair; due to the message it sends them? I love IT..Wigs & weaves has never been my style; but same message is being sent. And costly! Relaxers also though..Every 8 weeks I’m dropping mega bucks for someone else to do MY hair..That is money I could be buying shoes with. Lol! The good news? I’m inching closer & closer to transitioning over..BUT I refuse to cut my hair; I love the versatility of having long hair ..Can choose to wear it in so many , many styles; and I do. But once I find a professional that won’t charge me a grip to teach me how to make the transition? I WILL BE SPORTING A NATURAL ‘DO. Like these..>>
Anyone recently transition from relaxed to natural? If so, feel free to drop some tips..Lets rap!