quote:Originally posted by OhBlackButterfly:quote:Originally posted by Oshun Auset:
[QUOTE]Originally posted by OhBlackButterfly:
~Do you think that the:
-Difficulty in transitioning, and...
-The loss of attractiveness to men
Do you think that these things can have anything to do with just simply feeling more feminine with long hair, rather than without? I mean, for example, don't cancer/chemo patients go through the same thing (black, white, red, yellow) when they lose their hair? I've seen them specifically react to the hair loss and it's very traumatizing for them, and doesn't have any ties to ethnic pride.
Maybe some men feel pretty much the same way about it. Especially a black man. Does he see another short afro, or shaved head, just like his own, yet on his woman....does he find that desirable?~
Why is long hair 'feminine' to African women when, because of hair texture, unless it is locked, African hair isn't typically very long? Who and what set the standard of femininity being 'long hair'?
~ I think it starts really early in life when mamma is plaiting the hair and putting barrettes on the ends and little brother is in the kitchen sitting still while daddy takes the clippers to his 'fro. We learn it early, and it sticks. I don't think it occurs to black mothers to cut their daughters hair off the same way the son's is cut. Thus, the feminine and masculine hairstyle is born.
Ok, I'm not sure if I can give all the background necessary, but you seem to be looking only at the micro-cosm, and not the macro-cosm. NOBODY is saying that the hair should be a low bald cut for women... I'm talking about NATURAL hair. If African NATURAL hair is left to it's own means, it rarely is defined as 'long'. I've heard and seen what would better qualify as 'full' or even 'big'... but 'long' indicates the ability for the hair to 'fall' and pass the shoulders, which is not indicative of the typical African hairtype. BTW, what you have described skipps a lot of other 'learned' behavior(like the pressing of hair in the kitchen ect.) It also skips past the socio-political realities of GLOBAL white supremacy... How and why do you want to remove the conversation from those realities? How is that even possible? Are you doing this on purpose?
quote:African hair may not typically be as long as other hair, but IF IT DOES happen to grow long, that would be okay, right?....or should it still be cut off?
I am one of the few who has long hair... Long curley hair, but that is because of genetic admixture. The FACT remains that the majority of the African/Black female population on the GLOBE does not have my hair type, so it is odd and very strange indeed for it to be the 'feminine ideal'. Before genetic admixture, which is a result largely of the very negative and dehumanizing historical processes of slavery and colonialism/imperialism, this was not the case.
quote:Couldn't your friend with the long hair have braided it instead of cutting it off? Braids are ethnic, no? Even just as ethnic as locs? And maybe would have been a lot less traumatizing for her transition.
She cut her hair off because she cut of her chemical relaxer. She no longer wanted to have the unhealthy and racially debasing product attatched to her body. She never wore braids because she never like the thought of having 'additional hair' attatched to her hair. Of course, there is no aversion to others having braids... but they aren't her thing...
See the issue is, she had/has very little self esteem/image issues, and because the step to accepting her African hair texture was just a logical progression for her, she didn't even realize how much 'rejection' she was going to recieve because of deciding to go natural. It was somewhat of a shock for her. She literally heard what I call the 'hair speech' one time and cut off her perm, she didn't need much convincing because she already was somewaht of a socially/politically aware person. She is more 'in shock' with how ignorant people are around her. Far more than she noticed before.
quote:The guys who thought her attractive with the long straight hair, surely wouldn't have minded long braids....which is a big difference from a short afro.
You still aren't dealing with the root of why should the guys mind an Afro? It's the 'normal' hairstyle before slavery and colonialism? Should their attitude be corrected rather than catered too? Plus, who really wants a guy who likes you for 'long hair'? Talk about Eurocentric and shallow! We could have a mini discussion on the type of braid styles that are dominant pre and post colonialism...with the current prefference of micro-braids being a vary similar look to 'long straight hair')...
quote:When the guys stopped paying attention to her, did they start paying attention to you more? Just curious. ~
Unfortunately, because I am light with curley hair I have always recieved more attention from the Eurocentric and shallow. One thing that is really interesting is that when she wears a head scarf, she get's way more attention. It's just when she doesn't, and they can see her natrural hair texture that it's a 'problem'.
quote:quote:This is still the Euro beauty standard in effect. With the Euro female being the epitomy of 'femininity'. Why would an ethnic group of people aspire to a feminine ideal that does not naturally occur in the majority of it's population?
~ Well, I think that question is better suited to those who may dye their hair blonde and the like. That hair color doesn't occur naturally to the black woman at all, and does to the white woman often. So that would be aspiring to a white standard of beauty for sure. But, the aspiration waters get pretty murky after that. From females that straighten their hair, and have always had a fondness for the long and straight look, I've heard FAR MORE references to aspiring to or the claiming of their real or suspected Indian heritage. It's verbalized often. Aspiring to be like a white woman is hardly, if ever, verbalized. And that is EXACTLY, imo, what black women with long black hair look like to me ---- black females with some indian mixed into their African ancestry. And when I see black women who don't have the long hair, aspiring to have it, I see it as aspiring to have the hair that their black sistahs with naturally long straight hair have.
Ok, you are missing the social context(colour caste system). We live in a majority European/white country, we live in a world where the European beauty standard is in effect for EVERYONE because of cultural(and physical, economic and political)imperialism. I agee that African women who dye their hair blonde are trying harder to fit the Euro-beauty standard(albeit unconsciously)... But the whole 'Indian' thing is aspiring to be less African. You see, in the global caste system European/White is at the top(with the Blonde haired/Blue eyes Northern European look holding the highest position), and African/Black is at the bottom(With dark skin and Bantu features holding the lowest position)... The other non-white people occupy varying positions in the caste system based on their approximation to the Northern European phenotype or the African/Bantu phenotype. So all the claiming Indian heritage thing is an attempt at escape of the bottom of the colour caste system. It's still self hatred. It's also still hatred of the Bantu/African phenotype to chemically straighten hair that is not NATURALLY straight. White people dominate this globe currently(by force), every ethnic group has within it people who try to make themselves appear 'less their own ethnicity', or convercly 'more white'. These things were not done prior to Aryan/European domination and influence. Asians get eye surgeries. Indians from India use bleaching creams and wear coloured contact lenses... The list goes on and on.
quote:This was witnessed throughout grade school. There was not much talk of having hair like Amy and Beth. So, I don't really see it as aspiring to a "white" standard, as white women are not the only female segment of the population with long, or straight hair. I see it as simply aspiring to be "feminine" as opposed to "boyish".
You still haven't explained how the natural growth of an Afro became 'boyish' in African society... It used to be the norm no(and Afro or close cropped braid styles)? What events took place to change the norm into 'boyish'?
quote:Even when white women chop their hair off it's called a "boy cut", because it IS seen as LESS feminine.
Yes, because their hair groes naturally long and straight, but that is 'their' hair, not ours...
quote:I don't think that would be any different for any race of women. The less hair, the more manly the style --- the more hair, the more feminine the style. White people don't have the monopoly on that.~
Yes, NOW because of white supremacy being global... but what about before European beauty standards were global... a.k.a., before non-whites and Africans in particular where oppressed? This standard derives from racial oppression and cultural imperialism. THAT'S why it's a negative.
quote:Do you think that "cutting" is any more natural than "straightening" or "coloring"? ~
Cutting off a perm is definately 'more natural'... Even wearing short hair is natural for African women. There is no damage to the skin, ect. Straightening hair is actually UNHEALTHY. Is it healthy and natural to use a chemical so harsh on our heads that it gives us chemical burns, just to have straight hair? Is it healthy to use a burning hot metal comb scorches our hair and skin? There are natural hair dyes like Henna to make hair shiny and colour grey... But to lighten one's natural hair colour entails the use of harsh chemicals also. Cutting the permed hair off to go natural is far more 'healthy' than the alternatives... Physically more halthy and psychologically more healthy. If our hair was natural from jump, there would be no cutting necessary right?