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Reply to "Hair snobs"

Originally posted by OhBlackButterfly:

Originally posted by Oshun Auset:

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?


~My bad. Yes, we learned to smooth, soften, straighten out our hair. We discovered that when we do this, our hair goes from "full" or "thick" or "big" or "hard" to "soft" and "smooth" and "straight" enough to "fall" like the hair of everybody else unlike us. I can imagine a generation of freed slaves going back to Africa with this newfound way of styling their hair and meeting with much hostility, or at least uncertainty, from family in the homeland. Yes, they learned from those whose way was supreme across the land. If they'd never met or come across the white man, this change may never have occurred. If we don't like the full, thick, big, hard style of hair, we learned not to like it from those whose way is supreme. In the homeland where we knew no different, there was nothing to not like about our hair. Even today I see pictures of African school girls in school uniforms (crisp white shirts, crisp navy skirts), shaved heads, they look just fine and content....and I think there is NO WAY that a class of African-American school girls would be or feel the same way about having their heads shaved. It would be such a culture-shock. Like the African model you all were talking about on another thread. She looks just fine and content with her shaved head. But, take an African-American model, like one of the Tyra's girls from this season that actually had that happen to her for her "makeover" look --- she was devastated. But, it's clear that she's getting more and more used to it as time passes. I don't know if she feels more pro-black than she did before or if the experience has moved her to the next "level" of heritage appreciation, though. Maybe she'll share that. At any rate, I have now officially moved these realities into the conversation.

Now, to answer your question, I don't think that African women DO think of long hair as feminine, as evidenced by their style of cutting it off a lot. African-American women DO think of long hair as feminine and, again, I think that we get that early on in life from THIS culture that does NOT tend to cut or shave a young girls head as is done in Africa. I don't think that it even ever occurs to African-American women to do that. Because we learned a bad thing?.... this grow-your-hair thing? Okay. How to unlearn it, though? The ONLY way that would collectively work is if our counterparts (African American men) collectively unlearned it right along with us (African American women), and learned to find us just as attractive with the African style as African men find their African women. Almost everyone hopes to attract a mate, and makes moves towards that end --- not away from it. Maybe we shouldn't CARE whether or not they are attracted to us or not, but that's just not being very realistic. A nation full of women like your friend getting the new and unfavorable attention, or no attention at all, from the men, and we'll be well on our way to extinction. If they want what they feel is attractive and feminine and we're not it, they WILL go elsewhere. The African-American woman is not going to sit by and let that happen just so that she can prove her appreciation for her African heritage, especially when she doesn't even like the "full, thick, big, hard" look herself.~