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i am a woman with locs that also wears weaves once in awhile. i am starting to notice how blk women tend to treat me differently depending on the hair on my head.
i wonder why blk women with natural hair act like they are better than blk women with a relaxer or weave?
i went to work with my curly short weave and some natural ladies wouldnt even speak to me unless i approached them first. then the weave wearers all of a sudden paid attention to me.
is there a hair war going on and i missed the memo?Confused

are you a hair snob?
do you pick your friends based on hair styles?
do all or most of your friends have the same type of hair? (exp. all natural or all have wash and sets)
do you find yourself making assumptions on females based on their hair?
weave= materialistic, gold gigger, high maintenance
straight hair= wants to be YT, easy going, not as high maintence
natural= afrocentric,vegan, socially conscious fro

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Personally, I would be confused if I saw a sister with locs or a natural one day, and a weave the next, and then a natual again. I wouldn't look down on her, I would just ask her 'why'... if the reasoning behind her 'back and forth' hair style wasn't logical, then I'd be nice, but I doubt if a close friendship would develop.

I'm not a hair snob, but I do think that hair is a political statement(or should be since we live in a world controlled by white supremacy)

I've known folks who had naturals/locs because they just got tired of paying for the hair shop or perming ect. and only saw it as a 'style'; so a natural/locks doesn't mean we are gonna be cool right away either. Some folk grow locs because they see it as the fastest way to have long hair(a questionable motive).

Most of my friends have naturals but that is because my friends are people I share similar politial, spiritual, cultural, worldviews with. I can't really hang with folks who don't understand how white supremacy and/or cultural imperialism (the EUropean beauty standard in this case)functions. If it's been discussed and the person chooses to ignore it as a factor that is going to highly limit our conversations and social interactions. Reguardless, character is the most important factor. You can play 'African centered dress up' all day, if you aren't a nice person....you 'gotta go.

BTW, yes, we are at war, the beauty standard(hair issue) is just one of the psychological fronts(this battle is and internal one). We are not at war with each other though, we have a commen oppressor/exploiter/enemy.
quote:
Originally posted by ladyj:
weave= materialistic, gold gigger, high maintenance
straight hair= wants to be YT, easy going, not as high maintence
natutal= afrocentric,vegean, socially conscious fro

[/color]


~Good questions, Lady. I think we do jump to conclusions based on our appearance, and that includes hair styles. In the case of black women, it can become a matter of hair-statement, though. Another one of our many issues....*sigh*

When I see a natural style on a black woman, I tend to think: She's afrocentric, down to earth, prideful, assertive, strong, independent, non-conforming, an initiator. But, I wouldn't take my "judgements" or assumptions any further than that. It's an impression (image) and it doesn't have to be any more than that.

Say... 19, what of black women who wear natural styles (fro, locs) but they DYE their hair gold/bronz/blonde/fire-red? They all look FABULOUS --- I like the look ---- but what statement are they making? Are they making "half" a statement?

When I see a black woman who straightens, perms, relaxes her hair, that's not enough information for me to glean anything at all from, and I wouldn't even try. I'd have to move on to something else about her "appearance".

When I see a woman with unkempt hair, well, that speaks for itself. No, I take that back. I take issue with that, actually. They're mostly women who would otherwise have their hair coiffed perfectly, but on day-before-hair-appointment, they look like 'who did it and what for'. They won't even TRY to do their own hair. They'd rather wear a baseball cap or a scarf than put their hair in a ponytail or a bun. It's either hi-glam, or I-don't-care --- and no middle ground with them. What's up with that?

I'm a relaxer gal, by the way. For me, it's easier maintenance and I'm all about that. I wouldn't fight with my hair in it's natural state if you paid me, nor would I cut it off (which is also un-natural, right?) just to make it easier to handle in its natural state. I do my hair in 90 seconds or less every morning, 20 minutes when I wash it. I could NOT do that if it was "natural". And natural is relative to AA women anyway, isn't it? One person's natural is carefree, another person's natural is absolutely frustrating, depending on what exactly is in your AA genes, no?~
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quote:
Originally posted by ladyj:
[color:BLUE]i am a woman with locs that also wears weaves once in awhile. i am starting to notice how blk women tend to treat me differently depending on the hair on my head.


To their credit, it's only natural for us to find ourselves drawn to people with whom we feel we may have a lot in common. When you wear your hair straight, sisters who wear their hair straight are going to compliment you, because that's the way that they like to wear their hair. The same would apply to those wearing natural hairstyles. However, I believe somen women are fashion and style chameleons. They change their hair styles as often as they change their wardrobes. To these women, a hairstyle doesn't have to be a permanent fixture. Rather, a hairstyle can be a varying accessory.
quote:
Originally posted by Akeyza27:
Well i have a friend who does the same thing LadyJ , She have locs but she too like to dress up wearing a weave once in awhile,however i look at like this its your hair! You do what you please with it .


Sister Akeyza, just for the sake of argument, what would you say to those women who say that if you don't wear your hair natural, then your allegiance to your Black and/or African identity is weak? Do you have an opinion about this?
quote:
Originally posted by Santana St. Cloud:
I'm not a hair snob. Heck, fried, dyed, laid to the side...if it looks healthy, and is styled nicely, more power to her!

On a personal note. I wore a natural for six years, locks for 7 1/2, and have been natural again for three years. I don't see straightened hair in my immediate future.


I agree with Sister Santana on this one. I try not to judge people based on their hairstyles, because these days you never know for what reason someone chooses to wear their hair.
fro I'm not a "hair" person. Not even as a little girl. I HATED to get my HAIR done. However, as a young teen I wore a perm not by choice...BY my mom. Once I became a young adult I wore my hair close to my head-very very short. For over 10 years. Then went to braids.....twists....locs....nearly shaved off....[my husband almost had a stroke!]....back to low to my head. I change my hair every season....and sometimes twice in one season. My hair grows long and thick. And it's very difficult to manage cuz I'm an athlete and run at least 30-35 miles per wk. So I've always kept it short...a few times in my life I actually let it grow. Once as a natural...big and puffy. Another time...afro puffs ['member? 10] Hey I used to wear my hair in the popcorn style. Wow! And the finger wave.... In fact, as I think about it, I've had some CRAZY hairdos in my day.Big Grin Good topic. fro
i wear my locs because i dont want a relaxer .its not good for my hair. my hair always locks on its own after a wash so i just decided to let it do its thing.
my hair is not a political statement and im not at war with straight haired blk women.
i like versatility. sometimes i want my hairstyle to match my mood or new outfits.

i dont get that just because i am a blk woman i have to limit my hairstyles. every other race gets to do what they want. im surely just as good if not better than a chinese girl who wants braids, so why cant i have choices too?

i just dont get that blk women have to be in some sort of box.... that i am good enough to be your friend when im sporting my locs but not when i got the wet and wavy.

im the type of chick that im going to start calling some blk women out on their foolishness. 6
quote:
Originally posted by Rowe:

I try not to judge people based on their hairstyles, because these days you never know for what reason someone chooses to wear their hair.


Word.

Besides, who's to say that the sister with the press-n-curl on Monday, won't be rockin' a 'fro on Tuesday?

Gotta wonder, though. What's up with sisters who get really ambitious with their do' and try to wear, like, five hairstyles at once? Confused
fro There's a book called "400 Years Without a Comb." It is very profound. And talks about how difficult it was for African women when they came to this country. It is a very GOOD book. It also has a historical look at the different combs/hair tools used in Africa along with the fabulous and incredible hairstyles. Our history in this country regarding "hair" has been an unhealthy one cuz for YEARS we really didn't know how to manage our hair[and were no products until Madame Walker]....but not knowing how was one of the reaons why slaves wore head scarves. Cuz there were no elderly person to tell us otherwise. . And those young enough to remember how didn't have the tools to do it...plus MASSA made sure slaves didn't bathe as much unless they were inside their home working...so hair didn't get wash...plus it stayed tangled and matted. Or they wore it twisted with rags. The only example slaves had regarding "hair" was massa and miss ann....even though CLEARLY the hair was different. And so as a result of massa raping african women and from the children produced....this hair thang went out of the window...when these children were born with SO-CALLED "good hair"-a texture of hair that somewhat represented massa's hair. And it's been on ever since. Blackfolks judge other blackfolks by the texture of their hair...in terms of worth/clique/acceptance. Sooooo sad. I'm glad nowadays there are choices for Black women. And also that we recognized that we can DO a VARIETY of things with our hair. But this SICK stigma of good hair/bad hair still exist. I guess that's why deep down inside I never cared too much about hair. It was a non issue for me. But! Not my mother. She used to chase me BIG time[I was tomboy back then] with that straighten comb in her hands. could. never. catch melol although I had to come home eventuallyBig Grin fro
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quote:
Originally posted by Kocolicious:
fro There's a book called "400 Years Without a Comb." It is very profound. And talks about how difficult it was for African women when they came to this country. It is a very GOOD book. It also has a historical look at the different combs/hair tools used in Africa along with the fabulous and incredible hairstyles.


i would love to read that book. i gotta go look for it.
quote:
Originally posted by Rowe:
quote:
Originally posted by Akeyza27:
Well i have a friend who does the same thing LadyJ , She have locs but she too like to dress up wearing a weave once in awhile,however i look at like this its your hair! You do what you please with it .


Sister Akeyza, just for the sake of argument, what would you say to those women who say that if you don't wear your hair natural, then your allegiance to your Black and/or African identity is weak? Do you have an opinion about this?


Your hair is your Glory! My Hair is natural and i love to wear braids every day all day! That was just how i was brought up, nothing but braids,however
I dont think that you are allegiance to your Black and /or African identity,ITS your hair, its what you were born in the world with. I do agree with you...
" I believe somen women are fashion and style chameleons. They change their hair styles as often as they change their wardrobes" TO EACH is OWN! Smile
quote:
Originally posted by Khalliqa:
I am hesitant to answer this because of my wariness with participating in threads by new members from "another board" who carefully start (or gravitate towards) controversial threads regarding black people with supporters from their group donning names like "Suz"....



but I would like to say this:

In a society where the antithesis of beauty is a dark skinned kinky haired black woman, the very act of a black woman embracing her natural beauty becomes a statement whether she promotes her actions as such or not....


But one cannot get to the "flexible styling" stage without having internally embraced their black characteristics first...

some women see their hair as just an accessaory but they do not go through the stage of appreciating their hair... and what appreciating who and what they are in the context of this society's overt and covert messages mean... these things seem to mean nothing to them which means that they are more fixated on fashion diversity than the conscious and subconscious degrading messages that society sends...

this is not a stage of growth, just a distraction it is not a higher reality....

it is only a higher reality for the sister that consciously is aware of and goes against the grain of the negative messages society sends about the quality of her beauty.... once she has embraced herself on this level... she may continue to enjoy her characteristics or she may play with them....

this woman is not like the former...

but in a vain overly shallow culture like this one the former is more prevalent than the latter.....


there is no equating the two mentalities......


If a woman is justifying ignoring social realities as insignificant or a lower priority than fashion diversity, this position can not be respected..... ceasing to go along with this reasoning is not being a hair snob... just someone who is not going for the okey doke....


appl tfro
quote:
Originally posted by Oshun Auset:
quote:
Originally posted by Khalliqa:
I am hesitant to answer this because of my wariness with participating in threads by new members from "another board" who carefully start (or gravitate towards) controversial threads regarding black people with supporters from their group donning names like "Suz"....



~ munch..... munch..... munch......Wow. That's unfortunate. And sounds pretty snobbish, too. It just sounds nasal-decongestion-ish, stiff-necked, white-glove-test, high-collar-heavy-on-the-starch, hoity-toity to me. *shrug* munch~



but I would like to say this:

In a society where the antithesis of beauty is a dark skinned kinky haired black woman, the very act of a black woman embracing her natural beauty becomes a statement whether she promotes her actions as such or not....



~ munchMakes sense. munch~



But one cannot get to the "flexible styling" stage without having internally embraced their black characteristics first...



~ munchWhat do you mean? Like a graduation and self-reward program? munch~



some women see their hair as just an accessaory but they do not go through the stage of appreciating their hair... and what appreciating who and what they are in the context of this society's overt and covert messages mean... these things seem to mean nothing to them which means that they are more fixated on fashion diversity than the conscious and subconscious degrading messages that society sends...



~ munchOkay. I hear the PC in what you're saying, but how in the world do you know this about the woman unless she tells you or wears a t-shirt stating that, [B]"It's okay. I can wear this weave today. I've aready done my Internal Embracing stages and I'm now in the Reward stage. Keep it movin' on to the next contestant, please!"
? munch~



this is not a stage of growth, just a distraction it is not a higher reality....
it is only a higher reality for the sister that consciously is aware of and goes against the grain of the negative messages society sends about the quality of her beauty.... once she has embraced herself on this level... she may continue to enjoy her characteristics or she may play with them....
this woman is not like the former...
but in a vain overly shallow culture like this one the former is more prevalent than the latter.....



~ munchAgain, how do you discern that? How do you know which woman --- the former or the latter ---- is which? The one that you may think hasn't gone through her "appreciating stages" could very well have, and the one that you're congratulating probably hasn't, but she's okay regardless because she's making a PC statement whether or not she intended to or had put a nano-second of deep thought into it? Is that fair? munch~



there is no equating the two mentalities......
If a woman is justifying ignoring social realities as insignificant or a lower priority than fashion diversity, this position can not be respected.....


~ munchOkay. IF she's doing that. But, that is not at all as easy to determine as it is with....say a woman who has obviously had breast implants because she has conformed to THAT particular set standard of beauty and attractiveness. Implants can be spotted a mile away. But, even then, you don't know if she's a shallow conformist or a former breast cancer patient/survivor. We can't possibly know who has given such a deep level of internal thought to their style and who has not. So that makes your point (though a good one) mute. I mean, it's halfway valid in terms of personal and inwardly SELF evaluation, but it amounts to nothing as far as determining who to give our respect, kudos, props, and dap to, and whom not to give it to, imo. munch~



ceasing to go along with this reasoning is not being a hair snob... just someone who is not going for the okey doke....[/b]


appl tfro




~ munchYeah... munch..... munch.... but you'd also have to wear THAT particular t-shirt wouldn't you ("I Don't Go For The OkeDoke") in order for someone to even know that about you, right? Or is it very obvious upon the mere sight of you that you yourself have already gone through the appreciating stages and are now "free to play" with your style and that you are not to be confused with the "other women" who rock a natural just because it's cute, with nary a thought to African heritage beyond the confines of the month of February? I mean, if you keep your discernments/judments to yourself, there's probably no harm done...but will your "findings" determine how you relate "outwardly" towards the person that you deem hasn't achieved the proper level? Do you think that the person will pick up a negative vibe from you? Will you be perceived as a snob, even though you aren't?...munch~
quote:
Originally posted by Khalliqa:
I am hesitant to answer this because of my wariness with participating in threads by new members from "another board" who carefully start (or gravitate towards) controversial threads regarding black people with supporters from their group donning names like "Suz"....
....

oh-k.
that word " carefully " is so loaded im not even going to address that and start an argument.
is wasnt my intent for this thread to be controversial. it was just an observation i had from my own personal experience. next time ill ask you what type of threads are appropriate for new members to post or what names we should use. Roll Eyes

quote:
Originally posted by Khalliqa:
but I would like to say this:

In a society where the antithesis of beauty is a dark skinned kinky haired black woman, the very act of a black woman embracing her natural beauty becomes a statement whether she promotes her actions as such or not....


But one cannot get to the "flexible styling" stage without having internally embraced their black characteristics first...



i dont think anyone can know whats in my mind and what blk characterists i have embraced by looking at my hair and not getting to know me.

that is snobbish. IMO
fro
quote:
Originally posted by ladyj:
i am a woman with locs that also wears weaves once in awhile. i am starting to notice how blk women tend to treat me differently depending on the hair on my head.
i wonder why blk women with natural hair act like they are better than blk women with a relaxer or weave?
i went to work with my curly short weave and some natural ladies wouldnt even speak to me unless i approached them first. then the weave wearers all of a sudden paid attention to me.
is there a hair war going on and i missed the memo?Confused

are you a hair snob?
do you pick your friends based on hair styles?
do all or most of your friends have the same type of hair? (exp. all natural or all have wash and sets)
do you find yourself making assumptions on females based on their hair?
weave= materialistic, gold gigger, high maintenance
straight hair= wants to be YT, easy going, not as high maintence
natural= afrocentric,vegan, socially conscious fro



Hair and skin-complexion are two topics that are better left unwritten about. For reasons I'll never understand, these topics divide sistas more than they bring any type of understanding.

I have known of "hair snobs" on both ends of the spectrum. I know sistas with relaxed hair that wouldn't dream of going natural and I have come across natural sistas who are convinced that all Black women who straighten their hair are trying to "look white".

Personally, I say to each her own. I respect the fact that some women are passionate about their hair, but for me, it's not that serious.
Less Judgement, More Understanding

I think Black women should stop being so judgemental of one another, period. It seems no matter how a Black woman wears her hair, someone always has something to say. We need to realize that not every Black woman has the strength and confidence to wear her natural, even if she knows it is the style choice that is healthier for her hair.

Those who have long since worn their hair natural might be asking themselves, "Why don't these women just 'get over it' and do what is right?" They've forgotten about how painful the entire process and transition was for them, which makes it so easy for them to judge. I've mentioned this before in past discussions that we've had about natural hair, but years ago, when I worked in a natural hair-care salon, I witnessed women become very concerned about the thought of growing out their relaxer. Typically, they had fears about being judged by their friends, boyfriends, or husbands for having "nappy hair", especially if they had very tight curly hair. Their greatest fear was that their boyfriends or husbands, who they dearly loved, would no longer find them attractive and would eventually leave them because natural hair was not something that they could grow accostum to seeing. It was a very emotional process for everyone. And so, as a natural hair-care stylist, one has to be both a stylist and counselor.

We all need to realize that it takes most Black women years to eventually come around and grow into their appreciation for their natural hair. Some may never reach this stage, because psychologically, it is just too overwhelming to manage not only a changed hairstyle, but also a dramtically changed lifestyle. So we need to exercise a little less judgement, and a lot more understanding. Smile
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quote:
Originally posted by I_am_Mahogany:
quote:
Originally posted by ladyj:
i am a woman with locs that also wears weaves once in awhile. i am starting to notice how blk women tend to treat me differently depending on the hair on my head.
i wonder why blk women with natural hair act like they are better than blk women with a relaxer or weave?
i went to work with my curly short weave and some natural ladies wouldnt even speak to me unless i approached them first. then the weave wearers all of a sudden paid attention to me.
is there a hair war going on and i missed the memo?Confused

are you a hair snob?
do you pick your friends based on hair styles?
do all or most of your friends have the same type of hair? (exp. all natural or all have wash and sets)
do you find yourself making assumptions on females based on their hair?
weave= materialistic, gold gigger, high maintenance
straight hair= wants to be YT, easy going, not as high maintence
natural= afrocentric,vegan, socially conscious fro



Hair and skin-complexion are two topics that are better left unwritten about. For reasons I'll never understand, these topics divide sistas more than they bring any type of understanding.

I have known of "hair snobs" on both ends of the spectrum. I know sistas with relaxed hair that wouldn't dream of going natural and I have come across natural sistas who are convinced that all Black women who straighten their hair are trying to "look white".

Personally, I say to each her own. I respect the fact that some women are passionate about their hair, but for me, it's not that serious.


appl tfro I agree so very much. tfro appl

I myself, used to where a perm all the time as a teenager and it was mostly due to the fact that everyone else had one and I thought that it made my hair easier to deal with. But for the last four or five years I've been rocking my natural hair. The only reason I went natural at first is because I had a bad experience with a perm, it broke all my hair out on the sides and in the back. The reason I have stayed natural is because I like it, my hair is so much more healthier than I thought it was. Now in truth, I don't really care how other women wear their hair because it does not affect me or my life. I love to see a woman with her natural hair walking down the street owning it, just as much as a woman with a silky straight weave. What's that saying...something about clothes making the man? Well, anyway the HAIR doesn't make the woman...her actions and beilefs do.
quote:
Originally posted by Khalliqa:
Being sensitive does not require loss of judgment..

the truth remains that for many black women they are caught up in the same sense of beauty that their men have which renders them fearful of accepting their own and being themselves... not only are they fearful.. but many embrace the same euro aesthetic on their own ...... they prefer themselves to look a certain way.... and they see their natural beauty as inferior to euro style beauty.... whether their man approves or not....

being kind to a Black woman's struggles of insecurity, does not mean one has to ignore the foundation of the insecurity...or when its a personal preference, ignore the ignoble source of their beauty standards....

which is an adherence to euro beauty standards of aesthetics...


yeah

This is a general question...

Why is discussing or rather mentioning the foundational issues when it aplies to the subject of the thread labelled as being 'judgemental' or 'divisive'?

Is it that people can't handle the truth?
quote:
Originally posted by Khalliqa:
Being sensitive does not require loss of judgment..

the truth remains that for many black women they are caught up in the same sense of beauty that their men have which renders them fearful of accepting their own and being themselves... not only are they fearful.. but many embrace the same euro aesthetic on their own ...... they prefer themselves to look a certain way.... and they see their natural beauty as inferior to euro style beauty.... whether their man approves or not....

being kind to a Black woman's struggles of insecurity, does not mean one has to ignore the foundation of the insecurity...or when its a personal preference, ignore the ignoble source of their beauty standards....

which is an adherence to euro beauty standards of aesthetics...


I agree.
quote:
Originally posted by tru2urself16:
I myself, used to where a perm all the time as a teenager and it was mostly due to the fact that everyone else had one and I thought that it made my hair easier to deal with. But for the last four or five years I've been rocking my natural hair. The reason I have stayed natural is because I like it, my hair is so much more healthier than I thought it was.


Sister Tru, would you mind talking about your transition into natural hair in terms of how it made you feel? What was your personal experience? How did you eventually overcome your insecurities and fears?, because I think, too often, we focus on the end result of a major transition. Rarely, do we talk about the struggle. I think if more of us who wore natural hair styles publicly talked about how we eventually overcame our fears and learned to embrace our natural hair, then perhaps more African-American women would be encouraged to make the change as well.
quote:
Originally posted by Oshun Auset:
yeah

This is a general question...

Why is discussing or rather mentioning the foundational issues when it aplies to the subject of the thread labelled as being 'judgemental' or 'divisive'?

Is it that people can't handle the truth?


Sister Oshun, girl, now I know you're not talking, because I've seen your hair. You don't have those tight, sister-girl curls like most Black women do. So the transition may not have been as traumatic for you as may have been for us. You're hair is almost straight! But let us consider the sister who has that strong, tightly-curled, and glorious crown of Mother Africa hair, ok. That is another matter entirely. You try tell that sister that she needs to leave the relaxer alone, and you're likely to get a mouthful.Big Grin
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quote:
Originally posted by Khalliqa:
terms such as "judgemental" and "divisive" are often thrown at those who simply point out the foundation of someone's inability to deal with colorism and its effects on us all.....


I have to disagree with this, because wearing the hair straight doesn't exempt a Black woman from feeling the effects of racism and colorism. Regardless of the way a Black woman wears her hair, she must deal with the of experiences racism in her community, whether she wants to or not.

I think a lack of empathy on the part of some participants becomes apparent when those of us who are particularly strong-willed and socially rebellious, refuse to accept that not everyone can psychologically handle the fears and anxieties that inevitably come after making a decision to go completely natural. Simply because some of us may have the courage and rebellious will to follow through on this decision does not mean that everyone does. And if going natural were not "that big of a deal", then would certainly see everyone doing it, but we don't.

I realize that some of us are probably responding to those Black women who prefer to wear their hair straight because they have been convinced that straighter hair is better and more attractive. In response to these women, we are in agreement. But we must also consider those Black women who may have the desire to go natural, but are too afraid to do so, OR some Black women may simply like BOTH straight and natural styles. That is why, earlier in the discussion, I said that, nowadays, one cannot possibly determine the full extent of someone's consciousness based on a hairstyle.
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quote:
Originally posted by Rowe:
Sister Tru, would you mind talking about your transition into natural hair in terms of how it made you feel? What was your personal experience? How did you eventually overcome your insecurities and fears?,


Well, when I first started going natural I was still in high school and it was a little tough. The beginning was the worst part because I was so used to being able to do one thing with my hair and then I couldn't. The ponytail didn't work because I had lost some hair on the sides and the roots were wavy and looked nappy while the ends were still straight. So I had to cut my hair, just the ends where the perm was still evident. Let me tell you that was difficult for me to do, my momma had to basically hold me down while she did it. I felt really just unhappy the first...maybe month and half with my appearance, no matter what I did, I didn't like it. It was difficult because at the time I was the only one in my circle of friends whose hair wasn't permed or weaved or straight and it was difficult to be different like that. But then I started noticing that my hair was growing and that it was healthier than I had seen it in a long time. After that I felt that I began to feel better about my appearance. So I picked my hair out into this big curly fluffy afro, bought a pair of hoop earring, took a flower from my granny's garden to put in my hair and developed my signature look fro! I found pride in the way I walked with my hair not swishing in the breeze, but more like standing up to it...I got power and strength I hadn't had before, almost like I could do anything. The beginning was rough like a lot of new things, but now it's really been better for me. I've even convinced a couple of my girlfriends to give up the straightening for the natural look.
quote:
Originally posted by tru2urself16:
It was difficult because at the time I was the only one in my circle of friends whose hair wasn't permed or weaved or straight and it was difficult to be different like that. But then I started noticing that my hair was growing and that it was healthier than I had seen it in a long time. After that I felt that I began to feel better about my appearance. So I picked my hair out into this big curly fluffy afro, bought a pair of hoop earring, took a flower from my granny's garden to put in my hair and developed my signature look fro! I found pride in the way I walked with my hair not swishing in the breeze, but more like standing up to it...I got power and strength I hadn't had before, almost like I could do anything.


What a wonderful testimony! This is the kind of commentary that I think would encourage those who are apprehensive about becoming natural. Smile
quote:
Originally posted by tru2urself16:
The beginning was rough like a lot of new things, but now it's really been better for me. I've even convinced a couple of my girlfriends to give up the straightening for the natural look.


Personally, I'm not the type of woman who will commit to one hairstyle for the rest of her life. Though my hair is chemical free, I change my hairstyle often. I decided to become natural after reading a book that I had originally purchased for my mother on her birthday called Where Beauty Touches Me(1993) by Pamela Ferrell. In the book, Ferrell talks about the damage that chemical relaxers cause to the hair follicle and scalp. Ferrell also talks about the effects of inhaling chemical relaxers during the application process. Armed with this information, I knew that having my hair chemcially straightned was no longer something that I wanted to do. I think the worse part of making this decision, for me, was having to constantly defend my decision to go natural. This can be a downright pain in the ass, especially when you have to see the reactions of people who don't hide the fact that they simply don't like it. It can be very distressing, especially for someone who is incredibly sensitive. However, your reassurance comes from knowing that your hair is in a much healthier condition.

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By the way, msn.com has recently posted an article about the extent to which nonwhite women are going to erase their ethnicities. Apart of the article addresses Black women and chemical hair straightening. I thought you all might find the article interesting, and so you may want to visit the website and check out the article.
quote:
Originally posted by Oshun Auset:


yeah
This is a general question...

Why is discussing or rather mentioning the foundational issues when it aplies to the subject of the thread labelled as being 'judgemental' or 'divisive'?

Is it that people can't handle the truth?


i think too many ppl think that their way of thinking is the "truth".
i see no difference in a YT person judging my locs than a blk person judging my weave.
you simply cant assume all blk women have the same issues you may have had before you went natural.

i agree and understand everything that is said here. i also know some blk women and men dont even understand why they prefer straight hair. when they do realize and have that awakening its a beautiful thing.

i can never see the positive side of snubbing someone because of their hairstyle, when you thought they were worthy of getting to know beforehand.
quote:
Originally posted by Rowe:
quote:
Originally posted by Oshun Auset:
yeah

This is a general question...

Why is discussing or rather mentioning the foundational issues when it aplies to the subject of the thread labelled as being 'judgemental' or 'divisive'?

Is it that people can't handle the truth?


Sister Oshun, girl, now I know you're not talking, because I've seen your hair. You don't have those tight, sister-girl curls like most Black women do. So the transition may not have been as traumatic for you as may have been for us. You're hair is almost straight! But let us consider the sister who has that strong, tightly-curled, and glorious crown of Mother Africa hair, ok. That is another matter entirely. You try tell that sister that she needs to leave the relaxer alone, and you're likely to get a mouthful.Big Grin


lol Actually, I tell people this all the time. And because I'm not trying to be rude or judgemental, and express the 'love your natural beauty' mantra, I usually get a very positive reaction.

I'm well aware that my hair texture wasn't much of a transition... I understand 'who feels it knows it', but that does not prevent me from having empathy. I was referring to the response to Khalliqa's post(which is what my commentary was attached to)... Not any personal, and obviousely nonexistant 'difficult transition' on my part. Her post clarig=fied the foundational issues IMO, hence I co-signed and asked this question.

Watching some of my family and friend's go through the transition, I have seen the obstacles and issues that many have to go through. Often, especially 'down here' when a strongly African phenotyped women chooses to love herself naturally, it unfortunately results in a drastic decline in male attention.(as I mentioned on a previous thread). This is a reality, and an understandable real 'fear' that goes along with making the transition...
quote:
Originally posted by Khalliqa:
quote:
Originally posted by Rowe:
quote:
Originally posted by Oshun Auset:
yeah

This is a general question...

Why is discussing or rather mentioning the foundational issues when it aplies to the subject of the thread labelled as being 'judgemental' or 'divisive'?

Is it that people can't handle the truth?


Sister Oshun, girl, now I know you're not talking, because I've seen your hair. You don't have those tight, sister-girl curls like most Black women do. So the transition may not have been as traumatic for you as may have been for us. You're hair is almost straight! But let us consider the sister who has that strong, tightly-curled, and glorious crown of Mother Africa hair, ok. That is another matter entirely. You try tell that sister that she needs to leave the relaxer alone, and you're likely to get a mouthful.Big Grin



I must say that Oshun is one of the rare lighter hued sisters that "get it" she doesn't degrade or deny her own unique beauty to "get it", nor does she deny anyone else's pain to "get it" .... I admire her tremendously for that..... as we exist in a sea of women in denial.....

she is quite balanced and extraordinarily empathetic....

her loose curl and societies acceptance of her "look" hasn't blinded her to the realities of the dark skinned kinky haired women.... (in fact it was her who helped me with the correct phenotypical term of "bantu")..... a true statement to her love for her people....


but her loose curl and empathetic ability is a separate issue from what I believe is her point...

which still has not been addressed.... I feel it is a valid one..

terms such as "judgemental" and "divisive" are often thrown at those who simply point out the foundation of someone's inability to deal with colorism and its effects on us all.....

and wondering if it is just a matter of others not being able to deal with the reality of the situation....


thanks hug
quote:
Originally posted by Rowe:
I have to disagree with this, because wearing the hair straight doesn't exempt a Black woman from feeling the effects of racism and colorism. Regardless of the way a Black woman wears her hair, she must deal with the of experiences racism in her community, whether she wants to or not.


This is true, hairstyle doesn't 'exempt' anyone, but the effects are different, as you pointed out...

My friend, who is actually very dark, and beautiful in general(inside and out), get's an entirely different treatment by men now that her hair is short and natural. She used to have pretty long permed hair... past her shoulders, and would receive many a compliment on it... and that frequent 'you are pretty to be so dark' crap. Now that she has a short natural, she is barely approached, and there is no other change to her appearance. I realize I'm in a somewhat racially backwards area... but the effects for her socially have been drastic... and heart wrenching for her.

quote:
I think a lack of empathy on the part of some participants becomes apparent when those of us who are particularly strong-willed and socially rebellious, refuse to accept that not everyone can psychologically handle the fears and anxieties that inevitably come after making a decision to go completely natural. Simply because some of us may have the courage and rebellious will to follow through on this decision does not mean that everyone does. And if going natural were not "that big of a deal", then would certainly see everyone doing it, but we don't.


But how is discussing and/or mentioning the underlying issues doing this? If anything, I think what Khalliqa laid out, needs to be discussed more. White supremacy and how it functions intra/inter-racially(and it's mechanisms) needs to be discussed in whatever area applicable... No? The rebellious folk are rebellious because they understand the system...no? How can we spread understanding if it is a taboo topic?
fro The first thing I gonna do is FIND that book "400 Years Without A Comb" and get the author's name and pass it on to sistas here who haven't read it. It is dynamic! And true some sistas are DIVIDED when it comes to HAIR and COMPLEXION. Instead we should be PROUD. CUZ no other CULTURE of women can PRODUCE an array of BEAUTIFUL children....like flowers...hence the phrase: flower child. We have been CONDITIONED to react this way. The first thing some of us do when children are born is look at the grade of hair. It's brainwashing from the European...this hair thang. They did it the French Quarters [like they did in Europe's brothel] with the mulatto women who raised their girls to cater to the French man and be his "debutant" whore NEVER his wife....and on the island the hair/color division it's done as well. So much that they had to announced to the people NOT to use the bleaching cream cuz it is so toxic and dangerous. Light-skin means BETTER cuz EVERYBODY with this mentality not only really want to be like MASSA but want LOOK like him/her too. The hair. The skin color. How can you HATE someone and want to be like "him/her" at the same time? And as SMART as we ARE why is it that is the same OLD BACKWARDS ASS perspective that if you're black STEP BACK, if you're BROWN stick around BUT! If you're LIGHT....you're ALRIGHT! cuz you're almost WHITE! Sistas [and brothas] NEED to STOP this. RIGHT NOW! massa did'nt care what color slave women were or how nappy their hair was when he was RAPING them.... I come from a salt and pepper family [we all do] some kinfolk with light skin, some kinfolk with dark skin....MASSA DON'T CARE the shade of black folks cuz they're still NIGGAHS to him. We need to EMBRACE WHO WE ARE....and that means OUR HAIR too. Cuz I have NEVER been my HAIR. NEVER! I have taught my girls the same thing so when whitegirl comes up to them and say "can I touch "it." Like "it" is something that fell to the earth unnatural....I taught them to say....Heck NAWL... I'm not a "thing"....I'm a human being!" And they never ask them that again. So ladies, with our newer generation of young girls....we have a LOT of WORK to do! Especially if we are to pass black is beautiful pride on to the next legacy of blackfolks, that is. fro
quote:
Originally posted by Oshun Auset:
quote:
Originally posted by Rowe:
I have to disagree with this, because wearing the hair straight doesn't exempt a Black woman from feeling the effects of racism and colorism. Regardless of the way a Black woman wears her hair, she must deal with the of experiences racism in her community, whether she wants to or not.


This is true, hairstyle doesn't 'exempt' anyone, but the effects are different, as you pointed out...

My friend, who is actually very dark, and beautiful in general(inside and out), get's an entirely different treatment by men now that her hair is short and natural. She used to have pretty long permed hair... past her shoulders, and would receive many a compliment on it... and that frequent 'you are pretty to be so dark' crap. Now that she has a short natural, she is barely approached, and there is no other change to her appearance. I realize I'm in a somewhat racially backwards area... but the effects for her socially have been drastic... and heart wrenching for her.

quote:
I think a lack of empathy on the part of some participants becomes apparent when those of us who are particularly strong-willed and socially rebellious, refuse to accept that not everyone can psychologically handle the fears and anxieties that inevitably come after making a decision to go completely natural. Simply because some of us may have the courage and rebellious will to follow through on this decision does not mean that everyone does. And if going natural were not "that big of a deal", then would certainly see everyone doing it, but we don't.


But how is discussing and/or mentioning the underlying issues doing this? If anything, I think what Khalliqa laid out, needs to be discussed more. White supremacy and how it functions intra/inter-racially(and it's mechanisms) needs to be discussed in whatever area applicable... No? The rebellious folk are rebellious because they understand the system...no? How can we spread understanding if it is a taboo topic?



~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?~
quote:
Originally posted by Oshun Auset:
If anything, I think what Khalliqa laid out, needs to be discussed more. White supremacy and how it functions intra/inter-racially(and it's mechanisms) needs to be discussed in whatever area applicable... No? The rebellious folk are rebellious because they understand the system...no? How can we spread understanding if it is a taboo topic?


I'm not opposed to discussing the causes of Black womens' (and mens') negative thoughts and attitudes about the texture of our hair. However, merely discussing the causes are obviously not effective in getting some people to make the transition. For some people, the fear of disapproval and unacceptance is stronger than their will to change. Therefore, merely telling people, in a judgemental tone, that they are "in denial" about who they are, and so forth, is not very motivating. It's like expecting a fat person to stop eating beaause you called them fat. BTW: I'm not accusing you of being a judgemental person, I am speaking in general. Smile

In other words, if you were to ask your sister-girlfriend what motivated her to cut her long Black hair for a short natural, I'm sure it wasn't someone who was being a hair snob/hair-judger towards her. By the way, what was your friend's motivation for transitioning to a natural? Did she ever tell you? What was her inspiration?
quote:
Originally posted by OhBlackButterfly:
quote:
Originally posted by Oshun Auset:
quote:
Originally posted by Rowe:
I have to disagree with this, because wearing the hair straight doesn't exempt a Black woman from feeling the effects of racism and colorism. Regardless of the way a Black woman wears her hair, she must deal with the of experiences racism in her community, whether she wants to or not.


This is true, hairstyle doesn't 'exempt' anyone, but the effects are different, as you pointed out...

My friend, who is actually very dark, and beautiful in general(inside and out), get's an entirely different treatment by men now that her hair is short and natural. She used to have pretty long permed hair... past her shoulders, and would receive many a compliment on it... and that frequent 'you are pretty to be so dark' crap. Now that she has a short natural, she is barely approached, and there is no other change to her appearance. I realize I'm in a somewhat racially backwards area... but the effects for her socially have been drastic... and heart wrenching for her.

quote:
I think a lack of empathy on the part of some participants becomes apparent when those of us who are particularly strong-willed and socially rebellious, refuse to accept that not everyone can psychologically handle the fears and anxieties that inevitably come after making a decision to go completely natural. Simply because some of us may have the courage and rebellious will to follow through on this decision does not mean that everyone does. And if going natural were not "that big of a deal", then would certainly see everyone doing it, but we don't.


But how is discussing and/or mentioning the underlying issues doing this? If anything, I think what Khalliqa laid out, needs to be discussed more. White supremacy and how it functions intra/inter-racially(and it's mechanisms) needs to be discussed in whatever area applicable... No? The rebellious folk are rebellious because they understand the system...no? How can we spread understanding if it is a taboo topic?



~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?~


Great questions Sister Butterfly.
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'?

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?
quote:
Originally posted by Oshun Auset:
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'?

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?


Good question Sister Oshun. Now we're getting to the nitty gritty this discussion is getting good.
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'?



~ munchI 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.

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? 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. 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. When the guys stopped paying attention to her, did they start paying attention to you more? Just curious. munch~



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?




~ munchWell, 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. 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". Even when white women chop their hair off it's called a "boy cut", because it IS seen as LESS feminine. 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.~

Do you think that "cutting" is any more natural than "straightening" or "coloring"? munch~
quote:
Originally posted by OhBlackButterfly:



~ munchWell, 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.


blonde can occur in other ( blks too)races besides whites. it is just rare and im not talking about albinos either.



quote:
Originally posted by Oshun Auset:


Why would an ethnic group of people aspire to a feminine ideal that does not naturally occur in the majority of it's population?


but blonde hair doesnt occur in the majority of the yt population. blonde hair and blue eyes are rare genes for even yt ppl. so by following your logic, it still doesnt explain why blonde hair means beauty for yts.
fro Long hair doesn't mean feminine but because Massa's Ms. Ann didn't know what to do with that mess of hers...she forced slave girls/servants to brush it a hundred times a night or paid her brothel sisters to help her keep it desirable for her "tricks" cuz it was too tangly for her to handle herself. Left on her own, Ms. Ann's hair was mostly in a bun or ponytail...cuz she had no vision about her hair until she noticed the Amerindian girl's long beautiful locs. And did what Massa always do...copied the style especially when she realized Massa liked it [he was always raping Amerindian girls and as a trophy brought back the hair].

As we all know, African women especially Egyptians wore wigs...cuz why? It was tooooo DAMN hot to have all that LONG hair in Africa. A lot of Egyptian women shaved their heads and wore wigs during special events. Or wore braids, twists, locs sometimes during the rare cooler months. It was NEVER a hair thang for African women. NEVER. They adorned the head with amazing headdress i.e crowns and used their hair to weave in beautiful tinkets, beads, gems, etc to glorify whateva Goddess they were worshipping at the time. This hair thang in terms of verfication of beauty is a "MASSA" invention. Cuz why? Don't have anything of significance to verify human worth other than what "he" perceive is worthy and so far it is HAIR and white skin. Cuz why? Massa know or think this is something African/Black women don't have. Wrong! For African people in general, it has always been what's underneath the hair: Knowledge. Culture. Brilliance. Can Massa say the same? Hell No. They just have HAIR. Even during war, some Europeans used to dye their hair RED [I forget which country] cuz they felt it made them more vicious. This hair fetish is massa-made. Cuz Massa have used HAIR to formulate critizism to those who they consider do not fit the criteria of worth. SOOOO silly. Isn't it? But this conditioning works all over the world with many women [with long hair] buying into this psychotic perspective. Now many black women go NUTS over Asian hair, Yak Yak hair, Indian hair cuz they want to be perceived as worthy, desirable and feminine. Not!

For young black girls who struggle over identity, it is crucial to give them a HEALTHY outlook about their hair [I know I've said this before but it's important]. Long hair is Massa mass media of conditioning. Making women believe that they are not dynamic, desirable or feminint [sp] just cuz they do not have that long hair is just asine and pitiful. While it's true there are MANY black women with long hair....but the ridiculous stigma behind it makes the concentration/focus of hair more important than the concentration/focus of having good character. And having good character is far better than having "good" hair. I have found over the years that good hair and its meaning equate: long untangled hair but in reality for many it really is: RI.DIC.ULOUS. and self-hating but at the same time a VERY serious concern in our community. fro
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'?



~ munchI 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. munch~


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?




~ munchWell, 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...

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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"? munch~


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?
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quote:
Originally posted by ladyj:
quote:
Originally posted by OhBlackButterfly:



~ munchWell, 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.


blonde can occur in other ( blks too)races besides whites. it is just rare and im not talking about albinos either.


These 'Blacks' are an obscure genetic occurance from remote pacific islands like Vanuatu. Why the heck would the mojority of African even know aboutt them? Why are we referrencing genetically rare populations when it comes to socio-political issues that derive from slavery and colonialism?

quote:
quote:
Originally posted by Oshun Auset:


Why would an ethnic group of people aspire to a feminine ideal that does not naturally occur in the majority of it's population?


but blonde hair doesnt occur in the majority of the yt population. blonde hair and blue eyes are rare genes for even yt ppl. so by following your logic, it still doesnt explain why blonde hair means beauty for yts.


I dealt with this in my explanation of the ideals set of the olour caste system.
quote:
Originally posted by Khalliqa:
issue four: why is there such a need to justify or minimize the effects of white folx proselytizing the straight haired/wavy haired woman as the standard and its effects on black women? only people I know who do that are crackas and negroes...


The justifications are erking me too... It's either a form of denial or something fishy is goiong on. Maybe it's youth...
quote:
Originally posted by Oshun Auset:
quote:
Originally posted by Khalliqa:
issue four: why is there such a need to justify or minimize the effects of white folx proselytizing the straight haired/wavy haired woman as the standard and its effects on black women? only people I know who do that are crackas and negroes...


The justifications are erking me too... It's either a form of denial or something fishy is goiong on. Maybe it's youth...


Sister Oshun, notice there isn't as nearly as much controversy over hair in the brother's discussion about hair style choices. Oh the brothers are over there, chattin' it up, and happily posting pictures of themselves looking and feeling stress free and worry free. Get into the Sista's Spot, and here we go with the drama, shame, and condemnation. I understand and can relate to both sides of the argument, however. And because I try to seek balance in a discussion, I'm not able to take one position over another. But I will make the observation that because it is socially acceptable for women to grow their hair at length, we carry the heaviest burden in terms of people expecting us to use our hair to make a political statement. Men have the choice to either keep their hair closely shaven or bald, and no one can readily determine or question the status of their consciousness (lucky them). A Black woman, on the other hand, gets a perm, and BAM!, she's an ignorant sellout. Later on, she decides to sport a fro, and WHAMO! she's credited for being pro-Black. It seems to me that women tend to be their own worst enemies.
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quote:
Originally posted by Oshun Auset:
quote:
Originally posted by ladyj:
quote:
Originally posted by OhBlackButterfly:



~ munchWell, 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.


blonde can occur in other ( blks too)races besides whites. it is just rare and im not talking about albinos either.


These 'Blacks' are an obscure genetic occurance from remote pacific islands like Vanuatu. Why the heck would the mojority of African even know aboutt them? Why are we referrencing genetically rare populations when it comes to socio-political issues that derive from slavery and colonialism?.


i was only clarifying the myth that only yts have blonde hair.

quote:
quote:
Originally posted by Oshun Auset:


Why would an ethnic group of people aspire to a feminine ideal that does not naturally occur in the majority of it's population?


but blonde hair doesnt occur in the majority of the yt population. blonde hair and blue eyes are rare genes for even yt ppl. so by following your logic, it still doesnt explain why blonde hair means beauty for yts.


I dealt with this in my explanation of the ideals set of the olour caste system.[/QUOTE]

ok
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quote:
Originally posted by Rowe:
quote:
Originally posted by Oshun Auset:
quote:
Originally posted by Khalliqa:
issue four: why is there such a need to justify or minimize the effects of white folx proselytizing the straight haired/wavy haired woman as the standard and its effects on black women? only people I know who do that are crackas and negroes...


The justifications are erking me too... It's either a form of denial or something fishy is goiong on. Maybe it's youth...


Sister Oshun, notice there isn't as nearly as much controversy over hair in the brother's discussion about hair-style choices. Oh the brothers are over there, chattin' it up and happily posting pictures of themselves looking and feeling stress free and worryfree. Get into the Sista's Spot, and here we go wit the drama, shame, and condemnation. I understand and can relate to both sides of the argument, however, and because I try to seek balance in a discussion, I'm not able to take one position over another. But I will make the observation that when it comes to Black womens' hair, we seem to carry the heaviest burden in terms of people expecting us to use our hair to make a political statement. Men have the choice to either keep their hair closely shaven or bald and no one can readily question or challenge the status of their consciousness (lucky them). A Black woman, on the other hand, gets a perm, and BAM!, she's an ignorant sellout. Later on, she decides to sport a fro, and WHAMO! she's credited for being pro-Black. It seems to me the women tend to be their own worst enemies.

thanks
which was my whole point in the 1st place.
btw, i think blk men getting those close cuts every week and wearing doo rags to make waves is for the same type of reasons as blk women straightening their hair. its just the blk woman gets all the negativity and condemnation for her choices.
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Originally posted by OhBlackButterfly:

quote:
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?


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~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.~
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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.



~It's not odd nor strange at all. Many rare things are sought after. Matter of fact, aren't rare things the MOST sought after? And you don't HAVE to have long curly hair and be representative of the genetic admixture. You could always cut it off or down low to a 'fro. Have you ever done that? If so, did the attention that you get from men decrease any?~
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quote:
Originally posted by Khalliqa:
For some reason discussion of the origins of feelings of hair inferiority are taken as an attack on someone who is considering going natural....

issue one: spotting a stranger and judging her-
ummm no... unless there is something weird about her like she got on booty shorts in the winter... I really don't give women on the street that kind of mental time out of my day...


issue two: if I were asked to stop and consider most sisters who wear their hair with chemicals I would say most are doing so out of inferiority complexes...

issue three: women who are just playing around with their hair and have surpassed or overcome euro beauty influences... are rare... as we never went through collectively as black women in America a period where natural hair was THE BEAUTY NORM.... to assume that there are just as many women who have gone through this stage is deceptive... and telling

issue four: why is there such a need to justify or minimize the effects of white folx proselytizing the straight haired/wavy haired woman as the standard and its effects on black women? only people I know who do that are crackas and negroes...


issue one: co workers and associates acting noticely different towards a person when they see a blk woman with a straight hair when she has dreads.

issue two: i would say there are more resaons to why a blk woman would wear straight hair/weaves. i personally wouldnt automatically assume that she feels inferior. no one is denying that blk women CAN feel inferior and our type of beauty is not showcased as much yts or not at all.

issue three: maybe i am just an optimist because i dont think its that rare for a woman to overcome european beauty influences. it is wrong to get to know a person first before judging?

issue four: no one is justifying or minimizing YTs influence on beauty. atleast i know i wasnt.
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.


~Well, do you feel the same way that she does about the racially debasing products, towards your own hair? I mean, you proudly wear the racially debasing evidence of the genetic admixture right on top of your head on a daily basis, with a smile. You don't feel compelled to remove it as much as possible? Does that make your friend more socially/politically aware than you are?

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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')...



~You act as if these men today are by some miracle the EXACT SAME MEN from "before slavery and colonialism" days. Men don't live to be 600 - 800 years old anymore. The afro was never as "normal" to African-American men today as it was to African men THEN. And if we seek to "correct" their bad attitude towards short hair, we must not stop there. It's also shallow of them to prefer big breasts and big butts, big thighs. They're shallow like that. If they don't like you for what they "see" of you FIRST, you hardly get the chance to let them know you as a person. That's just the way it is, mostly.~

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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'.


~Again, could this not be because it too much resembles their (men) OWN hair and it turns them OFF?~

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~ 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.



~And the Aryan/European woman does a list of things to look less Aryan/European: breast implants, butt implants, lip injections, tanning salons, tanning sprays and body makeup. Again, we ALL make moves towards being attractive to a mate and they (men/another supreme dominating majority) dictate EXACTLY what is and is not attractive and we (women) proceed to fall in line with whatever, towards that end..~

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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'?


~It didn't become boyish in African society. It still IS the norm there, no? No events, to my knowledge, have taken place to change that norm.~
quote:
~Even when white women chop their hair off it's called a "boy cut", because it IS seen as LESS than feminine.~


Yes, because their hair groes naturally long and straight, but that is 'their' hair, not ours...


~No, it's seen as less feminine because the style is what MEN wear on a regular basis. It's their (white women) taking of a (white) man's hairstyle as their own. Thus it's called a woman's "boy cut".~

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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.


~Yes. Nothing about oppression is positive. The standard was born there, but it didn't HAVE to live on from one generation to the next. It does because men, in general, reign supreme. I believe just as many white women strive to be the "ideal" tanned, blonde white woman as there are African-American women that strive to be less African. When the Asian women that you mentioned bleach their skin, it's about what the men find attractive and has little to do with enslaved Africans. When women in (Japan? China?) were binding up their feet and folding them in half from CHILDHOOD, that had precious little to do with enslaved Africans in the Americas. It was all about their men finding little feet to be sexy. But, you want to put it on the (African American) women and tell them that they hate themselves. I say they're just not strong enough in "self" to just say, "I don't CARE what the men in my community find attractive. If I'm not it, then so be it!" ~
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?


~You're missing the point. The women aren't going through all of that JUST to have straight hair. They're going through all of that in order to be ATTRACTIVE to a mate. If black men despised smooth, straight hair on a black woman, TRUST, those products would cease to be produced. You'll never convince an entire population of black women to say "What the hell! Just cut it all off! I don't even care anymore! If they want Amy and Maria, and Suki, let them have them! I'm ALL about appreciating my ancestors!"

Not even half of us will do it. Nor a third. Because it doesn't take *alladat* to prove social awareness. I don't think that you answered this before: Do you think that ethnic pride has anything to do with the devastation and trauma that women go through when they lose their hair through illness/chemotherapy? Don't you think that women are just "attached" to their hair as women --- and not attached to it as a "race"? To what do you attribute other women's hesitation and fear of losing their hair, and can the same attributes apply to a black woman's hesitation and fear of losing her hair, or does this just HAVE TO ABSOLUTELY be about her self-hatred, in your opinion?~
quote:
Originally posted by ladyj:
quote:
Originally posted by Rowe:
quote:
Originally posted by Oshun Auset:
quote:
Originally posted by Khalliqa:
issue four: why is there such a need to justify or minimize the effects of white folx proselytizing the straight haired/wavy haired woman as the standard and its effects on black women? only people I know who do that are crackas and negroes...


The justifications are erking me too... It's either a form of denial or something fishy is goiong on. Maybe it's youth...


Sister Oshun, notice there isn't as nearly as much controversy over hair in the brother's discussion about hair-style choices. Oh the brothers are over there, chattin' it up and happily posting pictures of themselves looking and feeling stress free and worryfree. Get into the Sista's Spot, and here we go wit the drama, shame, and condemnation. I understand and can relate to both sides of the argument, however, and because I try to seek balance in a discussion, I'm not able to take one position over another. But I will make the observation that when it comes to Black womens' hair, we seem to carry the heaviest burden in terms of people expecting us to use our hair to make a political statement. Men have the choice to either keep their hair closely shaven or bald and no one can readily question or challenge the status of their consciousness (lucky them). A Black woman, on the other hand, gets a perm, and BAM!, she's an ignorant sellout. Later on, she decides to sport a fro, and WHAMO! she's credited for being pro-Black. It seems to me the women tend to be their own worst enemies.

thanks
which was my whole point in the 1st place.
btw, i think blk men getting those close cuts every week and the doorags to make waves are the same things as blk women straightening their hair. its the blk woman gets all the negativity and condemnation for her choices.



~Why didn't I just say what you two said? Excellence in a nutshell. appl My reply post looked WAY to chaotic even for me, so I had to break it up, LadyJ, into...I lost count...anyway, didn't mean to hijack. Big Grin~
quote:
Originally posted by Rowe:
quote:
Originally posted by Oshun Auset:
quote:
Originally posted by Khalliqa:
issue four: why is there such a need to justify or minimize the effects of white folx proselytizing the straight haired/wavy haired woman as the standard and its effects on black women? only people I know who do that are crackas and negroes...


The justifications are erking me too... It's either a form of denial or something fishy is goiong on. Maybe it's youth...


Sister Oshun, notice there isn't as nearly as much controversy over hair in the brother's discussion about hair style choices. Oh the brothers are over there, chattin' it up, and happily posting pictures of themselves looking and feeling stress free and worry free. Get into the Sista's Spot, and here we go with the drama, shame, and condemnation. I understand and can relate to both sides of the argument, however. And because I try to seek balance in a discussion, I'm not able to take one position over another. But I will make the observation that because it is socially acceptable for women to grow their hair at length, we carry the heaviest burden in terms of people expecting us to use our hair to make a political statement. Men have the choice to either keep their hair closely shaven or bald, and no one can readily determine or question the status of their consciousness (lucky them). A Black woman, on the other hand, gets a perm, and BAM!, she's an ignorant sellout. Later on, she decides to sport a fro, and WHAMO! she's credited for being pro-Black. It seems to me that women tend to be their own worst enemies.


~ munchRowe, I wonder if there is even this level of controversy surrounding the subject among African women in Africa. Do you happen to know the consensus? For instance, the woman on your previous avatar --- I believe she wore a blue and gold clothe --- her hair definintely appears to have been straightened by some means, yet I doubt her African pride gets challenged. And the woman in your present avatar ---- the one holding the baby --- appears to definitely have been set on rollers. 19hmmmm. Are they "westernized" to a fault?...less African?...simply because they idulge in the hairstyle versatility that is available? Or is this [allegation of self-hatred] just something that African-American women seem to have issues with, from what you've seen or experienced? munch~
quote:
Originally posted by Kocolicious:
fro Long hair doesn't mean feminine but because Massa's Ms. Ann didn't know what to do with that mess of hers...she forced slave girls/servants to brush it a hundred times a night or paid her brothel sisters to help her keep it desirable for her "tricks" cuz it was too tangly for her to handle herself. Left on her own, Ms. Ann's hair was mostly in a bun or ponytail...cuz she had no vision about her hair until she noticed the Amerindian girl's long beautiful locs. And did what Massa always do...copied the style especially when she realized Massa liked it [he was always raping Amerindian girls and as a trophy brought back the hair].

As we all know, African women especially Egyptians wore wigs...cuz why? It was tooooo DAMN hot to have all that LONG hair in Africa. A lot of Egyptian women shaved their heads and wore wigs during special events. Or wore braids, twists, locs sometimes during the rare cooler months. It was NEVER a hair thang for African women. NEVER. They adorned the head with amazing headdress i.e crowns and used their hair to weave in beautiful tinkets, beads, gems, etc to glorify whateva Goddess they were worshipping at the time. This hair thang in terms of verfication of beauty is a "MASSA" invention. Cuz why? Don't have anything of significance to verify human worth other than what "he" perceive is worthy and so far it is HAIR and white skin. Cuz why? Massa know or think this is something African/Black women don't have. Wrong! For African people in general, it has always been what's underneath the hair: Knowledge. Culture. Brilliance. Can Massa say the same? Hell No. They just have HAIR. Even during war, some Europeans used to dye their hair RED [I forget which country] cuz they felt it made them more vicious. This hair fetish is massa-made. Cuz Massa have used HAIR to formulate critizism to those who they consider do not fit the criteria of worth. SOOOO silly. Isn't it? But this conditioning works all over the world with many women [with long hair] buying into this psychotic perspective. Now many black women go NUTS over Asian hair, Yak Yak hair, Indian hair cuz they want to be perceived as worthy, desirable and feminine. Not!

For young black girls who struggle over identity, it is crucial to give them a HEALTHY outlook about their hair [I know I've said this before but it's important]. Long hair is Massa mass media of conditioning. Making women believe that they are not dynamic, desirable or feminint [sp] just cuz they do not have that long hair is just asine and pitiful. While it's true there are MANY black women with long hair....but the ridiculous stigma behind it makes the concentration/focus of hair more important than the concentration/focus of having good character. And having good character is far better than having "good" hair. I have found over the years that good hair and its meaning equate: long untangled hair but in reality for many it really is: RI.DIC.ULOUS. and self-hating but at the same time a VERY serious concern in our community. fro


What about the spiritual aspect of long hair? A lot of women believe long hair is feminine because of how they accept scriptures from the Bible.
Originally posted by Ms. Glazed Sugar:
quote:
What about the spiritual aspect of long hair? A lot of women believe long hair is feminine because of how they accept scriptures from the Bible.


fro That is a concept written by MAN...not God. If it were so true, LONG hair would be PROVIDED for every woman at birth. Personally, I reject the definition of femininity from a social/psychological pattern of thought. Cuz massa used the "bible" to also justify SLAVERY. And to me, what was SAID in the BIBLE about OUR worth was definitely UNTRUE. So the real question for me, is do they also believe cuz it was written in bible/or any other religious document that women were born to be subjegated by MEN? fro
Sister Oshun, notice there isn't as nearly as much controversy over hair in the brother's discussion about hair style choices. Oh the brothers are over there, chattin' it up, and happily posting pictures of themselves looking and feeling stress free and worry free. Get into the Sista's Spot, and here we go with the drama, shame, and condemnation. I understand and can relate to both sides of the argument, however. And because I try to seek balance in a discussion, I'm not able to take one position over another. But I will make the observation that because it is socially acceptable for women to grow their hair at length, we carry the heaviest burden in terms of people expecting us to use our hair to make a political statement. Men have the choice to either keep their hair closely shaven or bald, and no one can readily determine or question the status of their consciousness (lucky them). A Black woman, on the other hand, gets a perm, and BAM!, she's an ignorant sellout. Later on, she decides to sport a fro, and WHAMO! she's credited for being pro-Black. It seems to me that women tend to be their own worst enemies.[QUOTE]

~True, Rowe. 'Seems that way, doesn't it? And the very fact that it is a non-issue with the men, as well as with the native African woman speaks volumes. It shouldn't be an issue with African-American women, either.

And I have absolute faith that had Madame Walker never laid an eye on a stringy-haired white woman, she would have STILL been creative enough to develop a hair care system for us. We know no bounds when it comes to hair creations, be it during Ancient Egyptian times to this VERY DAY. White women as muse and sole inspiration waaaaaaaaay back THEN or NOW for our creativity? Please! nono Whoever wants to own that untruth is free to do so, though. *shudder* But, they need to get a clue.~
quote:
Originally posted by OhBlackButterfly:
Sister Oshun, notice there isn't as nearly as much controversy over hair in the brother's discussion about hair style choices. Oh the brothers are over there, chattin' it up, and happily posting pictures of themselves looking and feeling stress free and worry free. Get into the Sista's Spot, and here we go with the drama, shame, and condemnation.


Africa/Black women suffer racial AND gender oppression. Hence the difference in behavior(how many brothers wear perms now a days?) We also live in a patriarchal society where a woman's value is based more on her physical appearance(and it's proximity to the Euro standard).

quote:
I understand and can relate to both sides of the argument, however. And because I try to seek balance in a discussion, I'm not able to take one position over another. But I will make the observation that because it is socially acceptable for women to grow their hair at length, we carry the heaviest burden in terms of people expecting us to use our hair to make a political statement. Men have the choice to either keep their hair closely shaven or bald, and no one can readily determine or question the status of their consciousness (lucky them). A Black woman, on the other hand, gets a perm, and BAM!, she's an ignorant sellout. Later on, she decides to sport a fro, and WHAMO! she's credited for being pro-Black. It seems to me that women tend to be their own worst enemies.[QUOTE]

Who said a woman is a sellout for having a perm? If anything Rowe has eloquantly stated, and I agree with, the PRESSURE on a African/Black woman to change her hair phenotype to fit in with the western beauty standard is GREATER than that on males... and some succumb(understandably) particularly when they aren't consciously aware of the pressures on them. Nobody called a woman wearing a perm a sell-out, and nobody said that natural hair meant 'automatic consciousness'... In fact I said quite the opposite. If you would stop projecting, you may have realized you READ that.

[quote]~True, Rowe. 'Seems that way, doesn't it? And the very fact that it is a non-issue with the men, as well as with the native African woman speaks volumes. It shouldn't be an issue with African-American women, either.


I've been to Africa(four countries) In Africa hair and skin are a huge ISSUE. Colonialism and neo-colonialism/western/Amerikkkan imperialism are major issues, particularly when it comes to women. Bleaching and perming/weaving are issues... big issues. To discourage it in Ghana they do not allow the school girls to perm their hair until they graduate form 4(what we would refer to as high school). Arab and European imperialism has caused many of the same issues as here, some are even worse. Women burn and ruin their skin, scaring themselves for life by bleaching so they can be lighter and therefore 'more beautiful'. Patriarchal white supremacy is GLOBAL.

quote:
And I have absolute faith that had Madame Walker never laid an eye on a stringy-haired white woman, she would have STILL been creative enough to develop a hair care system for us. We know no bounds when it comes to hair creations, be it during Ancient Egyptian times to this VERY DAY. White women as muse and sole inspiration waaaaaaaaay back THEN or NOW for our creativity? Please! nono Whoever wants to own that untruth is free to do so, though. *shudder* But, they need to get a clue.~


Please give ONE example before colonialism(Arab and/or European) and slavery where African women in any society straightened their hair and/or added Asian hair to their head coincidentally with the outcome looking like Europeans and Arabs THAT THEY NEVER HAD CONTACT WITH.

I wouldn't be surprised if Maddame CJ walker would have came up with a hair care system like so many of the traditional herbalists from Africa have... But it's goal wouldn't have been to straighten and de-Africanize the hair.

Your denial is astounding. You just aren't comfortable dealing with global white supremacy(for whatever reason)... and your comments about continental African women makes me wonder if you even understand it.
I posted earlier:

~ 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. 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". Even when white women chop their hair off it's called a "boy cut", because it IS seen as LESS feminine. 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.~


~And I'll add:

from WVU.edu


As early as the latter years of the nineteenth century, ethnologists cited the deep relationship between African Americans and Native Americans. James Mooney in 1897 noted: "It is not commonly known that in all southern colonies Indian slaves were bought and sold and kept in servitude and worked in the fields side by side with negroes up to the time of the revolution... Furthermore, as the coast tribes dwindled they were compelled to associate and intermarry with the negroes until they finally lost their identity and were classified with that race, so that a considerable proportion of the blood of the southern negroes is unquestionably Indian."37 In his 1937 doctoral dissertation, James Hugo Johnston asserted, "The end of Indian slavery came with the final absorption of the blood of the Indian by the more numerous Negro slave. But the blood of the Indian did not become extinct in the slave states, for it continued to flow in the veins of the Negro."38


In areas such as Southeastern Virginia, the "Low Country" of the Carolinas, and around Galphintown34 near Savannah, Georgia, communities of Afro-Indians began to arise. The term "mustee" came to distinguish between those who shared African and Native American ancestry from those who were a mixture of European and African. Even after 1720, black and red Carolinians continued to share slave quarters and intimate lives; many wills continued to refer to "all my Slaves, whether Negroes, Indians, Mustees, Or Molattoes."35 The depth and complexity of this intermixture are revealed in a 1740 slave code in South Carolina that ruled:

...all negroes and Indians, (free Indians in amity with this government, and negroes, mulattoes, and mustezoes, who are now free, excepted) mulattoes or mustezoes who are now, or shall hereafter be in this province, and all their issue and offspring...shall be and they are hereby declared to be, and remain hereafter absolute slaves.

Therefore, the largest numbers of Native American slaves in the early Southeast were women; there were as much as three to five times more Native women than men enslaved.29 Slave owners often desired African men to work the fields paired with Native American women to also work the fields as well as help around the house. John Norris, a South Carolina planter estimated the costs of setting up a plantation:

Imprimis; Fifteen good Negro Men at 45 lb each 675 lb.
Item: Fifteen Indian Women to work in the Field
at 18 lb each, comes to 270 lb.
Item, Three Indian Women as cooks for the Slaves
and other Household Business 55 lb.30
Historian J. Leitch Wright suggests that the presence of so many women slaves from the Southeastern Indian nations where matrilineal kinship was the norm helps to explain the prominent role of women in slave culture.


As Native American societies in the Southeast were primarily matrilineal, African males who married Native American women often became members of the wife's clan and citizens of the respective nation. As relationships grew, the lines of racial distinction began to blur, and the evolution of red-black people began to pursue its own course. Many of the people known as slaves, free people of color, Africans, or Indians were most often the products of an integrating culture.32 Some aspects of African American culture, including handicrafts, music, and folklore, may be Native American rather than African in origin. The cultures of Africans and Natives intertwined in complex ways in the early Southeast, and material culture, like social organization, often reflected the blending of these two cultures


During this period of transition, Africans and Native Americans shared the common experience of enslavement.25 In addition to working together in the fields, they lived together in communal living quarters, began to produce collective recipes for food and herbal remedies, shared myths and legends, and ultimately intermarried. Apart from their collective exploitation at the hands of colonial slavery, Africans and Native Americans possessed similar worldviews rooted in their historic relationship to the subtropical coastlands of the middle Atlantic.26 Considering historic circumstances, environmental associations, and sociocultural affiliations, the relationships among African Americans and Native Americans was much more extensive and enduring than most observers acknowledge. The intermarriage of Africans and Native Americans was facilitated by the disproportionate numbers of African male slaves to females (3 to 1) and the decimation of Native American males by disease, enslavement, and prolonged war against the colonists.

By the late years of the seventeenth century, caravans of Indian slaves were making their way from the Carolina backcountry to forts on the coast just as caravans of African slaves were doing on the African continent. Once in Charleston, the captives were loaded on ships for the "middle passage" to the West Indies or other colonies such as New Amsterdam or New England.15 Many of the Indian slaves were kept at home and worked on the plantations of South Carolina; by 1708, the number of Indian slaves in the Carolinas was nearly half that of African slaves. 16
Last edited {1}
quote:
Originally posted by Oshun Auset:
quote:
Originally posted by OhBlackButterfly:
Sister Oshun, notice there isn't as nearly as much controversy over hair in the brother's discussion about hair style choices. Oh the brothers are over there, chattin' it up, and happily posting pictures of themselves looking and feeling stress free and worry free. Get into the Sista's Spot, and here we go with the drama, shame, and condemnation.


Africa/Black women suffer racial AND gender oppression. Hence the difference in behavior(how many brothers wear perms now a days?) We also live in a patriarchal society where a woman's value is based ore on her physical appearance.

quote:
I understand and can relate to both sides of the argument, however. And because I try to seek balance in a discussion, I'm not able to take one position over another. But I will make the observation that because it is socially acceptable for women to grow their hair at length, we carry the heaviest burden in terms of people expecting us to use our hair to make a political statement. Men have the choice to either keep their hair closely shaven or bald, and no one can readily determine or question the status of their consciousness (lucky them). A Black woman, on the other hand, gets a perm, and BAM!, she's an ignorant sellout. Later on, she decides to sport a fro, and WHAMO! she's credited for being pro-Black. It seems to me that women tend to be their own worst enemies.[QUOTE]

Who said a woman is a sellout for having a perm? If anything Rowe has elaquantly stated, and I agree with, the PRESSURE on a African/Black woman to change her hair phenotype to fit in with the western beauty standard is GREATER... and some succumb. Nobody called a woman wearing a perm a sell-out, and nobody said that natural hair meant 'automatic consciousness'... In fact I said quite the opposite. If you would stop projecting, you may have realized you READ that.

[quote]~True, Rowe. 'Seems that way, doesn't it? And the very fact that it is a non-issue with the men, as well as with the native African woman speaks volumes. It shouldn't be an issue with African-American women, either.


I've been to Africa(four countries) In Africa hair and skin are a huge ISSUE. Colonialism and neo-colonialism/western/Amerikkkan imperialism are major issues. Bleaching and perming/weaving are issues... big issues.

quote:
And I have absolute faith that had Madame Walker never laid an eye on a stringy-haired white woman, she would have STILL been creative enough to develop a hair care system for us. We know no bounds when it comes to hair creations, be it during Ancient Egyptian times to this VERY DAY. White women as muse and sole inspiration waaaaaaaaay back THEN or NOW for our creativity? Please! nono Whoever wants to own that untruth is free to do so, though. *shudder* But, they need to get a clue.~


Please give ONE example before colonialism(Arab and/or European) and slavery where African women in any society straightened their hair and added Asian hair to their head coincidentally with the outcome looking like Europeans and Arabs THAT THEY NEVER HAD CONTACT WITH.

I wouldn't be surprised if Maddame CJ walker would have came up with a hair care system like so many of the traditional herbalists from Africa have... But it's goal wouldn't have been to straighten and de-Africanize the hair.

You denial is astounding. You just aren't comfortable dealing with global white supremacy... and your comments about continental African women makes me wonder if you even understand it.



~Get off the "hair thing". You're being ridiculous. I won't give white supremacy the credit for my hair choice, so therefore I don't acknowledge white supremacy itself? It ONLY manifests itself on top of the head of black women in America? Get a clue, please. Focus on concrete manifestations of global white supremacy, will you? Are you afraid to tackle a REAL issue? Afraid to get your feet dirty in the REAL trenches? Afraid to get your own flowing swinging curly goldy locks dirty? What in the HELL is your obsession with something that you don't even share (BY YOUR OWN ADMISSION, NO LESS!) with the MAJORITY of black American women? Cut your own long curly hair off if you want to set an example. Put up or shut up. Your hypocrisy is astounding!~
quote:
~Get off the "hair thing". You're being ridiculous. I won't give white supremacy the credit for my hair choice, so therefore I don't acknowledge white supremacy itself? It ONLY manifests itself on top of the head of black women in America? Get a clue, please. Focus on concrete manifestations of global white supremacy, will you? Are you afraid to tackle a REAL issue? Afraid to get your feet dirty in the REAL trenches? Afraid to get your own flowing swinging curly goldy locks dirty? What in the HELL is your obsession with something that you don't even share (BY YOUR OWN ADMISSION, NO LESS!) with the MAJORITY of black American women? Cut your own long curly hair off if you want to set an example. Put up or shut up. Your hypocrisy is astounding!~


Maybe you should take your own advice. You are the one who posted here directly towards me... Remember you opened with Sister Oshun just a few minutes ago?... I was responding. YOU may want to start a thread about another more important subject. My posting history speaks for itself.

You really need to read these books ...

Breaking the Chains of Psychological Slavery by Na'im Akbar

The united independent compensatory code/system/concept by Neely Fuller

The Isis Papers: The Keys to the Colors (Paperback)
by Dr. Frances Cress Welsing

Destruction of Black Civilization : Great... by Chancellor Williams

Yurugu by Dr. Marimba Ani

"If you do not understand White Supremacy (Racism), what it is and how it works, everything else...will only confuse you." - Dr. Frances Cress Welsing

"White Supremacy" is a global system of domination against people of color. This system attacks people of color, particularly people of African descent, in the nine major areas of people's activity which are:

1. economics
2. education
3. entertainment
4. labor
5. law
6. politics
7. religion
8. sex
9. war

-Dr. Neely Fuller
quote:
Originally posted by Oshun Auset:
You really need to read these books ...

Breaking the Chains of Psychological Slavery by Na'im Akbar

The united independent compensatory code/system/concept by Neely Fuller

The Isis Papers: The Keys to the Colors (Paperback)
by Dr. Frances Cress Welsing

Destruction of Black Civilization : Great... by Chancellor Williams

Yurugu by Dr. Marimba Ani

"If you do not understand White Supremacy (Racism), what it is and how it works, everything else...will only confuse you." - Dr. Frances Cress Welsing

"White Supremacy" is a global system of domination against people of color. This system attacks people of color, particularly people of African descent, in the nine major areas of people's activity which are:

1. economics
2. education
3. entertainment
4. labor
5. law
6. politics
7. religion
8. sex
9. war

-Dr. Neely Fuller



~You really need to focus on something you can DO about global white supremacy. Again, who the hell cares to THIS EXTENT about the hair of black women in AMERICA. Can you be MORE ridiculous? READ BOOKS on the trivial subject???!!! Not on your life, dear. And you should get one.~
quote:
Originally posted by OhBlackButterfly:
~You really need to focus on something you can DO about global white supremacy. Again, who the hell cares to THIS EXTENT about the hair of black women in AMERICA. Can you be MORE ridiculous? READ BOOKS on the trivial subject???!!! Not on your life, dear. And you should get one.~


quote:
~Get off the "hair thing". You're being ridiculous. I won't give white supremacy the credit for my hair choice, so therefore I don't acknowledge white supremacy itself? It ONLY manifests itself on top of the head of black women in America? Get a clue, please. Focus on concrete manifestations of global white supremacy, will you? Are you afraid to tackle a REAL issue? Afraid to get your feet dirty in the REAL trenches? Afraid to get your own flowing swinging curly goldy locks dirty? What in the HELL is your obsession with something that you don't even share (BY YOUR OWN ADMISSION, NO LESS!) with the MAJORITY of black American women? Cut your own long curly hair off if you want to set an example. Put up or shut up. Your hypocrisy is astounding!~


Maybe you should take your own advice. You are the one who posted here directly towards me... Remember you opened with 'Sister Oshun' just a few minutes ago?... I was responding. YOU may want to start a thread about another more important subject. My posting history speaks for itself.

You STILL really need to read these books ...

Breaking the Chains of Psychological Slavery by Na'im Akbar

The united independent compensatory code/system/concept by Neely Fuller

The Isis Papers: The Keys to the Colors (Paperback)
by Dr. Frances Cress Welsing

Destruction of Black Civilization : Great... by Chancellor Williams

Yurugu by Dr. Marimba Ani

"If you do not understand White Supremacy (Racism), what it is and how it works, everything else...will only confuse you." - Dr. Frances Cress Welsing

"White Supremacy" is a global system of domination against people of color. This system attacks people of color, particularly people of African descent, in the nine major areas of people's activity which are:

1. economics
2. education
3. entertainment
4. labor
5. law
6. politics
7. religion
8. sex
9. war

-Dr. Neely Fuller


Before you can solve a problem, you must thoroughly understand it... Which you don't.
quote:
Originally posted by Oshun Auset:
quote:
~Get off the "hair thing". You're being ridiculous. I won't give white supremacy the credit for my hair choice, so therefore I don't acknowledge white supremacy itself? It ONLY manifests itself on top of the head of black women in America? Get a clue, please. Focus on concrete manifestations of global white supremacy, will you? Are you afraid to tackle a REAL issue? Afraid to get your feet dirty in the REAL trenches? Afraid to get your own flowing swinging curly goldy locks dirty? What in the HELL is your obsession with something that you don't even share (BY YOUR OWN ADMISSION, NO LESS!) with the MAJORITY of black American women? Cut your own long curly hair off if you want to set an example. Put up or shut up. Your hypocrisy is astounding!~


Maybe you should take your own advice. You are the one who posted here directly towards me... Remember you opened with Sister Oshun just a few minutes ago?... I was responding. YOU may want to start a thread about another more important subject. My posting history speaks for itself.

You really need to read these books ...

Breaking the Chains of Psychological Slavery by Na'im Akbar

The united independent compensatory code/system/concept by Neely Fuller

The Isis Papers: The Keys to the Colors (Paperback)
by Dr. Frances Cress Welsing

Destruction of Black Civilization : Great... by Chancellor Williams

Yurugu by Dr. Marimba Ani

"If you do not understand White Supremacy (Racism), what it is and how it works, everything else...will only confuse you." - Dr. Frances Cress Welsing

"White Supremacy" is a global system of domination against people of color. This system attacks people of color, particularly people of African descent, in the nine major areas of people's activity which are:

1. economics
2. education
3. entertainment
4. labor
5. law
6. politics
7. religion
8. sex
9. war

-Dr. Neely Fuller



~WRONG. I did NOT post to you. ROWE addressed you in her post which I referenced and posted in response to ROWE's post. Oh how, oh how did you MISS your oportunity to respond to HER THEN?

YOU have been (supposedly) done with the subject a couple of times now, but, no, you're rabidly obsessed. Intent on what? Getting me to change my mind about my hair? Fuggetaboutit, Curly-Locks. And I wouldn't be caught dead reading anything about something as ridiculous as "White Supremacy and the Black Woman's Hair." Is THAT the reason women aren't taken as seriously in politics as they can and should be? Because of the silly amongst us doing us a disservice by obsessing over the trivial and calling it intellectual conversation?~
My bad. I missed Rowe's post, and your posting style(where 'originally posted by' was left out) confused me. Rowe is my girl and I always try to respond.

Thanks to Rowe on another more interesting thread... I forgot about this book.


The central objective in decolonising the African mind is to overthrow the authority which alien traditions exercise over the African. This demands the dismantling of white supremacist beliefs, and the structures which uphold them, in every area of African life. It must be stressed, however, that decolonisation does not mean ignorance of foreign traditions; it simply means denial of their authority and withdrawal of allegiance from them.
- Chinweizu(Decolonizing The African Mind)

You may find the thread interesting...

Dr. Marimba Ani: Hypocrisy as a way of life - Rowe
quote:
Originally posted by Oshun Auset:
My bad. I missed Rowe's post, and your posting style(where 'originally posted by' was left out) confused me. Rowe is my girl and I always try to respond.

Thanks to Rowe on another more interesting thread... I forgot about this book.


The central objective in decolonising the African mind is to overthrow the authority which alien traditions exercise over the African. This demands the dismantling of white supremacist beliefs, and the structures which uphold them, in every area of African life. It must be stressed, however, that decolonisation does not mean ignorance of foreign traditions; it simply means denial of their authority and withdrawal of allegiance from them.
- Chinweizu(Decolonizing The African Mind)

You may find the thread interesting...

Dr. Marimba Ani: Hypocrisy as a way of life - Rowe



~I seriously doubt it. Anything recommended by you is highly suspect, imo. This author you mention actually addresses my hair? SMDH. And she's to be taken seriously because....? And you're to be taken seriously for the same reason because.....?

And I didn't need to insert an "originally posted by" when I addressed Rowe, by name in my response. I addressed BY NAME the person who wrote it, get it? But you missed that the same way you missed the entire original post from her, huh? That's understandable. You did throw up the flag and leave the thread, afterall, due to....bad nerves, or some such claim.~
quote:
Originally posted by OhBlackButterfly:
~I seriously doubt it. Anything recommended by you is highly suspect, imo. This author you mention actually addresses my hair? SMDH. And she's to be taken seriously because....? And you're to be taken seriously for the same reason because.....?


You are personalizing this WAY too much... which is telling. these books explain white supremacy in ALL it's mechanisms. This thread is about hair darling. Hence that is what was discussed. Nobody was talking about your hair.

quote:
And I didn't need to insert an "originally posted by" when I addressed Rowe, by name in my response. I addressed BY NAME the person who wrote it, get it? But you missed that the same way you missed the entire original post from her, huh? That's understandable. You did throw up the flag and leave the thread, afterall, due to....bad nerves, or some such claim.~


My bad again, honestly I only have skimmed some of your post, so therefore, when the QUOTE function isn't used, as it is by everyone else... It throws me off. Also, I OFTEN miss posts. I'm not omniscient/omnipotent; I'm human. Everyone does that. Roll Eyes

I do get frustrated when folks deny the essence of reality, but I notice by some of your comments that you (a) Kinda just like to argue for arguments sake (b) Don't fully understand global white supremacy.. So you no longer frustrate me. I thought you needed more information. I come here to learn and share. I forget that others have different motivations.

The thread I posted was started by someone else, and I have had minimal commentary on it. But as they say... you can only lead a horse to water... Roll Eyes

I do realize that many who are not comfortable being self critical have hostile reactions when the mechanisms of global white supremacy are discussed, especially if it points out possible personal contradictions.

Truth is sometimes bitter -Nigerian(Yoruba proverb)
quote:
Originally posted by Oshun Auset:
quote:
Originally posted by OhBlackButterfly:
~I seriously doubt it. Anything recommended by you is highly suspect, imo. This author you mention actually addresses my hair? SMDH. And she's to be taken seriously because....? And you're to be taken seriously for the same reason because.....?


You are personalizing this WAY too much... which is telling. these books explain white supremacy in ALL it's mechanisms. This thread is about hair darling. Hence that is what was discussed. Nobody was talking about your hair.

quote:
And I didn't need to insert an "originally posted by" when I addressed Rowe, by name in my response. I addressed BY NAME the person who wrote it, get it? But you missed that the same way you missed the entire original post from her, huh? That's understandable. You did throw up the flag and leave the thread, afterall, due to....bad nerves, or some such claim.~


My bad again, honestly I only have skimmed some of your post, so therefore, when the QUOTE function isn't used, as it is by everyone else... It throws me off. Also, I OFTEN miss posts. I'm not omniscient/omnipotent; I'm human. Everyone does that. Roll Eyes

I do get frustrated when folks deny the essence of reality, but I notice by some of your comments that you (a) Kinda just like to argue for arguments sake (b) Don't fully understand global white supremacy.. So you no longer frustrate me. I thought you needed more information. I come here to learn and share. I forget that others have different motivations.

The thread I posted was started by someone else, and I have had minimal commentary on it. But as they say... you can only lead a horse to water... Roll Eyes

I do realize that many who are not comfortable being self critical have hostile reactions when the mechanisms of global white supremacy are discussed, especially if it points out possible personal contradictions.

Truth is sometimes bitter -Nigerian(Yoruba proverb)



~If global white supremacy is pointing out any personal contradictions here, it is in your own mirror, hon. A light-skinned woman with long curly hair trying to convince ANYONE that their own hair isn't African enough or politically correct is CONTRADICTORY and HYPOCRITICAL. Cut your own hair off and take another picture (and don't forget the smile), and post it again and THEN we can talk PC hair, 'kay? Until then, I couldn't care less what a hypocrite has to say on the subject of any black woman's hair, let alone my own.

What my "personalizing" tells you is that I am not a weakminded person that you are going to be able to convince that something is wrong with her "politics". I don't know whom your hypocritical mojo has worked on in the past, but you can stop addressing me with the crap. If the books you recommend elaborate on white supremacy and all its mechanisms, fine. What's ridiculous is how you pick THIS ONE mechanism to fixate on, when you aren't physically capable of even RELATING to it on any REAL level!!! Again, cut off your golden flowing curls, then we'll talk about the effects of white supremacy as it relates to this Hair Snob topic, darling.

YOU don't fully understand the effects of global white supremacy if as serious and elaborate as you can get about the subject of it is to go on and on about the black woman's hair. No, I don't need ANY information about "White Supremacy and the Black Woman's Hair", let alone "MORE information", so spare me, and don't waste your own time on it. Don't present an arguable point and expect that it won't get argued for argument's sake. I don't know who has let you get away with that, but I ain't the one. If the arguing is still messing with your nerves, then you know what to do about it again.

Why comment on the other thread (Hypocrisy) only "minimally? Can't quite bring the topic around to hair or sexual preferences over there yet? Aaaawww. Keep trying, dear. But, please, do elaborate on some or all of the other manifestations of global white supremacy. Why do you hold back? This hair thing is your forte', huh? You're so limited.~
quote:
Originally posted by OhBlackButterfly:
quote:
Originally posted by Oshun Auset:
quote:
Originally posted by OhBlackButterfly:
~I seriously doubt it. Anything recommended by you is highly suspect, imo. This author you mention actually addresses my hair? SMDH. And she's to be taken seriously because....? And you're to be taken seriously for the same reason because.....?


You are personalizing this WAY too much... which is telling. these books explain white supremacy in ALL it's mechanisms. This thread is about hair darling. Hence that is what was discussed. Nobody was talking about your hair.

quote:
And I didn't need to insert an "originally posted by" when I addressed Rowe, by name in my response. I addressed BY NAME the person who wrote it, get it? But you missed that the same way you missed the entire original post from her, huh? That's understandable. You did throw up the flag and leave the thread, afterall, due to....bad nerves, or some such claim.~


My bad again, honestly I only have skimmed some of your post, so therefore, when the QUOTE function isn't used, as it is by everyone else... It throws me off. Also, I OFTEN miss posts. I'm not omniscient/omnipotent; I'm human. Everyone does that. Roll Eyes

I do get frustrated when folks deny the essence of reality, but I notice by some of your comments that you (a) Kinda just like to argue for arguments sake (b) Don't fully understand global white supremacy.. So you no longer frustrate me. I thought you needed more information. I come here to learn and share. I forget that others have different motivations.

The thread I posted was started by someone else, and I have had minimal commentary on it. But as they say... you can only lead a horse to water... Roll Eyes

I do realize that many who are not comfortable being self critical have hostile reactions when the mechanisms of global white supremacy are discussed, especially if it points out possible personal contradictions.

Truth is sometimes bitter -Nigerian(Yoruba proverb)



~If global white supremacy is pointing out any personal contradictions here, it is in your own mirror, hon. A light-skinned woman with long curly hair trying to convince ANYONE that their own hair isn't African enough or politically correct is CONTRADICTORY and HYPOCRITICAL. Cut your own hair off and take another picture (and don't forget the smile), and post it again and THEN we can talk PC hair, 'kay? Until then, I couldn't care less what a hypocrite has to say on the subject of any black woman's hair, let alone my own.

What my "personalizing" tells you is that I am not a weakminded person that you are going to be able to convince that something is wrong with her "politics". I don't know whom your hypocritical mojo has worked on in the past, but you can stop addressing me with the crap. If the books you recommend elaborate on white supremacy and all its mechanisms, fine. What's ridiculous is how you pick THIS ONE mechanism to fixate on, when you aren't physically capable of even RELATING to it on any REAL level!!! Again, cut off your golden flowing curls, then we'll talk about the effects of white supremacy as it relates to this Hair Snob topic, darling.

YOU don't fully understand the effects of global white supremacy if as serious and elaborate as you can get about the subject of it is to go on and on about the black woman's hair. No, I don't need ANY information about "White Supremacy and the Black Woman's Hair", let alone "MORE information", so spare me, and don't waste your own time on it. Don't present an arguable point and expect that it won't get argued for argument's sake. I don't know who has let you get away with that, but I ain't the one. If the arguing is still messing with your nerves, then you know what to do about it again.

Why comment on the other thread (Hypocrisy) only "minimally? Can't quite bring the topic around to hair over there yet? Aaaawww. Keep trying, dear. But, please, do elaborate on some or all of the other manifestations of global white supremacy. Why do you hold back? This hair thing is your forte', huh? You're so limited.~


That's it, let out that demon. That self criticism is seen as poison by some, but it's really medicine. I've seen it time and time again. Folks writhe and twist and foam at the mouth rather than partake in self introspection. Even when they were never directly asked to do so... It's just that the ISSUE makes it a possibility.

I can understand how it wouldn't be comfortable that I am talking about this issue. But my understanding of it comes from empathy. Empathy of what my darker African Bantu phenotyped sisters face. Of course, since you are personalizing this as an attack on your perm, it would be hard for you to recognize this. I stated my opinion long before you mentioned your hairstyle hun. Get over yourself.

I never argue for arguments sake, but thanks for letting me know that's what you came here for. I'll avoid conversing with you in the future. Since you rarely post in subjects I find of interest. It won't be difficult.

BTW, I commented at length on the other thread. You just 'missed it'.... hat
Last edited {1}
quote:
Originally posted by Khalliqa:
quote:
Originally posted by Rowe:
quote:
Originally posted by Oshun Auset:
yeah

This is a general question...

Why is discussing or rather mentioning the foundational issues when it aplies to the subject of the thread labelled as being 'judgemental' or 'divisive'?

Is it that people can't handle the truth?


Sister Oshun, girl, now I know you're not talking, because I've seen your hair. You don't have those tight, sister-girl curls like most Black women do. So the transition may not have been as traumatic for you as may have been for us. You're hair is almost straight! But let us consider the sister who has that strong, tightly-curled, and glorious crown of Mother Africa hair, ok. That is another matter entirely. You try tell that sister that she needs to leave the relaxer alone, and you're likely to get a mouthful.Big Grin



I must say that Oshun is one of the rare lighter hued sisters that "get it" she doesn't degrade or deny her own unique beauty to "get it", nor does she deny anyone else's pain to "get it" .... I admire her tremendously for that..... as we exist in a sea of women in denial.....

she is quite balanced and extraordinarily empathetic....

her loose curl and societies acceptance of her "look" hasn't blinded her to the realities of the dark skinned kinky haired women.... (in fact it was her who helped me with the correct phenotypical term of "bantu")..... a true statement to her love for her people....


but her loose curl and empathetic ability is a separate issue from what I believe is her point...

which still has not been addressed.... I feel it is a valid one..

terms such as "judgemental" and "divisive" are often thrown at those who simply point out the foundation of someone's inability to deal with colorism and its effects on us all.....

and wondering if it is just a matter of others not being able to deal with the reality of the situation....
quote:
Originally posted by Oshun Auset:
quote:
Originally posted by OhBlackButterfly:
quote:
Originally posted by Oshun Auset:
quote:
Originally posted by OhBlackButterfly:
~I seriously doubt it. Anything recommended by you is highly suspect, imo. This author you mention actually addresses my hair? SMDH. And she's to be taken seriously because....? And you're to be taken seriously for the same reason because.....?


You are personalizing this WAY too much... which is telling. these books explain white supremacy in ALL it's mechanisms. This thread is about hair darling. Hence that is what was discussed. Nobody was talking about your hair.

quote:
And I didn't need to insert an "originally posted by" when I addressed Rowe, by name in my response. I addressed BY NAME the person who wrote it, get it? But you missed that the same way you missed the entire original post from her, huh? That's understandable. You did throw up the flag and leave the thread, afterall, due to....bad nerves, or some such claim.~


My bad again, honestly I only have skimmed some of your post, so therefore, when the QUOTE function isn't used, as it is by everyone else... It throws me off. Also, I OFTEN miss posts. I'm not omniscient/omnipotent; I'm human. Everyone does that. Roll Eyes

I do get frustrated when folks deny the essence of reality, but I notice by some of your comments that you (a) Kinda just like to argue for arguments sake (b) Don't fully understand global white supremacy.. So you no longer frustrate me. I thought you needed more information. I come here to learn and share. I forget that others have different motivations.

The thread I posted was started by someone else, and I have had minimal commentary on it. But as they say... you can only lead a horse to water... Roll Eyes

I do realize that many who are not comfortable being self critical have hostile reactions when the mechanisms of global white supremacy are discussed, especially if it points out possible personal contradictions.

Truth is sometimes bitter -Nigerian(Yoruba proverb)



~If global white supremacy is pointing out any personal contradictions here, it is in your own mirror, hon. A light-skinned woman with long curly hair trying to convince ANYONE that their own hair isn't African enough or politically correct is CONTRADICTORY and HYPOCRITICAL. Cut your own hair off and take another picture (and don't forget the smile), and post it again and THEN we can talk PC hair, 'kay? Until then, I couldn't care less what a hypocrite has to say on the subject of any black woman's hair, let alone my own.

What my "personalizing" tells you is that I am not a weakminded person that you are going to be able to convince that something is wrong with her "politics". I don't know whom your hypocritical mojo has worked on in the past, but you can stop addressing me with the crap. If the books you recommend elaborate on white supremacy and all its mechanisms, fine. What's ridiculous is how you pick THIS ONE mechanism to fixate on, when you aren't physically capable of even RELATING to it on any REAL level!!! Again, cut off your golden flowing curls, then we'll talk about the effects of white supremacy as it relates to this Hair Snob topic, darling.

YOU don't fully understand the effects of global white supremacy if as serious and elaborate as you can get about the subject of it is to go on and on about the black woman's hair. No, I don't need ANY information about "White Supremacy and the Black Woman's Hair", let alone "MORE information", so spare me, and don't waste your own time on it. Don't present an arguable point and expect that it won't get argued for argument's sake. I don't know who has let you get away with that, but I ain't the one. If the arguing is still messing with your nerves, then you know what to do about it again.

Why comment on the other thread (Hypocrisy) only "minimally? Can't quite bring the topic around to hair over there yet? Aaaawww. Keep trying, dear. But, please, do elaborate on some or all of the other manifestations of global white supremacy. Why do you hold back? This hair thing is your forte', huh? You're so limited.~


That's it, let out that demon. That self criticism is seen as poison by some, but it's really medicine. I've seen it time and time again. Folks writhe and twist and foam at the mouth rather than partake in self introspection. Even when they were never directly asked to do so... It's just that the ISSUE makes it a possibility.

I can understand how it wouldn't be comfortable that I am talking about this issue. But my understanding of it comes from empathy. Empathy of what my darker African Bantu phenotyped sisters face. Of course, since you are personalizing this as an attack on your perm, it would be hard for you to recognize this. I stated my opinion long before you mentioned your hairstyle hun. Get over yourself.

BTW, I commented at length on the other thread. You just 'missed it'.... hat


~No, it's hard to recognize the empathy because it's not there, shug. If you TRULY empathized with a personal struggle that your bantu sister is having with removing her hair you wouldn't be in her face swinging your own. But, you don't get that, apparently. It's an attack on my perm because I happen to HAVE ONE, therefore I am in the express position to argue the point. Your attempt to belittle my point by repeatedly accusing me of "personalizing" is weak. I argue the point because I CAN. You argue your point because....? That's the disconnect for me, dear. You sit there with your "white washed" looks and have the audacity to criticize and judge black women and render them not worthy of friendship, political conversation, etc. because they won't give up what you aren't even willing to give up? Remove all visible traces of white supremacy from your own looks, the traces that you are just as able to do something about as black women with perms are able to do. Until you're willing to do that, your talk of empathy is a big JOKE, at best, and a big LIE, at worst, hon.~
quote:
Originally posted by OhBlackButterfly:
~No, it's hard to recognize the empathy because it's not there, shug. If you TRULY empathized with a personal struggle that your bantu sister is having with removing her hair you wouldn't be in her face swinging your own. But, you don't get that, apparently.


Yah, I did that over the internet. 17 lol
Are you serious? Just because I don't empathize with your unnecessary personalization of a societal issue... doesn't mean I don't empathize with the masses about their/our struggle(s).

BTW I don't have empathy for you because you deny the essence of reality(the social context). I have very few issues with other sisters on the board, or in life.

quote:
It's an attack on my perm because I happen to HAVE ONE, therefore I am in the express position to argue the point. Your attempt to belittle my point by repeatedly accusing me of "personalizing" is weak. I argue the point because I CAN.


Let me get this straight, you admit personalizing it because you are defending your perm, and then say it's 'weak' for me to 'accuse you' of doing what you admit to; personalizing it because you as an individual have a perm... Ok, that's logical. 17

quote:
You argue your point because....? That's the disconnect for me, dear.


I argue my point because I care about something greater than myself and my own personal, self centered, individual interests. The betterment of African/Black people everywhere is primary, and the majority phenotype is disrespected in this society and globally, particularly when it comes to women because of gender oppression. This disrespect often becomes internalized. I argue 'the point' of always being aware how white supremacy is the societal context, and how that may effect our actions in all areas, including this one, because we do not always see how it permeates society. It's called 'the bigger picture'. Can you see beyond your own narrow self interests?

quote:
You sit there with your "white washed" looks and have the audacity to criticize and judge black women and render them not worthy of friendship, political conversation, etc. because they won't give up what you aren't even willing to give up? Remove all visible traces of white supremacy from your own looks, the traces that you are just as able to do something about as black women with perms are able to do.


Uhhmmm... I can't change my genes. My looks are natural. I have cut off my hair in the past, and will probably do it again... it grows back. I have and do wear braids and head wraps. This all has nothing to do with the societal reality of white supremacy and it's effects on the beauty standard... but you know that. That straw man argument is popular...

quote:
Until you're willing to do that, your talk of empathy is a big JOKE, at best, and a big LIE, at worst, hon.~


WTF am I supposed to do, a reverse Michael Jackson? lol I'm comfortable with my looks. But I'm not comfortable with the racism, colourism, and oppression of my people; and in particular, of my sisters. I'm also not going to pretend that 'personal' preferences are completely independent of societal pressures; particularly when those 'personal preferences' seem to oh so conveniently fall in line with the societal pressures that are anti-African... Not to mention that the majority just so happen to also display the same anti-African 'personal preference'.

Your anger is misdirected towards me because I am pointing out the contradictions in society that make you question your perm. It would be pro-active, rather than re-active if you directed that anger at the oppression of the racist society we live in.

How about attacking the message instead of the messenger, or is it that you don't have a leg to stand on? Maybe, you just like to have the last word, no matter how illogical and irrelevant. Yah, I think that's it. Roll Eyes
quote:
Originally posted by Oshun Auset:


How about attacking the message instead of the messenger, or is it that you don't have a leg to stand on? Maybe, you just like to have the last word, no matter how illogical and irrelevant. Yah, I think that's it. Roll Eyes


~And exacty what message would that be, GoldenCurlyLocks? A two-faced message? A double-standard message? A do-as-I-say-not-what-I-do message? I'm arguing the message with the messenger because you have nothing substantial to stand on as I see it. White supremacy exists. Stop pretending that I'm denying that. You do NOT have white supremacy to stand your argument upon. It's entirely too flimsy. I have no idea what the "strawman" thing is, but if it has anything to do with cleverly avoiding valid counterpoints, you're It.

Valid counter point No. 1:

Do you acknowledge the possibility that a black woman who straightens her hair because she admires the look on women PERIOD, or does this HAVE to be about the white woman? Could she aspire to have hair like Native American Indian women...the women who are more likely than not in her ancestry just as much as the white man is?

Valid Counter point No. 2:

Do you think that the men who aren't as attracted to women with short cuts, afros, feel this way because it's too much like their own hair, and therefore less feminine to them? Do you think that black women aren't fond of those cuts for the same reason, that being it resembles their man's hair too much?

Valid Counter point No. 3:

When physcially ill women (for instance, cancer patients) get distraught and devastated over the process of losing their hair and going bald, are they distraught because they have the same issues regarding hair that you attribute to black women, that being not enough pride in their heritage? I've seen every race of woman go through this process and it's a horrid experience for them. Is this indicative of racial pride issues, or could this be simply about not feeling pretty and feminine anymore? If it's about the latter when it comes to every other race of woman, why can't it be about that for black women who are hesitant to see their hair go?

Valid Point No. 4:

Are NATIVE African women just as guilty of Political InCorrectness when they straighten their hair?


Valid Counter Point No. 5:

Can the black woman who straightens her hair get a "pardon" if she does as you do, that being cutting her hair off "sometimes" or wearing a scarf now and then?


Valid Counter Point No. 6:

If we'd never laid eyes on women with straight hair, do you doubt that we would have discovered methods of straightening our hair. I mean, it's no giant leap of experimentation. It surely would have come about of our own accord with or without outside influence, like so many other things were discovered, invented, etc.. Would the straight hairstyle have been an okay thing to do in that case, or still somehow wrong? have you ever been to or heard of a Black Hair show? Trust, we don't need help in the hair creativity arena and MOST of the styles that black women wear are NOTHING like the styles that white women wear. Again, I'll point to another avatar of Rowe's. The women with the long red "braids" going down their backs. Is it weave? If so, did African-American women influence them? What about the red ochre and animal fat that they use on their hair and skin? Do they have deep-seated white supremacy issues with trying to be Unblack, or can we just attribute this to their creativity? Shouldn't they be cutting their hair off like other African women? Is it a slap in the face of politics when they don't cut it off?


Do you see "cosmetic" issues involved in politics where men are concerned?...where other races are concerned? There are sometimes some sexual preference issues involved with politics. There sometimes some ethnicity discrimination issues involved with politics. There are sometimes some gender issues involved with politics. But....the straightening comb?....I don't buy it.~

If we all donned afros, braids, and locs tomorrow, what would really change about our black community situation? More jobs? Our marriage rate would go up? The high school dropout rate for our son's would go down? Their would be less incarcerations? Less black on black crime? The aids infection rate among our women would go down? Children born out of wed-lock would cease? The rate of black men dating interracially would go down? Plainly put, HOW EXACTLY DOES THE BLACK WOMAN'S HAIR APPLY TO OUR COMMUNITY ILLS politically speaking or otherwise?

We black women are our own worst enemy. As if we don't have ENOUGH going on, we have to contend with each other over basic respect issues. I've said this before, though not on this disccussion board, but I believe that for all the talk of sisterhood, and sista this and sista that, what I've come to believe WHOLEHEARTEDLY is that black women ACTUALLY can not stand each other. No matter what's being shown on the surface, on the REAL, sisterhood is not there. And if we can't find a REAL reason to hate each other, we'll make one up. What's the quickest way to get a conviction for a black woman in a court of law? Give her an all black woman jury. Tried, tested, and true.

If you have a "system of hair logic" for determining whether or not a "sista" is worthy of of political convo, respect, friendship, go for it. I disagree with your "analytical" method of discernment. We can agree to disagree because the arguing is pointless. There's no way in hell I'll come around to your way of thinking, and I'm sure your mind is just as made up on your end. Do you. I'll do me.~
Wow, nice debate. Who knew that hair was so deep?

This point is interesting ==>
quote:
Valid Counter point No. 2:

Do you think that the men who aren't as attracted to women with short cuts, afros, feel this way because it's too much like their own hair, and therefore less feminine to them? Do you think that black women aren't fond of those cuts for the same reason, that being it resembles their man's hair too much?
I've never thought of this.

Still keeping my locs though. 4
As always i enjoy reading the vibrant exchange of ideas within the sista spot and try not to add my 2 cent out of respect for the space and am sticking to that in this situation... however i do think it is important to share information and different layers or textures to a conversation when possible... so i offer a piece i recently read on Farai Chideya's pop and politics site...

http://www.popandpolitics.com/2007/11/13/my-hair-my-self/
quote:
Originally posted by OhBlackButterfly:
quote:
Originally posted by Oshun Auset:


How about attacking the message instead of the messenger, or is it that you don't have a leg to stand on? Maybe, you just like to have the last word, no matter how illogical and irrelevant. Yah, I think that's it. Roll Eyes


~And exacty what message would that be, GoldenCurlyLocks? A two-faced message? A double-standard message? A do-as-I-say-not-what-I-do message? I'm arguing the message with the messenger because you have nothing substantial to stand on as I see it.


Golden curly locks... I dont think so, my hair is very dark brown, almost black. Now it wouldn't be very nice or relevent for me to call you "fried, dyed, and laid to the side" would it?

quote:
White supremacy exists.


Yes, and effects the beauty standard that women(in particular because of gender oppression) are expected to live up to by the greater society, and it also gets internalized.

quote:
Stop pretending that I'm denying that.


You have repeatedly denied, excused, and danced around it's effects on the 'hair issue' and that it exists as a social context.

quote:
You do NOT have white supremacy to stand your argument upon. It's entirely too flimsy. I have no idea what the "strawman" thing is, but if it has anything to do with cleverly avoiding valid counterpoints, you're It.


You haven't given any valid counterpoints, just a bunch of defensive remarks to validate what you percieve as your 'personal choice'(somehow made in a vaccum devoid of societal conditions) to wear a perm, and a load of irrelevent(and not very creative or accurate) personal attacks.

quote:
Valid counter point No. 1:

Do you acknowledge the possibility that a black woman who straightens her hair because she admires the look on women PERIOD, or does this HAVE to be about the white woman? Could she aspire to have hair like Native American Indian women...the women who are more likely than not in her ancestry just as much as the white man is?


I already adressed this; why are you pretending like I didn't?. I'll re-quote my responses for you.

quote:
Originally posted by Oshun Auset:
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...

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 of 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.


Also, are you gonna tell me that the majority of African women on earth who perm their hair, have "Indian" heritage they aspire to "represent" by changing their natural phenotype... and that's supposed to be 'ok'... Give me a break.

quote:
Valid Counter point No. 2:

Do you think that the men who aren't as attracted to women with short cuts, afros, feel this way because it's too much like their own hair, and therefore less feminine to them? Do you think that black women aren't fond of those cuts for the same reason, that being it resembles their man's hair too much?


Also already adressed, I see you like to 'pretend'...

quote:
Originally posted by Oshun Auset:
Why is long hair 'feminine' to African women(or men) 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'?

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?

...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?...

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'?

Africa/Black women suffer racial AND gender oppression. Hence the difference in behavior(how many brothers wear perms now a days?) We also live in a patriarchal society where a woman's value is based more on her physical appearance(and it's proximity to the Euro standard).


In Africa prior to colinization and slavery, men did not see afros or short hair on African women as 'too much like theirs', because African women's hair was/is like theirs. Men also wore braids themselves. This 'long hair is feminine' ideal was not our paradigm/standard. So how did the change in standard occur? When someone elses standard(read foregn invaders) of what is feminine and masculine in appearance(and other areas I might add) was imposed, on us by force... that's how.

quote:
Valid Counter point No. 3:

When physcially ill women (for instance, cancer patients) get distraught and devastated over the process of losing their hair and going bald, are they distraught because they have the same issues regarding hair that you attribute to black women, that being not enough pride in their heritage? I've seen every race of woman go through this process and it's a horrid experience for them. Is this indicative of racial pride issues, or could this be simply about not feeling pretty and feminine anymore? If it's about the latter when it comes to every other race of woman, why can't it be about that for black women who are hesitant to see their hair go?


Your 'cancer' example is mixing apples and oranges. Nobody is promoting 'baldness' for African or any women. I'll repost other points for clarity...

quote:
Originally posted by Oshun Auset:
Why is long hair 'feminine' to African women(or men) 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'?

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?...

Their(read non-African) hair groes naturally long and straight, but that is 'their' hair, not ours...


Loss of hair to the point of baldness because of health reasons would be tragic for anyone, male or female, to compare that to the stadards of beauty imposed on populations where that look does not naturally occur in the majority is disingenuous to say the least.

quote:
Valid Point No. 4:

Are NATIVE African women just as guilty of Political InCorrectness when they straighten their hair?


I never said any African, born anywhere in the diaspora was 'politically incorrect' for wearing a perm, but their level of consciousness about global white supremacy is suspect, as well as their ability to stand in defiance of it(not that these are an indication of any moral fault). I see them as victims. THIS HAS BEEN DONE TO US. What don't you understand about that? White surpemacy has caused an unconscious internalization of the Euro-beauty standard GLOBALLY by non-Europeans. I already adressed this so-called counterpoint too, very recently I might add, RIF...

quote:
Originally posted by Oshun Auset:
I've been to Africa(four countries) In Africa hair and skin are a huge ISSUE. Colonialism and neo-colonialism/western/Amerikkkan imperialism are major issues, particularly when it comes to women. Bleaching and perming/weaving are issues... big issues. To discourage it in Ghana they do not allow the school girls to perm their hair until they graduate form 4(what we would refer to as high school). Arab and European imperialism has caused many of the same issues there that exist here, some are even worse. Women burn and ruin their skin, scaring themselves for life by bleaching so they can be lighter and therefore 'more beautiful'. Patriarchal white supremacy is GLOBAL.


The 'feminine ideal'(Euro beauty standard) imposed by outsiders, who had ILL INTENTIONS on the colonized and enslaved exists globally.

quote:
Valid Counter Point No. 5:

Can the black woman who straightens her hair get a "pardon" if she does as you do, that being cutting her hair off "sometimes" or wearing a scarf now and then?


That's just stupid. We aren't talking about personal 'pardons'. We are talking about the systemic effects of domination by someone(the oppressor) elses culture and their societal manifestations, wich are disfunctional. I know you want to make this a personal and individual conversation... but a systemic social issue can't be adressed that way. How about answering a question I posed long ago?

quote:
Originally posted by Oshun Auset:
Why would an ethnic group of people aspire to a feminine ideal that does not naturally occur in the majority of it's population?


quote:
Valid Counter Point No. 6:

If we'd never laid eyes on women with straight hair, do you doubt that we would have discovered methods of straightening our hair.


YES because there would be no urge(imposed by force) to change the natural phenotype.

quote:
I mean, it's no giant leap of experimentation. It surely would have come about of our own accord with or without outside influence, like so many other things were discovered, invented, etc.. Would the straight hairstyle have been an okay thing to do in that case, or still somehow wrong? have you ever been to or heard of a Black Hair show? Trust, we don't need help in the hair creativity arena and MOST of the styles that black women wear are NOTHING like the styles that white women wear. Again, I'll point to another avatar of Rowe's.


Once again, this has been adressed... and I suggest you be more specific about what 'counter point' you acutally claimed(which was ridiculous I might add)...

quote:
Originally posted by Black Butterfly:
And I have absolute faith that had Madame Walker never laid an eye on a stringy-haired white woman, she would have STILL been creative enough to develop a hair care system for us. We know no bounds when it comes to hair creations, be it during Ancient Egyptian times to this VERY DAY. White women as muse and sole inspiration waaaaaaaaay back THEN or NOW for our creativity? Please! Whoever wants to own that untruth is free to do so, though. *shudder* But, they need to get a clue.~


quote:
Originally posted by Oshun Auset:
Please give ONE example before colonialism(Arab and/or European) and slavery where African women in any society straightened their hair and/or added Asian hair to their head coincidentally with the outcome looking like Europeans and Arabs THAT THEY NEVER HAD CONTACT WITH.


Since African history is thousands(really millions) of years old, if the 'straightenning' look was going to become popular outside of Euro-Arab imperialism/invasion... Why didn't it already occur? Maybe it was because we were comfortable with our phenotype? Your absolute (blind)faith in the ridiculous doesn't mean a thing in the face of absolute FACT. BTW, what you are suggesting is another denial of the effects and social reality of global white suprmacy. Please refrain from doing that if you don't want to be 'accused' of doing that.

ANd what about this aspect...

quote:
Originally posted by Oshun Auset:
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 that scorches our hair and skin?


Why would the majority of a people put themselves throught this unhealthy(and painful) process just to change their racial phenotype? Is that an expression of 'self love' and 'racial/phenotypical pride'?

quote:
The women with the long red "braids" going down their backs. Is it weave? If so, did African-American women influence them? What about the red ochre and animal fat that they use on their hair and skin? Do they have deep-seated white supremacy issues with trying to be Unblack, or can we just attribute this to their creativity? Shouldn't they be cutting their hair off like other African women? Is it a slap in the face of politics when they don't cut it off?


Already been adressed.

quote:
Originally posted by Oshun Auset:
Why is long hair 'feminine' to African women(or men) 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'?


Their hair is locked sweety. They never had to 'cut out a perm', and in no way are they mimicking the appearance of European or Arab phenotypes. Why are you giving such disingenous arguments? This is the STRAWMAN I was reffering to. It really makes you look silly and quite dishonest.

quote:
Do you see "cosmetic" issues involved in politics where men are concerned?...where other races are concerned? There are sometimes some sexual preference issues involved with politics. There sometimes some ethnicity discrimination issues involved with politics. There are sometimes some gender issues involved with politics. But....the straightening comb?....I don't buy it.~


I've adressed gender oppression and the worlwide colour caste system as well as class issues. You choose to pretend to think that the disrespect for the African phenotype isnt political, although it is a result of RACIAL oppression. You are free to remain dillusional.

quote:
If we all donned afros, braids, and locs tomorrow, what would really change about our black community situation? More jobs? Our marriage rate would go up? The high school dropout rate for our son's would go down? Their would be less incarcerations? Less black on black crime? The aids infection rate among our women would go down? Children born out of wed-lock would cease? The rate of black men dating interracially would go down? Plainly put, HOW EXACTLY DOES THE BLACK WOMAN'S HAIR APPLY TO OUR COMMUNITY ILLS politically speaking or otherwise?


Wow, no wonder you like Romulus so much... This is a HAIR ISSUE THREAD honey. All those issues mentioned have been discussed at length on other threads.(Theres that STAWMAN) I will say one thing. If the majority of African people did not express self hatred in all it's forms, and if women in particular rebelled against the foreign beauty standard imposed on us... We would have better self concepts and virtually wipe out the effects of the beauty standard and some of the gender effects of it on us.

Do you think that during the 'Black Pride' movement African/Black people were wearing their hair in it's natural state 'just because'? It was a political statement about SELF ACCEPTANCE.

quote:
We black women are our own worst enemy. As if we don't have ENOUGH going on, we have to contend with each other over basic respect issues.


Basic respect would have prevented you from attacking my NATURAL phenotype which is a non-issue...

quote:
I've said this before, though not on this disccussion board, but I believe that for all the talk of sisterhood, and sista this and sista that, what I've come to believe WHOLEHEARTEDLY is that black women ACTUALLY can not stand each other. No matter what's being shown on the surface, on the REAL, sisterhood is not there. And if we can't find a REAL reason to hate each other, we'll make one up. What's the quickest way to get a conviction for a black woman in a court of law? Give her an all black woman jury. Tried, tested, and true.


That's sad that you believe that. As I said earlier...

quote:
Originally posted by Oshun Auset:
...we are at war, the beauty standard(hair issue) is just one of the psychological fronts(this battle is and internal one). We are not at war(externally) with each other though, we have a commen oppressor/exploiter/enemy.


You have been the one spewing hatred. You therefore may want to check yourself... but I doubt you can see beyond your own 'personal' and individual 'issues'. The bigger picture of combatting our shared oppression escapes you. All you are worried about is defending you perm. When 'your perm' isn't even what's being attacked. The fact that probably about 80% of African women in the U.S.(or any other urban area that has been effected by colonialism globally) sport a perm is no coincidence. It speaks volumes about what is imposed on us. No matter how much you choose to take it 'persoanlly' and deny it as a SOCIETAL issue.

quote:
If you have a "system of hair logic" for determining whether or not a "sista" is worthy of of political convo, respect, friendship, go for it.


I like how you twisted what I actually did say... that's cool, I'm used to your behavior by now. My posts speak for themselves, as does my everyday behavior.

quote:
I disagree with your "analytical" method of discernment. We can agree to disagree because the arguing is pointless. There's no way in hell I'll come around to your way of thinking, and I'm sure your mind is just as made up on your end. Do you. I'll do me.~



You fail to miss that this is not about 'changing your thinking'. I will do me, and that means I don't let bs fly.
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Hmmm...

I have read a lot off this thread, I will only say a lot because of so much duplication (all the quoting). Off the top of my head as a black male, I have noticed a few different things.

1. there are a large percentage of black women with natural hair with white men. That means something, what I can not say.

2. there are a lot of black women who have their natural hair braided to appear similar to white women's hair. Again why, I can not say.

The bottom line is that hair does not say enough about a woman to draw a conclusion about them. The Phony-tail, the braided in, the short fro, the straitened, the loc'ed, ,the permed? Not enough to determine the consciousness of the wearer. You could blame it all on white supremacy, in that some may want to appear more euro or more afrique, but really is that the only choice? They may want to be comfortable and content.

You can draw conclusions based on the type of hair someone wears an you could be right, but you can just as easily be wrong.
quote:
Originally posted by Wiz:
Hmmm...

I have read a lot off this thread, I will only say a lot because of so much duplication (all the quoting). Off the top of my head as a black male, I have noticed a few different things.

1. there are a large percentage of black women with natural hair with white men. That means something, what I can not say.


I've noticed this, particularly on the East and West coast...and in Europe. I'm not sure what that's about either. 19
I think it has a lot to do with intelligence and being accepted.

In the black community, the walls are close together. Everyone has to beleive in God, everyone has to like MLK, everyone has to eat stuffing...

(Those are just examples, not that any of them are true, all that much) But is an easy community to be an outsider in, well be an outsider out of. Book smarts, especially ones that do not immediately transform into money are not really all that welcome. There are few black socialists or few black libertarians or few black wiccans, so few that they really do not have enough to be a real presence in a local community.

So a bookish black woman often wants a companion, there probably are not a lot of men black men in her immediate vicinity that fit the bill for her. And ones that are, are often like roosters because they recognize their own rareness and do not feel the need to settle down since they are so few of them and so many black and some white women available to them. So instead of competing for the favors of that rarer black man, they get with white men who are more than available to them.

And it is sometimes a money thing as well, wealthier black men, while there are a lot more of them than 30 years ago, there are a lot more wealthy black women than there are men, and they do not want to take care of a man or feel taken advantage of by a man, which often appear as the choices they are faced with.

Of course such ruminations hardly can explain all or perhaps not even most of the black women, with natural hair, engaging with white men. But those are my observations.
Ordinarily I wouldn't lift a post from one site to another but I saw this one on a natural hair website called nappturality.com and thought it was fascinating and worthy of sharing with the sistas. The sight encourages sistas to start with the BC (big chop), cutting out the permed portion of the hair and create a photo diary of the hair as it grows into its natural state...



"I'm a 28 yr old South African woman, living in Cape Town. I've been transitioning for 5 months and I believe that I'm finally ready to do the BC this December, just in time for the hot days of summer.

But this journey has been long and complicated and heavily influenced by the psyche of the environment that I find myself in. South Africa, particularly Cape Town, has had a long history of oppression of the physical - body and hair. In this country, I am classified as a "coloured" person, a term that I whole heartedly reject. It only means that I am part of that mixed-race group that the oppressive apartheid government could not define, so they created a whole new racial group just to keep their need for control going.

I guess I need to go back a bit to explain the origins of this diverse and beautiful group of people who have made Cape Town what it is today. Slavery in Cape Town dates back to 1658, when the Dutch East Indian company decided to have a refreshment station to provide supplies to the passing ships who participated in the Spice Trade. Soon the refreshment station grew, and the Dutch colonists requested that slaves be sent to help with the rapid growth of this station. The first two groups of slaves were from Angola, but the rest came from Indian Ocean countries such as Madagascar, mozambique, India, Sri lanka and various Indonesian islands. You can only imagine the diversity found in Cape Town when the slave trade was at its height, a diversity that has defined Cape Town until this day.

My own ancestry is indigenous Khoi-San, Black, European, and my maternal grandfather is Indian. I've been created with thick, thick curly coarse hair, something that my mother (with her more straight hair) has been trying to beat into submission for all of my childhood years. When apartheid became the law of the land in 1948, the government had a particular problem with mixed-race people, the descendants of slaves, because many of them looked white. So they started conducting tests on people who were border line cases: a pencil was inserted into the hair and if it fell out, you were classified as white, if it stayed in, you were "coloured". So you can only imagine the politics of hair that emerged from this kind of thinking. It was always better to have straight hair and be associated with whiteness.

My family ranges from white-looking to dark beauties. And yet, while this diversity should be celebrated, it is still more desirable to have straighter hair. This is where I have started my journey... my hair is far too thick to ignore, I can't relax it anymore. I can't continue to endure the sting and odour of chemicals every 8 weeks. I want out...

I know that this is only the beginning. I know I will get weird looks and stony silences. SO many people still need to change their thinking when it comes to beauty standards. Many "coloured" people have fully embraced their Africanness, but still too many revere their European bloodlines. WE need to wake up and realise that we are AFRIKAN, and to celebrate this. I'm making a start
"
fro There are many of us Black women here in this country affected by this hair syndrome as well i.e. the desire to have "white" hair or good hair. Tragically. Even today. I remember back in the day....60s & early 70's...having a natural was a sign of accepting and embracing YOUR blackness. There were STILL those who refused to let go of that "straigthening comb" but nevertheless there were PLENTY of us out there representing this New Love. I thought it was gonna LAST forever. But unfortunately, the eighties appeared...and the hip hop generation emerged and suddenly having "straight" hair or the "gerry curl" were the new crave among young people. Folks were wearing the shyte out of weaves....or sporting a curl [which eventually would turn "ashy" red for some from too much sun exposure]. I must admit I had a gerry curl and wore my hair very short to the head. It was easier cuz I had children to take care of...so it was a "time management" thing. I am soooo glad that the gerry curl craved is DEAD. The Black men who wore it [and some women too] were always seen with that famous "grease" stain around the collar from the activator...or the oily and unnatural look itself. Thankgod! It's somewhat GONE. But I still see [not very often] folks who STILL refuse to let it go. They wear it with SUCH pride. But not the same kind of PRIDE when naturals came out in the sixities....nope there will NEVER be that KIND of Black Pride about hair again....I don't think. Not in my lifetime anyway. And that's what makes it sooooooo tragic. Now you see a few of us sporting the natural...and there are many of the newer generation "trying" to sport it today BUT! For me.... It is just NOT the SAME! I guess there's no "SOUL". And you know, you just got to have SOUL...and young folks just don't know what that IS or what that MEANS. fro
I'll say this about the hair thing and then leave it alone because no one is going to change their already made up minds. Although there are probably some Black women who straighten their hair because they want to look like another race, not all Black women with perms feel that way. I relax my hair and I am definitely not trying to look white. It was never engrained in my mind that my naturally kinky/nappy hair needed to be fixed. My hair was relaxed when I was a little girl and I've been following that routine ever since. I don't have a problem with natural hair; in fact, I think natural styles are beautiful. But if I choose to straighten my hair that doesn't make me any less Black or any less conscious than a sista with locs. I've seen women with natural styles that have been died an unnatural color. I see that as a huge contradiction, but they are doing them just like I am doing me. Unless someone is a mind reader and knows with an absolute certainty what is going on inside my head, they can't say that I'm trying to look white. It's not about trying to look white, at least not for me. It's simply about personal preference.
I'm happy with my dreads. After the days when I used to wear braids and relaxers I decided just to go natural. I feel like it fits my personality.... I don't know if that makes sense. The fake stuff just isn't for me. I don't think every black woman who straightens her hair is trying to emulate white women, although undoubtedly many of them do. I've heard women say straight hair is more manageable... Although I don't really know what that means because I see plenty of sistahs with natural hair and they don't seem to have any problem wearing their hair. As a matter of fact, I think it'd be easier to run a pick through an afro or whatever than it would to press, relax, roll up, flat iron, and do whatever else it takes to get straight hair.
I_am_Mahogany said:
I relax my hair and I am definitely not trying to look white...

It was never engrained in my mind that my naturally kinky/nappy hair needed to be fixed...


Yet...

My hair was relaxed when I was a little girl and I've been following that routine ever since....

and one can notice this contradiction...

I've seen women with natural styles that have been died an unnatural color. I see that as a huge contradictione...

But not be aware of the above and below ones...

It's simply about personal preference.

which came about because...

My hair was relaxed when I was a little girl and I've been following that routine ever since....

fascinating...
quote:
Originally posted by I_am_Mahogany:

I'll say this about the hair thing and then leave it alone because no one is going to change their already made up minds. Although there are probably some Black women who straighten their hair because they want to look like another race, not all Black women with perms feel that way. I relax my hair and I am definitely not trying to look white. It was never engrained in my mind that my naturally kinky/nappy hair needed to be fixed. My hair was relaxed when I was a little girl and I've been following that routine ever since. I don't have a problem with natural hair; in fact, I think natural styles are beautiful. But if I choose to straighten my hair that doesn't make me any less Black or any less conscious than a sista with locs. I've seen women with natural styles that have been died an unnatural color. I see that as a huge contradiction, but they are doing them just like I am doing me. Unless someone is a mind reader and knows with an absolute certainty what is going on inside my head, they can't say that I'm trying to look white. It's not about trying to look white, at least not for me. It's simply about personal preference.



You know, what I found so compelling about the post of the young woman in south africa was her level of awareness about her history, her culture, and the politics of hair. It also underscored for me that black women in south africa are facing some of the same issues that black women in Cuba, Brazil, and USA are facing with regard to race, beauty, and self acceptance. So, for me, how you wear your hair is not so important as understanding the politics of hair. I think if a black woman finds a hairstyle that fits not only her face but also her lifestyle and makes her feel confident, whether thats locs, braids, twists, weaves, wigs, waves, curls, fros, bantu knots, texturizers or perms, it's all good.

No other group of women can rock these things with flava like we do 1.

But, when it all boils down to it, we do need to acknowledge how straight/permed/relaxed hair on west african phenotype black women came to be.

You, as an individual may not be trying to look white but the trend of pressing combs, lye based products, and other straightening techniques came about as a result of dissatisfaction with kinky tightly coiled african hair. If we black women are to be honest with ourselves about black beauty, then have to acknowlege the "politics of hair" in every country where black women are present no matter how we wear our hair. The history of permed/relaxed hair begins with the rejection of naps as something un-beautiful, something which needed to be made straight.

Now, I don't think there is any shame in saying I choose to wear weave but i understand the politics of hair

or

I choose to wear a perm but I understand the politics of hair

or

I choose to wear "golden honey" highlights but i understand the politics of hair.

but we still have to acknowledge that there is a "politics" surrounding our hair.


i'mma have to draw the line at asymmetrical burgundy clip-in pieces though Wink lol
quote:
Originally posted by negrospiritual:
quote:
Originally posted by I_am_Mahogany:

I'll say this about the hair thing and then leave it alone because no one is going to change their already made up minds. Although there are probably some Black women who straighten their hair because they want to look like another race, not all Black women with perms feel that way. I relax my hair and I am definitely not trying to look white. It was never engrained in my mind that my naturally kinky/nappy hair needed to be fixed. My hair was relaxed when I was a little girl and I've been following that routine ever since. I don't have a problem with natural hair; in fact, I think natural styles are beautiful. But if I choose to straighten my hair that doesn't make me any less Black or any less conscious than a sista with locs. I've seen women with natural styles that have been died an unnatural color. I see that as a huge contradiction, but they are doing them just like I am doing me. Unless someone is a mind reader and knows with an absolute certainty what is going on inside my head, they can't say that I'm trying to look white. It's not about trying to look white, at least not for me. It's simply about personal preference.



You know, what I found so compelling about the post of the young woman in south africa was her level of awareness about her history, her culture, and the politics of hair. It also underscored for me that black women in south africa are facing some of the same issues that black women in Cuba, Brazil, and USA are facing with regard to race, beauty, and self acceptance. So, for me, how you wear your hair is not so important as understanding the politics of hair. I think if a black woman finds a hairstyle that fits not only her face but also her lifestyle and makes her feel confident, whether thats locs, braids, twists, weaves, wigs, waves, curls, fros, bantu knots, texturizers or perms, it's all good.

No other group of women can rock these things with flava like we do 1.

But, when it all boils down to it, we do need to acknowledge how straight/permed/relaxed hair on west african phenotype black women came to be.

You, as an individual may not be trying to look white but the trend of pressing combs, lye based products, and other straightening techniques came about as a result of dissatisfaction with kinky tightly coiled african hair. If we black women are to be honest with ourselves about black beauty, then have to acknowlege the "politics of hair" in every country where black women are present no matter how we wear our hair. The history of permed/relaxed hair begins with the rejection of naps as something un-beautiful, something which needed to be made straight.

Now, I don't think there is any shame in saying I choose to wear weave but i understand the politics of hair

or

I choose to wear a perm but I understand the politics of hair

or

I choose to wear "golden honey" highlights but i understand the politics of hair.

but we still have to acknowledge that there is a "politics" surrounding our hair.


i'mma have to draw the line at asymmetrical burgundy clip-in pieces though Wink lol



I agree with Koco... well stated...

I would also add that it is important for the person to realize how the politics of hair has affected their "preferences".... or "choices"
I laughed when I saw the title of this thread...and I did because people seem to judge other people a lot based upon what they choose to do with their own head...which is just ridiculous to me.

It's their head...who are you to say what style they should and should not wear??? Isn't that doing exactly what various oppressors did to us? But especially in the current "corporate plantation" that seeks to obliterate any signs of "ethnicity?"

If you don't know your history, you will never UnderStand your present.

...and it amazes me how people talk about our history and fail to recognize how they perpetuate the same oppressions as that of the oppressors that would try to be "there" for us.

I don't judge other Black Women on how WE choose to wear our hair. While I realize that some Black Women are trying to run completely from who they are as Black Women via traditional European beauty standards, I don't let MySelf mark their experience either. Each person has got to find their own soul through their own journey.

Personally, I've worn every style you can think of: I've been "relaxed," curled up, wigged up, braided up in just about every design you can think of, weaved, bald - yes bald, and "all natural"....

All styles I rocked whenever and wherever I chose to...and I didn't let anybody give me any "grief" over MY hair or head. If I relaxed it - good, it was still my hair. If I curled it - good, it was still my hair. If I wore a wig or a weave, look I paid for it so yes, it was STILL my hair. If I braided it, it was still my hair. If I shaved it all off, dangit I could put it in the toilet if I wanted to - it was STILL MY HAIR and my shiny head looked good. If I wear it natural, it's still MY HAIR.

Politics of hair??? Please. There can be no "politics" about what I refuse to have people police. It's mine - I rule it. You do not. Period.

See what the real problem is, is that we have too many followers, and too many fraidy cats. Too weak to do what they like to do and be themselves, so they follow others and too afraid to tell others where to go if they don't like your brand of flavor.

I wish someone would tell me they can't "make nice" with me based off of my hair! That isn't a person I'd have for a friend or a job I'd take on, etc., if they'd be so shallow and really so arrogant.

Hair war? Hardly...Again, there can be no war about something that I refuse to let others fight me on.

...and good hair isn't about being anything other than Black. Good hair is about growing and maintaining hair that is healthy.

"Wisdom Is A Woman Who Can't Stand Non-Sense!"
quote:
Originally posted by negrospiritual:
What about the term "Politics of hair" do you find objectionable? Do you actually understand the term?


LOL! WOW!

Well, NegroSpiritual....

YES I UnderStand the PHRASE. What I find "objectionable" is the premise that my hair should cause such a stir for anybody given that it is MINE. While I'm well aware of the tactics that have been used historically against our Beauty, meaning Black Women, by no means does that mean that we have to live by that and play other's games when it comes to assessing the "standards of beauty" for US.

Again, there can be no argument behind what belongs to me and there can be no standards that take away from what naturally belongs to me.

Now I'd ask you: What about the PHRASE "It's mine - I rule it. You do not. Period...." do you find objectionable? Do you actually understand where your boundaries end and another's begins?

"Wisdom Is A Woman Laughin....(and it's still MINE)!"
quote:
Originally posted by negrospiritual:

quote:
Originally posted by ShayaButHer:



LOL! WOW!


Confused Confused Confused wow?

Shaya said:
quote:
Now I'd ask you: What about the PHRASE "It's mine - I rule it. You do not. Period...." do you find objectionable? Do you actually understand where your boundaries end and another's begins?



I asked you because it was puzzling to me why you would react to the term "politics of hair" in the way that you did...

I'm further puzzled by the "i rule it you do not" statement, and the "boundary statement" since understanding "the politics of hair" does not imply "ruling" the hair of others? Confused


Let me try to clarify my question: What about the phrase "understanding the politics of hair" suggests "ruling" the hair of others? What about the term "the politics of hair" prompted a knee-jerk response of "it's mine. I rule it"????


I would venture to say the majority of posters in the thread declined to rule on "proper black hair styles".


oh, maybe your comments were in general and not directed specifically at any poster. And particularly not me since i stated in much the same way you did that whatever the style a sista rocks, it's all good...

i see... your comments were in no way directed toward me.

my bad

carry on.
quote:
Originally posted by Khalliqa:
quote:
Originally posted by negrospiritual:
quote:
Originally posted by I_am_Mahogany:

I'll say this about the hair thing and then leave it alone because no one is going to change their already made up minds. Although there are probably some Black women who straighten their hair because they want to look like another race, not all Black women with perms feel that way. I relax my hair and I am definitely not trying to look white. It was never engrained in my mind that my naturally kinky/nappy hair needed to be fixed. My hair was relaxed when I was a little girl and I've been following that routine ever since. I don't have a problem with natural hair; in fact, I think natural styles are beautiful. But if I choose to straighten my hair that doesn't make me any less Black or any less conscious than a sista with locs. I've seen women with natural styles that have been died an unnatural color. I see that as a huge contradiction, but they are doing them just like I am doing me. Unless someone is a mind reader and knows with an absolute certainty what is going on inside my head, they can't say that I'm trying to look white. It's not about trying to look white, at least not for me. It's simply about personal preference.



You know, what I found so compelling about the post of the young woman in south africa was her level of awareness about her history, her culture, and the politics of hair. It also underscored for me that black women in south africa are facing some of the same issues that black women in Cuba, Brazil, and USA are facing with regard to race, beauty, and self acceptance. So, for me, how you wear your hair is not so important as understanding the politics of hair. I think if a black woman finds a hairstyle that fits not only her face but also her lifestyle and makes her feel confident, whether thats locs, braids, twists, weaves, wigs, waves, curls, fros, bantu knots, texturizers or perms, it's all good.

No other group of women can rock these things with flava like we do 1.

But, when it all boils down to it, we do need to acknowledge how straight/permed/relaxed hair on west african phenotype black women came to be.

You, as an individual may not be trying to look white but the trend of pressing combs, lye based products, and other straightening techniques came about as a result of dissatisfaction with kinky tightly coiled african hair. If we black women are to be honest with ourselves about black beauty, then have to acknowlege the "politics of hair" in every country where black women are present no matter how we wear our hair. The history of permed/relaxed hair begins with the rejection of naps as something un-beautiful, something which needed to be made straight.

Now, I don't think there is any shame in saying I choose to wear weave but i understand the politics of hair

or

I choose to wear a perm but I understand the politics of hair

or

I choose to wear "golden honey" highlights but i understand the politics of hair.

but we still have to acknowledge that there is a "politics" surrounding our hair.


i'mma have to draw the line at asymmetrical burgundy clip-in pieces though Wink lol



I agree with Koco... well stated...

I would also add that it is important for the person to realize how the politics of hair has affected their "preferences".... or "choices"


Ditto @ NS's post & yeah
quote:
Originally posted by negrospiritual:
You know, what I found so compelling about the post of the young woman in south africa was her level of awareness about her history, her culture, and the politics of hair. It also underscored for me that black women in south africa are facing some of the same issues that black women in Cuba, Brazil, and USA are facing with regard to race, beauty, and self acceptance. So, for me, how you wear your hair is not so important as understanding the politics of hair. I think if a black woman finds a hairstyle that fits not only her face but also her lifestyle and makes her feel confident, whether thats locs, braids, twists, weaves, wigs, waves, curls, fros, bantu knots, texturizers or perms, it's all good.

No other group of women can rock these things with flava like we do 1.

But, when it all boils down to it, we do need to acknowledge how straight/permed/relaxed hair on west african phenotype black women came to be.

You, as an individual may not be trying to look white but the trend of pressing combs, lye based products, and other straightening techniques came about as a result of dissatisfaction with kinky tightly coiled african hair. If we black women are to be honest with ourselves about black beauty, then have to acknowlege the "politics of hair" in every country where black women are present no matter how we wear our hair. The history of permed/relaxed hair begins with the rejection of naps as something un-beautiful, something which needed to be made straight.

Now, I don't think there is any shame in saying I choose to wear weave but i understand the politics of hair

or

I choose to wear a perm but I understand the politics of hair

or

I choose to wear "golden honey" highlights but i understand the politics of hair.

but we still have to acknowledge that there is a "politics" surrounding our hair.


i'mma have to draw the line at asymmetrical burgundy clip-in pieces though Wink lol


That was truly food for thought...You know, every time I see a debate about natural versus chemically treated hair, I guess I get so caught up in defending my point that I've never really given much thought to the history or the politics behind it all.

Thank you negrospiritual! You've given me something to think about.
To be honest, Black people don't start with their children in training them that there is nothing wrong or unusual about nappy hair in the first place, but, also, if Black women are trying to be white by straightening their hair, then white women must be trying to be Black by curling theirs because natural curls are a bi-product of nappy hair (tightly curled hair); and as for white men dating Black women whose hair is natural, any Black woman dating a white man that cannot accept her natural hair is a fool, so it would appear that they are dating men that fully accept them for who they are, which is actually more than I can say for some Black men who probably would gravitate towards the Black woman with the straightened hair over the Black woman with the natural hair.
Last edited {1}
quote:
Originally posted by negrospiritual:
[I asked you because it was puzzling to me why you would react to the term "politics of hair" in the way that you did...

I'm further puzzled by the "i rule it you do not" statement, and the "boundary statement" since understanding "the politics of hair" does not imply "ruling" the hair of others? Confused


Let me try to clarify my question: What about the phrase "understanding the politics of hair" suggests "ruling" the hair of others? What about the term "the politics of hair" prompted a knee-jerk response of "it's mine. I rule it"????


I would venture to say the majority of posters in the thread declined to rule on "proper black hair styles".


oh, maybe your comments were in general and not directed specifically at any poster. And particularly not me since i stated in much the same way you did that whatever the style a sista rocks, it's all good...

i see... your comments were in no way directed toward me.

my bad

carry on.


Yes, I was not directing anything personal towards you and it was not a knee jerk reaction.. I was stating "in general" that there can be no "politics of hair" if we do not allow others to "war against" what belongs to us in the first place.

For instance, I have many friends who rock dreads, naturals, head wraps and the like in their corporate environments. They all comment on how some sought to make them "conform" to the status quo, however they all were adamant that they were not "changing" like that for anyone. It is their hair, and as long as it looks neat and presentable, who was anyone to tell them how to be wearing it?

For MySelf, when I made the transition from perming to natural hair, I wore head wraps, breads, locs and the like. People wanted to put their "hands all over" me, like I was the doll they'd seen at Toys R' Us....and I had to tell them that it was DisReSpectful to be putting their hands all over me. Not only that, it just isn't sanitary because I don't kwow where their hands have been.

The point being that while some may take issue with our own natural beauty, we own it - they don't. They may try to to take what belongs to us, as we see throughout the world with ladies plumping up their lips, butts, etc...and trying to braid their hair...and trying to "utilize" other characteristics of US, however, we own it...so no matter what anybody else tries to take or deny about us, it will always belong to us.

"Wisdom Is A Woman Who Owns Her Own!"
quote:
Originally posted by SistahSouljah:
{confused by "politics of hair"}


sorry i'm just now seeing this:, but perhaps this will get u started.


Natural hair


Young woman with parted afro curls.Natural hair, black hair, and afro-textured hair are terms used mainly by Western people to refer to the texture of African hair which has not been altered chemically (by perming, relaxing, straightening, bleaching or coloring). It should be noted though, that not all people of sub-Saharan African descent have naturally afro-textured hair, in particular certain Horn of Africa groups though most sub saharan Africans do. Adjectives such as "hard", "kinky", "nappy", or "woolly" are also used to describe natural hair. This hair is typically tightly coiled and soft to the touch. Andamanese Negritos and most Melanesian people also have tightly curled hair.

History in the United States

Black Americans have been experimenting with ways to style their hair since the nineteenth century. Between the late 1890s and the early 1900s, Annie Malone, Madam C. J. Walker and Garrett Augustus Morgan revolutionized Black American hair care by inventing and marketing chemical applications to alter the natural, "nappy" or kinky texture. During the 1930s, conking (vividly described in the Autobiography of Malcolm X) became an innovative method in the U.S. for Black men to straighten kinky hair.

It has been debated whether these practices arose out of a desire to make the hair more manageable or instead to conform to a Eurocentric standard of beauty.[citation needed] Supporters of the second theory believe that the same prejudice that viewed lighter skin as preferable to darker, held that straight or wavy hair was preferable to kinky or nappy natural hair; that this prejudice comes not from African diasporic peoples but from European slaveholders and colonizers as part of the rhetoric used to support slavery and racially-based social class stratifications. Some claim that the dominant prejudice for Eurocentric ideas of beauty pervades the western world. [1][citation needed]

The civil rights movement and black power and pride movements of the 1960s and 1970s in the U.S. created an impetus for African Americans to express their political commitments and self love through the wearing of natural hair. This contributed to the emergence of the Afro hairstyle into American mainstream culture, as an affirmation of African heritage, that "black is beautiful," and a rejection of Eurocentric standards of beauty. It has been used in songs, as a symbol of African heritage, notably in I Wish by Stevie Wonder. By the 1970s natural hair had evolved into a popular hairstyle.

Over the years, the popularity of natural hair has waxed and waned, but a significant percentage, approximately 75% of African American women still elect to straighten their hair with relaxers of some kind. Prolonged application of such chemicals can result in overprocessing, breakage and thinning of the hair.

In the past decade or so, natural hair has once again increased in popularity with the emergence of styles such as cornrows, locks, braiding, twists and cropped hair, most of which originated in Ancient Africa[citation needed]. With the emergence of hip-hop culture and Caribbean influences like reggae music, more non-blacks have begun to wear these hairstyles as well. There has been a boom in marketing hair products such as "Out of Africa" shampoo to African American consumers. Slogans that promote a pan-African appreciation of Afro-textured hair include "Happy to be nappy," "Don't worry, be nappy," as well as "Love, peace and nappiness."

Most black women in the West, however, continue to relax their hair.[2] Even today, people are sometimes discouraged in the workplace from wearing their hair in a natural style (see below)


[edit] Controversy over natural hair in the United States
Although there has been a reemergence of natural hair, there is still the underlying tone that straightened hair is a more acceptable or professional hairstyle. This is evidenced by the fact that high-profile black women in professions such as journalism and politics still wear straight hair.

A 1998 incident became national news when a teacher in Bushwick, Brooklyn, introduced her students to the book Nappy Hair by Black American author Carolivia Herron. The teacher, who is white, was criticized by parents of black children, who thought that the book presented a negative stereotype.[1]

In December 2006, the Baltimore Police Department created a policy to create a new professional appearance, but it raised questions of racial insensitivity. The new policy was more specific. Three out of the four hairstyles banned were worn primarily by blacks[citation needed]. The hairstyles include twists, locks, Mohawks, and cornrows. These hairstyles were regarded as "fads" and "extreme." A petition was made. Currently the Baltimore Police Department has rescinded the policy against natural hair styles and a new policy was put in effect after January 15th.

In June 2006, the Six Flags amusement park chain created an employee policy against "extreme hairstyles" including locks and cornrows. This caused many of their employees to either quit or alter their hair by cutting it or straightening it.

On Wednesday, April 4, 2007 radio talk-show host Don Imus referred to the Rutgers University women's basketball team playing in the Women's NCAA Championship game as a group of "nappy-headed hos" during his Imus in the Morning show. Bernard McGuirk then compared the game to "the jigaboos versus the wannabes," alluding to Spike Lee's film School Daze. Imus apologized two days later, after receiving criticism. CBS Radio canceled Don Imus' morning show on Thursday, April 12, 2007.

On April 24, 2007, mixed martial arts fighter Tito Ortiz reprised Imus' remark when he said of Rashad Evans, "He will be my nappy-headed ho." The two faced off in one of the three featured fights at UFC 73 in Sacramento, California on July 7, 2007.

During August 2007, American Lawyer Magazine reported that an unnamed junior Glamour Magazine staffer did a presentation on the "Do's and Dont's of Corporate Fashion" for Cleary Gottlieb, a New York City law firm. There was a slide show where the woman made negative remarks about black women's natural hairstyles in the workplace, calling them "shocking," "inappropriate," and "political." Both the law firm and Glamour Magazine issued apologies to the staff. [2][3]
quote:
Originally posted by SistahSouljah:
{confused by "politics of hair"}



The Politics of Hair

Robinson, Lori S

In her hit song "I Am Not My Hair," R&B songstress India.Arie painfully describes her struggle with trying to conform to European hair standards before adopting her own brand of beauty.

But the reality is African American hair - from the afro to the press and curl and perm to natural styles such as braids, twists, cornrows and dreadlocks - still stirs up controversy. Why?

"The standard of beauty is certainly a lot more flexible today than it has been in our history. Yet, there is still a kind of underlying standard of beauty that is fundamentally European," says Paulette Caldwell, a New York University law professor who specializes in education law and employment discrimination law.

Recently, when Vaughan Thomas took her mother-in-law to the beauty salon in a Montgomery, Ala., Dillard's department store, she was charged $30 for a wash-and-set, more than the listed $20 cost.

Thomas was told Black hair needs more conditioner and takes longer to style. She and seven other women are now suing Dillard's, claiming the company engages in race-based pricing. Though Dillard's denies charging African Americans more than Whites as a matter of policy, the company has presented evidence that doing Black hair is more difficult and time-consuming.

"What makes this such a fascinating case is that a corporation would actually try to justify race-based pricing under some sort of pseudo-scientific principal," says Patrick Cooper, Thomas's attorney.

For years, African Americans, particularly women, have had hair battles. Twenty-five years ago, Renée Rogers brought suit against her employer, American Airlines, for their policy against braids. And 10 years ago, Corrine McBride sued a Georgia temp agency that refused to refer people who wore all-braided hairstyles to job assignments.

But corporate America isn't the only adversary of natural styles. Some Black institutions discourage the "natural" look, believing it's best to prepare African Americans to blend into a majority-White corporate environment.

In June 2006, it became public that a college student had to cut his dreadlocks to keep an internship at Black Enterprise magazine. Years earlier, in the February 2000 issue of Black Enterprise, publisher Earl G. Graves penned a two-page editorial explaining his position on "traditional business attire." Recently, Susan L. Taylor, editorial director of Essence magazine, canceled an appearance at historically Black Hampton University, after learning that a program within its business school prohibits dreadlocks and long braids on men.

According to Caldwell, employers are protected by law.

"You're not required as an employer to announce that you've got a policy against braids," says Caldwell. "Anything that you do voluntarily to associate yourself with a particular race or culture or national origin is not protected by law against racism."

- Lori S. Robinson

Copyright Crisis Publishing Company, Incorporated Sep/Oct 2006
quote:
Originally posted by SistahSouljah:
{confused by "politics of hair"}


a different take on it...



The politics of hair

Koppelman, Connie

Throughout the history of humankind, women's hair has been fashioned to exhibit beauty, removed to cause humiliation, and interpreted as a sign of strength, power (often destructive), or powerlessness. Because hair continually replenishes itself, it has been imbued with magical, symbolic power and defined by myth and tradition. Stories of Samson and Delilah, Medusa, and Rapunzel are only three of many biblical, mythological, and fairy tales associated with hair. They help to shape our psyche, embedded as they are in our memories from childhood.

Hair also has social implications. It helps us determine age, economic, intellectual, and marital status, as well as religious affiliations. Hairstyles can signify conformity, for example, to army regulations, monastic celibacy, or any group-determined aesthetic. Hairstyles can also signify rebellion.

Today many women choose to shave their heads as a sign of female bonding and sometimes as a form of protest against the beauty myth. Whether they go bald for personal or political reasons, bald-headed women are often perceived as threatening, perhaps because of the negative connotations associated with baldness as a sign of age, punishment, illness, or rebellion. Prisoners of war were often shorn of their hair, and, after World War II, shearing was used as a

form of punishment for French women suspected of collaborating with the enemy. Sometimes hair was also removed from the heads of slaves as a sign of servitude, a tradition that dates back at least to ancient Egypt. In the Old and New Kingdom, children's heads were shaved, except for one remaining lock of hair. When they reached maturity, women's hair was closely cropped and covered with a wig.

Some orthodox religions mandate the covering of a woman's hair after marriage. Jewish women at one time were required to cut their hair off and wear a wig. Orthodox women today need not crop their hair but must cover it, usually with a wig, when in public. A sense of modesty also requires an orthodox

Muslim woman to cover her hair in public from at least the age of maturity. This signifies the renunciation of personal vanity and discourages sexual attraction from males other than her own husband. Amish and Old Order Mennonites also require women to cover their hair as a sign of modesty. Some Pentecostal sects require that a woman never cut her hair; however, when she reaches maturity, she must bind it tightly on top of her head. In such instances, it is hair's sexual attraction that is controlled by society-or we should say patriarchy--as it has been for thousands of years. According to many polls, hair remains one of the six most sensuous parts of the body.

Both good and evil have been attributed to hair, especially after its removal from the head. Superstition and sentiment led to the making of hair fetishes, objects with magical powers, such as a lock of a loved one's hair carried into battle as a form of protection or the burial of one's enemies' hair so it would not perpetrate evil. A far more sentimental custom was particularly popular during the 1880s when hair was designed into intricate jewelry for loved ones, or made from the hair of a deceased person as a memento of mourning. Besides taking the form of jewelry, shadowbox wall ornaments and glass-domed flower arrangements were made from the hair of family or friends. In its day a hair memento was comparable to having a photograph of a loved one.

The modern obsession with youth and thinness can lead to the use of substances that affect the health of women. In spite of warnings of the possibility of carcinogens in hair dye, many women refuse to heed warnings of danger. Perhaps it is the fear of getting old, or just looking old, that drives such decisions.

In our culture, shades of blond are perceived as most sensually appealing, although any color is preferable to the aging signs of gray. Some women have also bought the media's message that they can look more youthful and have so called "natural" looking hair when it is dyed, curled, or permanent waved. In recent decades, an industry has evolved to satisfy the need of black women whose hair texture often requires different shampoos, lotions, curling irons, and styling techniques. Today many black women wear hairstyles of braids, dreadlocks, and cornrows. Some styles last for weeks, are very expensive, and take hours to create. Sometimes these styles have met with hostility by employers and others threatened by African-inspired expressions of blackness. As we grow more comfortable with ourselves, what is on our heads should stop controlling what is inside, making us more tolerant of what others have done with their hair.

Copyright Frontiers Publishing, Inc. 1996
Professor explores hair's cultural implications for African-Americans




Until the birth of his daughter 15 years ago, Neal Lester had never given much thought to head hair.

Jasmine, the child of an African-American father and Italian-Argentine mother, was born with what Lester recalls as "bouncy, thick, ringlets." Her locks, like the shade of her skin, became the discussion of family, friends and strangers.

"People often commented on how ˜nice' or ˜good' her hair was," Lester says. "What they clearly meant was that it wasn't nappy."

As a professor of English specializing in African-American literary and cultural studies, and chair of ASU's Department of English, Lester is well-schooled on the gender and race politics of African-American hair. There is no shortage of head-hair references and treatments in African-American folklore, literature and popular culture.

"The rhetoric is clear that blacks' hair in a ˜natural' state is undesirable," he says. "It needs to be ˜tamed,' as if blackness is wild and animalistic, and whiteness is tamed and civilized."

Until he became a father, however, Lester admits he was not as tuned in to the central role hair continues to play in African-American identity; this despite the fact that his own mother wore long, straight wigs for a good part of her life – and he, himself, experimented with straightening his hair in the 1980s.

"I had earlier dismissed these events as insignificant," Lester says. "Now, however, they signify for me continuing racial and gender biases about head hair both within and outside black cultural experiences. They can affect everything from pop culture, to hiring practices, to student conduct policies."

In addition to studying and teaching courses on African-American literature, folklore, cinema and drama, Lester continues to lecture extensively on the race and gender politics of hair to broad and diverse audiences across the country. He wants others to explore the issue as not one of the past, but one that continues to complicate African-Americans' self-identities and broader social ideals of beauty.

Lester's work helped inform the acclaimed exhibition "HairStories" that is traveling through art galleries across the country"”in Arizona, Chicago and Atlanta, for instance. Its final stop is the 40 Acres Art Gallery in Sacramento, Calif., where it opened July 9 and continues through Sept. 11.

The exhibition examines the complex phenomena of blacks' hair in America as a vehicle for self-expression and artistic invention, and Lester's centerpiece essay in the "HairStories" exhibition catalog weaves together historical and personal insights.

His own "hairstory" includes his decision to grow dreadlocks eight years ago – a socio-political and spiritual decision to take back control of a life he felt was slipping away because of some legal struggles with an Alabama public school system.

While his students thought his new 'do was "cool," his family questioned just how "professional" it was for a university professor. Strangers have wanted to touch it, an experience that reminds him of his first white college roommate's curious request to touch his hair. That roommate expressed great surprise to see that his hair did not feel like steel wool or a Brillo pad.

"With dreadlocks, my hair for the first time in my life became a main topic of conversation," he says. "I've been mistaken for a musician and a Rastafarian – I was never mistaken for anyone when I wore a flat-top fade all the years before 'locking. For me, the issue is not that people are curious about my hairstyle, but that public representations and acceptance of such hairstyles and hair decisions are far from mainstream in this country."

His hairstory also includes his teenage daughter's decision to chemically straighten her curly hair – a moment that, for Lester, marked her passage from childhood to womanhood.

"For many African-American girls, that rite of passage means going from ˜natural' hair to straight hair," Lester says. "Our society forces that ideal of beauty that is unattainable by most African-American women without chemical treatment."

And even then, as rapper KRS-1 clarifies, the alleged "perm"(anent) is but "a temporary" when moisture makes contact.

Much of Lester's work focuses on how this straight/nappy "hair ideal" affects children, particularly young girls. He is interested in African-American children's literature and the extent to which black readership magazines and commercials target the straight-hair ideals typically to mothers of these girls.

When boys and men are attracted to "Barbie-doll-Rapunzel-straight-haired little girls," Lester adds, the gender politics are more all-encompassing.

While such African-American adult literature, as Maya Angelou's "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings," and Toni Morrison's "The Bluest Eye" deal with young black girls coming to terms with their "nappy" hair in the face of culturally competing beauty mythologies, Lester notes that very few children's books create positive messages for young children about their natural hair.

The 1997 children's picture book "Nappy Hair," by Carolivia Herron, and the national controversy it created are the centerpiece of his lectures on hair and shows that conversations about hair can be self-celebratory for African-Americans despite historical and social baggage.

"There are multitudes of messages being sent to little black girls and their mothers about the necessity of transforming themselves into someone else's cultural image of beauty," Lester says. "Among African-Americans, there are so many hairstyles: dreadlocked, ˜natural,' curled, faded, braided, twisted, straightened, permed, crimped, cornrowed and even bald. I'd like to see all of these images represented and celebrated."

Lester's research, presentations and talks on hair afford another important lens through which to read culture and identity, highlighting ultimately that this discussion of difference can lead to personal "hairstories" and the realization that, as Angelou has proclaimed: "We are more alike than we are unalike."


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

By Sharon Keeler. Keeler, with Marketing & Strategic Communications, can be reached at (480) 965-4012 or (sharon.keeler@asu.edu).
August 8, 2005
quote:
"The standard of beauty is certainly a lot more flexible today than it has been in our history. Yet, there is still a kind of underlying standard of beauty that is fundamentally European," says Paulette Caldwell, a New York University law professor who specializes in education law and employment discrimination law.



Even when some sisters decide to go "natural", they are adamant about getting "locks" so that they can "manage" their hair.... into styles that mimic the smoothness of european type hair...

their is a certain group of "natural" sisters that abhor anything resembling "frizz"...

I find this odd...

although *disclaimer* I am one of them! lol...
fro The funny thing about "natural" hair especially in the winter...it requires A LOT of moisture. And when the air is dry and cold...it's gonna fuzz anyway...regardless if it's in braids, twist, pressed, perm, or dyed. The DNA in African hair is stubborn...it will NOT get use to being in COLD weather...period. And so if you sport a twist or braids, you are FOREVER moisturizing it...cuz you don't want breakage which is as a result of fuzzed hair... You bring out a good point Sista K. Cuz in Africa those "hefers" and I say hefer very lovingly mind you...can DO some hairlol And you know that's right. They know HOW to work that BLACK hair...and the hair cooperates cuz it's in the perfect climate for BLACK hair. If you look at Egyptians....they went the full throttle...from bald, locks, braids, twist, straight[yes blackfolks have straight hair as well] to wigs. Hair wasn't such a big issue as it is today. That's cuz back then Black women knew how to COMB their hair...and what ingredients to use.. I have a book full of different African hairstyles.... some are absolutely MAGNIFICANT! I remember one of my former braiders...she is from a village near Benin. When she used to do my hair, it was a gang of 'em taking turns braiding my hair throughout the 6 hours it took AND they would take breaks and eat and laugh...talking French, and an African language I never figured out what it was and...English simulatenously. I loved her! She braided my hair like basketweaving...and at work...the women were soooooo jealous cuz there is a difference between African braiders AND African American braiders...BIG difference. My braids would last almost 8 months...if I let it. When new growth appeared...the braid was still tight and in tact....no fuzz. Do you believe that? But! She cost a fortune. And was worth it for awhile. But I change hairstyles soooo much, I grew bored too soon for THAT kinda money. Back in those day she charged $175. Today for what she did back then, it's a least $300 to $500. That's ridiculous. Yet, there are those who will spend it with a smile. Not me. fro
quote:
Originally posted by Kocolicious:
fro The funny thing about "natural" hair especially in the winter...it requires A LOT of moisture. And when the air is dry and cold...it's gonna fuzz anyway...regardless if it's in braids, twist, pressed, perm, or dyed. The DNA in African hair is stubborn...it will NOT get use to being in COLD weather...period. And so if you sport a twist or braids, you are FOREVER moisturizing it...cuz you don't want breakage which is as a result of fuzzed hair... You bring out a good point Sista K. Cuz in Africa those "hefers" and I say hefer very lovingly mind you...can DO some hairlol And you know that's right. They know HOW to work that BLACK hair...and the hair cooperates cuz it's in the perfect climate for BLACK hair. If you look at Egyptians....they went the full throttle...from bald, locks, braids, twist, straight[yes blackfolks have straight hair as well] to wigs. Hair wasn't such a big issue as it is today. That's cuz back then Black women knew how to COMB their hair...and what ingredients to use.. I have a book full of different African hairstyles.... some are absolutely MAGNIFICANT! I remember one of my former braiders...she is from a village near Benin. When she used to do my hair, it was a gang of 'em taking turns braiding my hair throughout the 6 hours it took AND they would take breaks and eat and laugh...talking French, and an African language I never figured out what it was and...English simulatenously. I loved her! She braided my hair like basketweaving...and at work...the women were soooooo jealous cuz there is a difference between African braiders AND African American braiders...BIG difference. My braids would last almost 8 months...if I let it. When new growth appeared...the braid was still tight and in tact....no fuzz. Do you believe that? But! She cost a fortune. And was worth it for awhile. But I change hairstyles soooo much, I grew bored too soon for THAT kinda money. Back in those day she charged $175. Today for what she did back then, it's a least $300 to $500. That's ridiculous. Yet, there are those who will spend it with a smile. Not me. fro


off You know what kills me... In Ghana and they have braiding shops on the side of the road... Well, they are more like stalls... and it costs $5 U.S. to get your hair done. Micro braids, Senegalese twists, tiny cornrows ect... All $5!!!

Unfortunately, I didn't have the time to get it done. I'm still pissed about that.
quote:
Originally posted by ladyj:
i am a woman with locs that also wears weaves once in awhile. i am starting to notice how blk women tend to treat me differently depending on the hair on my head.
i wonder why blk women with natural hair act like they are better than blk women with a relaxer or weave?
i went to work with my curly short weave and some natural ladies wouldnt even speak to me unless i approached them first. then the weave wearers all of a sudden paid attention to me.
is there a hair war going on and i missed the memo?Confused

are you a hair snob?
do you pick your friends based on hair styles?
do all or most of your friends have the same type of hair? (exp. all natural or all have wash and sets)
do you find yourself making assumptions on females based on their hair?
weave= materialistic, gold gigger, high maintenance
straight hair= wants to be YT, easy going, not as high maintence
natural= afrocentric,vegan, socially conscious fro



Nah. Hair is just hair. Although, I do admit that I sometimes shake my head when I see some of these ridiculous hair styles that some black women wear. Can't help but think "ghetto" even if they may be the classiest girls in the world.
fro True dat. There are some Black women who are ridiculous when it comes to HAIR. Purple braidsEek Get out of here! But true. I've also seen pink, blue, bright red and burgundy braids as well. While I wouldn't go that far with the pink, blue and bright red....I have seen some braids in burgundy and various ranges of chestnut to copper color that were ABSOLUTELY beautiful! I think our ancestors were soooo debased about their hair that it continues to transcend generationally. And those who are jealous about hair....are trifling, ghetto and small women. My question, but are you raising your kids?! Stressin' over somebody's hair...but are you feeding your children balanced meals? Our priorities continues to be twisted and misdirected. But I do understand the fascination about our hair...I do. Remember, blackfolks [women] are the ONLY ones that can do a variety of things with their hair....no other culture can do that. And let's not forget that back in the slavery days, massa's wife had the slave girl standing on her feet for 2 to 3 hours brushing that tangled so-called straight mess....while the slave girl wore a "rag"....not because she couldn't comb her OWN hair but because her hair was soooo damaged and uncombed for years...it smelled and was sometimes covered with lice...which came from being in MASSA'S HOUSEHOLD or from slave ships [riddled with unclean filthy crewmen] that brought her and her family to America! It is so many reasons why blackfolks have issues about HAIR. However, this is where some of the issues derived. fro
Yeah, the 'hair' thing is a serious issue for some of us (black women). These days I'm wearing my hair natural. . .which means (for me)a huge afro sometimes and other times I'll brush it back in sort of an 'afro puff' look.

I absolutely LOVE missing out on the 5 to 6 hours it would take at a beauty salon because some beauticians don't know how to organize their time/schedules better.

And men seem to like my hair this way, I get compliments from them all the time. . .a couple of black men commented that, they like to see a 'sista' wear her hair 'natural'.

On the other hand, I'm leaving for San Francisco (Friday night) for a graduation on Saturday, one of my girlfriends had the nerve to say: you're getting your hair done, right? I KNOW you're not going to wear your hair like THAT (natural) at a college graduation. Eek

Personally, I LOVE the look and it's so damn easy. 4

so 'yes' I'll be wearing my hair 'natural'. . .cause I know how to 'dress it up'. lol

It's a talent & a gift. 1
quote:
Originally posted by Kocolicious:
fro True dat. There are some Black women who are ridiculous when it comes to HAIR. Purple braidsEek Get out of here! But true. I've also seen pink, blue, bright red and burgundy braids as well.



And then there are the black women who dye their hair a platinum blonde, and many of them have dark skin. I personally think sistas should stay away from blonde hair because it looks ridiculous on us.

quote:
Originally posted by Kocolicious:While I wouldn't go that far with the pink, blue and bright red....I have seen some braids in burgundy and various ranges of chestnut to copper color that were ABSOLUTELY beautiful!


I wouldn't consider burgundy or variations of brown to be bad. In fact, I would go as far as saying that MOST black women can pull off light brown hair.

quote:
Originally posted by Kocolicious:I think our ancestors were soooo debased about their hair that it continues to transcend generationally. And those who are jealous about hair....are trifling, ghetto and small women.


AMEN!

quote:
Originally posted by Kocolicious:My question, but are you raising your kids?! Stressin' over somebody's hair...but are you feeding your children balanced meals? Our priorities continues to be twisted and misdirected.


My thoughts exactly.

quote:
Originally posted by Kocolicious:But I do understand the fascination about our hair...I do. Remember, blackfolks [women] are the ONLY ones that can do a variety of things with their hair....no other culture can do that. And let's not forget that back in the slavery days, massa's wife had the slave girl standing on her feet for 2 to 3 hours brushing that tangled so-called straight mess....while the slave girl wore a "rag"....not because she couldn't comb her OWN hair but because her hair was soooo damaged and uncombed for years...it smelled and was sometimes covered with lice...which came from being in MASSA'S HOUSEHOLD or from slave ships [riddled with unclean filthy crewmen] that brought her and her family to America! It is so many reasons why blackfolks have issues about HAIR. However, this is where some of the issues derived. fro


Sad but true.
quote:
Originally posted by OhBlackButterfly:
I posted earlier:
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 since when did black women have to mixed w/Indian or whatever to have long hair? I don't get it. Some of you act like it is IMPOSSIBLE for an African woman to have long hair w/out admixture. That is just white racist ideaology.





quote:
Originally posted by OhBlackButterfly:
As early as the latter years of the nineteenth century, ethnologists cited the deep relationship between African Americans and Native Americans. James Mooney in 1897 noted: "It is not commonly known that in all southern colonies Indian slaves were bought and sold and kept in servitude and worked in the fields side by side with negroes up to the time of the revolution... Furthermore, as the coast tribes dwindled they were compelled to associate and intermarry with the negroes until they finally lost their identity and were classified with that race, so that a considerable proportion of the blood of the southern negroes is unquestionably Indian."37 In his 1937 doctoral dissertation, James Hugo Johnston asserted, "The end of Indian slavery came with the final absorption of the blood of the Indian by the more numerous Negro slave. But the blood of the Indian did not become extinct in the slave states, for it continued to flow in the veins of the Negro."


The Indians aren't extinct; they are just in small numbers. And according to Henry Louise Gates, only a small percentage of black Americans have Native American ancestry; he may be wrong, he may be right.


quote:
Originally posted by OhBlackButterfly:
As Native American societies in the Southeast were primarily matrilineal, African males who married Native American women often became members of the wife's clan and citizens of the respective nation.


Half true, half false. False, because many Native American women who had children w/African men didn't take their African husbands back w/them to their tribes; many stayed w/their black husbands and raised their children as African-American. That is why there are so many AAs who are clueless to which tribe their Indian ancestors came from.



quote:
Originally posted by OhBlackButterfly:
During this period of transition, Africans and Native Americans shared the common experience of enslavement.25 In addition to working together in the fields, they lived together in communal living quarters, began to produce collective recipes for food and herbal remedies, shared myths and legends, and ultimately intermarried.


But the majority of the African slaves never even came in contact w/Native Americans because by the time slavery became fully institutionalized, the majority of Native American tribes were wiped out...literally.

quote:
Originally posted by OhBlackButterfly:
The intermarriage of Africans and Native Americans was facilitated by the disproportionate numbers of African male slaves to females (3 to 1) and the decimation of Native American males by disease, enslavement, and prolonged war against the colonists.


Hmm...that is interesting. I knew that there were more black men than black women on the plantations, but I didn't know that the number was so disproportinated.
quote:
Originally posted by Oshun Auset:

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.


Again, since when does an African woman HAVE to be mixed in order to have long hair? I find all of this generalization extremely offensive.

Yes, I will admit, [loosely] curly hair is NOT typical for an African woman, but long hair is NOT a rarity, as you have stated sister Oshun. There are PLENTY of black women w/long hair and plenty more could have long hair if they would stop putting harmful chemicals on their heads all the time! From what I have heard, natural African hair grows like weeds when it is chemical free. Smile
fro Let''s not forget LONG hair, straight HAIR are NOT exclusive to Amerindians, Europeans or Asians. Africa is a CONTINENT....not a country....with 60 plus diverse countries. Africans have 2 genes...a brown gene and a black gene. These genes are interchangeable AND Europeans, Asians and Amerindians COME FROM those genes. Remember? So if there is a mutation in regards to HAIR...where did that mutation derive fromEek Don't get it twisted or confused about what MASSA say...straight and curled hair and light skin ARE NOT a product of being from different cultures....there are a result DIRECTLY from Africans in a form of mutation....and are due as a STRAIGHT ramification of CLIMATE! When it's cold....like in caves....well your skin becomes lighter[and if you stay in that environment for a reasonable amount of time..your descendents will be born lighter]..when you are exposed to the SUN especially in the Southern Hemisphere....you are what? Darker! Cuz why? The environment. It's the same with HAIR...it has a lot to do with the "brown" gene that came from whom? Africans. The Homosapian sapians migrated across the
Pangaea [one whole land mass] and then migrated again across the Gondwanland i.e. the Supercontinent...until it began to break apart once more. Don't believe what Massa say! Pleeeeze. We spin our wheels over insignificant factors when the reality/truth of it all is staring us right in our faces. Since Massa don't have a BRAIN...hair is his only glory...skin color is his glory...these are things he invented as issues of importance....he had to cuz his intelligence is about as big as a peanut....the only thing he has contribute to human kind is VIOLENCE and division....and what are WE doing? Scambling over HAIR? While our children are killing each other EVERY DAY and dying in the middle of the street as massa and his asian concubine step over their bodies. What difference does it make? Curled hair, straight hair, light skin, dark skin....the Ethiopian woman who has beautiful LONG hair would probably rather have FOOD to feed her children and a place to go where flies would not sworm around the eyes of her infant. So what is HAIR anyway? A textured element to protect the head....that's all. SOME Egyptian women wore their hair BALD...cuz the importance to them was spirituality, purpose and legacy. But what do we do? With hands on hips and a stupid smirk, "girl she thinks she's the shyte/better cuz she got long hair." As I say all the time "Nigress please....what about making sure your kids get the opportunity MANY blackfolks died for...how about that? And while you at it...take OFF those fake NAILSRoll Eyes fro
quote:
Originally posted by sunnubian:
It's a shame how much white racism has made Black people hate what is natural to them.

You should have told your friend that if it o.k. for her to fake having hair that is not naturally hers, then, there certainly is not anything wrong with your being for real having hair that IS naturally yours (and her's).


yeah 3
fro And...another thing...I hope in the future Sistas will stop hatin'on another Sista regarding her hair "choice." Especially if it's designed to save time. And we all know what that feels like. The reason I bringing this up is because yesterday I ran into a Sista with the "bomb" braids. They were absolutely "beautiful." Of course, I commented on it...and complimented her. She told me she was tired of the salon scene enough to go to braids which took 2 1/2 days....I said "get out!" She replied "yea I know...but. It will last me at least 6 or 8 months if I take care of it right." Like her, I hate to be in those salons...yet I am the type who grow tired early on with the SAME hairstyle. I've had them all...long hair, short hair, pressed hair [will never do again], processed hair [will never do again], curly hair, straight hair, cringled hair, the real/original natural Afro-short and big [not the one kids are currently sportin] braids [of all variations], twists, twist wraps....I did it all. As the young woman was conveying to me...her most important issue is TIME...she had a very busy life and STILL wanted to look GOOD by her STANDARDS, I suddenly realized she was like a lot of us...who basically want to have hair that is easy to manage....no matter what the LOOK. Some sistas can do that pressed/processed hair with no problems...other sistas can do the braids, twist, afro effortless.

We must learn to be ACCEPTING of each other's hair choice and convert this knowledge to be as women on a mission...cuz as women on a mission we TAKE CARE OF OUR FAMILIES the best we can as we look as beautiful as we can. Cuz if we look GOOD we feel GOOD and pass that goodness onto our family. Now I'm not saying pink, purple and green hair is acceptable for ME...but if a Sista is walking down the street sportin this psychadelic[sp] hair style and her children are clean, happy and well behaved...then the Sista is doing her job as a woman/mother Our eyes sometimes stop right at the purple hair instead on moving on to the children who are standing right next to her.

Now I know sometimes there will be women alone [without children] sportin' this rainbow look...but the point is we are soooo quick to jump to conclusions about what WE SEE instead of what we REALLY know. She might be a flower child...who knows. But it's not fair to judge her. And if we DON'T check ourselves, we will join the team of trifling, ghetto and small women who are invisibly JEALOUS and HATIN' over insignificant and beside the point non-issues. And we all know...we're better WOMEN than that. BTW...this point goes for the career woman as well. She may NOT be a mother but she has a time issue...sometimes she's hated upon just cuz she can afford to have a certain "look." We as Black women really need to start evaluating what we do when judging another sista based on hair...cuz it's wrong bottom line. But...JHMO is all. fro
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