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At a recent gathering, I was chastised by several Black women for stating that I refused to consider / date / marry a sista who alters the texture of her hair. "If I wanted the aesthetics of a white woman, I would choose one." I was called all types of names. However, when I asked those same women if they would consider a brother who perms his hair, there was complete silence.

Why the contradiction? Why the hypocrisy? Why come the majority of sistas ignore the backward ass legacy of the hot comb? When will our women stand up and confront the pathology? And can we EVER have a honest discussion with Black women about this issue?

If this is a recycled issue on this board, then accept my apology in advance.

Black Child's Pledge I pledge allegiance to my Black People. I pledge to develop my mind and body to the greatest extent possible. I will learn all that I can in order to give my best to my People in their struggle for liberation. I will keep myself physically fit, building a strong body free from drugs and other substances which weaken me and make me less capable of protecting myself, my family and my Black brothers and sisters. I will unselfishly share my knowledge and understanding with them in order to bring about change more quickly. I will discipline myself to direct my energies thoughtfully and constructively rather than wasting them in idle hatred. I will train myself never to hurt or allow others to harm my Black brothers and sisters for I recognize that we need every Black Man, Woman, and Child to be physically, mentally and psychologically strong. These principles I pledge to practice daily and to teach them to others in order to unite my People. The Black Panther, October 26, 1968 by Shirley Williams

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quote:
Originally posted by Shango67:
At a recent gathering, I was chastised by several Black women for stating that I refused to consider / date / marry a sista who alters the texture of her hair. "If I wanted the aesthetics of a white woman, I would choose one."


Shango......

it is not that simplistic.....

if you are just looking at a certain type of Black Woman.....

The Dravidians in India...... The Aborigines in Australia all have naturally bone straight hair.....

Straight hair is not indigenous to only white women.....

However.......

I believe you are on point when you say alter the texture of their hair.... because in our experience here in America... black women have historically responded to their own sense of beauty through a Eurocentric prism.... admittedly or not.....


however.....

there is the notion of basic aesthetics.... wherein women also will alter their appearance.... just to try something new... out of curiosity or alter their appearance because they genuinely feel better in that light.......

women's decisions in this regard are varied and sometimes complex..... yet, the issue of low self-esteem resulting from our awful sojourn here will be reluctantly, if that, admitted by most women with a perm......

most don't see it this way.... simply because they don't want to face it..... or.... they are unaware how deep the self rejection resides...


quote:
[b]I was called all types of names. However, when I asked those same women if they would consider a brother who perms his hair, there was complete silence.


Of course.... who wants to primp and preen in the mirror with their man??? that's what girlfriends are for...

laugh


quote:
Why the contradiction? Why the hypocrisy? Why come the majority of sistas ignore the backward ass legacy of the hot comb? When will our women stand up and confront the pathology? And can we EVER have a honest discussion with Black women about this issue?

If this is a recycled issue on this board, then accept my apology in advance.
It's been discussed before... but.... its an issue that still has relevance I believe..... most of the women that I know who discuss this.... are women who are already natural.......


Peace,
Virtue
That's your choice if you chose to date or marry a sista with a natural. I think that comment about the aesthetics of a white woman got you in trouble. Just because a sister has a relaxer doesn't mean that that she looks white or is even trying to look white. The reality of it is if you are black there isn't much you can do to look white. Its just not possible.
The reason that a sister won't date or marry a brother with a perm is because there is a presumption that he is effemanate or is gay. I certainly know that's what I'm thinking when I see a brother with chemicals in his hair.
I've had a natural for 6 years now and I love it. However, I don't get much play from the brothers. That's ok. Even before I let my hair go back to its natural state more West Indian and African men were attracted to me than African-American men. This hasn't changed since I changed my hair.
I think Black women should stop taking their emotional and style cues from white women and confused men walking around in Black skin.
quote:
I think that comment about the aesthetics of a white woman got you in trouble. Just because a sister has a relaxer doesn't mean that that she looks white or is even trying to look white. The reality of it is if you are black there isn't much you can do to look white. Its just not possible.

I strongly disagree.

The historical purposes for altering our hair, men and women, was directly related to 1) being more attractive to white people, and 2)erasing (as much as possible) that part of Africa. You and I both know it is IMPOSSIBLE to do so, however, there is an entire industry designed to make it happen. The industry of "race altering products" is substantial and generates billions of dollars in sales and revenue. And in the case of Black hair, sistas are spending a whole bunch of money to do the IMPOSSIBLE on a a temporary basis.

Given the origins of hair straightening, we must not allow our sisters or our people, to hide behind the belief that the process is a issue of taste and style. This is an issue of self hatred passed down through generations.
Personally, I think choosing/dating/marrying a partner based on hair texture is a little shallow. Roll Eyes

It also amazes me that people who have trouble with relaxed or straighten hair are never volunteers to do the daily/weekly/monthly maintenance and styling of another person's natural hair. Eek If I've got a man that is going to wake up every morning and maintain my (hair)do, then I would probably wear it in whatever style he wants it in!!

Shango67 ... when's the last time you did daily maintenance on a sista's hair? Confused
I wasn't going to chime in again..... but...

honestly....

many Black women's sense of beauty is derived from European standards......

I get that.....

I am natural..... have been for 13 years..... I have counseled women on going natural as well as helped women in the "transition" stage..... from perm to natural styling...
I have studied the history of the definition of beauty in this country and now how it affects Africa....

there are other considerations here.... when trying to understand why a Black woman will get a perm.....

1) European standards or beauty... including economic/job pressure... literally trying to hide her "naps" monthly with a perm.... or wanting to attract Black men who prefer this look (which is the majority)

2) Ease of care.... not from a European standard... but lackadaisical demeanor....

3) Curiosity

4) Genuinely likes the way her features pop out or are pronounced when she has a perm...

5) Tradition.... could care less about white women... Black male preference etc... she's just doing what always has been done by the women in her family and does not give it much thought thereafter....



Peace,
Virtue
quote:
Originally posted by EbonyRose:
Personally, I think choosing/dating/marrying a partner based on hair texture is a little shallow. Roll Eyes

It also amazes me that people who have trouble with relaxed or straighten hair are never volunteers to do the daily/weekly/monthly maintenance and styling of another person's natural hair. Eek If I've got a man that is going to wake up every morning and maintain my (hair)do, then I would probably wear it in whatever style he wants it in!!

Shango67 ... when's the last time you did daily maintenance on a sista's hair? Confused

Then color me shallow. It is not the basis but it sure is a starting point.

My son and I both have locks and I do his hair every month. And the sista I cared about allowed me to wash and twist her hair. Our relationship is over, but I did it whenever I was asked.

Maintaining natural hair can't be any more difficult than keeping those fucked up perms proper. They look even worse after Africa starts coming home... creeping up the back of the neck... marching through the scalp looking for the day when the new growth is attacked with more chemicals, more heat and more fire.
quote:
European standards or beauty... including economic/job pressure... literally trying to hide her "naps" monthly with a perm.... or wanting to attract Black men who prefer this look (which is the majority)

I met this lovely sista on the train who wore locks. She was a few years older than me but she finally agreed to meet for lunch near her job - down by the world trade center. When she showed up, I did not recognize her... She was wearing a wig.

I could barely concentrate on the menu. She sensed that I was uncomfortable and explained that her job on Wall Street, combined with her age, would not understand the locks. In fact, none of her co-workers have ever seen her hair.

I thought it was sad.
quote:
Originally posted by Yemaya:
The reason that a sister won't date or marry a brother with a perm is because there is a presumption that he is effemanate or is gay. I certainly know that's what I'm thinking when I see a brother with chemicals in his hair.
I agree.....
quote:
I've had a natural for 6 years now and I love it. However, I don't get much play from the brothers. That's ok. Even before I let my hair go back to its natural state more West Indian and African men were attracted to me than African-American men. This hasn't changed since I changed my hair.

That's funny... (as in unusual)....

I received more attention from African men when I wore a perm..... (perhaps because westernized versions of beauty are becoming more and more entrenched in the culture...)

I've received more attention from African-American men and Indian men since I've been natural....

I always get asked where I'm from..... it seems that men prefer an exotic look... or at least that's my experience....


Peace,
Virtue
I've said this before on this subject, but I'll say it again...

Choosing a mate based on their choice of hairstyle is superficial nonsense. There are far more important qualities to be concerned about.

Shango, I agree that I wouldn't want to date a woman consumed by self-hatred. But, the lonely fact that she straightens her hair, or wears a wig, is not rock hard evidence of self-hatred. If she is mired in self-loathing, evidence of it will crop up in many other areas of her life, and you'll see it for what it is. But, If you date her for a while, and your only "evidence" of self-loathing is that she straightens her hair, then you're reading something that's not really there.
quote:
Originally posted by Black Viking:
I've said this before on this subject, but I'll say it again...

Choosing a mate based on their choice of hairstyle is superficial nonsense. There are far more important qualities to be concerned about.

Shango, I agree that I wouldn't want to date a woman consumed by self-hatred. But, the lonely fact that she straightens her hair, or wears a wig, is not rock hard evidence of self-hatred. If she is mired in self-loathing, evidence of it will crop up in many other areas of her life, and you'll see it for what it is. But, If you date her for a while, and your only "evidence" of self-loathing is that she straightens her hair, then you're reading something that's not really there.

Again... it is not the foundation, but it is a start.
quote:
Originally posted by Black Viking:
Choosing a mate based on their choice of hairstyle is superficial nonsense. There are far more important qualities to be concerned about.

BV Not necessarily.....

Wearing your hair natural as a woman instantly says much about your perspective on beauty and your sense of self esteem in relation to the amount of pride you take in your heritage....

for some this aspect of self esteem is a paramount foundational clue to that persons other perspective on life....


I would not be so presumptious as to speak for this brother....

But my opinion is he wasn't saying that hair is the only consideration.... just an imporant one....


Peace,
Virtue
I think this is getting into something that is inherent to feminine psychology.

Women maintain and propagete the culture be it good or bad charactericts of the culture. Little girls adopt the emotional thinking of their mothers. How many Black women use Tide detergent? Ask them if their mothers used Tide. I think women with dark complexions that put blusher on their cheeks look ridiculous. They really couldn't blush if their lives depended on it. I asked my mother if I should tell them this. She said, "No , you can't tell them. The way she said it cracked me up.

I wonder how many Black men are involved with non-Black women not because of beauty but because they are sick of neurotic bullsh!t. I grew up with two older sisters. I was thinking Black girls had an inferiority complex about beauty before I graduated from grammar school. Then we have to deal with the denial. I remember my mother using the ironing comb on my sisters' hair. I was sitting in the kitchen staring at this comb on the stove. I was thinking, "Damn, that thing must be hot." Then my mother picked it up to use it on one of my sisters. Zzooommmm! I was gone. I was out of the kitchen. You think you are going to change the emotional programming of a woman that went thru that as a little girl. Forget it!

Men are more inclined to change but it presents the problem of dealing with women that refuse to change. It takes massive traumatic events to get millions of people to change.

We need to produce people who can allow there intellects ot override their emotions.

Vulcans? lol

umbrarchist
Okay, let me just be blunt ... but I hope not offensive to anyone. sck I will state now that it is not my intention to be, and I apologize for any hurt feelings this may cause right up front.

But, in my experience and circle of friends, the "other considerations" list that virtue posted above is much closer to the reasoning of Black women than that psycho-babble crap about self-loathing!! I mean, please!

How a man is going to sit and pass judgment and interpret personal preferences of the reasons why women style their hair the way the do is just beyond incomprehensible to me!! Eek And more than a little on the self-righteous side! An opinion is one thing ... but a general blanket aspersion is quite another!!

For most of the Black women I know, the way she styles her hair is a matter of personal preference or ease of care. To intimate that a woman does not know or is not mentally capable of knowing or is not responsible for her own personal preference (whether in hair or any other matter) based on some phantom perception of European-accepted sense of style and beauty is insulting!! A Black woman who determines anything about herself in an attempt to please society's warped sense what is right/wrong, good/bad, has deeper issues than anything her hairstyle may say about her!! I mean, pulleeeezz.

Statements and thoughts like the one depicted by Shango67 here go much farther to disrespect the intellect and the determination of self-worth of the Black woman than half of what some White people may say or think. I mean, maybe ... just maybe ... the majority of Black women perm or straighten their hair because they like it that way, it's what they want to do and it is their personal preference to do so!! Eek

I would submit that that's probably the reason why women who wear their hair naturally do so ... are they the only ones who deserve to be recognized (and respected) for having a mind of their own??

I certainly don't begrudge Shango67 his preference in the type of women he's attracted to ... but leave it as a personal preference ... not some mind-reading determination of Black women in general!
quote:
Maybe ... just maybe ... the majority of Black women perm or straighten their hair because they like it that way, it's what they want to do and it is their personal preference to do so!!

I doubt it... but if you need to hold on to this to sleep at night, then be my guest. To me, it is a self loathing process resulting from improper socialization.

And this is what I mean about the honesty, or lack thereof, in this discussion. We as a people, especially on this board, have no problem identifying pathologies in our community. But when it comes to talking about something so OBVIOUSLY fucked up, folks get HYSTERICALLY obtuse.
quote:
Originally posted by Shango67:
At a recent gathering, I was chastised by several Black women for stating that I refused to consider / date / marry a sista who alters the texture of her hair. "If I wanted the aesthetics of a white woman, I would choose one."


Thanks for the love Shango67. I'm glad you respect Black women who accept and embrace their natural hair.
quote:
Originally posted by EbonyRose:

But, in my experience and circle of friends, the "other considerations" list that virtue posted above is much closer to the reasoning of Black women than that psycho-babble crap about self-loathing!! I mean, please!

Hi Ebony! Smile

The other considerations given.... are real.... but included in them is self-loathing... there are just as many Black women who hate themselves and perm their hair out of embarrassment of their God given features.... preferring secretly to look like someone else .... a perm is a way to do this....

this is just as real..... but in life nothing is always as black and white as we'd like it... and so there are many women with whom this does not apply..... IMHO this does not negate the problem, though


quote:
How a man is going to sit and pass judgment and interpret personal preferences of the reasons why women style their hair the way the do is just beyond incomprehensible to me!! Eek
Possibly because we live in a society where this attitude is displayed often....

women often say things like "Girl I've got to touch up them naps!" or "My naps are showing"... these are statements of embarrassment..... not self acceptance.... I see it.... and others do too.... and sometimes are baffled by it..... this is just one aspect though......


quote:
And more than a little on the self-righteous side! An opinion is one thing ... but a general blanket aspersion is quite another!!
Perhaps what we are reading is the anger and frustration included in the words as well.... and there's nothing wrong with it.... behind all of that energy is love.... the unspoken message.. is ... "Why don't you see the beauty in you that I see"... not everyone is able to convey a message in the way we'd like to hear it...... at least that's what I read ....

quote:
For most of the Black women I know, the way she styles her hair is a matter of personal preference or ease of care. To intimate that a woman does not know or is not mentally capable of knowing or is not responsible for her own personal preference (whether in hair or any other matter) based on some phantom perception of European-accepted sense of style and beauty is insulting!!
I hope I haven't offended you Ebony......

I was referring to a reality that exists....

We are not the authors of this culture... and just as we have affected it it has had an effect on us.... and part of that effect is our self esteem..... there is a history in this country of devaluing our beauty .... our characteristics and features..... we have not been immune to its attack..... we ourselves have been affected by seeing a lighter skinned, thin, long haired woman as the standard of beauty.... and we have responded.... consciously and subconsciously.....


quote:
A Black woman who determines anything about herself in an attempt to please society's warped sense what is right/wrong, good/bad, has deeper issues than anything her hairstyle may say about her!! I mean, pulleeeezz.
But this happens...

quote:
Statements and thoughts like the one depicted by Shango67 here go much farther to disrespect the intellect and the determination of self-worth of the Black woman than half of what some White people may say or think. I mean, maybe ... just maybe ... the majority of Black women perm or straighten their hair because they like it that way, it's what they want to do and it is their personal preference to do so!! Eek
Sometimes our decisions are colored by our environment whether we know it or not......

quote:
I would submit that that's probably the reason why women who wear their hair naturally do so ... are they the only ones who deserve to be recognized (and respected) for having a mind of their own??
Yes.... my decision to go natural was a direct result of being in a certain environment.... one that focused on the natural beauty of African women.... I was affected.... but I think this is a good thing....

being affected by european standards of beauty in this condition is not so healthy....



Peace,
Virtue
virtue ...

No, you did not offend me Smile. And while I completely understand your argument, all I am saying is that while I don't deny that in many cases self-hatred plays a role in Black people's decisions (hair or something else) ... there are equally a number of cases where it has nothing to do with anything regarding their actions or preferences! You said as much ... and I wholeheartedly agree with you.

Now ... you should probably close your ears/eyes because I really like you and think you're sweet and this isn't going to be nothin' nice! Big Grin

I find Shango67 offensive in every possible comprehension! That's my personal perception and can guarantee it is not European-based perspective. I would no doubt believe he has a same low opinion of me! It be that way sometimes.

However, I can also be open-minded enough that my opinion of him in no way increases nor decreases my respect for those who share his opnions ... I live by a code of to each their own ... which is (by his own proclamations) a level of acceptance and understanding which he simply has no concept of.

He came to this board with a lack of respect for anyone or anything else other than his own opinion ... and he's consistent, if nothing else, because he still presents as incomprehensibly full of himself.

The question, "And can we EVER have a honest discussion with Black women about this issue?" was an exercise in bs because he has proceeded only in the condemnation of those who have "honestly" tried to discussed this issue in a manner that was contrary to his own. His initial title question was, in fact, an opening commentary on his own self-serving opinion on a massive group of Black woman and was not meant to actually initiate commentary or discussion.

Which is business as usually for "Brotha" Shango67. Roll Eyes
quote:
Originally posted by EbonyRose:
Personally, I think choosing/dating/marrying a partner based on hair texture is a little shallow. Roll Eyes

It also amazes me that people who have trouble with relaxed or straighten hair are never volunteers to do the daily/weekly/monthly maintenance and styling of another person's natural hair. Eek If I've got a man that is going to wake up every morning and maintain my (hair)do, then I would probably wear it in whatever style he wants it in!!


I agree.

When women used to get on me about my hair, I used to let them have a go.

The ultimate silencer.

I'm natural, but I know it would be easier for me just to perm it, loc it, or chop it. So I can't diss on women who do any of the above.

My hair isn't some political statement and I won't assume theirs is.

But even if it were, my choice is my choice and their choice is theirs.

I'm not going to stick my nose in it.

I wouldn't avoid a man because he perms his hair.

I might even ask him for hair tips. Razz

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