Thursday, August 20, 2015

The Great Debate! Natural Hair versus Relaxed Hair

It's the new great debate: natural hair versus relaxed hair. This new war in the African American community seems to be the new dark skinned versus light skinned. For years, dark skinned women of color versus light skinned women of color was always the driving tool men used to separate African American women when it came to beauty, dating, etc.. Now there is a new culprit that seems to have taken shape as of the last five years. It's the war on hair. Every day I am seeing a status on Facebook from African American men about how us Black women need to "get back to our roots", " we need to accept ourselves as we truly are" and my personal favorite ( with much sarcasm) "non-natural sisters are enslaved in their minds or brainwashed by the slave-masters" because we refuse to conform to their Neanderthal idea of beauty. Please give me a break.

If you haven't guessed it by now, I am a non-natural sister. I relax my hair and I wear it in a jazzy, style. I do not love myself for this reason any less, nor do I think I am any less "natural" than a woman of color who chooses not to relax her hair with chemicals. Don't get me wrong, I know a lot of women who do not relax their hair and they are beautiful. The whole debacle with men thinking women who choose to use chemicals in their hair are brainwashed or in some ways "less black" than other women is so ridiculous to me. And to make it even more interesting, the men I see posting their opinions are the so-called, pro-black, power to the people kind of guys. But, how are you for the people when you are a part of the problem? What I mean is, some guys are the first ones to talk about how black women aren't loved, respected and cared for the way we should be. However, you are adding to the list of those who are saying that we are not good enough, and never will be enough for whatever reason. Just because some of us choose to chemically treat our hair does not mean we are any less natural than a woman who decides not to. We are not trying to be like any other race or deny who we are as black women. We simply are doing what we WANT TO DO with our hair that makes us feel good about ourselves. Furthermore, every ounce of pain, pleasure and our purpose has been very natural to us.

Also, most of the guys who are so concerned about what a woman does with her hair are the same ones who are less concerned with their health and taking care of their temples. These same guys who are posting about a woman's hair are the same ones who are offended when someone tells them they should eat healthier and exercise regularly. I understand we all have a preference. I get it. However, the problem comes in when men start saying that a woman doesn't know who she is, or she's conforming and/or confused about herself because she relaxes her hair. It's degrading and very insulting. Guys, please stop with this foolishness over who's more natural and black because of hair. We as black women have enough to deal with as it is. We need y'all to love us, and accept us for who we are. Our minds are strong and we need y'all to help hold us up not try to bend us and we certainly don't need you all trying to pit us against one another. This foolishness is just another tool to divide women and pit them against one another. Help us to come together to be a movement for ourselves, our families, and our communities.