Friday, December 19, 2014
The natural hair struggle is real
Crushing on too many natural curls.
Sipping the natural "Kool-Aid."
Because I was speechless during a recent conversation with women who aren't natural, in their 40s, about natural hair.
I was shocked and saddened. We still have a long, long way to go, folks.
These were some of the comments I heard:
"It's primitive. They need to go back to Africa with that hair."
"Natural hair isn't for everybody."
"Some of us need a perm."
"It's cute ... but."
"Natural hair styles do not work in corporate America." "They want straight hair."
"Why they gotta have twists? It just doesn't look right."
"I am not taking anybody with me with their hair looking like ... that."
"Dreads look nasty to me, like there's something in their hair, like it's not washed."
"YOU can wear natural hair because your hair is softer, but everybody can't."
"I know everybody is going natural, but I'm sticking with the creamy crack."
"I won't let my kids wear natural hair to an interview."
Just stop!!! It got to be too much. I felt like the natural hair ambassador, trying to defend it and rebuke those statements. I felt the weight of the natural hair community on my shoulder, for a brief minute.What are we telling ourselves about US? I thought maybe it was generational, regional even.
Then I let it go because you know what? NOTHING will ever convince women dead set against kinks and coils that it's OK. Nothing will ever make them think that hair that is not silky straight is pretty. That it's not corporate, despite the many styles and ways we can wear our hair that will look professional and polished in any board room.
Natural hair is OUR issue -- not White America's.It's a mental battle -- and that's where I exited stage left. We have come full circle - from bad ass, bodacious fros to relaxed hair and back to natural. Natural hair is a choice or a preference -- and everybody ain't ready.
What I won't do, though, is after all we've been through in the will anyone make me believe that what grows out of my head is less than.
It just made me realize that, despite the bloggers, YouTubers and Instagrammers, natural hair is growing, but it's still not the norm for some.