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21 more things = 42

The last post was the 21 things I KNOW at 42. At the end I said I'd consider writing 21 more things to make it 42 in total & then ...



Today I rode part of the way home behind a Metro bus. I had nothing but its advertisements to focus on until enough space opened for me to go around the tall, bulky mass transporter. On the bus's rear was a Luster's Pink Smooth Touch ad.

Yup, this is a hair issue again. The ad was for the latest in relaxer lies geared toward trying to make Black women feel less guilty about undergoing this chemical treatment with the inclusion of ingredients like aloe, olive oil, shea butter, etc, that give these companies claim to the word "natural." This ain't my soapbox on whether to relax or not to relax. That's the individual's choice. This is about the larger lie that Luster is telling Black women.

The spokesmodel is the singer, Keyshia Cole. Her hair is jet black and full of luster like the company's name. Her hair is straighter than straight and full of body, and extremely well coiffed. Cool? Wrong. Keyshia Cole doesn't need a relaxer. She has that mixed chicks hair that only requires a good blow drying or to be in the same vicinity as a flat iron and it's laid better than you city asphalt. Luster is expecting to bank on Black women's desire to be bone straight, cash in on the organic and natural ingredients movement, by convincing sistas that they can have Keyshia Cole's hair by using their product. All I can say is "Good Luck!" I wish you the best in achieving the glimmer from a box that Keyshia only achieved by adding heat to her genes. You'd actually have a better chance of just finding out where she buys her jeans than trying to master her hair.

Luster offers you this, Black women:
“Luster’s Pink Brand Smooth Touch is the product of choice for urban women who want beautiful, healthy looking hair that gets attention,” said Theresa J. Stevenson, brand manager for Luster’s Pink Brand Smooth Touch. “Keyshia Cole, whose unique hair styles set trends for girls and young women everywhere, perfectly represents Smooth Touch. Cole’s picture and autograph appear on the Limited Edition Pink Brand Smooth Touch Relaxer Kits No-Lye Regular or Super. Her appearance at Walmart in celebration of our continued relationship with her is a perfect opportunity for her to meet her fans and personally thank them for buying the product.”
and then,
"Luster’s Pink Brand Smooth Touch products are for younger, style conscious women with an urban, hip-hop flair who want hair-care products that allow them to have beautiful, healthy, unique, head-turning styles whether they’re walking the red carpet, shopping at the mall or hanging out with their friends."

Wait, did that translate: hoodrat? Did the picture on the cardboard box sell you? Or was it her [stamped] autograph? In all actuality, I'd like to believe we weren't really this vulnerable to the beauty standards placed on us by industry and not by people who actually believe this hype--cuz they're busy trying to be us. But I swore this wasn't a soap box moment.

If you are a Luster kinda girl, I hope you're buying this product because you're just that committed to relaxed hair, not because you're so high off the creamy crack that you buy into the false images being promoted to us through oxymorons like "healthy" no-lye and through the use of women who don't even have to bother with this time honored ritual. If this is your path, may your hair follicles bend to your will and hang on for the duration. Baldness doesn't discriminate.

In all my kinky/curly glory...

Watch me move.

1 comment:

  1. So I've been fried, dyed and laid to the side since I was six years old. Admittedly, the bi-annual relaxers between the age of 6-12 were more to make the massive mane of hair that I had more manageable than to make it bone straight. When I was little, my mom would take me to the beauty supply stores and the greatest compliment was that I looked like the girl on the PCJ box.

    As I got older I tried to break away. I wore braids and flat twist and straws but never really willing to go completely natural and cut off my permed length. I envy my best friend who was able to make that cut and who now has locks that she can put into a cute high ponytail. I envy the sister that can rock a wild fro and then blow it out Dominican style the next day. This has lead me to wonder if I am buying into the hype of "bad hair". Naw. I love my hair. Permed, weaved, dyed, nappy, straight, kinky, curly, silk are all adjectives used to describe it at some point and I embrace them all. Keisha has what my mommy calls "grease and water" hair. I am not deceived. Mine requires a little more. One day I'll let go and completely surrender to the kinky strands. Until then, let me get a Precise because PCJ does nothing for me.