Yesterday I was trolling the innerwebs & hung out for a bit over on CocoandCreme. I came across this article about the nature of sistas with natural hair being a little less than amicable. As a sista with natural hair I kinda didn't feel what was being said. Taking people's perceptions of me out of it, I want to look at it from a “cosmetic” standpoint first.
What I walked away with is that the perception is that women with natural hair have attitudes as tightly wound as their curls. To make a decision to accept our curls & coils means we've chosen to live outside the accepted norm. Curly hair looks wild & therefore any woman that chooses to look wild must do so because she IS wild. Wild women often have pissy attitudes. Women with straight hair, however, must be docile. A docile woman is a woman that is tame or is malleable and can be tamed. These are the ridiculous assumptions I was left with after reading & can only imagine what anyone else was left with.
I have a question, or 3, though? Do the same “rules” apply to women with lace-fronts, & other Why-hair? Does a woman who opts to wear a kinky/curly weave or wig get looked at as a Wild Woman? Does the woman who prefers her hair hat to be of the Barbie doll sort seem more laid back & approachable?
Now I'll make it personal. My hair has been natural almost my WHOLE LIFE with the exception of my freshmen year of college & the summer months that followed. I've worn everything from a Cesar cut to locs down my back, & all manner of braids, twists, & fros between. The other thing I've had almost my whole life is being responded to as though my hair is my life & my life is my hair. When I cut all my hair off, suddenly I was a lesbian. I'd missed the transition to being attracted to women & was more than a little confused by this new labeling & the new found attention from women. My male friends were heated, before seeing my new palmable head, & then got on board when they discovered how sexy they found
Uhmmmm....nah. I am NOT the living incarnation of E. Badu's album, Baduizm. I hate to disappoint.
My attitude stems less from the follicles attached to my scalp but from what lies beneath—the scalp that is--& the experiences I've had over the course of my life. I can be sharp & witty & intelligent because those are the people I come from, the example they set. I take no prisoners & try to leave no piles behind because the women I come from—including the press & curl & relaxed 1's—didn't or don't. My father has always encouragd having high standards & lowering them for no one. My kinks & curls have never once whispered that in my ear. When a man has said some dumb shit to me on the street after cat calling, getting no response & then walking up on me, it was NOT my natural hair that shut his ass down. When a man has offered to be someone to me that I have not asked him to be, it was NOT my hair that dismissed him. In meetings where I respond to something stupid said by someone else, again, it was not my natural hair that could no longer sit quietly back.
Natural has just always been a part of my life. Natural hair was a requirement in my house. Natural foods, meaning those not pre-packaged containing a bazillion ingredients for increased shelf-life, were all I was ever served. Natural fabrics, not blends, are what I grew up on. Natural's a natural part of my vocabulary. Perhaps it is my adult decision to remain this way, feeling completely unintimidated by the status quo, that makes me seem so brash & sassy. If bravery, commitment to maintaining who I am, is a negative trait, well....me & my freaky follicles give you the finger.
This is not a diss to those whose hair is not natural; just confusion on how natural came to be synonymous with mean, crazy, & wild. The last women I saw snappin off & giving Mad Black Woman were relaxed & weaved. If I made a gross generalization that those women are all hood I'd have to go under ground.
Done. Curious what your hair issues are? What assumptions do you make based on a woman's hair style choices? Share & share alike.
Watch me move.