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The Narrative of Black Hair

MAY 30, 2020:

Growing up in Germany was tragic to my hair esteem. My mom would always cut my hair short like a boy when I was little. I would wear long, flowy skirts on my head as a "wig".

At around 15 I had my mom relax my hair! With a chemical relaxer! Girl when I tell you my scalp was raw. :-/ And my hair still wasn't straight and flowy how I imagined it would be.

So I always wore my hair in buns until I was around 18.

It's been a learning path ever since.

JUNE 1, 2020:

You did flowy skirts on your head? I used my mom's slips to pretend I had white hair. Again, I'm so heartened by the increasing portrayal of Black women and little girls with beautiful, gorgeous natural hair. Even on the conservative networks like CBS. Not to mention the inclusion of Muslim women in law enforcement

My niece has never even thought of pretending she had anything but her hair, and would look at me with incomprehension if I told her what I used to do.

A lot of people complain how classic works like those by Shakesperean are reimagined on screen with Black people, or anyone of color in traditionally portrayed-by-white people roles. But can you imagine the colors of future actors, doctors, lawyers, scientists, mathematicians who chose their careers because they saw someone that looked like they them on TV?

JUNE 5, 2020:

Do you think we can draw a correlation between Black women's hair and white women's textured hair, and Black Lives Matter vs. White Lives Matter (or Blue or what the fuck ever hue represents perceived social injustice)? What I'm saying is one's advocacy for one type of beauty care does not have to usurp the legitimacy of the other.

A separated curl, but equal curl is not available.

White women with egregiously curly hair do share some of the same trials & tribulations of their kinky hair'd Black sisters, but they can walk into a hair salon and not be humiliated when the stylist says, "we don't do Black hair." When I went away to college, away from the mother who'd care for my nappiness my entire life, had to go "underground" to find a Black hair salon who knew how to hot comb my hair.

To your point of romantic comedies featuring people of color: wouldn't it be lovely to experience the same tired, uninspired tropes of romantic comedy as white people? Issa Rae (who is fucking brilliant), gifts us with her recent roles in The Lovebirds and The Photograph. Both are not very good films that should be judged on poor writing and direction, and not on the fact it didn't feature racial struggles hindering their love story."

JUNE 12, 2020:

"Do you think we can draw a correlation between Black women's hair and white women's textured hair, and Black Lives Matter vs. White Lives Matter (or Blue or what the fuck ever hue represents perceived social injustice)?"

I believe the correlation is Shea Butter. We need to soften things up. Moisturize. Relieve tension.

In all honesty. I don't think there are any areas in which white women could share/understand our experiences.

However, I do think our white sisters would benefit from being educated on curly hair care. Especially white moms of Black kids.

JUNE 23, 2020:

I remember reading this article a year or so ago, and recalled it when you and I began talking about natural hair. It really captured how white stylists for major advertisements don't know what to do with Black hair.

Did you ever see Dulce Sloane on Trevor Noah's Daily Show talk about appreciation without appropriation. She nails it.

Whenever I think of appropriation, I immediately think of Black woman being fired for wearing cornrows, but Bo Derek gets iconic-ized for wearing them in the movie 10.

I love your Boris Johnson vs. braids comparison, by the by. The only thing missing from the image is a third panel featuring the other twat's coif.

JUNE 25, 2020:

That J.Crew article is so interesting!! A real thought provoker. I'm literally processing as I write.

Yesterday I went to a coffee shop and the 3 young, white girls behind the counter all had their hair up in messy buns.

And I thought right away that a black girl can't get away with a "messy-any-kind-of-hairstyle" in general. However, there actually is a "technique" to the messy-bun look. These girls pull out specific strands of hair and tie the knot a certain way etc.

So, I think the description of the look supposedly being a "messy bun" is the first problem. The picture of the other white girls with "undone", "tousled" looking hair kind of put it in a better context for me.

Here's my problem. White models are considered to be beautiful by default. Showing them with "tousled" hair gives them an "edge". Kind of like the "boxerbraids" phenomenon. Black women - especially Black women rocking natural hair - are considered beautiful DESPITE our skin and hair. We're pretty "for a black girl".

We put in the maximum effort and sit for hours to braid up but that's not good enough for white spaces. White girls can roll out of bed, put their hair up in a bun, pull out a few strands here and there and that's all that's needed.

We are sensitive to this shit. J.Crew hair stylists appeared to have put no effort into this sister's hairstyle. It looks disrespectful.