Today’s post is from guest Blogger Moe from Chasing Moe. She is one of my favorite bloggers and always says what a lot of people are thinking, but are too afraid to say it. ”Chasing Moe is about introspection, emotional cleansing….and being my raw, unfiltered self…in a blogosphere full of niche, cliche, and painted veils.” Please be sure to check out Moe’s blog for more “raw, unfiltered” posts.
Growing up, I never thought my hair was any better than anyone else’s. I had ponytails with barrettes to match my outfit like everyone else. It wasn’t until a girl named Ebony decided to cut my hair in 6th grade because ‘I had good hair, and it’ll grow back fast’, that I ever TRULY realized how much some people within the black community felt about hair in general.I came from a household where good hair was just having healthy hair. No matter the length, texture, relaxed or natural…you had hair on your head, so you were blessed. Now, if you had a little chicken head ponytail with split ends all over the place, sticking out like Scrooge McDuck’s tail, male patterned baldness and a boatload of bobby pins struggling to keep it all in a ponytail holder that’s bigger than the ponytail itself……….then that’s a different story. That’s what we like to call the ‘Bless your heart’ ponytail.Hairism isn’t common in many minority communities, but is the elephant in the room when it comes to black people and how we view each other (IMO). Hairism is pretty much an extension of colorism when we’re talking about the black community. In my experience, they go hand in hand…but I’ll save the colorism rant for my semi activist soapbox on my own blog.I have a cousin who is the color of midnight, and has always had wavy, butt length hair. I lost count of how many times she has been asked over the years what brand of weave she uses because girls that dark just don’t have good, long hair like that. I have also lost count of how many dirty looks I have received from women when I told them my hair was my own (prior to cutting it off).With all that said, why is HAIR such a huge issue in the black community? Please, don’t think because you watched Chris Rock’s documentary, you know all there is to know. Chris needs to go have a stadium of seats for the half-assed documentary that pretty much lumped all black women into the relaxed weave wearing bucket of doom.But I digressWhen you have been told for centuries that your hair is too nappy and it’s ugly as hell, and it needs to be straight in order for people to respect you, what more do you expect? When there are dress codes in employee handbooks that don’t allow afros, braids or dreads………….what more do you expect?!Long, straight hair has been drilled into many African-American youth’s brains from the time they are able to recognize aesthetics, because it’s the mainstream standard of beauty and will continue to be as long as naps are outlawed from the euro-centric beauty standards that plague the entire planet. Afrocentric hairstyles have been classified as ‘militant’ or unprofessional, because they don’t fall into these mainstream standards of beauty or because ONE militant person had a particular hairstyle.So why do ‘the blacks’ love GOOD HAIR? Because we’ve been taught that we should do what everyone else is comfortable with, to make our lives easier. You can’t run you fingers though or caress a brillo pad. So if it means fry your brains out with relaxers, strip your hair of its natural texture from repeated use of pressing combs & flat irons….so be it. At least you have GOOD HAIR. *sarcastic smirk*
Linking up with OK, Dani! Be sure to swing by and check her out!