i know this is more like ‘sunday retrospective’ material, but the recent length/growth/strand retention discussion ruffled feathers, and some things, i’m sure, have been left unsaid.
here are three, very opposite responses i’ve received in response to the post…
from Asha, who submitted a question…
I went on your website and I was so pleased to find that it is possible to grow Black afro hair naturally long!!!
My hair seems to be more black than it is white. I absolutely adore the natural look, however I find I can never grow it past my neck despite the fact it has never been cut!
from flowerchild, a regular commenter…
I don’t feel like talking about length is oppressive. I think that everyone’s primary focus and concern should be on hair health. When you take good care of your hair, it will grow. When people say “I don’t care about length, I just want healthy hair”, I don’t think they’re saying they don’t want long hair. I think they’re saying that they are willing to do things like take two inches off their ends if they feel their ends are a little suspect. … I know you’re on the other end of the debate but your blog contradicts you. It may be called Black Girl With Long Hair but you provide us with information for maintaining healthy hair. Your posts are about the best moisturizers, conditioners, oils, and all things relevant to having healthy hair.
from an angry blogger…
“if you hair isn’t growing you’re doing something wrong”
Goodness. In that case, if you’re trying but you can’t lose that last 15 pounds, YOU are doing something wrong. If you are single and don’t want to be, YOU are doing something wrong. If anything isn’t how it should be, even though you’re doing all you can YOU still are doing something wrong.
I’m open to hearing other’s points of view but this is enough. I try to stay away from such narrowmindedness in any area of my life. …These things are just pure mean spirited judgement. And that’s just sad!
three very different responses… but one thing is for certain: the issue of length among black women really touches a nerve.
there are a few things i want to say before i open the floor to your comments/discussions.
i don’t want to be “that blog”… you know — the blog that is cultishly obsessed with one issue. my blog is called ‘black girl with long hair’ primarily to make a personal and political statement; that, in defiance of relaxers and all things synthetic, black women ARE capable of growing out their natural textures. and that was kind of the point of the recent african style week. now, as flowerchild pointed out, this blog really isn’t, at its core, a length idolizing blog [pause for sarcastic reaction] it can’t be, because length is a choice. i am very aware that not all black women want or need long hair, and my discussions on length’s importance are limited to the fact that it is, in many cases, a sign of hair health. health should — and always will — be BGLH’s primary focus. (oh, and styling… i LOOOVE styling!)
in response to the angry blogger’s comment. naturally, i was defensive when i first read it. but as i turned the comment over in my mind, i thought back to coffee i had with a friend three months ago. we did our ‘big chop’ around the same time. but as my hair has managed to grow towards bra-strap length, hers is still around 4 inches. she talked about how frustrated she was — that after taking the plunge and cutting her relaxed hair, she was stuck in a limbo — hoping for length, but also wanting to be affirmed for the beauty she already possessed as a woman who had made a bold move to embrace her natural self.
that gave me pause. and i wondered if, in my zeal to inspire natural women to believe in their hair’s growth potential, i was isolating those whose natural hair — by choice or circumstance — remains short. i could understand, then, how the angry blogger could feel that certain comments were “pure mean spirited judgment.”
so, there… *phew*
now, your thoughts? [and i also understand that some of your are simply tired of discussing this…]