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bust out the incense… this moment of depth brought to you by BGLH

Avatar • Apr 21, 2009


So, I was surfing the ‘net, and found this quote in an article by Canadian writer Cheryl Thompson

“Too many black women can’t remember what it’s like to feel their natural hair… I have sat in hair salons with women who spend more money on their hair than their education.”

mm mm MM.… the ish is DEEP!
But in all seriousness, how did we get here?!

***disclaimer… I am fully aware this quote is NOT TRUE of ALL relaxed women.***

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Mzbush
Mzbush
11 years ago

I am doing a research paper relating to this subject, from the historical aspect, and it is some really deep stuff. There is nothing wrong with wanting to look good, regardless of what your definition of ‘looking good’ is. However, there is a lot of societal influence contributing to our definitions. I am sure most people know that but to actually look at the transitions of our hair over the years and the impacts that those transitions have made is incredible. If you are interested, I would be glad to share the paper with you when I am finished with it.

Sheer Almshouse
Sheer Almshouse
11 years ago

It is incredibly sad. I have been nbatural since I was 17, except for a brief three month run with a relaxer in my early 20s. I hated it. I went bald for the third time…prefering a low fro to what felt like dead hair.

I have a few pics on my blog of afros and a mother grooming her daughter’s hair.

I believe that we all look way more beautiful when we truly accept the beauty of diversity. We were not all born to be Indians and Caucasians.

Anonymous
Anonymous
11 years ago

I have a coworker who was natural b/c her hair was badly damaged. she got transfered to a new department..for upper management. i saw her the day after her transfer and her hair was relaxed. I ask why.…her new boss (black) didn’t find her hair (TWA) professional. it was unacceptable and so she chose to relax despite her last 2 times having to bald her head from relaxer damage.what would you have done? returned for the sake of keeping a job? its attitudes like this boss’ that continue to perpetuate a mentality of kinks = ugly = unprofessional (she was… Read more »

jenteel
jenteel
11 years ago

why can’t beauty be diverse?”

@ anonymous: i hear you girl!

Chanel
Chanel
11 years ago

I know this can’t possbily pertain to me because my education is costing me 53,000 per year and I will never EVER give that to no hairstylist. I’ll buzz cut my hair right off my head first.(lol)

The Notorious Z.A.G.
The Notorious Z.A.G.
11 years ago

Its crazy how natural, ethnically based hairstyles can get “straight haired” people so riled up! Is it scary to them? Let me say, I’ve rocked a wash n go to work and they were none too pleased (but I thoroughly enjoyed my Huey hair, lol). I have these calandar books and I used to track my track purchases (thursday: candy curl…2wks later: soprano curl, was real serious!! Lmao) and looking back on that, I realize how RIDICULOUS that was. I mean, it would take me 4+ hours every two weeks to:1. Condition and comb out previous style’s glue.2. Wash hair,… Read more »

D?s?? ?
D?s?? ?
11 years ago

I really think the whole relaxed & natural thing is getting old. I mean it’s just hair, it doesn’t define who you are, and it shouldn’t worry you if it’s not on your head. I have relaxed hair, and I have educated myself about hair/hair care, so obviously she’s wrong. And, I think her quote was very selfish and ignorant.

The Notorious Z.A.G.
The Notorious Z.A.G.
11 years ago

While hair is , after all, just hair… Afro hair is not naturally straight…ever. What compels Black women to go through hair straightening? Euro-centric ideals of beauty have been imposed upon us for so long that NEEDING straight hair to be attractive evolved into style, convenience, etc. No, nothing is wrong with relaxed hair, weaved hair, or hair with extentions. But at the same time nothing is wrong with our hair the way it is; and building that pride and that sense of community through natural hair is what this blog is about. If hair wasn’t an important issue there… Read more »

labelfreementality
labelfreementality
11 years ago

The quote was kind of silly. I mean some of us naturals spend more money now then before when you rocked a press and curl every two weeks or a relaxer. So this applies both ways. Look at how many Black women you see in Nail Salons getting a fill and all that other bs so for her to call out women with relaxers was a low blow if you want to point out how BW spend money on things let the blame be equal and fingers pointed in all directions.

His Daughter
His Daughter
11 years ago

i agree, until 4 months ago I had no idea of what my real hair looked like. but i think we still have to allow others to come to this realization on their own.we must also be careful not to shove it down their throats or make them feel bad about themselves. As naturals alot of us understand what it’s like to get that hated stare directed at our napps. so let us be careful not to start looking down our noses at people with relaxed hair. lets gently educate them about how beautiful and ok it is to just… Read more »

SistaOpinion
SistaOpinion
11 years ago

Dasia, the writer was most likely referring to women who didn’t go to or finish college, but it’s not a stretch to include women who did finish undergrad if they went to a small school, are on a certain professional track, are past a certain age, and are like most black women who relax. Even if you still don’t agree with that part of her statement, you can’t argue that most black women DON’T remember their natural hair because if they did all these blogs and sites — hell, this very DISCUSSION — wouldn’t be happening. The woman’s quote was… Read more »

AGrlCanMAC
AGrlCanMAC
11 years ago

Very interesting quote! 

I agree with anonymous about why can’t beauty be diverse. I mean, why can’t it?

Alicia
Alicia
11 years ago

Hold up, “natural” products are expensive too. Just look at all of these websites and small companies that make natural products for curly/kinky hair. They cost a freakin fortune! For example, I was really interested in buying some Oyin Handmade products, but I refuse to pay $8.00 for little bottle of spray. Why are we now being charged an arm and a leg to maintain our natural hair? And no, I’m not like a lot of these naturals that make their own products…that is just not realistic for my lifestyle.

Black girl with long hair
Black girl with long hair
11 years ago

@ Mzbush… yes! please email me once it’s done (contro_versial@hotmail.com)

Black girl with long hair
Black girl with long hair
11 years ago

@ his daughter…

As naturals alot of us understand what it’s like to get that hated stare directed at our napps. so let us be careful not to start looking down our noses at people with relaxed hair.”

that is a very true statement. it’s tough for some (not all) naturals to walk the line between being passionate and being judgmental…

Black girl with long hair
Black girl with long hair
11 years ago

@ dasia and sistaopinion…

i’m glad you both had a chance to speak your convictions strongly. i see both comments as expressing deep conviction and emotion and i think that’s great! let’s continue to be patient with and respectful of one another as we dialogue.

Nicole
Nicole
11 years ago

While I agree with what I think Thompson is trying to say, I will say the quote is a hyperbole if applied across a broad spectrum, but I have no problem believing in the author’s experience. When I think of what was spent on my education per year. The amount of money spent on braids or relaxing pales in comparison (mainly because my mom relaxed my hair every time but once, but still). I’ll also say that you can’t get the gist of an article on a quote alone. I think this is what she’s getting at: Have you ever talked… Read more »

D?s?? ?
D?s?? ?
11 years ago

I really think the whole relaxed & natural thing is getting old. I mean it’s just hair, it doesn’t define who you are, and it shouldn’t worry you if it’s not on your head. I have relaxed hair, and I have educated myself about hair/hair care, so obviously she’s wrong. And, I think her quote was very selfish and ignorant.

D?s?? ?
D?s?? ?
11 years ago

I really think the whole relaxed & natural thing is getting old. I mean it’s just hair, it doesn’t define who you are, and it shouldn’t worry you if it’s not on your head. I have relaxed hair, and I have educated myself about hair/hair care, so obviously she’s wrong. And, I think her quote was very selfish and ignorant.

D?s?? ?
D?s?? ?
11 years ago

I really think the whole relaxed & natural thing is getting old. I mean it’s just hair, it doesn’t define who you are, and it shouldn’t worry you if it’s not on your head. I have relaxed hair, and I have educated myself about hair/hair care, so obviously she’s wrong. And, I think her quote was very selfish and ignorant.

D?s?? ?
D?s?? ?
11 years ago

I really think the whole relaxed & natural thing is getting old. I mean it’s just hair, it doesn’t define who you are, and it shouldn’t worry you if it’s not on your head. I have relaxed hair, and I have educated myself about hair/hair care, so obviously she’s wrong. And, I think her quote was very selfish and ignorant.

D?s?? ?
D?s?? ?
11 years ago

I really think the whole relaxed & natural thing is getting old. I mean it’s just hair, it doesn’t define who you are, and it shouldn’t worry you if it’s not on your head. I have relaxed hair, and I have educated myself about hair/hair care, so obviously she’s wrong. And, I think her quote was very selfish and ignorant.

D?s?? ?
D?s?? ?
11 years ago

I really think the whole relaxed & natural thing is getting old. I mean it’s just hair, it doesn’t define who you are, and it shouldn’t worry you if it’s not on your head. I have relaxed hair, and I have educated myself about hair/hair care, so obviously she’s wrong. And, I think her quote was very selfish and ignorant.

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