When you first go natural, EVERYTHING is new, including ‘hot topics’ that strike a nerve and spark discussion that is sometimes productive, and sometimes not. Here’s a list of five things that naturals can and should stop talking/arguing/feuding about.
1. Whether Natural Hair is Professional
I think it’s been established that, except for some extreme/serious cases, a head of hair will not keep the average natural from advancing up the pay scale. From Ursula Burns to Naomi Davis to Tonya Mosley to Harvard Law school graduate Chris-Tia Donaldson, there have been numerous examples of black women doing big things while “rocking the natural”. By now most women have figured out that it’s all about which style you choose. Work in a conservative office? Then you probably shouldn’t be rocking a chunky twist out. Pull your hair into a bun or try one of the thousands (literally) of natural hair updo tutorials on YouTube. There are ideas for ALL lengths and textures!
2. Whether Naturals can Find a Man
BGLH’s Love is in the Hair category offers very strong evidence that HELL YES, we can! From tall to short, dark to light skinned, curly to kinky, we’ve seen all kinds of women find men who love them for who they are. Many naturals even attest that natural hair ASSISTS them in their journey to find love, because it tends to weed out shallow dudes who see textured hair as a problem.
3. Whether Kinky Haired Naturals Struggle More than Curly Haired Naturals
Now, I do believe that there are important conversations to be had about why certain aspects of black beauty are more readily embraced within and outside of black culture. The documentary Dark Girls shows that we have a very long way to go, and continued dialogue is important. But petty curly-girl bashing, the side-eyeing of women who acknowledge their bi-raciality and the unending ‘curly vs kinky oppression Olympics’ is simply counterproductive. At the end of the day we’re all women of color — that is challenging enough without adding manufactured drama. If it’s a thoughtful discussion on hair texture we’re having, I’m all for it. If it’s mindless whining, bashing and complaining, then no thank you. This amazing article written by Abii A. pretty much sums up how I feel.
4. How to Get Curls
Look… I have nothing against curl definition… but some of us need to realize that our hair is kinky and/or coily and no magical product or technique will change that. There are more than enough style icons on BGLH who have shown that kinky hair is beautiful and very versatile (Check out Khyla, Wendy, Adaku, Cipriana and Shereen). It’s time for some of us to put the jar of curl defining gel down and start learning how to manage our kinks.
5. Whether Black Men or White Men are More Supportive
There is no magical formula for “The Man Who Loves A Natural Haired Woman Unconditionally.” For some women that man happens to be black, for others he’s Asian, for some he’s white. Why fight about it? It’s no secret that the black community hasn’t done a stellar job of teaching young black men to see natural hair as beautiful, and there is certainly a thoughtful discussion to be had there. But on the other hand countless natural hair bloggers and vloggers (including the blogger behind this great site!) are married to supportive black men. Countless others are married to supportive non-black men. Instead of comparing and contrasting, let’s just celebrate love when we see it!
Now for your thoughts; Are you in agreement? What would you add to my list? What would you take away? Please share!