*UPDATE* Corey’s wife, Chutney, has responded to this piece. Be sure to check it out here.
By Dr Corey Guyton of The Genuine Scholar
When I met my wife, she was everything I wanted in a woman. She was educated, Black, took great care of herself, and had long flowy hair.
As a youngster, I was always encouraged by older men, my peers, and even some women to find a woman who had “good hair”. Equipped with this advice, my wife’s hair was the icing on the cake to complement her other wonderful qualities.
After dating for a while, my world got turned upside down as my wife uttered these dreadful words…”I am thinking about going natural”. At this point I thought, what is a man to do when his wife is thinking about getting rid of the icing on the cake? Now, I had seen tons of women who were natural and I admired their look (one of those women being my mother), but for some reason I did not feel natural was for my woman.
As the days went by, I progressively started researching as much as I could about the entire natural process to figure out what in the heck my wife was about to do to herself. As I learned more and more about the process, my mind started playing tricks on me. The questions in my mind began to transform from being about why my wife would want to be natural to why did I want to keep her from being natural. This is the point I started evaluating myself instead of my wife.
So the million dollar question is why did I want to keep my wife from embracing her natural hair?
The truth is that I was insecure. I was insecure in the fact that my wife had to cut her hair. I was insecure in the fact that she would have a TWA (Tiny Weeny Afro). And I was insecure in the fact that she could possibly look different. The underlying issue was that I was not comfortable in my own manhood, because subconsciously, I felt I would be less of a man if my wife did not have long flowy hair. It was not about her, it was about me and my insecurities.
I was blinded by so many things including Eurocentric values, the media, and my own people.
- Growing up in a country where the standards are based on Eurocentric values, I fell into the trap of thinking that my definition of beauty was supposed to be the same as their definition of beauty. This false sense of understanding lead to me having the spirit of oppression towards my beautiful Black sistas, including my wife. Sadly, I tried to place those Eurocentric values on my Afrocentric queens.
- I was also blinded by the numerous images of “beauty” that were portrayed in the media. Anytime I would see a Black woman who was in movies, music videos, pageants, or on any day time television, she had long flowy hair. This played into my psyche and caused me to think that these women were the definition of beauty.
- Finally, I was blinded by my own people (including myself) who constantly displayed self-hate. The men constantly spoke about how women with short hair or non-straight hair were nappy headed and sistas put tons of weave in their head for the purposes of “increasing their beauty”. We created the thought that we were not beautiful the way God created us.
I am blessed to have a wife who challenged me by not giving in to my insecurities. Her journey of rediscovering herself was a pivotal point in my life because I also discovered myself through the process. I broke free of oppression and am now one of the biggest advocates for my beautiful sistas returning to their natural roots. Since the blinders are off, I would not want my wife to be any way other than natural.
Moral of the article is brothers support our beautiful natural queens and sistas embrace your natural beauty!
For more of Corey’s writings, check out his website The Genuine Scholar. Also check out his free e‑book Supporting Your Queen on Her Journey of Returning to Being Natural.