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Is America Bent on Convincing Black Women that their Beauty is “Unacceptable”?

Avatar • Dec 1, 2013

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At this point, the story is getting a little old:

Black Girl ridiculed by peers about having “different” hair, and teachers/administrators further isolate said girl by fixating on her hair as the issue, rather than addressing the blatant bullying that repeatedly occurred. After “public outrage” ensues, said teachers and administrators redact/retract their statements and apologize for their actions. Then everyone goes on about their business until something else happens. Rinse, lather, repeat. 

More than treating this latest story as another notch in the different day, same bull belt, we cannot afford to view Vanessa Vandyke’s story through the narrow scope of natural hair. Yes, a Black girl, like countless others (and possibly even some of us) has been bullied and unsupported by the educational “professionals” who are supposed to have her best interests at the forefront. Yes, once again our God given hair is trivialized, under attack, and our naturalness otherized.

But make no mistake: this discourse is nothing new, and has never been limited to our hair. Black women in America have endured a long history of purposely being painted outside the spectrum of acceptable beauty. Our skin color, hair texture, facial features, and body shapes have been bastardized, abased, devalued, and reduced to mere spectacles. In the early 1800s, Saartjie “Sara” Baartman was put on display as a freak show attraction in museums throughout Europe, because of the size of her butt. Fast forward 200 years, and Miley Cyrus continues the racialized parading; rendering the Black female body as a prop for profit.

Of course to the Black woman who walks daily in reminders of her less-than, this maltreatment and dehumanization comes as no surprise. For longer than we’ve loved our natural hair, thick lips, and array of complexions, we’ve fought against embracing who we are, just to make it stop. Just to make it hurt a little less. Just to be acknowledged as more than a societal punching bag. Just to get a little further ahead professionally. Not understanding that perms, powders, and proper English don’t present us passes into the circle of privilege. Seeking acceptance into a clique that wants everything from us, but nothing to do with us has been an exercise in futility, at best.

Ask the family of 19 year old Renisha McBride what a Black female life is worth. Ask Rachel Jeantel about being perceived as an embarrassment because her dialect did not align with that of the dominant social stratum (and why Ebony and The Grio felt she needed new extensions, a manicure, and makeup).  I could go on for days citing names and occurrences in which their is no other explanation for their crucifixion but their Blackness. Up against a larger discourse that is hell bent on marginalizing the presence, contributions, and value of anyone that does not pass a Eurocentric beauty standard, Vanessa Vandyke’s story makes sense (and it makes even more sense that Huffington Post filed her story under “Strange News”).

The truth is, there is a war going on — and no, I’m not being dramatic. There is a war going on, and the battlefronts are our minds, bodies, and spirits. And this war is by no means new. According to author and psychiatrist Dr. Frances Cress Welsing, “Inferiorization is the conscious, deliberate, and systematic process utilized specifically by a racist social system, as conducted through all of its major and minor institutions, to mold specific peoples within that system into “functional inferiors,” in spite of their true…potential for functioning.” When viewed through that lens, it is no wonder that the Black woman is attacked on all fronts. In a racist and patriarchal system, Black women are painted as anything from mammies to video vixens, ghetto ratchets, to sidepieces. Anything but human. Anything but a whole person, with a conscience, brain, and soul.

See, when we expand the scope of our thinking, a broader picture is painted. Yes, the “Black is Beautiful” mantra has been in circulation for over 40 years, and “Black Power” longer than that. But when does that rhetoric become meaningful action? When will we truly believe that our Blackness is beautiful and cannot be challenged by a socio-political narrative bent on systematic disinclusion? When will we truly believe that we possess the power and authority to reject the sentence that we’ve been served by dominant culture? I’m far from a feminist, and even farther from perfect. But I think it’s time for us as women who are supposed to be a part of a community to ask some critical questions. Too many folks already think our kinks, coils, and curls are just a fad. Hell, sometimes we can’t even take ourselves seriously due to infighting, e‑backbiting, cyber-slander, and perceived texture hierarchies. Every second that we spend invalidating each other undermines any broader attempts at challenging the denigration of our Black womanhood — and reinforces the notion that we are appropriately labeled and dismissed.

More than 4C, 3A, and 2B, big choppers and transitioners, we are, and should be a community that aims to change the course of the conversation around Blackness as women. We have the platforms. We have the economic power. We have the potential. But without knowledge of self, self determination, and collectivism, all of our tools and resources are useless. And we certainly won’t be in the position to effectively support the Vanessas, Tianas, and Lamyas that are too young to understand the nature of the attacks against their existence.

For more from Christina check out her blog, The Mane Objective. You can also find her on Instagram and Facebook.

 

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About Christina Patrice

Born, raised, and living in Los Angeles, Christina is BGLH's resident transitioning expert and product junkie. In addition to loving all things hair, she is a fitness novice and advocate of wearing sandals year-round. For more information on transitioning, natural hair, and her own hair journey, visit maneobjective.com. Or, if you like pictures follow Christina on Instagram @maneobjective.

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natural fantastic
6 years ago

The first person that must appreciate the beauty of the black woman is the black woman.

baby steps
baby steps
6 years ago

Exactly! And then everyone else will have no choice but to accept it whether they realize it or not. If we can’t appreciate what we have and accept ourselves then how can we expect anything more from the world? As the saying goes, “We must be the change we want to see.”

beautyandbrains08
beautyandbrains08
6 years ago

I know this article may be about natural hair and although I agree that natural hair is beautiful. However, what about those like me who want the relaxer? I feel like those with natural hair judge me because I wear a relaxer. Why can’t we focus on the development of our self-esteem within and allow individual repression outwardly?

HeyThere
HeyThere
6 years ago

Sister, I see what points you’re trying to make. But did you read the article? This is about what America perceives about our hair the way it grows out our scalps. Americans are already used to seeing our hair straightened with chemicals; in fact, that’s what they DEMAND we do. There are plenty of articles that focus on the relaxed vs. natural debate that focus on what you’ve brought up. This blog overall focuses on natural hair and beauty, so of course it’s going to focus on accepting the beauty of natural kinky/curly hair first and foremost. Know your venue.

JustLeavingaComment
JustLeavingaComment
6 years ago

The natural hair community isn’t judging you sis. What’s happening is, you are judging yourself.

Antrelise
6 years ago

I agree completely. The problem is too many Black women and men haven’t accepted the Black woman’s distinctive beauty. Look at what happened after the majority of us started to glorify our own darker skin, fuller lips, and rounder Butts and hips…tanning salons, collagen injections, and surgical procedures!!! Not only that, but having any of these particular European characteristics are considered undesirable to the majority of us (except maybe skin color…we still have some work to do in that department ladies :). The point is that the day we accept ourselves not only will others, but more importantly, we wont… Read more »

Amber
Amber
6 years ago

I agree, but on the flipside, has anyone else noticed that in commercials black wommen/children almost always have natural hair? It’s an interesting observation.

cacey
cacey
6 years ago
Reply to  Amber

i LOVE that and i don’t want it to change. what’s interesting is that the vast majority of women shown on BET in commercials and shows have weave or relaxed hair. Straight hair, almost never curly, and if they do show natural hair it’s always someone with type 3. odd that other channels are more open to diversifying the presentation of black women and more accepting of natural hair of both type 3 and 4, but BET is not nearly so. it’s sad, too.

anastasia
anastasia
6 years ago
Reply to  Amber

Follow the money.….Representation is merely an effort to increase profit margins…

Meanwhile, kids are being kicked out of school b/c of their hair (among other horrific instances of racism/sexism).… the same old tired heirarchy continues.

AnonSince87
AnonSince87
6 years ago

I agree, but unfortunately, I don’t think this is going anywhere. Black women will never be seen as ‘on par’ with European standards because it’s disrupts the status quo. This is simply how the world works and how it will always be. We’ve reached our ‘peak’ — meaning we fought to have a place within society, have laws to protect us from discrimination etc, but that’s where it ends. We finally got a place within society, but rather than progress and elevate ourselves as black people, we’ve kinda stifled. And that’s because the way the world is ‘ordered’ doesn’t permit… Read more »

Coconut + Cream
6 years ago
Reply to  AnonSince87

I completely see where you’re coming from! But I don’t think we’ve hit our limit — Definitely not yet. We’ve got to think on a grand scale. A lot of women ALL around the world are embracing their natural hair textures, simply through online support. We’re being unified by this thing called hair! I went natural three years ago, and back then, there was so much info on hair and history. But now, look at all the wealth of information and support we have here! I know we’re moving further and not stopping because, where I live it’s becoming the norm… Read more »

Coconut + Cream
6 years ago

Omg just realised how LONG this comment is lol

o_O ‑_-

Kat
Kat
6 years ago

But this is the truth, Ruth! #agreed

Princess C
Princess C
6 years ago

Sounds like a great dissertation!!
All the best with it 🙂 hope it doesnt keep you up too late too often.
If you can ever share it with others (not sure if that is allowed these days) when you have finished I would love to read it

AnonSince87
AnonSince87
6 years ago

I hope so! 🙂

I don’t mean to be so pessimistic, I just get so frustrated when I think about where we are as black people; how powerful and beautiful we are, yet we sell ourselves short (not just in relation to hair). I do hope that what you’re saying does become a reality.

Jennifer
Jennifer
6 years ago
Reply to  AnonSince87

Your perspective is just as important and legitimate as anyone else, and I appreciate you offering it. We create our own reality. And we are changing the world. When I was growing up, I never saw a black woman on TV with natural hair in a commercial. You see it now. All the time. I never saw little black girls with natural hair, and did not see their mothers walking behind them proud of their kinks. You see it now. No one gave a damn years ago if a little black girl was attacked for her natural hair. Ten years ago the public would… Read more »

Nicole
Nicole
6 years ago
Reply to  Jennifer

And adorn ourselves! We are a jewelry loving people: gold, not gold, silver, not silver, beads, metals, etc. This is who we are! And it compliments well our hair!

mlank64
mlank64
6 years ago
Reply to  Jennifer

I saw Asian young people sporting afros. So it is not far fetch to assume white women will want what we naturally possess. That’s nothing new and we shouldn’t concern ourselves with what other races think or do. The best thing that happened in the last five years for black women is YouTube and forums like this but YouTube has been a game changer. It reaches all black women worldwide and it connects us like no other median since telephone or automobile. To visualize the versatility of our beauty and shift our purchasing power to small independent black businesses and… Read more »

NoLyeFlyy
NoLyeFlyy
6 years ago

Yes, we have a huge impact on the economy because, though we posses the least amount of wealth, we spend the most money. There is power in our spending, we fell to realize where we spend out money speaks volumes.

A change gon come
A change gon come
6 years ago

I’m an optimist too. I’m in college and whenever my classes offer an assignment that is open-ended or I can choose the topic I always choose hair or black beauty. I’m usually the only black person, sometimes there might be one other, and when I purpose my topic most people aren’t interested. What can there be to research about hair? Isn’t it just a vain topic? There is no depth to it. But when the final is due or I have a presentation to make, everyone learns so much. I usually have one of the more culturally informative pieces. I don’t… Read more »

cacey
cacey
6 years ago

hearing (or reading, rather) you talk about the next generation(s) of black girls/women is making me feel really.…really.…reeeeaaallllyy…
OLD (with a resounding ‘D’ lol)
and i’m only 23.
aside from this, great point. now lemme run and go re-check for grays i may have missed in the mirror this morning.

JustLeavingaComment
JustLeavingaComment
6 years ago
Reply to  AnonSince87

Oh, the world WILL shift 😉 We haven’t peeked by a long shot. We may have peaked in a white supremest societal structure. However, what goes up must come down…and if you watch the news or even look around you know the kingdom they built is on it’s way down. Who will be left standing on the top of the rubble of this crumbling society?? WE WILL. All the world’s ‘greatest’ civilizations bit the dust. This one will be no different. That’s what the Bible says and I believe this to be the truth 🙂 We are witnessing it all… Read more »

Deb
Deb
6 years ago

Black people in America and all over the world embracing their beauty, understanding their TRUE worth, acting in accordance and beyond their abilities and working together and for the betterment of the greater good like other successful societies is a REAL AND SERIOUS THREAT to white supremacy and various powerful countries all over the world. This is not black supremacist rhetoric but reality and common sense. This country in the next generation would be rocked upside down if truly took root in the minds of African American children. Same thing in Africa and around the world. How do we make each… Read more »

P0undcakes
P0undcakes
6 years ago

I absolutely agree and wonder how and what I can do to spark a revolutionary change to make a difference. I want to do something! Anyone with me ready to start by doing something instead of just accepting things the way they are?

Blex's Mom
Blex's Mom
6 years ago

I think America is bent on convincing black women that our beauty is unacceptable, because white women are trying to capture their own version of black beauty. It dates back to the 70’s with white women getting perms so they can achieve the “curly afro” look and early 80’s with Bo Derek running on the beach with long cornrows. Fast forward to today, you see on the runways of Europe, white models wearing blonde afros, dreads and weaves. And let’s not forget, women paying hundreds of thousands and sometimes, millions of dollars to have full lips and a full backside.… Read more »

Valerie
6 years ago

Black women have say to themselves, that they are beautiful and they are the daughters of the most High King and stop supporting people who abuse black women,some comedians, actors, rappers. They must not conform to the world, because it is doomed to failure. If we cannot accept our beauty, others will not be able to either. When we recognize we are beautiful, everyone even if they hate it will have to acknowledge it also.

JustLeavingaComment
JustLeavingaComment
6 years ago
Reply to  Valerie

Spoken like a true believer in Yah! Be TRANSFORMED by the renewing of your mind not Conformed to the ways of this world. Romans 12:2 The true and living God is against the ways of this world…and it shows. James 4:4

Michelle
Michelle
6 years ago
Reply to  Valerie

I agree with you. If black women want these issues pushed to the forefront, we should confront the people in our own media and community who exploit ‘us’. We need to think of our girls(young ones), it is not fair that their self-esteem is attacked for no reason.

RJG
RJG
6 years ago

I agree with the article, but there’s one thing I have to add: it wasn’t until I moved to Europe that I felt viewed and accepted immediately as an individual, rather than a stereotype. Sure, I’ve experienced racism here, but nothing NOTHING like at home. And never have I had a single “look” or side-eye at wearing my natural hair. The people who first supported me in my transition were white Europeans (apart from 2 girlfriends living here at the time). By contrast, I had nothing but negativity from my family back home. And, from black hair stylists. For my… Read more »

BrinkyDinks
BrinkyDinks
6 years ago
Reply to  RJG

I find your comment very interesting because I live in Europe as well (originally from NY), and I feel the exact opposite. I never really experienced racism until I came here. My hair gets stared at all the time especially by other Black people. The compliments I do get tend to come from White people or other races. I think at least with Americans there’s discourse about this issue while in Europe specifically the UK where I live, there isn’t. It is starting to change but people are reluctant to talk about racism and the implications that come with it.… Read more »

Nicole
Nicole
6 years ago
Reply to  BrinkyDinks

The English are very similar in their thinking to Americans. They are cut from the same cloth. Blacks in England and blacks in America are two of a kind. They mostly tend to be from the Islands and Africa. Blacks in other parts of Europe however, tend to be from countries still considered a part of that “mother” country. For example, Martinique and Guadeloupe are still a part of France; and Suriname up until the 1950’s was still a part of The Netherlands. These are pretty much the countries where you find large black populations in Europe. Blacks throughout the… Read more »

AnonSince87
AnonSince87
6 years ago
Reply to  BrinkyDinks

I think it becomes even more complicated, as it also depends on the city within the country. May I ask what part of the UK you reside in? I ask because I was born and bred and in London. No one bats an eyelid when I go out with my hair and I’ve seen loads of girls with their afros out. All the people who have (so far) complimented me on my hair are black (including black men) — then again, I live & work in a prodominately black area. London is one of those cities similar to NYC; ‘eccentric’ fashionistas… Read more »

RJG
RJG
6 years ago
Reply to  BrinkyDinks

First, I’m not putting anyone on a pedestal. I’m saying let’s not lump white America in with white Europe because it’s not the same thing at all. I think our experiences may differ because I moved from the South to Paris, France. When I had a TWA in Tallahassee, FL, I was immediately an angry lesbian or a black panther in hiding. The same hairstyle in Paris meant I was a woman with short hair. I’m convinced that the legacy of slavery does something to the soil of a place. France did not base it’s entire agricultural development on African slavery like… Read more »

RJG
RJG
6 years ago
Reply to  BrinkyDinks

All of that & I forgot to say, look who gave me the most pushback & negativity on my natural hair, people impacted by the legacy of slavery:
White Americans in the South
A black Brazilian woman (slavery was no joke in Brazil)
A salon-full of women from sub-Saharan Africa
My own family, from the American South.

Monica
6 years ago
Reply to  RJG

You all said some real stuff, but there are some points I disagree with. I was born in France to African immigrants. First , let me tell you : Africans also have the pressure to fit in European standards maybe even more that African-Americans. In Congo, the country of my father, women in countryside who live with 5$ a month buy plenty of weaves and bleaching creams. My grandmother, who lives in Africa hates my natural hair : to her , it looks uncombed,too wild and I just should get a relaxer to get it looking good. And , as… Read more »

Nicole
Nicole
6 years ago
Reply to  Monica

I can never understand why white people like to refer to black people as monkeys when trying to belittle them. Why? Do they know that there are white monkeys and baboons and the like that look like them.
[img]https://bglh-marketplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/twomonkey.jpeg[/img]
[img]https://bglh-marketplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/monkeyseemonkeydo.jpeg[/img]
[img]https://bglh-marketplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/monkeystoo.jpeg[/img]
[img]https://bglh-marketplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/anotherwhitemonkey.jpeg[/img]

Cassie
Cassie
6 years ago

Women from all races need to accept their natural beauty;pale and dark skin, thin and thick lips, high and low cheekbones, wide hips and no lips.

clara
clara
6 years ago
Reply to  Cassie

ummm if you mean women should love their naturalness… why don’t you take that talk and deconstruct the white supremacy pyramid cause it seems another race benefits from demonizing and insulting black women

Missc
Missc
6 years ago

I think they tried, but I’m not convinced. 😉

Nel
Nel
6 years ago

I agree with so much of what you’ve said and this brought back immediate memories of how Gabby was treated during the Olympics.… Wait that was “us” talking about her hair. Change starts at home.

NoLyeFlyy
NoLyeFlyy
6 years ago

I believe the next step for our community to build our own economy and stop supporting others. It’s time we build our own stores, car dealerships, clothing lines, magazines (that are completely African-American owned), television stations, radio stations, construction companies, etc. We are the only culture (race (color) is a myth made up to further segregate us/the world) that don’t support each other. Asians build their stores in our communities and prosper, then buy home in better neighborhoods with better school, yet give nothing back to the communities in which they are the benefactor. They only Asian made cars, purchase… Read more »

NoLyeFlyy
NoLyeFlyy
6 years ago
Reply to  NoLyeFlyy

Sorry for the typos and missed words, I think it’s readable though. I should have proofread. My fault completely.

Deb
Deb
6 years ago
Reply to  NoLyeFlyy

Black people have to see themselves and each other being worthy of this sort of support and the many that dont have to start truly believing that they can run successful businesses like the ones you mentioned. I don’t like that standards for black businesses are lower because of many negative experiences in the past. I hope that changes.

coffeeandfingernails
6 years ago

I think we should acknowledge that we *have* changed the conversation. School administrators didn’t just start attacking little girls with natural hair. What’s different is every part of that pattern that follows the attack: the news story, the backlash and the subsequent change in policy. And as skeptical as folks are about the motives of relaxer companies putting out products targeting naturals, the fact that they are is an indication of a dramatic departure from the days when dyed fried and laid was the only conceivable option. I don’t doubt there are many women going natural now who won’t stay… Read more »

Topaz
6 years ago

I feel this article ladies. Please watch this 3 minute video, it addresses this issue!

black nerd lover
black nerd lover
6 years ago

I LOVE this piece and it rings ever true after watching 12 Years a Slave. The character of Patsy, a young black slave, is strong, sensual and beautiful. Her master’s wife is jealous of his obsession with Patsy. So what does she do? Systematically dehumanizes her. Call her a black bitch, physically assault her, ANYTHING to make her believe that she could never be equal in beauty, intelligence or humanity to a white woman. Toni Morrison once said that if in order for you to be tall, someone else has to be on their knees, then that’s a problem. (I’m totally butchering… Read more »

P0undcakes
P0undcakes
6 years ago

Nerd Lover I concur

Missc
Missc
6 years ago
Reply to  P0undcakes

Me too…yep.

Deb
Deb
6 years ago

that goes without question. and people like to hone in on the black community but its EVERYONE including non-blacks that are dragging us (and yes I know some of you have non-black boyfriends and get compliments from white people but they don’t cancel out anything) Hate or apathy toward black beauty is worldwide but I definitely think the US leads the pack. SELF LOVE is the most important when noone else wants or cares to appreciate your worth. It is always good to have but almost a necessity for us. Notice how natural hair is becoming more accepted as we started… Read more »

Jesse
Jesse
6 years ago

What a great piece. Bravo Christina Patrice! You are so right. It is about more than just hair. I really liked the part at the end about mobilization and collective action. We have to understand our value as individuals and use that power to enact change to this sad social and political structure. Also, thank you for the side articles. I am glad to know that they have filed a criminal lawsuit against the murder of Renisha McBride. I am tired of hearing about young black life being lost because our mere presence is seen as threatening to so many… Read more »

Deb
Deb
6 years ago
Reply to  Jesse

I wish current African American “leaders” understood this and acted accordingly. I also wish Africans saw the worth in each other too. Corruption and bloodshed of war is rampant and I’ve known it since I was born. The closer I look, the more I realize it’s because we see each other as almost nothing, we don’t see our fellow people as being worthwhile. If we did, the corrupt ones would not be thinking of themselves, they’d be thinking of the good of the country. People would band together to protest for change not just for the rich but for the… Read more »

Marineblue
Marineblue
6 years ago

I am from Europe and I can confirm with what black nerd lover stated. I think that this is a feature of white European character. In order to get themselves up they need to knock someone else down. This is true also within the white European community,btw. In Europe the natural hair is accepted however it’s also on the fringe of the fashion interest. Black women over here weren’t subjected to a cruel treatment like our sisters in America therefore we kind of don’t feel the urge to embrace our natural selves so strongly. Nevertheless, we should as it’s very… Read more »

Me
Me
6 years ago

Interesting article. I agree that it starts with us, we have to love and accept ourselves the way we are. I live in London and I have experienced so much racism in London — despite it being such a melting pot of different cultures. In fact most of the UK is quite xenophobic — no offence meant. To the point where I’m making plans to relocate as we speak. That said, I have seen many black ladies in London wear their hair natural, although majority of women still wear weaves, extensions and weaves. A lot of the time the fake hair… Read more »

kandyk
kandyk
6 years ago

GREAT READ, SO TRUE. LOVED THIS, BUT SADLY THE DEGRADATION OF OURSELVES ARE TAUGHT/LEARNED AT A YOUNG AGE (OUR MUSIC, LIGHT-SKINNED VS DARK-SKINNED, ETC) SO IT MAYBE ALL WE KNOW. WE FIRST, MUST BREAK THE CYCLE IN OUR COMMUNITY AND ONLY THEN CAN WE MEET OUR FULL POTENTIAL. AT THE END OF THE DAY WE MUST NOT FORGET THAT WE ARE THE TRUE QUEENS AND NOTHING LESS.

clara
clara
6 years ago

i honestly wish that malcolm x as alive!! there’s a deep healing that needs to occur in the black community WORLDWIDE

William
William
6 years ago

I’m Irish, Scotch, English, and a variety of other shades of white. I am proudly married to a Afro Brazilian woman with natural hair. The reason I state this is because in my youth I was a blatant racist, I hated everyone for any reason I could grab at. I am so so sorry to the girl and the girls, and boys that are continually beaten and berated over their looks. I look back on that life with disgust and regret. The reason for my small story above this sentence is this. If a young boy, still trying to find… Read more »

Missc
Missc
6 years ago
Reply to  William

Um… What are you doing here?.…
[img]https://bglh-marketplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/image‑2.jpg[/img]

Bhamanon
Bhamanon
6 years ago
Reply to  Missc

No need to be rude, he is saying something nice. Maybe his wife, who he mentioned is Afro Brazilian, showed him the article and he appreciated it and felt compelled to comment. This website is not restricted to only people you approve or feel like have the right to be here.

Missc
Missc
6 years ago
Reply to  Bhamanon

How is asking a question being rude? O_O

Missc
Missc
6 years ago
Reply to  Bhamanon

I can ask any question I want. I’m not name calling. I just find it rather odd… 🙂

Missc
Missc
6 years ago
Reply to  Missc

As a child i was picked on about my looks…my hair in particular. In fact the first time I was ever called a “bitch” straight to my face was by a white boy in summer camp. I was 11. No you are not forgiven.

Bhamanon
Bhamanon
6 years ago
Reply to  Missc

I understand where u r coming from. I am sorry that happened to u. As I get older I realize that holding on to bitterness because of the way someone treated me in the past is only hurting myself. The person who offended me has moved on and is not thinking about me at all. I hope u will find peace and come to the same realization one day also.

lv
lv
6 years ago

ooh Patrice: your writing is so on point. Bravo! Sadly I dont have a nice round butt 🙁 however, i got me a big bad 4a curly fro, that draws all sorts of attention. You cannot really deny beauty. Compare my 54 year old self and hair to the hair of my white counterparts of the same age and.….well.…:) the revolution will be televised!!!!!!

Ann
Ann
6 years ago

I say don’t give up because that’s what they want us to do. I personally decided to go natural because I was inspired by my 13 year old! She was tired of relaxing and wanted to do the big chop! All of the family went with her to celebrate this momentous occasion and the entire time the lady cutting her hair couldn’t believe she wanted to do this ( in a positive way) My point is that yes it’s only hair but if it’s the catalyst for black women to begin the journey of self acceptance then so be it.… Read more »

youngin girl
youngin girl
6 years ago

This story can relate to thousands of women. It’s a sensitive, touchy subject that has been going on for decades. We are not going to accept this ladies, we are not going to accept this. I believe that this revolution will inspire many girls in society. I went natural because I thought it was beautiful, versatile and you can do many things with your hair. I had a perm of course because that was the only thing I knew as a go-to style.

Vett
6 years ago

I love this post. And as a 22 year old who sees black as beautiful (truly), I think it starts with teaching this to our kids. My parents did a good job of teaching me about black history and the beautiful aspects of being black in America (or anywhere)…because the world will not teach that. It starts with us!

http://www.rcsoatl.com

Nika
Nika
6 years ago
Reply to  Vett

I couldn’t agree more. I believe part of it is because African Americans specifically have only been taught negatives about people of African descent so they turn away from it. I have been shocked to hear African Americans claim that they are not African and know nothing about Africa, and therefore would rather be called black. I’m Caribbean of African descent and I learned for myself (my mom was big on this during my childhood and I continued as an adult). No one will teach us how magnificent Africa was before colonization and slavery (nor about amazing African Americans after… Read more »

Elle
Elle
6 years ago
Reply to  Nika

The entire African diaspora has been inundated with negative stereotypes and brainwashed by historical omissions. I have often run into the same issue amongst Africans in Europe and Asia, Latin Americans, Caribbeans and Americans. I’ve seen Black history taught less since the 80s and believe the 20 and under generation is being most deprived. I understand your frustration, however the term ‘Black’ for some Americans, including myself, is an embrace of our history not an attempt to erase it. Blacks have been named and re-named for centuries by others from Negro, Colored and a lot of other choice words in… Read more »

anastasia
anastasia
6 years ago
Reply to  Elle

Elle, I think I love you!

Shelly_Shelle
Shelly_Shelle
6 years ago
Reply to  Elle

You just preached Elle! Black people are unique from other African descendants. I don’t understand why others feel some sorta way when we call ourselves Black and we defend our legacy. I don’t have an issue when the Nigerians are proudly shouting out their tribes, Puerto-Ricans who’ve never been to Puerto Rico boasting their heritage, Haitians, etc. You don’t hear us saying here they go again seperating themselves, although they do this frequently to let you know what time it is. But when it’s time to talk about Black this and that…they want in and all of a sudden “we… Read more »

Tabatha
Tabatha
6 years ago
Reply to  Nika

My little cousin she is 8 is going through a tough time. Its not the past that makes her feel bad about being black. She feels bad about being black because of where we are now. She is quite wise for her little age. She doesn’t like how we act on t.v. shows that it seems that every crime seems to involve us. When we have something to say people roll their eyes and say that we are the racists. She doesn’t like all the white black talk. She said that she would rather be Mexican or Asian, so she… Read more »

SantanaNyla
6 years ago

Once I gained weight my hips and butt became an issue-so I slimmed down. Now these locs are the focus.…wonder what would happen if I posed a triple threat?

Roxie
Roxie
6 years ago

Sorry why are we complaining about Miley Cyrus using black women’s bodies as props when black men in rap do it, black women do it. What would it look like if she were presenting black women how black women have presented themselves for years?

Tabatha
Tabatha
6 years ago
Reply to  Roxie

I don’t even give that girl a second thought.

lauryn
lauryn
6 years ago
Reply to  Roxie

Truth. Miley wouldn’t have even had black women to objectify if her black “backup dancers” had refused to take the job. Change starts at home. In our hearts and minds. I can’t anyone else to value me if I don’t show that I value myself. Unfortunately, our people have been so torn down and dejected over centuries that may of us still believe the lies, many of us still want to stay where it’s “safe.”

LBell
LBell
6 years ago

This is a long one, even for me…consider yourselves warned… 😉 This article lifts my heart because it resembles the kinds of hair conversations I participated in back in the pre-blog Stone Age days of the Internet. So much of our discussion involved deconstructing, unpacking, and dismantling negative thinking and attitudes towards black beauty in general and black women’s hair in particular. From the beginning we declared that going natural involves both a physical and a mental transition, that staying natural requires a change in mindset, and that for many of us these transitions and changes constitute a “journey” in the… Read more »

mlank64
mlank64
6 years ago
Reply to  LBell

You are so right.

Clarissa L Evans
Clarissa L Evans
6 years ago
Reply to  LBell

Damn! That’s a sexy comment! 😀

Poshnera
Poshnera
6 years ago
Reply to  LBell

Yessssssss speak girl speak!

Sonnybabe
Sonnybabe
6 years ago
Reply to  LBell

You speak so eloquently and accurately. The perpetuation of the “inferior black woman” is further bolstered by the black celebrity. Look at people like Beyonce, Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, even Kelley Rowland has gotten lighter than when she first started out, and the list goes on and on. These ones have transformed their natuarl features through makeup, chemical procedures, skin bleaching,surgeries and blatanly lied about it. They make claims about being mixed, namely Beyonce and Rihanna who have been using skin lightening, who have tried to make out their increasingly lighter skin is because of having white or partly white reltives.… Read more »

Tabatha
Tabatha
6 years ago
Reply to  Sonnybabe

well on the flip side there are less pigmented people tanning to get close to our skin color. People are getting skin cancer to have our color. So everyone has their own vision of what makes them feel beautiful.

Raven
Raven
6 years ago
Reply to  Tabatha

But,you hardly see white women go from Emma Stone to Oprah Winfrey in coloring when they tan, like you do non whites when they bleach.

ema
ema
6 years ago
Reply to  Sonnybabe

Thats a big fat lie, there are pictures of Rihanna as a little kid that shows that she was always light. And a lot of women and men are naturally light and they dont have to apologize for that. Just because it makes you uncomfortable, because they are not black enough for you. I have no idea about Beyonce and Nicki, but you are telling lies about Rihanna.

Semi
Semi
6 years ago
Reply to  Sonnybabe

You’re “blatantly” lying. There are enough pics of Beyonce and Rihanna when they were very young, where you can see that they were always light. Rihanna even had dark blond/bright brown hair when she was an infant. I dont know anything about Kelly Rowland getting lighter, but its annoying how people have to lie to make a point.

anastasia
anastasia
6 years ago
Reply to  LBell

TRUTH!

anastasia
anastasia
6 years ago
Reply to  anastasia

Replying to LBell’s eloquence.

Angela
Angela
5 years ago
Reply to  LBell

I used to live next door to a woman in the Nation of Islam. I came back to visit my mom from New York , with my TWA, cropped short (I looked beautiful with little to no hair) and this BLACK MUSLIM gave me major shade. It was actually kind of funny. Insane and funny. She hated my white BFF, but I guess really dug her hair.

AC
AC
6 years ago

I agree with SOME of this article, first off… my opinion might be biased because although I am Black, all of the flack about me being natural came from other Black people, other races have given me nothing but compliments. Another thing is, this Miley Cyrus chick only continues to exist because we continue to comment on her… I could honestly care less, we care about her twerking etc because she is WHITE, what about all of the video girls and regular women that are Black that shake their a** every day on Vine? I honestly forgot about Miley because… Read more »

Portia
Portia
6 years ago
Reply to  AC

Honestly, AC, I think you are supporting the author’s whole point. I’m sure that the main people giving you flack for being natural are black. It makes perfect sense. It seems to me that, once you have invaded the consciousness of a people and convinced them of their inferiority, your job is done. They do all the work for you- holding EACH OTHER down, disparaging and disrespecting THEMSELVES and EACH OTHER.

Naeisha
Naeisha
6 years ago

That was the best article I read in a long time. But I have to say that the denial some females have about being feminists is over my head. Being a feminist means you are in pursuit of rights for all marginalized groups, most likely ones you can relate to a little bit more, that is all. The perceptions some people have of bra burning and man hating is outdated and ignorant. I am a proud feminist, I love my black men, and I cooked mine Thanksgiving dinner. Lets be a little more open minded.

Tabatha
Tabatha
6 years ago
Reply to  Naeisha

But see that just show you how everyone likes to lump people under the same umbrella. I have an Italian and Native American friend and he has long hair and its funny that everyone calls him a hippy. He isn’t and he takes offense when people call him that because he isn’t. You are so right when people think feminist they think bra burning, man hating, no pit shaving, earthy musty smellin woman who likes making trouble for anything masculine. All of us need to research things before we assume things or get to know a person before judging them.… Read more »

Missc
Missc
6 years ago

I can ask any question I want. I’m not name calling. I just find it rather odd… 🙂

aVeryKinkyCurl
aVeryKinkyCurl
6 years ago

I’m really feeling this article…the other morning, I walked into a 7‑Eleven with my natural curls popping and I was really feeling myself…then one of the clerks (a young emo looking white guy) says…“You should get a long straight weave…that would be really pretty on you”…after I told him that I didn’t wear weave and that all of these curls were my own natural hair, he gasped in awe as if it was impossible for a black woman to have her own hair and not need weave.…the other female clerk gave him a look like “stfu”…sadly, he had no idea… Read more »

curlysincebirth
curlysincebirth
6 years ago

This article is the first article of real and true substance I have read in a while. Bravo to the authoress you inspire and lead the way for this generation and the next with pieces like this.

Missy
Missy
6 years ago

I don’t know what the problem is. Sometimes I don’t even feel I live on this planet. If one day I feel like having a blond wig I get it, if I feel like rocking a fro I do it and so far even my own mother do not understand that I AM NOT MY HAIR, nor colour or any ethnicity or whatever, I am ME period. And the good thing about people going natural and everything is that maybe people will learn to be themselves and thats all. Sometimes I just don,t get why we are even talking of… Read more »

Tabatha
Tabatha
6 years ago
Reply to  Missy

I see what your saying Missy and its funny cause not many people support what you are saying, which is to just be you, no matter what. What’s on your head doesn’t define you and we need to stop doing the white/ black type griping cause it really doesn’t solve anything. The only thing that we can do is be comfortable and happy with us. You are even acknowledging being natural if that is what you choose to be and people don’t support that. That’s funny to me. Very interesting indeed.

Clarissa L Evans
Clarissa L Evans
6 years ago

I can agree with almost everything in this article except the “proper english” statement. Just because you use proper english does not mean you’re trying to sound white, it means you are educated and use the brain you were born with. There is no such thing as “talking white” or “talking black” either! Why is it that when a black person carries their self with respect & class and speaks as such, they are always labeled as trying to be white?! And it’s usually always by our own people too! I can think of no better example of slave mentality.… Read more »

Tabatha
Tabatha
6 years ago

Clarissa I often wonder the same thing. I think again it also comes down to how we are portrayed in movies and shows, music the list goes on and on. I called a braid shop to make an appointment and when I showed up the Ethiopian lady said, “Oh I thought you were white”. Ok what does white sound like?

Clarissa Evans
Clarissa Evans
6 years ago
Reply to  Tabatha

Wow, I would have asked her when was the last time she had a white woman come to her shop to get her hair braided? ‑_- Sounds like she was just saying that to say it in an attempt to get under your skin.

Nicole
Nicole
6 years ago

You missed her point which was that the politics of respectability will not save you from racism. And before I get started I’m going to do one big “NOT ALL xyz PEOPLE” so that I don’t have to use this disclaimer throughout the rest of this comment. She is not saying that “proper english” is talking white (there is a such thing as talking White & it has nothing to do w/grammar and everything to do w/tone of voice and inflection. Black people (and other POC) do this because they think it sounds intelligent or nice). She is saying that… Read more »

Clarissa Evans
Clarissa Evans
6 years ago
Reply to  Nicole

The way you carry yourself and the way you speak is an indicator of your intellect or lack there of not the race in which belong. My point is that black people need to stop being looked upon as “unblack” simply because they didn’t allow themselves to be brainwashed like the majority of our people into thinking that what’s in the music videos or the bleached skin of “black” entertainers or whats from the latest Tyler Perry presents stable is who we are and that how black a person is can be found in how they speak or how relaxed… Read more »

Nicole
Nicole
6 years ago
Reply to  Clarissa Evans

To begin, another “NOT ALL XYZ PEOPLE” disclaimer. I specifically said that “talking white” has nothing to do with grammar. Studies have shown that Black people (specifically Black men) will raise the tone (not volume) of their voices, and add an inflection on the end of their words (sounds as though they are asking a question) because it’s sounds less threatening and we (Black people) have a natural lower register than White people, so when we “talk white” it is all about changing our tones, and nothing to do with grammar. (The inflection thing is something that White-American women do,… Read more »

Clarissa Evans
Clarissa Evans
6 years ago
Reply to  Nicole

Lather, rinse, and repeat.

Poshnera
Poshnera
6 years ago

1. If we want ppl to respect us as black women we have to respect ourselves. No one made those women get on stage with Miley Cyrus. No one makes Nikki Minaj wear blonde wigs and get butt implants. Those are those individuals’ choices. We all know there are everyday women who think that what they see on Real Housewives of ATL and any other ratchet show depicting black women as angry, vixens, mammies, or any other stereotype is real and they live it out in their daily lives. Sad thing is, some of us (who know better) are entertained… Read more »

Elle
Elle
6 years ago
Reply to  Poshnera

We are a threat because if white women aren’t allowed to feel secure then black women sure as hell aren’t going to be allowed to flaunt around with their pride”

Sadly, the hatred you receive means you are doing something right”

Just…YES!

Tabatha
Tabatha
6 years ago
Reply to  Elle

Valid point, but I think Women in general need to support each other. No race of women is better than the other and we both have the right to Peacock once in a while. True a lot of the times the hatred and stuff that people receive is due to jealousy and insecurities from those attacking us, but we do some shade throwing ourselves. So I guess we all have some work to do in a way and then help others with their insecurities. People being mean to one another is never going to stop, but at least we don’t… Read more »

Tabatha
Tabatha
6 years ago
Reply to  Poshnera

Well said Poshnera. Every nationality have their personal insecurities with out the world and other cultures weighing in on it. Well Some of the hate we dish can be valid, but yeah if someone is getting down on you for nonsense than yeah its because you are doing something right or more interesting then them and the attention has shifted from them to you and some people always have to be in the spotlight to feel validated.

lauryn
lauryn
6 years ago
Reply to  Poshnera

I completely agree about everything. I just want to REALLY co-sign one point though: It is 100% true that black women are threatening because we are not afraid to step outside of “the box.” Because we know how to work with everything the good Lord gave us, our versatility is unmatched in my opinion. And that’s scary for a woman relying on the same bleach-blonde, blue eyed, DD look to make her feel her best. I know I stand out (in a good way!) because no one can do it like me. And every time I look around my law… Read more »

Nicole
Nicole
6 years ago
Reply to  Poshnera

Then why are White women collectively respected even though Miley Cyrus gets on stage and shakes her ass, most of the famous porn stars are White women, the people you see on the news accused of killing their children are more likely White women, they suffer from eating disorders more often than any other race of women (but especially more than Black women) and they are more likely to suffer from aestetic dysphorias that result is hundreds of thousands of dollars in plastic surfer? White women participate in all sorts of things that most people don’t consider “respectable” and display… Read more »

Poshnera
Poshnera
6 years ago

4. We also need to stop seeking approval from white America! How can we expect a group so removed from our identity to understand who we are? Self-love should be enough love.

Tabatha
Tabatha
6 years ago
Reply to  Poshnera

I agree with you, but I have never really made to feel less or not beautiful by White America (well other than in expensive stores where I man not be dressed like I belong there they feel like I didn’t make enough to shop, but once I started buying up that changed their mind… it always does). Have Whites pointed out my difference from them? Yes, but So far I haven’t had that sort of experience with white people, they seem to accept me better than my own, even sometimes my own family memebers.

Missc
Missc
6 years ago
Reply to  Poshnera

Amen! 😀

Hillary
Hillary
6 years ago

I am a South African and wish that the ladies here can also open their eyes and accept who we are in terms of our hair.I don’t blame Miley for what she is doing but blame the industry and our black men,especially African American man in the music industry,they are the ones perpetuating and encouraging this kind of behavior,they are the ones ridiculing our bodies and making money out it and then we expect other people to treat us with respect and dignity,when our own brother do not,Miley knows nothing better,WE should teach her abt US and who we are .…,

xyzebra
xyzebra
6 years ago

Excellent article with many things we need to think about. But I do think it’s a bit harsh to include the Rachel Jeantel makeover as one of many examples of society saying BW’s beauty is not acceptable. That makeover was well intended, made her feel uplifted, and and it was not a natural-to-straight hair makeover (she’d been wearing it relaxed already).

Tabatha
Tabatha
6 years ago

When I was a little girl I had two short hairstyles that was different from the other kids. The first one was a Mushroom cut and as it grew out it was curly kinky and would shrink to my head. I had a friend (Caucasian) made an observation that my hair not only looked, but felt like a sponge I was known as sponge head all through 5th grade. It was a bit of a distraction, but kids are going to tease me for what ever, I’m short too. The second time I left my box braids in for too… Read more »

Sabrina
Sabrina
6 years ago

Thank you so much for the article. One of the girls that you speak of is my daughter, Vanessa. Your words are so eloquent and so true! There are so many little Vanessas in the world, and this truly is something that needs to be repeated over and over again.

Nicole
Nicole
6 years ago

I really enjoyed this article. Keep up the good work!

Jocelyn
Jocelyn
6 years ago

Great article. I love your comment that we have the platform. If we want to see change we have to be vocal, no matter how uncomfortable others may feel. I hate that black isn’t viewed as beautiful by the majority of America but if we all start to believe it ourselves they won’t be able to tell us anything different.

Amber
Amber
6 years ago
Reply to  Jocelyn

Black isn’t “viewed as beautiful by the majority” because black does not sell to white consumerism! Can’t you ppl get it through your thick heads??

Gloria
Gloria
6 years ago

A very important and timely piece — building a collective sense of self love in a denigrating world is difficult, thus elevating the importance of this community beyond the trivia of hair…

Donna
Donna
6 years ago

Excellent article. If our beauty is inferior to eurocentric beauty, then why does it threatened them so much? Dr. Frances Cress Welsing has been wearing an Afro since I was first made aware of her (the mid-80’s). Whenever we start doing something different(or Blacks in general), the changes become a permanent movement, & then everybody else follows what we do. Though it seems negative now, the standard of beauty is changing, & the eurocentric standard is coming to an end. Yes we do need to use our beauty as a platform for not just educating on natural hair care, but… Read more »

Ebony
6 years ago

I completely agree with every word of this. They will do anything to ensure that we hate ourselves and our God-given beauty.

Amber
Amber
6 years ago
Reply to  Ebony

Yes, Ebony. “They” have so much power over you it’s a wonder you have the strength to crawl out of bed each and every wretched morning.

As long as you embrace that tired victim mentality you will always be under “their” command.

I bet your ancestors are rolling over in their graves slapping their foreheads over the futility of their sacrifice.

La Bandita
La Bandita
4 years ago
Reply to  Amber

You’re attacking Black women for talking about their feelings. This is how life is for Black women.

Liz W.
Liz W.
6 years ago

I believe things will get better just as long as we instill the right values and and mindset in future generations. Also, there is nothing wrong with being a feminist. Feminist ideals promote the strength that helps us to press through the ignorance of others.

Tyki
Tyki
6 years ago

Okay, rachel jeantel was an embarrassment. Im so sick of black people defending that dumb, mumbling piece of crap. She only made trayvon’s case worse. She had an attitude and acted like she didnt want to seek justice for her friend. I might get some thumbs down for this comment but honestly could care less.

Amber
Amber
6 years ago
Reply to  Tyki

Tyki, you proly will get tons of thumb downs, but I’m giving you thousands of cyber thumbs up for not being part of the sheep parade. Kudos, honey!

Tyki
Tyki
6 years ago
Reply to  Amber

Thanks chica!!!!! :))

Ms.MR
Ms.MR
6 years ago
Reply to  Tyki

This is what I was saying, instead downing a sister, why don’t you embrace her. That goes for anyone that you feel can be better. Someone can probably say the same thing about you. If you keep putting people down, they gonna stay down, try something else, lift up

Tyki
Tyki
6 years ago
Reply to  Ms.MR

Pfffft she put HERSELF down acting like that inside of the court. You know how ignorant that girl sounded?? How ridiculous.

Amber
Amber
6 years ago
Reply to  Ms.MR

You on don’t want sisters embraced. You want self-victimization embraced.

cacey
cacey
6 years ago
Reply to  Tyki

i didn’t think too highly of her myself, but i really do think that she’s merely a product of her environment.

Amber
Amber
6 years ago

“Ask Rachel Jeantel about being perceived as an embarrassment because her dialect did not align with that of the dominant social stratum.” LOL This coming from a ppl that will tell a Korean to speak English in a minute! For every black girl sent home because of her hair there are dozens more who are not. Who’s fault is it that black women have been so ashamed of their hair for so long that that straight brittle stuff was perceived as the norm? Yeah, blame society, cuz black women don’t have minds of their own! Well, guess what sparky, the… Read more »

Tyki
Tyki
6 years ago
Reply to  Amber

AGREEE!!!!!!! No one’s forcing us to put weaves or perms on our heads. Girl we need to be friends or somethin lol

La Bandita
La Bandita
4 years ago
Reply to  Tyki

You agree with a woman (or man) who calls another woman a sl*t?

Elle
Elle
6 years ago
Reply to  Amber

There’s one born every minute, smdh. “I know it’s a painful truth many of you can’t swallow and that’s ok. I understand many of you need to be victims as it fills you with a sense of purpose. But these hair issues are not global, they are localized. Black women have always been in charge of their image (whether they want to admit it or not. Show me a law prohibiting natural hair!)” 1. These “hair issues” actually are global — try traveling, experiencing the world beyond a keyboard and self-righteous, narcissistic vitriol — you’ll run into reality. 2. Only… Read more »

Missc
Missc
6 years ago
Reply to  Elle

try traveling, experiencing the world beyond a keyboard and self-righteous, narcissistic vitriol – you’ll run into reality.”
That makes sense. Her reality is not going to be the same as your reality, nor mine. So um yeah…—> _/ (this one is for you) O_o

Amber
Amber
6 years ago
Reply to  Elle

Elle, you ignorant sl*t! “1. These “hair issues” actually are global – try traveling, experiencing the world beyond a keyboard and self-righteous, narcissistic vitriol – you’ll run into reality.” Have done so and have found that the discrimination had more to do with the color of my SKIN not my hair texture. And, as such, was representative of the stupidity of the other party, not a reflection of myself. What a concept, huh? BTW 100% of derogatory remarks regarding my hair texture have ALWAYS originated from blacks. “2. Only true “victims” zealously call out others for strength they wish they… Read more »

MaNgwenya
MaNgwenya
6 years ago

Maybe it comes from growing up in a society where I knew I belonged.…but honestly all this fuss over natural hair???? As Africans.…note I said “Africans”.…we have been sporting “natural” hairstyles for centuries, out of both choice and necessity but you don’t hear us making a song and dance about it! For goodness sake there’s bigger issues than the state of my hair.…it only becomes an issue if black people make it am issue with all these “empower yourself”, free yourself with natural hair yada yada yada #yawn!!! Really, you want to be defined by hair???? You see natural hair… Read more »

Rain
Rain
6 years ago
Reply to  MaNgwenya

I think you’re missing the point, this is about black beauty that incorporates natural hair representation and if you are talking about Africans accepting natural hair maybe in some parts but definitely not others — I know this FIRSTHAND!

What fuss? This is a blog piece expressing how she feels, you can do whatever you want to your hair no one is stopping you, but the state of someone’s hair will not silence their opinion.

Elle
Elle
6 years ago
Reply to  MaNgwenya

There’s nothing worse than an ignorant fool trying to belittle others and shut down meaningful discussion. And please don’t try to re-write reality. We’ve all seen the metric ton pile up of weaves and perm and activator and bleach creams around the diaspora. Please stop this pitiful attempt at a crab-in-bucket, it’s embarrassing.

And btw, #thisisnottwitter

Amber
Amber
6 years ago
Reply to  Elle

Elle, you are nothing but an angry angry person looking for validation for your anger. Intelligent ppl will not give it to you. You are the most embarrassing thing in this thread.

La Bandita
La Bandita
4 years ago
Reply to  Amber

No she is not. She makes great sense. Stop insulting this women in one breath and telling her not to be a victim from the other side of your face.

Karimah Boston
Karimah Boston
6 years ago

It’s a constant and sometimes draining effort but we must get our validation from internal sources. We must remind ourselves that the media is invested in a narrative that exalts whiteness and denigrates otherness. We must take the money we aren’t spending on weaves and perms and invest it in better health, education and leisure opportunities but there will be days when our resolve falters. That is when we will need to turn to each other so lets accept ourselves so that we can embrace each other. Thanks for an empowering article.

Ms.MR
Ms.MR
6 years ago

If you feel like a victim, then you will be. First off, black women, ladies of color, we need to get our self in order, then we need to grab hold to that friend we have out of wack, then to the female that we may not necessarily like, etc. you get my point. We need to uplift each other. Instead of saying B^$%% you bad, no woman, lady you are beautiful. Teach the young ladies to walk proud of who they are, because we hold unbelievable amounts of power that could guide everyones actions to a positive direction. I… Read more »

Rashida
Rashida
6 years ago

Wow. Well say that then! I couldn’t have said it better.

african woman
african woman
6 years ago

the black man is the worst enemy of black women in America. They devalue you and persecute white women as if they were trophies.
[img]https://bglh-marketplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/bonecaterror2.jpg[/img]

cacey
cacey
6 years ago
Reply to  african woman

persecute or pursue?

Clarissa Evans
Clarissa Evans
6 years ago
Reply to  african woman

Thanks for the laugh, you get a thumbs up.

cacey
cacey
6 years ago

beautifully written article. it makes so much sense and your words are truly inspiring and provocative- in the best possible way.

Missc
Missc
6 years ago

Apparently he is if he is on here posting.…. Smh!

tmc (toronto meet up dec 14)

this is a good article, however, this issue isn’t only common in America. It’s an epidemic in africa. Women continue to burn their scalp just to have straight hair. they wear weaves in the hot sun, relax their hair for their wedding, bleach their skin and so on and so forth. I mean who are they trying to measure up to, the majority of people in sub-sahara africa are all BLACK! how about the way men and women put each other down? So miley cyrus twerked, who first came up with the dancing? White people? I have never been made… Read more »

Chibi
Chibi
6 years ago

Let’s keep it 100: proper English should be required from everyone despite ethnic make up. Ignorant slang etc is just ridiculous and, rightfully so, makes one look like a fool. The so called “black way of speaking” screams idiot.

Malka
Malka
6 years ago

The writer sounds like a feminist to me.. Don’t worry — it’s not a dirty word. 🙂 when it comes to why Miley twerked (which sounds like a twisted children’s book), let’s take a look at MTV and the media’s acquiescence at objectifying women of all shapes, sizes, and colors… While highlighting black women as some kind Of background dancer accessory. Why was this possible? Because we let it. It is up to us to tell the minority vote of magazine editors and stylists what we think is beautiful and to tell them that real beauty is determined by what… Read more »

Yeashan
Yeashan
6 years ago

There really are some evil negative women on this site. But anywho I thought this article was insightful and empowering. I do not feel it victimized Black women, it simply spoke to the issues we face.

nigeria
6 years ago

great article!

Suzan, UK
Suzan, UK
6 years ago

Thanks for sharing. Unfortunately, such an article remains necessary.….

Dana
Dana
6 years ago

I hate to break it to you, but this article IS feminism and it’s ok 🙂

Elle
Elle
6 years ago
Reply to  Dana

Right on! When did women become convinced that advocating for their equal rights was a bad thing?

easyreader
easyreader
6 years ago

Unfortunately our male counterparts are consistently in agreement and often support these negative thoughts. Natural brothers only want our lightest sisters with their more accepted natural curls.light hating on dark dark hating on light.let’s stop the madness within ourselves first.

stephanieb
stephanieb
6 years ago
Reply to  easyreader

Exactly, our brothers need to work on this as well, they’ve got it worse than we do, which why most of them prefer light-skinneded or anything other than black. There is a reason for that and it ain’t “always” love, it’s that in their eyesight white is right and black is whack when it comes to beauty.

Tyki
Tyki
6 years ago
Reply to  stephanieb

If youre going to blame black men blame their black mothers too. Theyre the ones teaching them this. and perpetuating the “good hair” and “bad hair“crap and calling their own sons hair nappy and bad.

deedlez
deedlez
6 years ago
Reply to  stephanieb

Sadly, I don’t think black men ‑want- to work on this problem. Black men have deserted us.

Amber
Amber
6 years ago
Reply to  easyreader

Victim much, easyreader? It’s been my experience that black women ALWAYS attack each other’s hair in a dispute. WE set the standard for what everyone thinks about US. How about that for a concept? I black women had kept on wearing natural hair once the 60’s arrived instead of falling for the home perm and jheri curl, the rest of the world (including these natural brothers you speak of) would have been caught up by now.

I am constantly dismayed by ppl with the potential for extreme personal power opting out for preferred victim status.

smartheffa
smartheffa
6 years ago
Reply to  Amber

B.S. you the type of woman that always blame other women. you are male dominated.

smartheffa
smartheffa
6 years ago
Reply to  easyreader

You said it! As a matter of fact, I am a lighter mixed sister. Believe me we are not even exotic enough for MOST black men anymore. I hear them talking shit all t he time, about how they want a Latina girl, no black traits not even mixed girls are good enough. Especially if the man is light skin black with curly hair he thinks he is the prize no matter how small his pecker is. One guy told me I had nappy hair and I’m a 3c with light skin. So let me say this, brothers are trip… Read more »

TriniMixChic
TriniMixChic
6 years ago
Reply to  smartheffa

dont worry..its happening here in trinidad too.black men here only want the indian girls,local white girls or the ones who look like they have hardly a drop of “black” blood.and if they have kids with the woman the child is sported as an accessory because of the “good hair”

Natasha
Natasha
6 years ago
Reply to  smartheffa

I’ve stopped caring what black men think. I stick with my black sisters and that is all.

kim c
kim c
5 years ago
Reply to  smartheffa

First off that fool is not a black man but a boy. A real black man upholds his women.

Michelle Spice
Michelle Spice
6 years ago

America is insignificant to what I think of myself nor what my outer apperance should look like!

If people have issues with themselves then they are easily convinced that they should represent what caucasian supremecy wants them to look like, but as we should be older now and much wiser, we should have already developed our own foundation for self and what we should naturally look like!

Don’t you agree?

Peace

Amber
Amber
6 years ago
Reply to  Michelle Spice

Thank you, Michelle, for being one of the FEW not ensconced in self-victimization.

Hey, this you aren’t Michelle Obama, are you??? :0

Alyssa
Alyssa
6 years ago

All I have to say is preach on it.

Samyia
Samyia
6 years ago

Living in the UK I had not heard about a lot of these stories. Crimes against Africans don’t make the news too much here, because as we know quite frankly the powers that be don’t give a f!*ck. Michelle, yes you are right we should be wise and old enough to define our own beauty, but you only need take a walk, get on a bus,train, whatever and see the multitude of long straight swaying hair on African women (sorry I usually refer to all black people as African.)Do you think think these women should just get a grip, all… Read more »

Amber
Amber
6 years ago
Reply to  Samyia

No one is being manipulated into anything Samyla! My god, even white women don’t believe their own hype, yet black women are going into debt trying hard to live up to an image they will NEVER attain. Yes, get a grip (if you can)! But more importantly, stop supporting self-victimization through propaganda disguised as righteous indignation. Honestly, it is not up to the world to validate the beauty of the African and African-descendent. It is up to the African to take back and define their own beauty. I am reminded of Mary Mcleod Bethune. First in her family born out… Read more »

Jade
Jade
6 years ago
Reply to  Amber

I agree with you 1000%. The victim-mentality is NOT ding us any favors nor making a damn difference. You cannot wait for the world to validate your aesthetics or existence. True power comes when we can do it for ourselves.

Truth
Truth
6 years ago
Reply to  Amber

This comment is ridiculous. I don’t understand why it’s so hard for people to acknowledge the tremendous impact mainstream media has on our perceptions of beauty, of desirability, of worthiness. Turn on the TV, open a magazine and count how many black women you see. What do they look like? Are they diverse in skin color, in hair texture, in behavior? Probably not. You can sit here and blame black women for “buying into consumerism” or whatever, as if that is exclusive to black women and not something all people (even white women, as you pointed out) do, but realize… Read more »

desietee
desietee
6 years ago
Reply to  Truth

Having travelled all over the world, it is not just black women who are told they are not beautiful enough. Yes there is the Blond-haired-blue-eyed standard that no other race of women will be able to attain. But in Asia there is the skin-bleaching all across Asia and plastic surgery and dyeing of the hair as they are told by their own men they are not desirable enough. I have read an article in na Indian publication where in India the men have outrightly told women they are not marriageable if they are not light skinned … In the end,… Read more »

Samyia
Samyia
6 years ago

Amber what am I missing here? You seriously don’t think there’s an agenda by racist social systems including the main stream media? I think you’ll find that Europeans very much believe their own hype as they are held to be the beauty standard, hence all the relaxer and weave sales that continue to go through the roof across the globe. One woman’s self righteousness is another woman’s truth so please don’t get it confused there is nothing hidden about my perception of truth. There is no self-victimisation here, I don’t endorse it. Would you rather we continue without even acknowledging the fact… Read more »

tasha fierce
tasha fierce
6 years ago

i will never again allow anybody’s warped standards of what is “acceptable” define my beauty. life is too short, take back your power ladies.

trackback

[…] Is America Bent on Convincing Black Women that their Beauty is “Unacceptable”? An Ohio school banned afro puffs, a 7‑year-old loc’ed honor student was so harrassed by black […]

anonymous
anonymous
6 years ago

I will never allow the media’s odd standards of beauty tell me how attractive I am. I love being black. No whites, Asians, or anyone else can change that. I love everything about bein’ black, EVEN MY HAIR. Black women let go of weaves. If whites, Asians,or any other race isn’t running around with our hair on their heads, why , then black women do we wear their hair. Be proud of who you are black women. YOU are the mother of humanity. stop with the weaves and skin bleaching and embrace your beauty in all shades light AND dark.okay… Read more »

Patrice Russell
Patrice Russell
6 years ago

Yea I know the struggle of being a dark skinned black female…but its like white people don’t even need to make us feel inferior anymore, we do such a great job at ot ourselves, tearing down one another based on who’s lighter or who has “better” hair smh i’m just so sick of it…and where I’m located I notice that a large percentage of black guys and girls too prefer to date outside of their race, I mean i’m not against interracial dating ofcourse BUT when its a deliberate psychological preference based on the fact that you detest your own… Read more »

Kelly
Kelly
6 years ago

Definition of feminism: Feminism is a collection of movements and ideologies aimed at defining, establishing, and defending equal political, economic, cultural, and social rights for women.[1][2] This includes seeking to establish equal opportunities for women in education and employment. A feminist advocates or supports the rights and equality of women.
It’s Too bad you don’t perceive yourself as a feminist .

JoyJoyNak
JoyJoyNak
6 years ago

This is amazing

KLB
KLB
6 years ago

I’m so glad that there are black women who are aware of what’s going on in the world that we live. There is so much self-hatred in us as a people. Our firmest foundation should be rooted in self-love. This is where we start.

Claudette
Claudette
5 years ago

I’ve raised my daughters and son to love their skins and hair. Whenever they want me to buy a doll or draw a picture of a person, they know ‘Mummy says the black one is the best’. My daughters have great hair, but when both rave about hair that completely straight or sways in the breeze, I point out the beauty of our hair, our features, our uniqueness. We as black women have to combat an antidote while our children are still forming opinions about standards of beauty. The fairytales I read my children featured dark skinned beauties, I rave… Read more »

Candice
Candice
5 years ago

What’s even more insulting is that all the component parts of black female beauty (i.e., brown skin, full lips, curvaceous hips, full breasts) are all seen as beautiful when on a white female body. White women tan, inject their lips, and get ass and breast implants to look more like women of color, but at the same time won’t admit that women of color are beautiful. I guess that’s why self-esteem needs to come from self, and black women need to never chase some Europeanized ideal of beauty that they white women don’t even want.

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