NOTE: Though the word “texture” is actually a term that describes strand thickness (i.e., fine vs. medium vs. thick), it is sometimes loosely used in place of hair “type” (i.e., curly vs. kinky vs. coily).
Several days ago, a video by Jouelzy entitled “So Over the Natural Hair Community & Texture Discrimination” popped up on my subscription feed. Intrigued by the title, I watched her video, which actually raised some good points. To super summarize, she discusses how kinky-haired naturals have much less support from hair companies and fewer clicks/views/shares than curly-haired naturals. You can check out her video below:
Klassy Kinks, another 4C natural on YouTube, recently did a response video, which was also interesting. To summarize her video, she speaks more on the reality that kinky-haired naturals have less support and views because those with the same texture tend to follow more curly-haired naturals. You can check out her response video here:
Not too long ago, I did a BGLH post on “10 Kinky-Haired Naturals You Should Check Out on YouTube.” I, in part, did this post because 4B/4C’s tend to have a hard time finding “watchable” naturals with our hair type. (Remember the word “watchable”; I will come back to that soon.) Many of the ladies I posted – and there are so many more – have few views, few shares, and less than 10,000 subscribers. Alternatively, if you look at curly- or coily-haired naturals like Naptural85 (433,000+), SunKissAlba (366,000+), MahoganyCurls (216,000+), or TarenGuy (204,000+), their subscribers are well over 200,000 and their views are through the roof. Few kinky-haired naturals, probably as much as I can count on one hand, hit 100,000 or more subscribers, and this includes AfricanExport (145,000+) and maybe Nikkimae2003 (151,000+). Why is this, and does it have to do with texture discrimination?
In my honest opinion, I believe both Jouelzy and Klassy Kinks have very valid points on why fewer kinky-haired naturals get product sponsorship, views and shares compared to their coily- or curly-haired counterparts. In terms of views and shares, I also think another factor (a smaller but still relevant one) is the “watchability” of kinky-haired naturals that I mentioned earlier.
Let’s talk more about what makes some kinky-haired naturals less “watchable” (other than the obvious texture discrimination). Well.… presence, personality, video quality, and hair length also factor into whether a YouTuber is watchable. (Yes, I believe there is also a bit of hair length discrimination when it comes to naturals.) If you do a YouTube search on “4B” or “4C” natural hair, plenty of individuals pop up, but few are ones to which I (and probably other naturals) would actually subscribe. Let’s be real; how many kinky-haired YouTubers have the “whole package” of an engaging presence, a good personality, AND great video quality. (Add in super long hair, if you want, but that characteristic is not a requirement in my search for naturals.) Now compare that number to those of curly-haired naturals. The latter is overwhelming. That “whole package” generally does matter when it comes to whether some individuals subscribe to a natural.
So what does this all mean for kinky-haired YouTubers? Yes, I definitely believe that there is texture discrimination; it is very real. Also, yes, kinky-haired naturals do need to support more of our own. However, I am not going to subscribe to someone just because she has kinky hair (or curly hair OR natural hair, for that matter). If the sound quality is poor, the video quality is sub-par, her presence is boring, and/or her personality is bland, I’ll pass. Last but not least, I’m more inclined to subscribe to naturals with great hair style tutorials and/or interesting hair care advice; if they lack those two, I am not as intrigued.
As for other social media (Instagram, Facebook, etc.), I’ll let you all chime in on that one.
Ladies, is texture discrimination apparent on YouTube and other social media? What are your thoughts?