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New Trend? White Women On Instagram Are Using the Hashtag #NappyHair

• Nov 7, 2014

white women nappy hair

Recently, in yet another attempt to claim something that Black people had all to themselves, white women have taken it upon themselves to use “nappy” to describe their own hair. Just search Instagram or Twitter for yourself — you’ll find mixed in between the thousands of pictures of fly black women with natural hair of all lengths, textures, and colors a spattering of photos from white women with straight hair. Click on a few and you’ll find that #nappyhair is used synonymously with fresh out of bed hair, frizzy hair, lazy hair days, or bad hair days.

This trend was originally brought to light by Buzzfeed’s recent “17 People Who Totally Have Afros” and it’s followup on Tea and Breakfast, “13 People Who Totally Have Nappy Hair,” which both spotlight — you guessed it — people with neither afros nor natural hair. While I’m more or less in favor of people of all shades embracing the natural hair movement and learning from the wealth of knowledge we generate, I think a fundamental requirement should be that you at least have curly hair with either shrinkage or detangling woes to be a true member of the natural hair community. I am not at all here for nappy hair becoming the new twerk, used inappropriately, done incorrectly, and said so often that both it’s meaning and significance are diluted.

Moreover, I’m especially not down to share the term nappy hair with people who do not know what it means to have had to collectively reclaim the term from it’s derogatory meaning dating back to the slave-era. Many naturals, in what is nothing short of an ideological counter-revolution, have embraced the term nappy and used it to refer to their curls, coils, and kinks with pride.

Proud wearing my Global Couture Nappy Tee.

Proudly wearing my Global Couture Nappy Tee.

My main issue is that white women with #nappyhair are really trying to say that their hair is ugly, dirty, unruly, and unkempt. This not only implies that they still think that’s what the word nappy means too, but also that they think that’s how we mean it when we use it to talk about our natural hair.

Here’s what some of my fellow BGLH contributors had to say on the topic:

Elle
Elle Natural Hair

I find it kind of annoying, but funny at the same time. They can’t possibly understand what ‘nappy’ means and apply it to a little frizz or wavy hair. The annoying part is that they don’t even mind being ignorant enough to not figure out the real meaning of the word. They don’t even realize how silly they look to a lot of people.”

Christina
christinahair

Using #naturalhair didn’t work, so now this. It’s a classic case of an insult wrapped in a desperate attempt to be a part of something. The term “nappy” has been thrown our way for years to devalue our natural beauty. But now that we Black women are proud of our highly textured hair and declare to be “nappy and proud”, it doesn’t sit well. Even on their worst humidity or tongue-in-socket hair days, the aesthetic is far from nappy. Nappy is supposed to mean bad, and their bad hair day being labeled as #nappy hair is supposed to be an insult, I get it. But at the same time, they want to be like us. Nappy hair is cool. Kinks and coils are on trend. So are big butts, brown skin, and thick lips. This is nothing new — tear us down, only to turn around and try to get what we have.”

Rinny

Another day, another instance of AAVE (African American Vernacular English)/BVE (Black Vernacular English) being appropriated for the sake of seeming on trend. From large chain restaurants tweeting their meals are “on fleek” to traditional bubblegum pop-stars capitalizing off the idea of  “bae” and “cuffing season,” the black vernacular aesthetic is seen as nothing more than a mask that can be put on and removed at ease without any negative association. The photos tagged as “#nappyhair” without any regard of the meaning and cultural notions behind the term are just a small part of a larger issue. 

Leila
Leila1

I’m torn between annoyance and indifference. Annoyance because the ‘mainstream’ is perpetually ripping things off from popular black culture, while simultaneously trying to devalue its influence. Also annoying that the term ‘nappy’ is being used in the negative, when there has been a sustained movement within the natural hair community to re-define the term as a positive. Still, at the end of the day, I won’t lose sleep at night over this. But, Lord, please don’t let ‘nappy’ make it to the mainstream media circuit. If ‘nappy’ becomes the new ‘twerk’ I will be so unamused.”

Do you think white women should be able to use natural hair lingo to describe their hair? Are you bothered or is this just a sign of the natural hair movement being embraced by other races?

About Klassy Kinks

KlassyKinks.com founder and editor, Ijeoma Eboh, is on a mission to change perceptions of kinky textured hair around the world. You can find her on social media @klassykinks.

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Katrina
Guest

I agree with Christina ” This is nothing new…tear us down, only to turn around and try to get what we have.”

If they were truly ashamed of their so called “nappy hair” why would they upload a picture of it for the world to see? Im not really concerned about the whole situation, it’s silly

Ms. Vee
Guest
Ms. Vee

…And yet these are the same group of heifers that want to join the NHM (with their few mammy accomplices in agreement).

I would have more respect if they just came out and admitted “Hey black folks we can’t function without your attention”.

But alas I will ignore these nonentities like they deserve to be…on to the true black beauties that are happy being nappy.

*waiting for whites to start calling themselves Nubians*

-_-

Aly
Guest
Aly

*waiting for whites to start calling themselves Nubians*.….….….hahahahaha!

Just Saying
Guest
Just Saying

Black people shouldn’t be calling themselves Nubian either, unless they’re actually of Nubian ethnicity. It’s like calling yourself Fulani, Yoruba, Kanuri, Zulu etc. You can’t just choose a culture at random and assign yourself to it.

Ms. Vee
Guest
Ms. Vee
Longpig
Guest
Longpig

Jesus Christ! WHIITEEE PPEEEOOOPPPLLLLEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!

leah
Guest
leah

I guess it depends on what “nappy” means to the individual. Some have positive definitions for the word. For me, nappy isn’t a good thing; when I say my hair is nappy I feel that my hair is rough, hard to comb through… basically looking a hot mess. So if some White girl’s hair is looking rough or she can’t run a comb through it, I’m not mad at her using the term “nappy” because of what I associate with the word myself.

Brittany
Guest
Brittany

Nah, this isn’t an individualistic thing. White girls are using the term “nappy” to refer to their hair when it’s TANGLED, DIRTY, and UNKEMPT. If that’s what their hair is, I don’t understand why they just don’t say that. Oh, I know why! Because they’re culturally ignorant enough to think the tangled mass of straight hair they didn’t bother to do or comb is in itself the same thing as having natural hair. Pfft.

Yo
Guest
Yo

or maybe they just heard the word and used it, not everything has to be a big deal

oh why?
Guest
oh why?

*sigh* always one or according to the story many

titu
Guest
titu

You come across as someone who’s not very smart.

SuZQ
Guest
SuZQ

This is just unsettling. They were using afros in a negative sense in reference to bad hair days and I wasn’t cool with that, because afros are beautiful. Nappy has mainly been used negatively, although it refers just to a texture/fibers, as in wool the fibers are napped. Afro textured hair can be napped, hence the use of nappy. However, this is not their hair texture and they are not using the word positively. It disturbs me that they choose to define their beauty by being derogatory to other types of beauty. You take a selfie in full makeup, with… Read more »

rhea
Guest
rhea

Agreed. I also didn’t like how they made it seem like they had Afros because they didn’t bother to take the time to tame their hair.

AmbiV
Guest
AmbiV

I agree as well. This always annoyed me when I was in school and would hear girls with the straightest of straight hair or hair that had a slight wave pattern have the nerve to say that their hair was nappy because they just woke up and walked out, when in all actuality all they had to do was grab a comb, comb through once, maybe twice, and their hair is now “done”. But the only reason why their hair is in the matted state its in is because of all the hair gel or hair spray they used thats… Read more »

coffeeandfingernails
Guest

This isn’t new–I remember my college classmates, 15 years ago, using “nappy” as synonymous with unruly and/or dirty hair. I don’t think this has anything to do with being on trend or the reclaiming of nappy by naturals, I think this is just straight old-fashioned American casual racism, like referring to something broken down as “ghetto”, or using black as a synonym for poor or scary. And for the record, this would not be the same group posting on natural hair sites, or joining the discussion about life with tightly curled/coiled/kinky hair–you can tell because none of them has posted… Read more »

KP
Guest
KP

I must say that those pics just made me laugh! It kind of looks like some of those ladies just some hair spray or gel. I don’t get it.

#whiteppl“columbused“it

brl
Guest
brl

omfg–i don’t like this one bit. i am so over the theft and misappropriation of black culture by white people. it is very offensive to me for whites to label wavy or mussed hair “nappy” or something not condoned by their culture “ghetto.” i am sick of them equating terms that in a sense describe Blackness or at least, the Black (in America) experience with an undesirable or negative phenomenon. Some people are so invested in their whiteness as a symbol of superiority and yet they STAY obsessed with everything we do and are. i have a mind to troll… Read more »

Suge
Guest
Suge

They can kiss my entire Black ***!

NaturallyNeesh
Guest
NaturallyNeesh

I heard once that everyone wants to be Black but no one wants to be Black..so irritatingly amusing to me. They want the hips, thighs, butts, boobs, noses, lips, hair etc but when social injustice comes around, they are sleep.…smh.

Great post!

Chrissie
Guest
Chrissie

I don’t think everyone using the tag necessarily has malicious intent, although some definitely know better. Most are probably completely ignorant of the implications, but sadly probably wouldn’t care anyway. It’s a quick and cheap laugh, the post is a small part of their day, and they move right along with life. I personally find it difficult to know where to draw that appropriation line, I say/do/wear things that white people wouldn’t get away with. Maybe it isn’t fair that they can’t joke in certain ways but you can’t change history, that’s just the way it is. I think the… Read more »

Tasmin
Guest
Tasmin

Oh man, why so serious though? It’s just an adjective for wild or unruly ect. As explained in the article, Black women are trying to reclaim the word nappy and use it positively meaning that many Black women still use it negively… So basically, both white and black women are probably using it negatively. I don’t see why this article isn’t chastising black women using the #nappyhair hashtag describing a bad hair day their having. Who’s being the racist here? I’m South African and enjoyed learning about how to deal with my curly hair but I always find that the… Read more »

Non ya
Guest
Non ya

But are you black? My old boss is from South Africa and she is not black. She never claimed to be. Her parents aren’t and she isn’t, she’s African. It’s not always the same. I also had a student from South Africa and she is black. I don’t like the term nappy, but it has been associated with black people for years. As the article says, we took the word used to insult us and made it our own. It is insensitive, and culture vulturing for white women to take it and basically make fun. Taking terms that the black… Read more »

Maria
Guest

#sometimestheymakeofmetho wtf? Next trend is white men calling each other n****, Lord have mercy. I guess we cannot enjoy owning certain things, they want everything to themselves. Oh well, they will never take our skin color, history and Africa!!!!

growing it alone
Guest
growing it alone

If you were beaten and abused as a child… you wouldn’t choose to marry someone who beats and abuses you and say “i’m reclaiming the abuse i experienced as a child and its now possitive abuse”. That word ( the “N” word ) is WRONG, WRONG, WRONG. Whatever the colour of the man woman or child throwing it around… bad argument!

nahi
Guest
nahi

Jesus Christ on a bike.
What the hell is wrong with white people?!? Csnt they function without our attention?!?!
I swear more and more the obssession white people have with black people reached another level of disturbing.

Deshanae
Guest
Deshanae

I personally don’t think it’s that serious..to write an article. We need to stop letting race define if someone should be allowed to do something. We always say white peole think they are better or whatever but we do the same thing. I woudn’t let it bother me unless they say something racist. Otherwise move on we can’t always get mad over everything. And I’m sure we do things that white people do lol don’t get offended. If they think their hair is nappy that’s between them and God. Although I would tell them your hair is not nappy. My… Read more »

Jo
Guest
Jo

The girls seem to not know the difference between truly ‘nappy’ hair and ‘frizzy’ hair.

It think they’re doing that ‘taking well-known terms/words and changing the meaning to something irrelevant or different from the original definition’ thing.

IE “ratchet”, “dope”, “nailed it”, “swagger”, “boo”, “turned up”, etc.

Nappy is the newer one.

Elle
Guest
Elle

“collectively reclaim the term from it’s derogatory meaning dating back to the slave-era” What other group is happy to ‘reclaim’ White people’s racist ridicule of them? Jews? Nope! Asians? Nope! Arabs? Nope! Black people can’t “reclaim” a word we never owned. Nappy is the hair equivalent to n*****. When you are NAMED by your oppressor, you are owned by them. We’re intelligent and imaginative enough to create our own words, we don’t need to RECYCLE, or reclaim as you put it, the vitriolic ridicule of Mr. Charlie. Also, I agree. We can’t continue to ignore these racist memes. We must… Read more »

DeeDee
Guest
DeeDee

WE are Isreal. Not the Jewish people. Read Dueteronomy 28 when you get a chance. Then Isaiah 3. You’ll see who we are and why we obsess over our hair, there. 🙂

Oy
Guest
Oy

DAYUM! This is why all White women are basic! They are so status quo that the only source of “flair” they can come up with is appropriating Black women terms and all they do is end up turning it ugly. I am so sick of White people fetishizing Black people and Black culture. They LOVE to take our language and style for consumption but keep us at arms length away to protect their precious White privilege. Seriously, we need to start talking about creating our own governments and just getting away from White privilege. And anyone else who wants to… Read more »

Black Bourgeious
Guest
Black Bourgeious

To be honest.. i wasnt offended.. i found it strange..

Msskywalker
Guest
Msskywalker

But “oh no!!!! Let the white women join the natural hair movement. Their hair is natural too.…”. Remember the miss scrunchie / Waterlilly debate? Some of these BGLH contributors were defending her right and other white women’s right to belong to the natural hair movement. Don’t get mad when the white women start using words they don’t know the full meaning of when u let them in the members only club. Some Mexican woman told me the other day ” she has black people hair she hates it” umm ur hair is straight and u bleached the hell out of… Read more »

oh why?
Guest
oh why?

are ya’ll surprised?

mo
Guest
mo

This makes me sick, I can’t read stuff like this I get too mad.

Mercy
Guest
Mercy

Are people actually this clueless? I mean, have they been on the internet in the last decade? Hell, have they been alive in the last decade?

SantanaNyla
Guest
SantanaNyla

I can’t say that this is an insult when so many people of different racial groups are influenced by Black culture. Should Blacks only have the right to describe their hair as nappy? What about hard to manage hair? Would that be less insulting?

Tatiana
Guest
Tatiana

That’s not the definition of nappy! And that’s the fucking point! Calling your so-called “hard to manage hair” nappy is an insult to black people who’s hair was called nappy historically from slavery until now. We now have reclaimed it to be a positive thing (natural, kinky, unprocessed) and white people have the nerve to try and bring it back to a negative thing and refer to their own hair as “nappy”. You don’t get it at all

Msskywalker
Guest
Msskywalker

You’d be right if nappy= hard to manage hair, but it doesn’t. And let us say that nappy did mean the hair was hard to manage, NONE OF THOSE WENCHES HAIR ARE DIFFICULT TO MANAGE so your argument is null.… Don’t come over hear talking about what OTHER people have the right to use. Nappy means what it says. Nappy has meant what it has meant since slavery. The definition hasn’t changed. Just because other groups are influenced by black culture doesn’t mean it’s all right to insult the actual black people the culture is derived from. Nappy is a… Read more »

cha
Guest
cha

What does hard to manage hair have to do with nappy hair ? Just because hair is nappy/ kinky hair doesn’t make it hard to manage.????

Jo
Guest
Jo

The girls seem to not know the difference between truly ‘nappy’ hair and ‘frizzy’ hair.

It think they’re doing that ‘taking well-known terms/words and changing the meaning to something irrelevant or different from the original definition’ thing.

IE “ratchet”, “dope”, “nailed it”, “swagger”, “boo”, “turned up”, etc.

Nappy is the newer one.

Camille
Guest
Camille

I had to deal with this growing up in a an upper middle class white area in the 90’s. When white girls say it, it should be perceived as interchangeable with disgusting, dirty or gross. They aren’t referring to texture (they don’t know that much about our hair), but to me they meant it in an even more disparaging way than when black people hate on buckwheat styled hair. At the time, my 3c hair was relaxed and down to my butt, and when I would get on them for it they would just dismiss me by saying “Why do… Read more »

Camille
Guest
Camille

Edit: I don’t feel comfortable using them to this day because even with the natural movement, I still associate nappy with those girls using it. I would feel like I was insulting someone.

Cheryl
Guest
Cheryl

This is almost unbelievable if I had not saw it with my own eyes. A few months ago, I celebrated a natural anniversary and hashtagged a photo “nappy hair” and saw white women on instagram. I couldn’t believe it…they ARE obsessed with us…they stare at us in public places, mock our pain in disgusting Halloween costumes (Trayvon Martin, Roy Rice, a black family hanging from a tree), send racist trolls on any story that involves us, surgically alter their faces and bodies, and risk skin cancer by tanning! Then have the nerve to suggest that WE can’t get over race!… Read more »

Prettydarkskinnedgirl
Guest
Prettydarkskinnedgirl

#nopeyoucantgetlikeus

Prettydarkskinnedgirl
Guest
Prettydarkskinnedgirl

I sometimes feel like these shenanigans are just white folks’ attempts to get our attention off us & our fabulousness & where they think it belongs…on them! Seems like attention whoring to me & I ain’t here for it. I have zero damns to give to white peoples & their foolery…and the Beckys on IG need to go have a loveseat & saddown (_____/)

Kim
Guest
Kim

To me, nappy is synonymous to ugly, unkempt, matted, unpleasant looking hair. If a white person feels that that describes their hair at some point, who am I to disagree or say they can’t use it. How absurd!

B
Guest
B

I find white americans facination/obsession with black americans and their denial of that to be oh so intriguing. At first I thought AAs were imagining it.

But time after time I’ve seen White folks pandering after things that are uniquely Black. And at the same time being so hateful towards black people and black women in particular.

It’s the weirdest thing.

Nappy Hair
Guest
Nappy Hair

I think y’all need to slow your roll. Most of these pics of these ladies look either mixed or Latina with the exception of blondie to the bottom right. I know a lot of Latinas who used the world nappy to describe their hair texture because a lot of them have black in their ancestry.

Aadnois
Guest
Aadnois

You know, normally I’m not here for this ‘us vs. them’ mentality the black hair movement often has, but this is ridiculous. Out of all the words in the English language, these white American girls, people that have likely never had friends/family look at them and say, “Ohhh, chile, you got them negro napps,” they chose to use the word ‘nappy’ to describe their unstyled hair? And they can’t pretend they didn’t know what they were doing- they most likely picked up the phrase from the BHM, and even after seeing women using it proudly, still decided to twist it… Read more »

NativeNuYorker
Guest
NativeNuYorker

Many white women who have curly hair are now referring to their hair as afros now and posting their “afros” on Instagram. Nothing surprises me. Perhaps they feel entitled since so many are with black men.

Ashya
Guest
Ashya

These girls are ridiculous! I had commented on the pics & one main one is doing it on purpose to cause an uproar in the black community like why do you feel the need to do this ? Get a life please. & majority stand by what they say still ignorant to the situation ay hand

Carlee
Guest
Carlee

Seeing as how Instagram is a medium for getting attention and likes, I’m not surprised that people will do anything to be on trend even if it means misusing words like “nappy”. I remember a post on BGLH about whether we’ve truly reappropriated nappy, and I don’t think so. It’s like “the n word”–somewhat reappropriated, but still tasteless to refer to a black person like that. If anyone called my hair nappy, I’d think they were insulting me and my racial background. Just my opinion. If my hair needed maintenance, I might use words like “matted”, “tangled”, or “dry” to… Read more »

Blue Bunny
Guest
Blue Bunny

@Carlee I agree. I don’t even like using the term nappy to refer to my own hair. Normally when I hear people use the word nappy in my neck of the woods it’s used as an insult. IMO I don’t think the term nappy should be used at all. I do however feel like if you must use the word nappy then your hair should be tightly coiled, not just a little frizz.

Kera
Guest
Kera

On instagram its messed up drama happening all now. There are white girls ON PURPOSE tagging their old photos as #nappyhair to get a reaction out of black women, then to insult them, calling the black women stupid and RACIST. Saying nappy isnt a black term and we need to “Get over it” and its not “1920 its 2014 racism is over”, including insults like “bitches, hoes, ratchet” etc. Its really to lure black women to say something so they can bash black women, even the ones who took the time to type out WHY its wrong to get insulted… Read more »

JazzWife
Guest

#culturalappropriation *sigh*

Jumoké
Guest

Look up “dreadlocks” into Google images. Black people can never have anything for themselves smh
comment image?oh=cc9bf9ce1064ce583e0c6542b9c0d57d&oe=54D67EAC

No.
Guest
No.

Oh cool let’s just keep alienating the white people. Tit for tat right? They did it to us so let’s just do it right back. Because that’s okay.

This is sick. There are a few white girls I know that have nappy hair worse than mine. One of which I’ve really gotten to know because I’m like a “hair mentor.” But lord have mercy if we’re getting offended over some girls of different races trying to use a word generally coined for darker skinned girls.

You’re missing the bigger picture here.

Uhmmm..NO
Guest
Uhmmm..NO

There are a few white girls I know that have nappy hair worse than mine.”

@ NO—The above quote reveals your general disdain for highly-textured hair.
And yes, “highly-textured” is MY preferred term to describe MY hair.

Either a bunch of non-Black women have commented or these comments are disheartening examples of how many of us have come to devalue Blackness. Sadly, the latter is the bigger picture.

EllieLo
Guest
EllieLo

I’m not mad that there are white women who are saying #nappyhair, I’m just mad that they’re WRONG.
I know white women who have a tighter and kinkier hair texture than me (4a/4b) and can TOTALLY call their hair “nappy”, but the women above.…their hair just isn’t nappy. It’s frizzy. There’s a difference.

If you’re going to use the term, use it *right*, ffs.…

TS
Guest
TS

White people are the most annoying creatures on this planet

Sara
Guest

This used to happen a lot in high school. I went to a primarily all white high school and those blond, bone straight haired white girls would call their hair nappy whenever it became tangled or snarled. I just looked at them with the “shade” facial expression.

Twinkle
Guest
Twinkle

It doesn’t bother me..I’ve heard women of all races use the word nappy to describe their hair when it’s not behaving it’s best. We should really worry about other things.

growing it alone
Guest
growing it alone

Er, get a grip comes to mind!? So a hand full of white people, has missed the point of the term nappy… I doubt if the thought process behind the missus of a pop cult trend has such deep thoughts of demeaning and undermining “a black thing”. Any one participating and living in western culture shares a common ground of pop culture which may diversify among certain groups or ethnicities but is irrespectively shared which is good right… That’s the whole point of equality and sharing with your fellow man. I think you just need to get over your “blackness”,… Read more »

Twinkle
Guest
Twinkle

Get a grip is right!! I swear people just want to be angry

Deanna Thomas
Guest
Deanna Thomas

Last post BUT LETS BE REAL UNLESS YOU ARE ONE OF YOU NATURAL GURUS WHO KEEP THEIR HAIR IN A NATURAL STATE WHICH IS A SMALL PERCENTAGE BECAUSE THE AVERAGE BLK WOMAN HAS A RELAXER WEAVE OR WIG EX. Its 2014… . the only time 80% of blk women refer to their as nappy is when its not done or they arr having a bad hair day… lets b real this nee trend was set by blks are self .. I know back in the day kaybe 1920s to like 1960 blk was used to expres tight coiled hair. Just… Read more »

darknlovely
Guest
darknlovely

not only whites..I’ve seen Latinas, asians, pacific islanders, Indians and Arabs say the same thing…black women better wake UP…only going to get worse…they are watching and observing us 24/7…

O
Guest
O

Showing your ignorance here.

Thanks partially to European colonisation but also to human immigration and trade BEFORE the White man even came along to colonise everything some Latinas, Pacific Islanders and Arabs are Black. Some even have type 4 hair.

Then again I’ve only met some of these people in person…

The issue in some of their countries is the Black people are treated much worse than the lighter skinned people. (Sound familiar?) In fact if you go to Australia, as a Black American you will be treated much better than an Aborigine and Black Pacific Islander by White people.

Lady4a
Guest

I guess its just the world we live in, music, fashion etc. it all gets snatched right in front of us to be used for the benefits of their own. Haha even slang. I cant understand how a white girl can have like what? Few hair strands in the air and call it nappy, its ignorance actually. BUT really nothing i think we should get our panties tied in a bunch for. We’re trendsetters.. whether they acknowledge it or not. We got a lot to be proud of so lets not rant too much! BTW: i’m a black girl from… Read more »

NapturallyKia
Guest
NapturallyKia

This ish is offensive HIGHKEY but of course when you try to point it out to white people WE’RE being racist for addressing their messed up antics and labeled as reverse racists.

Angelita
Guest
Angelita

I understand that the article might be seen as a minor peeves and not as a major issue so I can see why people are all ‘why you making a big deal’?. On the other hand, I do think nappy as a word is something black people feel they’ve always been insulted with and they’ve tried to reclaim to a positive thing only to be reminded on mass media that that message of positivity hasn’t been recognised by others and is still seen negatively. Her points are valid and I think more people in the comments need to be more… Read more »

hair is curly
Guest

I have heard the word nappy used badly and I’ve heard it used as a way to embrace one’s own love for what they have. I believe the word can be used both ways. As the people who use it embracingly on occasion say ” my hair nappy it need washing” this is crazy yet I completely understand why someone would be offended. But my thing is if you use a word in a positive way and someone else uses it negatively let them. If you feel a certain way be proud to announce it in the way you want.… Read more »

shanners
Guest

It’s really not that deep to be honest. When it comes to Instagram to be honest hashtags don’t really mean much. Sometimes you see a picture of a cat and the hashtags are “weather” or “snow” or something totally unrelated. In this case I personally don’t see anything wrong with it. They’re using the word according to the common definition of the term — unruly. Just because we use the word positively, doesn’t change its meaning to others. Some people say “he killed it” to mean he did a great job, while others say “he killed it” to mean he… Read more »

Fairy
Guest
Fairy

Most would describe Nappy hair as being highly textured kinky hair, but some would describe it to mean just like what these white girls are portraying. Knotty, uncombed, matted,not presentable, raggedy, unmanageable, dirty. And what’s even worst is that most women who have commented whom I’m assuming are black, see’s no problem because they have the same feelings. Which is sad!!

MJay
Guest
MJay

I guess the trolls came out in the past few comments, huh?

Sunni
Guest
Sunni

I think it’s ridiculous that at one point I was reading that it was an insult to call Black women’s hair nappy & now Black women are offended that non-Blacks are calling their hair nappy because it’s our term. I think the energy can be focused on important issues.

NoMoreCandy4U
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NoMoreCandy4U

Black people are so accepting of other races using our terms, wanting to be like us. White people get your own words. They will soon claim “Nappy Hair” as theirs. SMDH

Tenae
Guest
Tenae

It’s offensive how do we make them stop.…they’re using nappy to describe ‘ugly’ hair my hair isn’t ugly it’s beautiful aarrgghhhh 🙁

Ghanana
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Ghanana

I understand that many of the comments are saying ‘meh get over it’ but from my perspective white girls using the work nappy to refer to the condition of their hair is ignorant, but in this day and age (with social media and integrated societies) that is no excuse. I HAVE NEVER EVER IN PAST HEARD MY WHITE FRIENDS REFER TO THEIR UNKEMPT HAIR AS A #AFRO. There are other ways in which we are familiar as human beings leave nappy alone.

Kay
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Kay

I don’t understand our desire to want to hold on to “words” and “phrases” as if those identify us beyond measure. The word nappy is no more important a word to us than n*****. We allow things to define us and then take offense when someone uses that same thing to define themselves. We are more than words, hair styles, clothes, music. We are an essence…an essence that can’t be duplicated only imitated and once we all understand that concept, it won’t matter what anyone does to try to mimic us.…they will fail and most importantly we will not deign… Read more »

Daniella
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Daniella

Nappy was used to describe type 4 hair. Not because it was unkept. It was used in a bad way, saying type 4 hair is bad hair! So to all those that’s saying they use nappy when their hair is a mess just shows that society again is working and brain washing the foolish black and white people out there. Nappy isn’t because u have black roots, it’s because you have kinky coily hair! urgghh people are so stupid. Before you comment please no your information. I totally agree with this post. White people should not describe their as nappy… Read more »

Alyssa
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Alyssa

Growing up nappy was an extremely negative word. The couple of times I would hear it would be when someone other than my mother would do my hair. I’ve grown accustomed to correcting people when they refer to my hair as “nappy,” I do not like the term in reference to my hair period. I don’t agree with white women/straight-haired women using the term because it IS a microaggression, to take a negative term from one culture & then apply it to yourself only for it to be a backhand to the original culture (not the definition of microaggression). I’m… Read more »

Noire creates
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Noire creates

We need to change our mindset! I don’t think of my hair as nappy and I discourage other people from using the term. Our hair is curly, coily, kinky even but not nappy!

Cassie
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Cassie

Soooo, two out of four of the women featured are clearly not “white women”. I understand the purpose of the post, and I agree with it’s premise (using nappy as a term to describe a bad hair day is awkward when used by non-black women). However, this literally has nothing to do with “white women using the term nappy”; the title of the post instead should have been “non-black women…” I am constantly boggled by the classification of clearly non-white women, as “white.” These are women who frequently do not appear to be ethnically “white”, do not identify as “white”,… Read more »

Bumper1959
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Bumper1959

I personally never use the term ‘nappy’ as I hate it, so those girls are quite welcome if they want to ‘own’ it.

Xandrick
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Xandrick

Goodness gracious. Is this what things have come to? I’ve scrolled down the comments section and seen that anyone who has any criticism to have for this article, any at all, will get several downvotes. The only way to get on people’s good side is to just agree with this article, it looks like. I want to thank the ones who were reasonable to not just blindly be “yes” people. We do need to stop letting race dictate what we can and cannot have. Fight the good fight of going against a system that puts whites in general at an… Read more »

Deanna Thomas
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Deanna Thomas

In reply to what u said. I agree with everything but the fact u said whites are overall higher privilaged. Maybe its just me and I was born in93 I feel that the blk man is stoppinh. His self from being privalled ex. Went tl. A blk public scholl one yr teachers wouldnt teach our level of work simply becausd they were too lazy went to a white private school and teacher went beyond measurez to make sure I knew what I was supose to smh the goverment doesnt hold. Us back we can go to coll3ge we can work… Read more »

Lulu
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Lulu

The delulu commenters above make me laugh and sigh at the same time.

These girls KNOW what the word means and they know what they are doing. They also know they can get away with whatever because people like you will stand up and say “THEY ARE JUST PLAYING, THEY DON’T MEAN ANY HARM, WHY ARE YOU GETTING ANGRY AGAIN BLACK WOMEN?” That is the power of their privilege and they KNOW it.

Tabatha
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Tabatha

Well I do know some white chicks and other ethnic ladies that have “nappy” hair, sometimes worse then my naps. With that being said some of these ladies wanting to use that expression do not have nappy hair, they just have tangled hair and I think that they need to be educated on what nappy hair is, what constitutes nappy hair. So I see the upset, but at the same time it’s not worth my energy to get upset over it, it’s just making them look ignorant. When they are ready to actually learn something new then I’ll exert some… Read more »

Ethincally Accurate Man
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Ethincally Accurate Man

FYI- Not that its super relevant but most of those women are clearly not racially “white”. They are just non-Black.

Revelry
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Revelry

Between this and white girls claiming their “bed heads” as afros I’m so over it. If they start trying to claim Kinkyhair somebodys gonna catch a denman brush to the face.

monniej
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monniej

please let white people use the word nappy if they want to. it really ain’t that deep for me. as long as they use it among themselves it can mean whatever they want it to mean.

imani
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imani

I will admit I do not like the term nappy at all! much like the word n*****. I don’t need to redefine it to empower myself.how about we CREATE a new word?And wait for it…watch white ppl try to get in on it too!bc they always do…they lack a lot of originality & they can’t help themselves.its in many of their naturals to steal, “borrow” without permission or regard for cultural significance or history.I know part of the problem is as black and white relations improve,today generation don’t see color as much so they forget that there are cultural lines… Read more »

theywantobeussobad
Guest

They have officially stolen everything from blacks…now they want to do away with them. Knowthyself…these culture vultures haven’t come up with an original ANYTHING YET!!! So sad for them.

ISaidIt
Guest

Black women, quit getting all butt hurt over petty issues. Good grief people… There are far more important matters going on other than other fellow AMERICANS biting our rhetoric. Quit with all the stank side eyes and bitterness. WHO CARES! If we’re talking about truly being a melting pot then we should embrace our commonalities and differences. There are woman of other ethnicities who have kinky hair. And even if they’re hair isn’t super textured, so what? We’ve retroactively brought back brown paper bag testing, except with hair!

girliepunk74@yahoo.com
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girliepunk74@yahoo.com

We have history of our hair being the reason we don’t get jobs, Nappy was a term to dehumanize Black women for decades.So this is far from a petty issue for Black women.

joe
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joe

One thing I learned from instagram- it’s a place where everyone including all the idiots gather. It’s annoying when I wanna look for a specific picture and use a relevant tag and it’s full of pictures completely unrelated because people just tag their pictures what-so-ever. And well, you can’t really do anything about these women. And, did you have permission to use their photos?

Cheryl
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Cheryl

It is clear that these “just get over” type statements come from white women trying to disguise themselves as black women. Why are these comments getting so many “thumbs downs”? Because most natural black women are offended by their appropriation our culture. And for those black women who are okay with it, you are truly the definition of Aunt Jemima!!!

BubzLife Starlight
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BubzLife Starlight

lol or they’re mammy. Because I’m offended that these white women can’t just stick to their own thing. :

usamomof2
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usamomof2

If you are offended over a word someone uses to describe their hair then you have other issues you need to deal with.

AnaDion
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AnaDion

When I say my hair is nappy, I’m saying it is tangled, that my strands are wrapped around themselves and each other like newlyweds on a honeymoon. This is not necessarily a bad thing- a lot of the time it’s purposeful. So when a non-Black person says their hair is nappy, I hear “My hair is hella tangled” which results in my indifference of the terminology.

Bree
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Bree

this has to be the stupidest, most absurd argument on this blog. why should white women, or any other race of women other than black for that matter, be allowed to use the term nappy or natural hair? nappy doesn’t mean frizzy or simply tangled. and when a black woman’s hair is tangled it isn’t just tangled it’s completely coiled around itself and knotted which is why we have detangling sessions… let’s be real, women of any race other than black don’t feel our struggle when it comes to our hair. we started the natural hair movement because we had… Read more »

Maria
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Maria

I am white and I DO have nappy hair. You would be suprised how many white people do. Never has one of my black friends told me I am not allowed to say this or that I am wrong. Far from meant as demeaning or an insult, I use it as an adjective describing thick, course hair. Even women WITH wavy/straight hair often have patches of this type of hair. And sure, some might use it in a way to describe unwanted hair, but not all black people want nappy hair either! Anyways, if you want to let it stay… Read more »

Marie
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Marie

Nappy does NOT mean thick, coarse hair. You are using the term incorrectly.

SheyShey110
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SheyShey110

Actually, the Dictionary definition is kinky, while the google definition is frizzy or containing tight coils or bends. So you can’t really blame people for misinterpreting it as so.

EazzzyE
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EazzzyE

What kind of idiot would even use a dictionary to define nappy?

ASHLEY
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ASHLEY

She’s an idiot for using a dictionary to find the definition of a word?? Wow…I must have been using a dictionary wrong my whole life!

Fleur
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Fleur

Read a book about hair. Why rely on a book that’s only goal is to compile the basic definition of thousands of words to explain everything to you?

Trini
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Trini

CULTURE VULTURES!!!!! when will it end?!? They hate us, but stay trying to imitate us. Big booty wasnt ok, unless they say so. Weave wasnt ok, until they started using, big lips wasnt attractive til they started fillin, really?? Now they Natural Hair movement they want too, what next dreads and afros gonna be theres also. smfh

Deanna Thomas
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Deanna Thomas

I found this interesting because my younger sister told me white kids at her school asked her what nappy means she replied when black people hair is unmanagable I dont feel insulted and I dont think the white woman is trying to puck fun at the blk womans hair nappy is a term the average blk person uses when their hair is a mess my question iswhat makes theese white people less then us that they cant use the word because they had a bad hair day ? I have a foster cousin who is italian long straight hair to… Read more »

Fleur
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Fleur

The point here is that black women have been taught that their hair is bad. Common terms applied to it include “nappy”. Because it is 2105, black women don’t feel the same way about their hair. Nappy isn’t an insult anymore, and because black hair isn’t bad, nappy isn’t either. Don’t you think that it’s strange that as black women become more and more confident with their hair,and bodies in general, white women are all over the internet applying racial terms like “afro” and “nappy” and “kinky” to their bad hair days? And do you understand why that is dangerous?

girliepunk74@yahoo.com
Guest
girliepunk74@yahoo.com

All of this!!!
And I am sharing this on my FB page

Deanna Thomas
Guest
Deanna Thomas

Another question who defines how kinky your hair has to be for it to be considered nappy… just because thy get tangles instead of kinks doesnt mean they cnt all their hair nappy its blk people who have better hair then some white folks as long as they xkin is dark then I guess on they bad hair days they could use the term man blk people need to stop allowing what happend to are ancestors control them no one alive today was a slave and most of us never had to live thru jim crow laws if u are… Read more »

EazzzyE
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EazzzyE

What are you even saying? Go back to recess little girl.

Tungs
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Tungs

This shit again, really?

I have a dream that one day little black boys and girls will be holding hands with little white boys and girls.”
? Martin Luther King Jr., I Have A Dream

…but white girls can’t use the word nappy.

BubzLife Starlight
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BubzLife Starlight

Please do not use MLK to silence blacks. Especially since he was killed by a white person.

Staci Elle
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Staci Elle

WTH does this have to do with appropriation?

NanaJ
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NanaJ

Really, it’s a word. Nappy (to us )may mean kinky and tightly wound hair. Nappy to others may mean tangled and matted. Not worthy of ownership, in my opinion. Move on, let us discuss issues of importance.

BreezeJC
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BreezeJC

We tend to contradict ourselves when we talk about cultural appropriation because we will “invite” people into our movements, as this author suggested (“I think a fundamental requirement should be that you at least have curly hair with either shrinkage or detangling woes to be a true member of the natural hair community.”) but then act surprised when they hijack it!

The term “natural” hair seems irrelevant to any non-Black woman to me because they’ve never had to historically modify their texture to assimilate, nor is a non-black woman refraining from straightening her hair *reclaiming* anything — NONSENSE!

Ronnie
Guest
Ronnie

Black people must be rainbows, sunshine, and candy because we all collectively minded our proverbial business and White people feel the need to exercise cultural appropriation at every turn. We must be all powerful! Imagine what would happen if we supported more Black-owned businesses, year round!

Conscious
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Conscious

Did you not know all people migrated from Africa and have melanin in their DNA? Some more than others. Some masses stayed in Africa, some migrated to Europe. Those who migrated to Europe who experienced the Ice Age genes mutated to adapt to the environment. If you think I’m lying or if it sounds far fetched, you’re not thinking or researching deep enough. Go to the library, google it, but research it. It’s true. So whites can have “nappy” hair to a certain extent, but they don’t have the depth of melanin that blacks do that enriches the mind, body,… Read more »

Ashley
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Ashley

This is one if the most ignorant articles I have ever read & is the exact reason why racism still exists. Since when does any race own rights to a particular word? Apparently the author and most of the people commenting have never opened a dictionary and realized that words can have more than 1 meaning, e.g. nappy. Just because someone uses the word in a different context that you use it, does not mean they are using it wrong. And it certainly doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be allowed to use the word. No one owns rights to the word… Read more »

Fleur
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Fleur

What is a “real” issue when all issues of black women and black people interrelate? And it is not about “owning” a word. Why does someone have to “own” something to get white people to respect it? Is basic human decency too much?

kalexa1
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kalexa1

I think the MOST IMPORTANT POINT in this article is that white women have (once again) misunderstood, misinterpreted and are misusing the term ‘nappy’. Same thing I see being done for terms like ‘ethnic’ and descriptions of racism. It highlights ignorance through lack of exposure on their part.

usamomof2
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usamomof2

Really, THIS is an issue with everything else going on? Who freaking CARES!

darklady
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darklady

I do not blame their ignorance if out there are so many morons like Rachel Dolezal!

The Darling Kinkshamer
Guest
The Darling Kinkshamer

I once heard a white associate refer to her hair as nappy. I laughed aloud, and she got the message.

My natural self
Guest
My natural self

I guess this seems rather childish to me. What I see is a couple of girls taping into a culture they are otherwise ousted from and applying their own meaning to catchphrases…a perfectly natural response considering how younger generations are now do far removed from slavery, cultural context,and appreciation. These girls’ idols like Cyrus, Jenner/Kardashian, Azalea, and the like, are dipping fingers into what is otherwise our cultural norm and receiving the rewards (black rich boyfriends) as a result. And these girls idolize that. So let’s say these girls used catchphrases, wore makeup to mimick a certain model, imitated hairstyles…all… Read more »

Miki Simmons
Guest
Miki Simmons

I find it annoying as a white women! My daughter is white with beautiful nappy hair, which she got from my white nappy haired husband. I’ve spent a great deal of my time researching her hair to find out what needs to be done to grow her beautiful hair and keep it healthy. Then more time to care for all her delicate little strands. I’ve felt helpless and overwhelmed, not knowing what on earth to do for her hair or where to find out. Only recently have i been able to get her hair to grow in thicker, longer and… Read more »

Janessa Brown
Guest
Janessa Brown

Your daughter is not white and doesn’t look white lol.Your daughter is mixed stop denying this. Never meant a white person with kinky hair only if they have black ancestry.

Natalie
Guest
Natalie

I am predominately white, my most recent genealogy is Caucasian, go back 2 generations I have a few African American ancestors. I have really curly hair, it’s blond, its kinky, as I type this, it’s already wrapped for the night, so it won’t matte when I go to sleep. Depending on the section of my head you will find 3c to 4b textures. I have a lot going on. I have an issue when my white friends go on and on how they have or had curly hair as a kid and just flat iron it, then show me pics… Read more »

CurlyHannah
Guest
CurlyHannah

I have type 4A hair, im white/French mixed, people tell me i
Dont have white girl hair. My mom(american) has THICK wavy hair. My dad (french) has curly hair. Im blonde, but people think im black cause of my hair. I LOVE MY HAIR!!!
would i be part of the CurlyHairNation?

L J
Guest
L J

I am white with naturally curly hair in finger width spiral curls. I don’t straighten and love my curls. Yes, my hair gets nappy, I never saw it as a term describing black hair. When I was a child, my hair would actually get matted at the nape of my neck. Nowadays, extreme humidity can make my hair curl so badly that all I can do is put in a scrunchie. Yes I’m white … and yes, my hair can get nappy!

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