January 25, 2011

“Do you think you are better than me because you are natural”?

Spike Lee brought it home in School Daze with his account of the “good and bad hair”.  It reminds me of the sad but continuing battle of light skin – dark skin, now its natural vs. chemically relaxed.  I am a 2nd time natural (1st time in 2002, 2nd time in 2004) who did not truly embrace her curls until about 3 years ago.  My typical routine was to wear my hair straight during the winter and reserve the curls for the summer months.  I was a seasonal curly!  J  I now intend to wear my hair curly all year round.  Nothing against the straight, it’s just that curly has been my preference as of late.  My goal is to limit the heat exposure, not eliminate it.  Because I do wear color (usually bleach), I find that my hair is hit hard when I chose to use the flat iron and make my hair do something other than what it naturally wants to do – curl up.  The consequences are too great for me. 

Sometimes, depending on the company I am in, I feel as if my chemically relaxed sistas are uncomfortable or judgmental around me.  It’s always a huge topic of discussion.  “How did you get your hair like that?” or “Oh, you got that good hair” or “Where’d you get that hair from?” or “I like your hair better straight”.  The chatter goes on and on.  I promise you, I get the same look from some black women that I get from some white women who are less familiar with ethnic hair.  I don’t understand it.  Don’t get me wrong, I know as black women, hair is major.  We are always made to feel as if our hair isn’t good enough, isn’t straight or silky enough.  It is only recently that I’ve started to hear “my hair isn’t kinky or curly enough”.   I don’t have the answers and don’t claim to be this Super Confident woman.  I am definitely not always comfortable in my own skin.  I am hopeful that the blogging community can help address these issues.

1 comment:

Sabrina P. said...

This is the new this vs that. We've always got some divison going on in the Black community. OMG! I didn't say African-American! That's another stupid division! It's sickening and sad the way we can't just appreciate our natural selves and the ones who do are looked upon as judgemental. What another woman does with her hair is her business. How I feel about relaxing hair is my business. I'm not stopping folks in the street asking why do you relaxing your hair so don't ask me why I don't relax. This is truly becoming a problem.