2009-08-19

Is Natural Hair Mainstreaming?



The buzz of late is all about Tyra Banks. Tyra has decided to get rid of the weave and wigs. We've seen Tyra natural before. Anytime black or black natural hair is discussed, she breaks out the cornrows. It is the default natural style of Tyra. Now she didn't say she was going relaxer free, but weave free. Let's not get too ethnic!!!!! It has me thinking though, has embracing natural hair mainstreamed? Michelle Obama is supposedly perm free. Solange had people thinking she was crazy all because she did a big chop (which I thought was darling). Are celebrities embracing natural or weaveless hair now? Will people follow the celebrities in the realm of being wig and weave free? Or are folks like Tyra upset that they get talked about when they do shows on natural hair as they sit there with blonde weave in their hair telling folks to embrace themselves?

One post I STILL get comments on is this one. Now all I said, in my mind is it seems that black women beauty standards seem to embrace the European ideal. Why we feel the need to want blue or grey eyes, or blonde hair, or long flowing straight weave sometimes is questionable to me. People took that to mean I hate all people with weaves, weaves are the devil, and black women with long hair are now jealous and upset other black women can have long hair now.

I do wonder if these same people are the ones who used to ask me when I was going to get my "hair done" when I first went natural, or when I pressed it told me, someone must have "talked some sense into me"?

Back when I went natural there wasn't much choice in celebrities with natural hair, there was no one. No hairdressers interested in my keeping my hair natural, it was perm, wig, weave or bust. It was a hostile environment to have a "kitchen", much less a whole head of unpermed hair. I find now it seems to be a bit easier to transition, but I don't know if it has mainstreamed. Will things like the movie Good Hair or folks like Tyra and Solange going natural or weave free have black women embrace more natural styles?