2009-08-25

Natural Hair Nazis


Since I talked about natural hair mainstreaming, I will talk about the downside of the natural hair community. There is a certain perception inside and outside of the community on where you stand politically, fashion wise, or otherwise.

There are also stereotypes about your "blackness". Many naturals I know are interracially married, but that doesn't mean the whole natural movement is supportive of such unions. There is a tone of "I love black men!" movement, which there is definitely nothing wrong with, but I know on certain sites, if I proclaimed "I love white men!", I would not be welcomed with open arms. Case and point, I went to one of my many hair boards and a question off topic was about a woman preparing for her wedding. She is engaged to a white guy, but she wants to "jump the broom" as part of the wedding ceremony. I say she is black, it is part of her heritage, she should be able to do it, and it isn't uncommon for people of two different cultures to incorporate some of their traditions into the ceremony. To some it seemed like a slap in the face of our ancestors to jump the broom with a white guy.

There seems to be a strong identification of blackness and strong black love amongst many naturals. I am not against black love, without black love I wouldn't be here, but it would be nice to feel welcome and loved in the natural hair community because, like others I can relate to the struggle of being natural in a culture that embraces long, straight, and silky. I know most naturals have those stories about folks asking when they will get their hair done, or how they look so much better when they decide to straighten their hair. I know we all have stories about learning how to handle our hair in a natural state, or learning why the Pink Oil Lotion and Blue Magic don't work as well and stink to high heaven. We all learned how vastly different our hair can be, and that there is more ways to style our hair outside the afro.

I understand that embracing our hair in a natural state is important, but it shouldn't lead to group think. Our hair is unique and so should our thoughts.