I know for a fact that some of us may use wigs*, weaves* and braids not as a protective style or simply as an aesthetic change but as a ‘cover-up’. I also know that for a lot of us, wearing wigs* and weaves* is not a reflection of our insecurity.
For the black women and the black men who criticize those of us who wear our natural hair out, remember that your comments may affect the woman who, on the basis of your words, decides to “go natural”; only to become subject to even more negativity.
Let’s take, for example, the guy who asked a friend why she doesn’t just “do something with her hair” as if the flat twist out she’d spent her morning perfecting was not “done” enough.
Sorry, but I beg to differ.
The focus, in my humble opinion, needs to be on the maintenance of the health of our hair– as opposed to shaming and condemning others for the styles they choose.
I love my natural hair. I love the tight curls. I love how I can experiment with its texture using bantu knot outs or twists. I love how I can rock a fro if I feel like it. And I also love the fact that if I wanted to get a weave* or braids I could- provided my bank account isn’t looking a lil’ bit.
So there is no team this versus team that debate in my eyes. This means that you do not tell me that my natural hair looks “nappy” or “too bushy” nor can I turn around and scrutinize another black girl with a weave or relaxer for instance.
Let’s just get one thing clear; we already have the media that does what it does well enough. There is a very narrow view on what type of hair is deemed beautiful.
The Eurocentric standard of straight, lightly colored hair is one that is seen on a daily basis- in advertisements, magazines, you name it. So, with this external standard that is set for us to follow is there really any need for you to look down on a fellow sister with natural hair? Is there a need to immediately jump to conclusions when you see a girl with a weave*?
Though it seems logical to respond with a resounding “yes”- given the fact that black hair isn’t exactly seen as the “best standard” in mainstream media and the like, this should not govern our every judgement.
A black girl once asked another why she wears weave but in reality, her inquiry was more like an inquisition. When there are already numerous ways in which black hair is discriminated against–externally– there is no need to perpetuate these attitudes against ourselves.
Just remember that when we take out the braids, the weave and the like- what we are left with is what we should love and with this realization comes the ability to justify exactly why I stopped caring about the chatter.