Now, this is only a question, as some are raising their eyebrows or giving this post the side eye, assuming I am here to insult but that couldn’t be further from the truth. I’m merely asking a question about protective styling that turns into more of a crutch or a staple than being protection for your hair.
I know we’ve seen Kermit all over the place so when I saw this meme I giggled at first because all the Kermit memes make me laugh but I also giggled because I knew this would strike a nerve with a few folks. Naturals are a rather touchy group, aren’t we?
We’ve been fighting for the right to wear our hair anyway we see fit in the workplace, out in public and even at home. We’ve been criticized by strangers, parents, lovers and bosses yet we manage to still be here and the community continues to grow at a stunning pace. I’m proud of that fact as most naturals are, so when we start seeing our unity busting at the seams it makes most of us a bit skittish. We don’t need the internal strife, but yet we have it and in some not so surprising ways. For instance:
Who has been natural longer
And now the ‘are you really natural’ campaign that is getting louder and bigger. It used to be an issue discussed in small groups but with memes like the one above, it’s getting out there pretty quickly. It’s not the only question being asked of some so-called naturals but it’s the newest and actually it’s not getting nearly as much grief as other questions surrounding the title of natural.
With that said are you natural if you wear a wig*, weave or braided style year-round? I understand that you do not relax the hair growing from your scalp but it only comes out when you are getting ready to add more hair as a protective style. I remember when a protective style meant protecting your ends from the elements, clothing and over-manipulation but now, to some, completely covering your hair is the only protective style!
The thing is, isn’t that just covering it up? I get if you want to change up your hairstyle and go for the weave, wigs* or braids from time to time but if your hair is under added hair 95% of the time that’s not a protective style but rather just your hairstyle of choice.
When I was still relaxed but wore braids from time to time I didn’t relax my hair when I had them in of course. I would keep them in for almost 7 or 8 months on some stretches only taking them out to add new braids and although I never relaxed my hair during those times I never thought of myself as a natural woman.
Granted, this was over 15 years ago and the term natural didn’t even exist like it does now but I cannot see the difference between what I was doing back then and what women are doing now who are proudly shouting that they are team natural.