I have avoided writing about this topic because I know people get all worked up and sensitive about it, but I have to get a few things off my chest. Over at Trina’s blog “aRippleffect”, there is a discussion regarding natural hair, unwisely I commented, and good lord, the “permed headed” protection agency came out like termites at a lumber yard. Let me state my thoughts here for the record.
I think that sisters (and brothers) should not be ashamed of their hair in its natural state. I believe that people who HAVE TO (not people who choose to but people who HAVE TO and who can never "reveal" or who hate their hair in its natural state) perm their hair or have to have long extensions have some level of self hate, collective low self esteem and assimilate to the White European standard of beauty. To me the issue signifies the Black woman (and mans) skewed and warped self image, where anytime a Black person sees a person (particularly black women) with natural hair that they immediately question why that person chooses that or why that person doesn't perm, etc.
Does having natural or permed hair make anyone automatically more conscious or a better human than anyone else? Surely not. My point is that overall in our African Diaspora here in the Americas, so-called “good hair” and/ or light skin, have been a beauty standard that has been first imposed on us and then latter aspired to by generations of Black people.
Sure some people are conscious of this and choose to perm because they like the style, but it is my assertion that most people who HAVE to have their hair in anything BUT it’s natural state, are at the least culturally and sociologically brainwashed to a degree to aspire to a Eurocentric standard of beauty and at worst simply have a complex of self hate.
Now people, before anyone starts commenting about Black people using irons on their hair in Africa, or wigs in ancient Egypt, save that, I am a serious student of the History of Africa (from Aksum to Zulu) and don’t need a refresher when the facts are the sociological conditions in the Americas for Black Africans or people who have Black African ancestry are quite different and unique from anything the Bantu or Khosia people experienced in Africa before the Europeans arrived. AND FOR THE RECORD THIS DOES NOT APPLY TO PEOPLE WITH MEDICAL CONDITIONS WHO CHOOSE TO WEAR WIGS.
And please, don't comment the inane: "Black people hair doesn't look like European hair when permed" drivil. Look, Black skin when bleached (like the sisters do in the Domincan Republic, Haiti and rumor has it Here in the US) doesn't look European skin, BUT NEITHER IS FOR LACK OF TRYING. And as for weave, when I see a bunch of sisters with Afro or Nappy weaves in their heads, then you might have an argument on the "style" or "cosmetic" arguement.
This is not about cosmetic choice but about mental conditioning. Fact is the whole hair discussion in itself is not a major issue, just a symptom of a greater problem. I’m just saying…