I’m so over the incessant echo chamber of white fashion. Straight hair, blonde hair, red hair, curled hair. White hair. Get over yourselves.
You don’t see a lot of African American hairstyles in the beauty magazines. Sure, sometimes you’ll see People magazine gush about whatever updo Beyonce is wearing at some red carpet event, but for the most part, it’s just set aside. It’s not deemed as important as the dresses and styles of white celebrity women. In the internet age, we do get a lot of blogs and information sites cultured for us, like Curly Pearl. I don’t suppose many white folks ever visit those pages.
Well forget them. They don’t know what they’re missing. You might hear a lot of black women complain about how difficult it is to manage their hair. You might hear that it gets very frizzy and nappy and a nightmare to deal with. And to be fair, it’s kind of true. But it’s also kind of wonderful.
As people of color, hair is something we all bond over. For black men, barber shops are a safe haven. It’s always been one of the most popular hangout spots, where the guys just chill, tell jokes, talk about sports, and talk about life. It’s a fraternity, one white men will never truly understand. It’s just not the same as the clubhouse at the local golf course. What a shame for them.
As for the ladies, our beauty salons are very similar, though they aren’t as infamous in popular culture. With longer hair, it’s even more of a struggle than it is for the men. But that gives us yet another avenue to compare styles, give each other tips, and compliment each other.
Anything easily attained isn’t worth having. The same is true of black hair. Though it requires a lot of work to maintain, black hair is unique and beautiful.
When I was a little girl, I used to feel alienated and different for many reasons, but one that sticks out the most in my mind is my hair. I used to be jealous of the white girls at school that so effortlessly threw their hair into pony tails or could just throw on a headband. Why didn’t I have cute hair like that? Why did I have to work so hard and spend so much time to make myself presentable?
I no longer feel that way. I’m proud of my fabulous hair. And the best thing is that the sky is the limit in terms of options. I can have an afro. I can have cornrows. I can have thousands of combinations of braids and updos and bobs. I can keep it natural, or I can use extensions. Oh lord, there are so many extensions to choose from. My head is a canvas on which I can paint freely with broad strokes or precise artistry. How many white women can honestly say that?
If anyone ever tells you that you are less than, rise above it and be your own person. I learned that the hard way, but as in all things in life, that’s the best way to learn anything.
Be confident. Be beautiful.