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Bad hair days? Or bad attitudes?

28 November 2013 No Comment

If anyone knows who I am, they will know right away that I love hair. I love to style my hair in any way possible. Name almost any style and I have probably rocked it over the years. I love the fact that I can wear my hair in any form. With that being said, I think that sometimes it’s hard to believe that beauty really is in the eye of the beholder.

I read a recent article called Another Day, Another Natural Hair Ban: Vanessa VanDyke Asked To Cut Her Afro Or Be Expelled.  For some people the title has enough information to already know what the story is going to be about. The 12-year-old girl has an ultimatum with either cutting her Afro off, or being expelled.

So what is natural hair? In the Black community, natural hair means no chemicals, no straightener, and no heat at all in your hair. The texture is in its native form. In this day and age, wearing natural hair is considered to be a trend. I tend to think differently. Yes I wear my hair naturally, but not because of the fact that it is a big style. For me and many other women of colour it was a lifestyle change, plus it’s just natural like any other girl.  It seems pathetic but I will tell you why it’s not.

In slavery times in North America, the term good hair was used for people who had straighter curls in their hair. Having straight, long hair was not just a reference for beauty, but for survival. If I was living in the early 1900’s I would definitely have no choice but to have my hair looking bone-straight in order for me to even get a job. Fast-forward to now, you would think the standards of beauty have changed. Wrong!

Last year Meteorologist Rhonda Lee got fired from the news station KTBS over Facebook and Twitter comments on how she needs a weave or straightener on her hair. She responded with class, but the producers thought differently.  Olympian gymnast Gabrielle Douglas received some backlash on how her hair looked nappy during the summer Olympics.

Growing up, by the time I turned a certain age I had to wear a chemical relaxer that made my hair straighter. I hated the way the relaxer burned on my scalp. Last winter I was on the bus with an Afro hairstyle. A bunch of girls stared at me…not in fascination but in mockery.

Is it acceptable for girls my age to wear their natural hair in the workplace? If Michelle Obama was wearing an Afro would people think she was part of some radical black movement? I would hope not. Yes you have to groom and take care of your hair whether straight, curly, wavy or kinky. But, it is no one’s business to comment on how anyone should style his or her hair.

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