Black women and hair is one of the most sensitive and divisive topics only second to the topic of marriage, and Beyonce’s relevance. As tired as I am of talking about it, there’s always some huge social media uprising that brings it back into my line of thought and then I get irritated. Here are my peeves:
Can we stop attributing everything to European standards of beauty?
The beauty of Black hair is in the versatility. I can wear my hair in a huge ‘fro, a twist-out, in braids, AND I can straighten it because, options. I love my ‘fro and wouldn’t trade the ability to queue one up for the world. I also love flipping my freshly flat-ironed hair from side to side, because it is luxurious. Not luxurious like a white girl, but luxurious like MINE. That grows from my scalp. While engaging in said hair flipping, never do I think to myself
“Wow, I feel really white right now” or “Maybe people will find me more beautiful since my hair is straight and thus closer to European beauty standards.”
Thoughts of being a baddie cross my mind daily regardless of my hairstyle, much like many other black women. So save that theory. There’s no denying that it exists–there are some people who only see beauty in straight hair (or brazilian or peruvian additives), thinner noses, lighter skin etc. But let’s not be so broad when pointing out Eurocentrism. Is it not possible to enjoy your own hair in the many ways that it can be styled?
Can we stop talking about Blue Ivy’s hair?
I don’t have a daughter (much like many of Blue’s critics), so I can’t say exactly what I would do or not do to her hair if I had one. But I do have a son, and his hair is wild and every time any one of his grandparents or great grandparents see him, they’re asking me when he’s getting a haircut (when I feel like he’s ready). Aside from his hair being wild, my child is intelligent, and charismatic. He’s not abused, doesn’t miss any meals, and wears nice clothes and shoes. Anything else you’re talking about is irrelevant to me.
This is probably how Beyonce feels when there are grown women who devote their time to starting online petitions to comb her daughters hair…like…business…get some. There are a millllliiiionnnn other things people should concern themselves with besides Blue Ivy’s hair. What if Blue doesn’t like getting her hair done? Should Beyonce sit her down and pop her with a comb until she submits? She’s like 3 years old fuhgawdsakes. She is a free and happy black girl who has loving parents, and we hope that despite being pop royalty by default, will grow into a well-adjusted adult.
Furthermore, when Blue gets older and people are still acting this way about the hair that grows out of her head, what type of message will this send to her and all the other girls who have hair like hers and don’t feel the need to tame it to make YOU feel comfortable? What if she likes the way she looks? If a little black girl with kinky hair, adorned with a pretty bow is unkempt to you, you should probably ask yourself why. Because there is an absence of loose shiny ringlets? THEN you should probably re-visit your theory on European standards of beauty.
All that’s all I’ve got to say about that *Forest Gump voice*