Monday, January 31, 2011

Is Natural Hair Accepted More from Other Races??




Accepting natural hair begins with us

by JC with Black Girl Long Hair

A lot of times, I'll hear statements like;

"White people appreciate my natural hair more than black people."
"I get more compliments from non black people on my natural hair."
Followed by some variation of "It's so sad. Why are black people like this?"

I'm not going to disagree with those statements. They've been true in my own life at various points. But I am INSANELY uncomfortable with what they suggest.

So, then, for us to accept that we look black we have to be surrounded by people who aren't black?

White people/non blacks have been implicated in many ways in the black hair experience.

Slavery and segregation have been cited as the reasons black people can't accept themselves. The American beauty standard -- as expressed in media and fashion -- has been blamed for being too eurocentric.

The whole "only non black people appreciate my natural hair" seems an odd follow up to that.

I do think that the way we are and have been perceived by other races has its place in the natural hair discussion.

But I also think our focus, when it comes to hair, is too external.
Many black women struggle with a fundamental lack of pride in their physical appearance. So isn't the most powerful thing that we can do now, at this point in our history, is love ourselves and love our hair?

Love of our hair has got to start with us, within our families. It's something we have to spread to our parents, spouses and siblings, and teach to our children. And though we date and marry people both within and outside of our race, we remain black women and we still must learn to love who we are.

Wow! Great post..It's interesting to hear the perspective of others on the issue of natural hair and race. In my personal experience, I have had many other ethnic groups show a lot of appreciation of my natural hair..more than I thought. Sadly, I have heard more negative comments, not towards me, but towards hair texture in general from other blacks. I hear more about 'good hair' and 'bad hair' from blacks. And, surprisingly, I've heard more horror stories in the work place from blacks. Many blacks have referred to natural hair as 'uprofessional' 'lazy' 'rebellious' 'unkept' 'ugly' and the list goes on. When is it going to end? From the stories that I've read and the comments that I've heard, why is natural hair less accepted from black people? Why do some women still have to 'convince' their husbands of the beauty and benefits of going natural? And why do I still read comments where blacks state that 'going natural is for people with certain types of hair...' or with certain curl patterns. I do get tired of explaining why I chose to go natural and how long do I think that I'm going to remain natural? Or hearing, 'well every one's hair is not like yours'..I should hope not, then that would make us robots instead of unique individuals. While I appreciate the compliments, I wish more blacks, even if they don't choose to go the natural route, would learn to love and appreciate our natural hair.

So, what's your experience with natural hair and race?

9 comments:

  1. I have heard this statement many times. I think that white men might appreciate natural hair more than black men do.. BUT I do remember how much more attention i got from white males when my hair was straight or in long braids. I really am not sure if white men prefer the natural hair over long straight hair. But then my hair is short... maybe if I had long curls the white men would love it. I know not all men are the same... but this is just what i have noticed.

    ~avaanstar~

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  2. That's funny you say that most white men I know love our natural hair, most black men I know want straight permed hair-I wanna run my fingers through your hair! My fiancee(white) loves my hair....his fluffy pillow it's cute though.

    HennaRo

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  3. Personal experience, I believe that black men prefer straight hair more so than white men. My stepmother has some gorgeous locks, and I know for a fact that my father absolutely cannot stand them. He likes women with long straight hair. Most black men I know seem to share the same sentiments. It's incredibly depressing.

    Now, the majority of white men I know have their preferences, but they tend to be more liberal, if that makes sense.

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  4. I think that most people, male or female (whatever race) like the appeal of natural beauty more. When I see people that haven't seen me since before my bc their jaws drop and they can't get over how much they love my natural hair. The creator didn't make any mistakes with the way he made our hair.

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  5. White, Hispanic (my husband is Mexican), and Black men ALL have a greater appreciation for natural hair when they have not been raised to think that there is a such thing as "good hair". When men are able to look past differences in skin color to date outside of their race they are just more receptive to natural hair because they just see it as another difference between races. I think that more (NOT all) Black men have been raised to think that straight is better, so they seem to be less tolerant of natural hair. But in general i think that men like healthy beautiful hair.

    ~Deb~

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  6. ITA w/this. Especially the bolded. It's a mistake to assume that this love of natural hair i.e. highly curly hair extends to an entire race. It's easy to see how the response of white men to a black woman with natural hair could skew her impression of the race at large though.

    Based off of mainstream culture, I doubt if we took a poll there would be more white guys being attracted to black curly cottony haired women than their black counterparts.

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  7. My opinion is based on AMERICAN STANDARDS because in other countries it's different..so here goes:

    Well I am mixed and I think SOME white men that are actually attracted to women of color do like natural hair on women of color, IF the hair is a certain texture and length.

    I know some people don't want to deal with that or hear it because it evokes all kinds of feelings about race, beauty, equality, etc.. but it's true and acting otherwise is just that: Acting.

    It also depends on HOW the woman looks on top of it. I don't think it's just this general thing of that white men like natural "black" hair and are so nuts over it as opposed to black men. I mean because a white man is quick to say he doesn't like nappy hair just as fast as a black man will.

    I've participated in various race discussions and the hair topic has come up several times. In those discussions, white men say they generally do not like extremely kinky hair because they do not find it attractive or when compared to any other hair they find it the LEAST attractive.

    This is not my opinion..this is what I have heard several white men say in general including white male members of my own family. If anything they like curly or wavy hair on women of color when it's natural. Examples would be hair types like Rachel True, Trace Ellis Ross, Alicia Keyes, Cree Summer, Amel Larrieux, Jasika Nicole, Jessic Szohr, Mya, Leona Lewis, etc. Basically women of color with a defined wave or curl pattern.

    I have had SEVERAL white men ask me why more black women don't have hair like mine (I have type 3c hair) or wear their hair like mine because they don't get the whole "nappy" thing or why black women always "cut their hair off" and then get weaves. And I have explained to many that not everyone has the same texture and people like different things, etc.

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  8. The truth is there is not this overwhelming majority of white men interested in women of color with natural hair in general. I think when a white man is interested in a women of color, it's usually because he likes ALL of her reguardless of her hair type and texture. But in his inital attraction.. her hair does factor into it.

    I honestly think this is actually true of black men as well. I think most black men generally don't have an issue with natural hair provided the texture and length are a certain way. I mean it is what it is.. it's that "good hair" syndrome.

    So I don't think the overwhelming majority of black men are just clamouring for women with kinky hair either..given some don't mind it and/or prefer it. But it's hardly most or the majority.

    I think in the United States the issue is that the longer and straight or looser or more defined a curl pattern is equates beauty.. and this is true of men and women..black and white.

    The odd man out seems to be kinky hair as in type 4 hair that doesn't neccessarily always have a defined curl pattern. I think this hair type get the most put downs and flack from BOTH races from the men and women. I think because historically in this country kinky hair was often synonymous with ugly and black point blank.

    And when people (especially men) are bombarded with images of what is considered beautiful then their preferences generally reflect that..and kinky hair is not featured as beautiful. Heck even in black hair care magazines they are always suggesting to relax, texturize, weave, lace front etc the hair.. and all of this leads to one thing: TO HIDE NATURAL HAIR as if showing it is inappropriate ESPECIALLY if it's type 4 hair.

    Anyone see the Dr. Miracle's ad ? The woman's hair has "new growth", her hair is wild, messy, and she looks a mess making a distorted face sticking her tongue out.. but when she gets her Dr. Miracle relaxer..suddenly she's smiling brightly, has makeup on, and looks well put together. I mean if a person can't see the message sent in that..well they are blind. And when messages are sent like that in society..what else does one expect of men..even black men.. they are taught kinky hair is not attractive.

    And I am not anti-relaxer at all. I think it's preference and I would never disparage a person about having relaxed hair. Frankly, I think straight hair just looks nicer on some people so I don't mind relaxers at all.

    My point is that the messages sent about kinky hair are clear in society and I can't expect white men OR black men to see it otherwise. The majority of women don't even see it otherwise hence why women are always relaxing, flat ironing, hot combing, or trying to hide or straighten their kinky or curly hair.

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