Last night I watched an episode of the Tyra Show and it was about "Good Hair." First off, I'd like to say I can't stand that term. What the hell is good hair? Straight, wavy, shiny, bouncy, but oh no not "nappy." Cuz of course nappy hair can't possibly be beautiful - this is what troubles me. From a young age we're told that nappy hair isn't attractive and straight hair is easier to manage and more accepted in society. But this is not the truth. I feel like Black women have some of the most beautiful hair. I'm not knocking straight hair, but why should someone change the texture of their hair into something that is completely unnatural to them just for it to be considered attractive?
When I was 10 I got my first relaxer and I'll admit that I was excited about it. It wasn't my choice but I didn't really oppose it. But after relaxing my hair for all that time I've realized that it is not healthy for my hair at all. Why should I have to chemically alter my hair anyway? My natural hair is beautiful, it has personality meanwhile my straight hair is boring, limp and blah. I had to keep doing something to it to keep it interesting - which led to damage. But anyway, enough about me, back to Tyra.
On the show there were a few mothers and their children. One mother has a 3 year old daughter and she straightens her hair, not with heat, but chemically. Yes she relaxes her 3 year old's hair. WTF? She claims that it is easier to handle, it looks better and her daughter likes it. I think this is outrageous. Relaxing hair should not even be an option at that young age. It can't possibly be that hard to do her hair, I'm sorry. What ever happened to learning how to deal with our natural hair the correct way instead of being able to run a damn comb through it? Who said we're supposed to be using combs in our hair anyway? Being a part of this society is seriously fucking up how we see things and what we consider beautiful and acceptable. It pisses me off.
There was another mother, she's white and she has an 8 year old biracial daughter. She relaxes her hair and puts a weave in it. Yes a damn weave for an 8 year old!! Honestly, I don't even like seeing little girls with extensions, I don't feel it is necessary. But everyone is looking for an easy way out when the reality is that this is gonna mess up our children. Another woman intentionally had a child with a man outside her race so that she wouldn't have "nappy hair." She also attributes nappy hair with low class. WTF is this bullshit? So if my hair is kinky that means I'm low class? Really?
Some people claim that we straighten our hair because of self hatred. I feel it has more to do with conforming and confusion about beauty. Back in slavery times it was more beneficial to have straight hair and having kinky hair was looked down upon. This has manifested itself in our society today. After being told that our hair is unattractive for so long, we bring it on ourselves now - we don't even need outside influences telling us so.
Basically, whatever you choose to do to your hair is your business. I just wish people were more educated and open minded on the topic. The influence of our older generations and media truly has a hold on Black women and I can't stand it. If you wanna straighten your hair, wear a weave, rock it natural - whatever - its a personal choice. All I know is that I feel like I'm making a great decision by going natural. I'll finally meet the real me, minus the chemicals and bullshit.