Black Women, Black Hair, & Black Self-Hate

My beautiful daughter, who has a fairly good length of hair by Black American standards, threw a coin in a wishing well with her eyes tightly shut wishing for “long hair.”  She broke my heart.  At seven years old, she has already accepted a standard of beauty that I do not hold her to and one that does not apply to her.  She attends a “good” (read predominately White) school, and most of her friends are White.  And so here is my dilema: Do I remove my princess from this school in order to save her from a form of indoctrination that is supremely difficult to root out and risk subjecting to her to sub-standard education, or do I allow her to continue receiving the pressure to conform to White standards of beauty in order to provide her with a better education?

This is not just an issue of hair you see?  Go to www.google.com and begin typing the words, “Why are Black women” and see what popular searches google offers that begin with that phrase.  Here are the top ten searches beginning with that phrase:

  1. Why are Black women single?
  2. Why are Black women so ugly?
  3. Why are Black women so angry?
  4. Why are Black women so mean?
  5. Why are Black women so beautiful?
  6. Why are Black women so rude?
  7. Why are Black women so loud?
  8. Why are Black women not married?
  9. Why are Black women losing their hair?
  10. Why are Black women unmarried?

With the exception of #5 (and it’s anyone’s guess who is asking that question), clearly, there are an awful lot of people who do not find Black women desirable (I’m certainly not one of them).  No doubt, some of those searches have been conducted by Black women–trying to figure out why they are single or unmarried.  And while the issue of Black women being single is an important one, it will have to wait for another post. 

Recently, I saw Chris Rock’s documentary, “Good Hair.”  The documentary deserves a series of posts, and I may just do that, but for now, let’s deal with the subject of hair for a moment–hair and self-esteem.  The film featured

Meagan Good

some beautiful sistas.  Nia Long, Tracie Thomas, Meagan Good, and Lauren London all offered their thoughts on a Black woman’s hair.  All of these women are beautiful and sexy and desirable on the strength of their natural features alone.  Still, in “Good Hair,” Nia long said that sex in the shower may be the most intimate form of sex because her hair is likely to get wet.  She said that she chooses to be on top during sex because she doesn’t want to ruin her weave.  Meagan Good and Lauren London spoke plainly about not allowing their hair to get wet or a man to run his fingers through it (check out Ice T’s comments on that! lol).  I’ve never dated a Black woman

Tracie Thomas

who wore a weave, so I can’t imagine how I’d handle such a ridiculous restriction.  Anyhow, what I found most penetrating was Tracie Thomas’ realization that allowing her hair to grow in it’s natural state is considered revolutionary and different!

Much like the conk of old, the reality is that straightening our hair is an adoption of White cultural standards of beauty.  We have a set of expectations for Black people who grow their hair naturally.  Such people are often considered to be conscious or proud of their Black racial heritage or pro-Black and the like, but if you have seen as many brothas with dreads dating White women as I have, you know hair is not exactly an indication of socio-political philosophy. 

I’m willing to suggest that part of the goal is to manufacture a look that appeals more to White society.  In the picture to the right, Beyonce embodies a White man’s dream.  Here is a Black woman who damn near looks White, but she’s still Black enough to be able to say you slept with a Black woman.  Yet, she looks White enough to make it okay.  Making it plain, Black women who spend rent money (literally thousands of dollars) on making their hair look anything but natural) are actually admitting to the world they do not like themselves as they are.  There is a tacit admission that they are not as attractive in their natural state as European women, and I don’t approve. 

I’ll be damned if a sista tells me I can’t run my fingers through her hair while we make love or if I have to decide what we might do for a day based upon her hair.  That’s just stupid.  More importantly, I’ll damned if I’m going to pay for the upkeep of something I don’t like anyhow!

Now back to my princess who wishes she “could have long hair.”  It bothers me to no end that she feels that she is not beautiful as she is.  I’m not saying that Lauren London is not beautiful with her extensions, but I’m saying that she would still be beautiful in her natural hair. 

I don’t want my daughter to feel that she needs fake tits, fake hair, fake teeth, a new ass, or anything other than what she has been blessed with because guess what ladies and gentleman: BLACK STILL IS BEAUTIFUL JUST THE WAY IT IS!

22 thoughts on “Black Women, Black Hair, & Black Self-Hate

  1. Can I just answer the questions without being too ignorant to your article or post?
    1. Why are Black women single?
    Because they are a lesbian.
    2. Why are Black women so ugly?
    Because they forgot to put on their make-up
    3. Why are Black women so angry?
    Because their boyfriend forgot their birthday.
    4. Why are Black women so mean?
    Because they are still pissed about the birthday thing.
    5. Why are Black women so beautiful?
    Because they did actually do the make-up and also got their hair done, and a new dress.
    6. Why are Black women so rude?
    Because some other bitch tried to buy the dress first.
    7. Why are Black women so loud?
    Because they felt they were ugly earlier and thus need that goddamn dress.
    8. Why are Black women not married?
    Because they had previously been femo-lesbian, had a bf who forgot the bday so are cautious.
    9. Why are Black women losing their hair?
    Becuase that dumb arse at the hairdresser used dodgey hair products.
    10. Why are Black women unmarried?
    Because of that shit we were talking about back on number 8 -black women have good memories

    • Rock the Boat, have you ever dated a Black woman? I just wanna get that cleared up before I address your ignorant comments.

      Sundjata, you just have to make sure there’s enough balance in your daughter’s life. She just needs to be around other little Black girls outside of school to reassure her about her looks. There also needs to be an explanation of how and why the celebrities have a certain appearance. I personally don’t have the money to get my hair straightened consistently, so I looked into other hairstyles. I think if you can maintain whatever hairstyle you desire without changing your lifestyle then that is for you. And I personally see nothing wrong with weaves or extensions as long as you don’t try to pretend that you grew all that from your own roots. *coughs* Beyonce. Really as long as your daughter hears constant reminders of her own natural beauty you won’t have to worry so much. Also, explaining the scientific side of a perm helps as well as having someone describe all the drama surrounding a day at the salon.

      • Unfortunatley not. They are in short supply here! As for my ignorance; sorry -it was a (obviously) failed attempt at humour. I should know better, seems as though this is a serious political blog. I didn’t mean to take the piss out of anyone, just messing about.

        • Don’t trip. Our blog is not just political. We enjoy humor as well. I suppose yours wasn’t as easily understood as others, but when you commented on Deelishis’ body, I figured your response to the ten suggestion google offers must have been you kidding around.

  2. Yes, we look feel and are better in our natural state. Unfortunately, many of our sisters do not remember how beautiful we are with out so-called glitz, glam and lye. Sisters been hoodwinked by White media to think that we are not enough because of the lack of “reasonable”, natural images in their media. Also unfortunate that there are too many sisters willing to co-sign with the lies fed to our people that are in eye-view. Whenever we see a sister on the television, movie, etc. speaking about her hair or something it sadly sounds much like any White woman talking about the same thing. We prove that we are playing White by playing the game. Why don’t we represent?? Alfred Woodard: I would be very surprised if she wasn’t natural after she takes those ugly wigs she wears off in movies. Even if she isn’t, why can’t we leave the role at the studio? There are officially very few Black Natural Role Models. And when there was a handful they punk out on us (Jill Scott). I for one need there to be more Natural sisters on the red carpet, and walking around. Push come to shove-we will have to survey them on sight: “Do you think the skin on your head is tougher than the aluminum can in GOOD HAIR? What about your brain tissue?” If I’m wrong I’ll eat it. Peace

  3. I have a daughter as well, and I think this is just something that we have to deal with and teach our children…we are beautiful. My daughter is the only black girl in her class, but I constantly reminder her that she is beautiful and her hair is beautiful. I also educate her and tell her about the versitility of her hair – if she wants, her hair can be curly, straight, braided, twisted, puffed…what ever she desires. That makes her smile, and to me, that’s all that matters.
    As far as more black friends…I would not worry about that, it will come.

  4. Drop the hair thing. You’re making to big of a deal out of it. And stop ranting and preaching and carrying on. You’re giving me a headache. And put some makeup on! I know you don’t wear any. You women who preach about “natural hair” are just too lazy to “do” your hair OR wear makeup OR wear dresses OR get your nails done. You’re lazy but you hide behind the veil of “being natural”, then “confront” women who do these things. It’s easier to argue with women who make an effort then to run a comb through your hair or hit the gym.

    • I only hope one day you will “see”

      and when the time comes you will think about me and you will understand!

    • Your comments are “SPOT ON”! Most black women don’t wear makeup, but I believe that’s because most are clueless as to how to apply it. They weren’t taught to wear it as are other races of women. Also, black women (most) don’t wear dresses, nor skirts (which I think are femine). So, we also have an issue with BW lacking femine qualities. I think they don’t do that because “let’s be honest here” most BW don’t have what I call “nice legs”! Nor, do the overwhelming majority of BW even bother to cross their legs when they sit…even if they’re weaing pants, but especially while wearing skirts, or dresses. It’s not only unattractive, but embrassing. Your point about BW claiming to be “natural” is nothing more than thier usual sad, pathetic, and usual nonsense. What’s so natural about BW anyway? Fake hair, nails, colored contact lens, etc…now come on! You call that natural? I call it just like most BM today..just FAKE! That’s exactly why more and more BM are opting out for nonblack women…again be honest with yourself…why not get something that’s the “real deal” as opposed to something that’s fake? BM are fast discovering that self hating mindset.

  5. HI……IM 12 YEARS OLD N I HAVE TO SAY….IF SUMONE DONT LIKE THEY SKIN COLOR BECUZ THEY TO DARK OR TO LIGHT…..OR EVAN IF THEY DONT LIKE THEY HAIR BECIZ ITS TO SHORT OR TO LONG…..IT DOESNT MATTER…..U SHOULD LOVE YOUR SELF THE WAY GOD MADE U SO IF ANY BODY EVERY THINK THERE UGLY THEY NEED TO HAVE MORE SELF ESTEAM….AND THEY NEEAD TO BELEAVE IN THERE SELFS………SINCERLY….NATURAL

  6. Pingback: Black Women, Black Hair, and Black Self-Hate! « Haight68ashbury's Blog

  7. Why don’t you try “growing out” her hair? You can look information about it on the internet and with a steady regimen she can achieve long hair naturally

  8. Why not let her be the independent and strong-willed person we seek to find in all our children? The hair is but a superficial feature – let her wear it any way she wants without attaching labels to it. Long run – it is the education that matters. Look past race and into prepping her to succeed. She will thank you forever.

  9. My dear bw, you were made in the image of god, and he knew what he was doing when he made you in his image. Are you gonna follow the devil’s (2kings 5:27) image of beauty or gods, its up to you.

  10. Im mixed race…yeah..I can almost hear the ‘tsk’s’ from here in the UK. If women want to wear a weave ..fine…but please have the sense to look after what is already growing out of your head. I have black and mixed race friends who have had hair hats and their own hair is neglected, pasted in all manner or lotions and potions that is supposed to make it grow/soften/thicken ( delete as appropriate ).
    My own hair nightmare was of a so called hairdresser who I paid to put in several, by several I meant 6-8 highlighted embo ringed hair pieces in. These were little rings that get squashed to a few strands of your own hair along with some false human hair. She assured me that my own hair would be fine and in no way damaged. Hmmmm! When I looked in the mirror she had put in about 30 at the back. When I asked her to remove them most of my own hair came out too. I drove 40 miles to the closest ( and IMO best black hair dresser in the south west ) who suggested to have it cornrowed and get a hair hat! Leaving my own hair out in front and at the sides. Her advice? For hair care? Wash 3 times a week and use coconut oil as a conditioner and general moisturiser. The result 1 year later? I have my long soft hair back. Regardless of your colour or hair type, look after what you have got. Cover it it glue, tape, LFW that wont let your hair and scalp breathe is just asking for trouble.

  11. I dont know if it will help but I had two long pig tails ( braids ) when I was at primary school, you couldnt tell if my hair was wavy or super curly as the braids stretched it out.

  12. I remember when I was a young girl, me and some other girls were talking about what kinda hair we wanted. I pointed to the television at a white girl in the commercial and said, “I want hair like hers.” The mother of one of my friends said, “You will never have hair like a white girl because you are a black girl.” She was absolutely correct and I’ll never, ever forget it. What I’ve learned (now that I’m 50) is that little/young black girls can have long, healthy hair. What they can’t have is “straight as white girl hair.” Negroid hair is far different than Caucasion hair. This is a fact that black women couldn’t/still can’t come to grips with. No matter what style a woman/girl wears her hair or the products she uses, our hair will be as healthy and will grow as long as its taken care of. Maintenance is the key. If a girl/woman wears her her natural, as in no chemicals, then the product(s) should/must be for natural hair. The same goes for relaxed hair. Relaxers must be applied by someone who must have the know-how.

    For example, the singer India Ari (sp?) stated that her baldness was due to getting her hair washed before a relaxer. BIG, BIG MISTAKE! You NEVER wash hair then apply chemicals. This person had no knowledge and India suffered the consequences.

    As far as young girl hair care, the internet is a great place to start. I’ve read loads of info on products and techniques used to care for delicate hair. Your daughter’s hair should be handled the same way you’d care for a silk garment. Delicately. IMO, she’s too young for chemicals, but with the correct products her hair could be flat ironed on LOW HEAT. Lastly, your daughter may feel that she wants long hair because the girls in her school have long hair AND it looks pretty. It’s only natural for ALL girls to want pretty, long hair. But in order to achieve this, the hair must be healthy and that requires taking care of your hair. Hope this helps and I hope you two are well. Peace

    • Good article! Thank you.
      No matter how you want to shape this discussion, nevertheless at the end of the day the majority of black women have by choice continue to futher mentally “enslave” themselves with all their usual falderal in an ongoing discussion that they… just can’t win! In, all fairness they (black women) shouldn’t even have too! The core element remains …simply put, is that the majority of black women have a deep psychosis about not being white, but refuse to openly admit their deepest desire. Okay, there I said it! That’s, unfortunately something that can be witnessed on any given day as growing numbers of BW continue to immerse thenselves, and their young daughters in this “beyond strange, and utterly ridiculous ” mindset centered around hair. It’s been more than 70 years since the first “White/Black Doll Test” where black children ..between ages six and nine, both male and females overwhelmingly made their preferences to select “white dolls or black dolls”. This experiment was first performed in the 1930’s, and again most recently in New York City in 2007. The results clearly indicated that the black children overwhelming selected the white dolls for that of the black dolls! Same experiment, different time frame……sadly same results. Yes, I concur healthy hair is the primary goal. There’s really no need to saturarte one’s hair with chemical after yet more chemicals. That just promotes damage. What’s far more important here is to accept yourself for how God made you, and God don’t make mistakes, not be ashamed, or make yourselves look like clowns wearing someone else’s DNA on your head.
      I can both understand, and appreciate that Balck women desire to be pretty and beautiful…but at what price? You’ve unfortunately “by your own hand” become little more than a “laughing stock” for all women. Even other black women openly make lite of you. Lastly, if God wanted you to look like a turtle …then that’s what you’d be! But, you’re women….that hopefully desire to be LADIES, but again most BW aren’t ladies. Try working on achieving that goal, instead of your current prevailing negative images of being just another weave queens.

  13. How’s everything going with your princess’s hair? There are a few things I forgort to mention in my previous comment.

    1) Try your best to find a woman who KNOWS HOW to care for little girl’s hair. Nowadays, too many black women are to quick to put fake, packaged hair into little’s girls hair without taking care of the girl’s actual hair. Shampoo’s, conditioners, and moisturizers are available for young girls. Products such as shea butter and carrier oils are great to use on girls hair, but you don’t need to use much. A little goes a long way.

    2.) Please check the internet. Goggle something like “natural hair care,” “african-american girls hair care,” etc. Post questions on websites that cater to natural hair care. There are black women who know what you need to about caring for your daughter’s hair. And they will recommend products to use in/on her hair and answer your questions.

    Please let us know how things are going for you and your daughter.

  14. 1.) It MUST be known that black females and white females have different textures of hair. Seems has though black females really wish they had hair like white women. GET OVER IT ALREADY! It’s not gonna happen for you or your yound daughters.

    2.) Now that we have access to the internet, goggle hair care products and hair routines for young black girls. I only wish the internet was around in the 80’s. I had nobody to show me anything about how to do or what to do with mine or my daughters hair. When me and my sisters were younger, we had the funkiest-looking hair. Yuck! The female who gave birth to us didn’t think it was important to know about hair care so you can only imagine how our hair looked.

    3.) Mothers MUST LEARN how to care for their daughters hair. Knowing hair care doesn’t coe naturally so mothers have to learn then teach it to their daughters.

    4.) Mothers MUST LIKE caring for their daughters hair then when their daughters grow up, they will also like caring for their own hair. Get a routine going. Black hair needs special attention like other races of females. So, take the time to pay attention to your daughters hair needs.

    5.) Maintaning a routine is key. Check out the hair discussion boards for black women. That’s where I learned all about maintaining a routine, when to deep condition, how to condition-wash my hair, and what to do on days when I don’t wash and condition my hair. The black women on these hair boards are AWESOME! And goggle “homemade hair treatments.” These work so well for our hair that you won’t even have to buy store-bought products. I’ve been making home hair products for years. I also love dominican hair conditioners and hair masks.

    6.) IMO, little black girls don’t need fake, packaged hair braided and weaved in their hair to be pretty little girls. It’s up to mothers to stop damaging their daughters hair. Young girls need to feel pretty wearing their own hair. And the more constant care of

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s