Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Coming to Terms....

So this has just been on my mind for a while.... I really don't agree with a lot of the terms used to describe ethnic hair and just some other terms in general, here's why:

Kinky, Nappy... ( This also includes "Kitchen" and "Beady-beads")

A lot of people don't even know the words they are using to describe their own hair are offensive, besides the fact they themselves use it in a negative light.
e.g. "Damn, yo' hair is nappy!

nap·py 1  (nāp'ē)   
adj. nap·pi·er nap·pi·est 

  1. Having a nap; fuzzy: a nappy carpet
Often Offensive  Tightly curled or coiled. Used of hair.


3   [nap-ee]  Show IPA
–adjective, -pi·er, -pi·est.
covered with nap; downy.
(of hair) kinky.


  [dou-nee]  Show IPA
–adjective, down·i·er, down·i·est.
of the nature of or resembling down; fluffy; soft.
made of down.
covered with down.
soft; soothing.

For those of you who don't know, I am a licensed cosmetologist. I was highly embarrassed and infuriated while in hair school, when one day we opened the text book to learn about different hair textures and ethnic/black people's hair was referred to as "Kinky, coarse, and overly curly." No other texture was referred to as overly straight or overly wavy. As the only black person in my class, i felt the need to defend our hair in front of all the white Italians, one white Brazilian woman, and another Thai woman who didn’t even see a black person in person until coming to this country about 3 years ago.

Why not "Very curly" instead? A lot of terms and descriptions of our hair can be so negative. I also know our hair should not be boxed into this category because black/ethnic people from different places all over the world have such different hair, not to mention that fact that most of us have mixed hair types. Some people's hair can be tightly coiled but very fine, soft and silky, just like you can have straight or wavy hair that feels very coarse and kinky as well. I know many black people with silky curls and coarse curls of all shapes and sizes and we should not be boxed into that.

BC also know The BIG CHOP!!!

To me, for those who are deciding to go natural and are cutting their hair really low, it would just sound scary to me if someone told me they were getting a BIG CHOP! I would be like, "BIG CHOP? OMG! That sounds scary!!!" lol I'm sure if a person who had no idea of natural hair and the different labels we give things heard you describe a haircut as the BIG CHOP it would sound like something negative to them too. 
There are so many terms and sayings to describe our hair in a negative way. I think we could have found a better name to call the BC, something that sounds more positive and the beautiful to describe this meaningful and often very emotional/spiritual event. It takes a strong woman to decide to cut her hair down low or short and wear it that with pride and confidence, so i commend you all who have.

Another thing i can't stand about the whole BIG CHOP thing, is when people trim like 3 inches off their way past shoulder length hair and then call it a BIG CHOP.... i just don't see how they would think that is a BC, correct me if im wrong but BC to me just sounds like you're doing something really drastic like shaving your head or cutting your hair down to a TWA. I understand the whole finally going from transitioning to completely natural thing, but if your hair is 80% natural and 20% percent relaxed ends, that's called a trim to me.

I have gone from relaxed to natural at least 4 times, cutting all the perm off instead of transitioning twice.
It felt great to finally part with my relaxed ends and come to peace with my natural hair.

These are just some of my thoughts and feelings, 
no offense is meant for any one person or group.
SP :)

1 comment:

  1. I am against the nappy term, "taking it back to make it ours" rings tru to the whole n-word situation so I don't know why people do that...


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