Thursday, August 11, 2011

Being Natural DOES NOT Mean You're Enlightened

I'll admit that I am one of those folks who believe that for women of color, specifically black women, hair isn't just hair. It's a statement. It means something. As much as we wish that it didn't, our hair evokes questions, demands, anger, happiness, relief, explanations, and dismissal. It can shame our family, or show pride in them. Hair isn't just hair and that's a fact.

What I've come to be even more shell-shocked about is the belief that naturals are better. When first scouring the online natural hair community I suddenly felt like I belonged somewhere. Naturalistas seemed non-judgemental, they came in all shades, textures and walks of life. I felt "virtually" accepted by folks who only knew my by my online name and hair texture. Little by little I opened up and people reciprocated. It felt great. But not everything is rosy. Not everything is well. Naturals are people first (duh) and have their own values and beliefs. In a lot of ways my feelings started getting hurt and I've been slowly shying away, because the natural hair world isn't the safe space I thought it would be. I don't expect everyone to ever agree on everything, and no one should have to bare the responsibility of representing for an entire group of people but the negativity has really been taking a toll on me and my journey.

I dislike the hair hierarchies we have. I don't really deal with the hair-typing system for two reasons: the first being it doesn't really explain anything to me about how the hair functions, and the second is that it seems to have created a division amongst naturals who say things like "Only type 4's struggle, type 3s have it easier and can't really complain" or discouraging the "type 4's" from having great hair because they feel their hair type is the worst ever. I'm sick of the natural hair police determining for someone else whether they are natural or not because they color their hair or straighten it. I don't like the snobby attitudes about products and the philosophies of others. Sometimes the ideological differences do bother me, not because of the belief but how it's used to again, separate people and it hurts.

I don't know if others have felt this way, but honestly right now I only feel safe on my own blog space. I've been posting on the forums and a couple of blogs I'm comfortable with, but overall I'm discouraged and dismayed. I'm not trying to be negative which is why I have stopped short of naming the certain instances that led me to rant write about all this, but I'm hoping that this little blog with a handful of readers is at least welcoming to others. *Sigh*


  1. What a shame, yeah I learned to since sporting my natural mane for a year, that all blogs aren't so natural hair friendly. I shyed away from certain Youtubers and blogs due to their 'self righteous natuarl hair attitudes'. I enjoy your blog! This 'ole girl is learning alot from you young ladies! Your little blog is very welcoming.

  2. @Ang thanks so much! We really appreciate everyone who follows us, comments, and browses.

  3. Thank you Ang!
    CFC - I totally understand and can agree with your frustration when it comes to naturals who are no better than everyone else in the world patronizing and taunting us about our natural hair. I hope our blog can continue to be a happy place for naturals, judgment free.

  4. It's sad that as the number of blogs increase so does the division. I'm with Ang, I have started avoiding certain bloggers/vloggers because of comments made. I recently unfollowed a blogger on twitter because her pro-natural hair stance led her to singling out and bashing a certain ethnic group. I just can't be a part of such ignorance


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