How To Deal With Ignorant, Hateful Family Members

Hello, I'm a 17 year old Moroccan girl, who lives in the U.S. I've had curly hair all my life but I only started to embrace and take care of it 3 years ago, when I was 14. Typically, my parents do not comment on my hair, even though they clearly dislike it. My father will attempt to persuade me to straighten my hair and will only compliment me when it is straightened. My mom ever now and then will compliment my curly hair, but it is not on the same level (in her mind) to straight hair and consistently tries to get me to straighten it or blow it out. I have told them I love my curly hair and I wouldn't trade it for straight hair ever, and they have started to respect my opinion. However, we decided to spend the summer in Morocco with relatives, ever seen then I have been berated with insults and statements about my hair not only from them but my entire family who is engulfed in their anti-blackness and ignorance. (Ironic since we are African ha)
"Why is your hair curly? You used to have such nice hair you completely ruined it."
"You look so much better with straight hair."
"You look hideous."
"Why do you wanna look black? You're a n***** lover." (I profusely apologize for this one)
"You need to fix your hair."

I don't know if I can take this anymore, I'm afraid I'm going to snap but I absolutely hated myself for years because of my hair and I love myself too much to let myself be insulted and hated. Any advice? Thank yall sm for reading :)

Comments

  • Ann.MarieAnn.Marie Registered Users Posts: 4
    It sounds like you're in an awful situation because these are your own family members and they are "anti-themselves." I grew up in a household where my father also hated being black so, as a biracial person, I grew up with very negative messages about myself. I will never understand that mindset but I applaud you for recognizing that their identity beliefs and values are not necessarily yours and you're only 17. That's a good thing. It took me decades to begin to overcome the negative way I felt about my own identity. I wish you the best. Continue to be yourself and to recognize that others ill be who they are as well.
  • Jessica.WileJessica.Wile Registered Users Posts: 74
    Wowwww! Couldn't be me. I'd tell them all to have a seat and to kiss my and THEIR black a**es. Where's the unconditional love??? If I can't be me at home, what kind of message is that? They'd all just have to hate me. I love me and that's good enough. That's just crazy.

    It's sad to think there's strangers that accept your appearance more than your own family. They CREATED that appearance...how can they hate it? Mind blown.

    I wish I had an answer for you. I don't think they'll change. You can ignore them or eventually disown them. They don't hate you, they hate themselves. Don't get it confused. It's their personal problem, not yours to resolve.
  • AlmaPetraAlmaPetra Registered Users Posts: 104 Curl Neophyte
    Wow in your place, I would look them in the eye then make it clear that I don't want to hear a single negative word about my hair from this moment on, because:
    - I love it
    - People all over the world love it
    - It's God's creation and God's gift
    - This is obviously their genes whether they like it or not
    - It's mean of them to insult both your person and to insult an entire human race. You can use Islamic rhetoric: فليقل خيراً أو ليصمت، إن أكرمكم عند الله أتقاكم، لا فرق لعربي على عجمي إلا بالتقوى إلخ

    You are young but I think that you can still put an end to this mess by being strong and a bit harsh.

    And then I'd flaunt my curly hair around while they watch me speechless.

    Good luck. Just be safe while there. And never give up on loving yourself and your hair :)
    4a/4b, highly porous, fine hair.

    Co-wash: DevaCurl No Poo Decadence, AIA Long and Luxe Cowash
    Leave-in: KCKT, Soultanicals Knot Sauce
    Stylers: UFDCM, WLXG

    SL - APL - BSL - MBL - WL - TBL
  • curlyamarylliscurlyamaryllis Registered Users Posts: 338 Curl Connoisseur
    I train people like I train my dog (though dogs learn faster, lol), I reward what I like and ignore what I don't. You stay polite, I respond to you, you get rude, bigoted and hateful, I don't respond. You'd be surprised how quickly people stop trying when you react with nothing more than silence and a quiet refusal to recognize that they've even spoken.
    CG since May 1, 2016
    3a, fine, thin, normal porosity, no dye, greying naturally
    Devacurl Weightless Waves Low Poo & Conditioner, B'Leave-in and Ultra Defining Gel
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    at home gelatin PT
    Hask Argan Oil Deep Conditioner
  • rbbrbb Registered Users Posts: 4,356 Curl Connoisseur
    i agree with ^. silence is extremely powerful. the words the other person said just hang in the air, making them look as bad as their words are.

    3a, some 2c & 3b, medium texture, porosity normal, low elasticity :-(
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  • wavydazewavydaze Registered Users Posts: 2,065 Curl Novice
    You can honestly write a letter to them (probably will be worth your time to the family members you see most) stating:

    1. What they said
    2. How it made you feel at the time
    3. How it affects you now
    4. What you need from them going forward

    (Ex. When you insulted my curly hair I felt angry/sad/annoyed/helpless. I worked hard toward self-acceptance and I feel like you're making me backtrack. I'm still feel angry about it now and insecure. IF you wouldn't want me to accept insults from others, why are you so busy insulting me yourself? I'm also appalled by the anti-black statements you're making. I need you to stop insulting my hair. My appearance is off-limits as a conversation point. I need you to reconsider where your anti-blackness is coming from and work toward unlearning it. I need.... etc etc. you get the point. Make it your own!)

    You can write it out and send it to them or read it/tell them in person. You have the power here. Basically, if they want you in their lives, they're going to need to respect you. Don't be afraid of boundaries. Some things are off-limits in any relationship including familial, like insults toward your hair (or insults/verbal abuse in general) and anti-black statements. Susan Forward's books have a lot of great resources on this topic.

    Good luck!
    2bc/ f / ii. low porosity roots + normal-high porosity shaft where bleached. normal elasticity.

    Currently using:
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    :thumright: hydrolized protein, jelly stylers
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    Neutral on cones.

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  • MorrisonFan91MorrisonFan91 Registered Users Posts: 609 Curl Connoisseur
    Hello, I'm a 17 year old Moroccan girl, who lives in the U.S. I've had curly hair all my life but I only started to embrace and take care of it 3 years ago, when I was 14. Typically, my parents do not comment on my hair, even though they clearly dislike it. My father will attempt to persuade me to straighten my hair and will only compliment me when it is straightened. My mom ever now and then will compliment my curly hair, but it is not on the same level (in her mind) to straight hair and consistently tries to get me to straighten it or blow it out. I have told them I love my curly hair and I wouldn't trade it for straight hair ever, and they have started to respect my opinion. However, we decided to spend the summer in Morocco with relatives, ever seen then I have been berated with insults and statements about my hair not only from them but my entire family who is engulfed in their anti-blackness and ignorance. (Ironic since we are African ha)
    "Why is your hair curly? You used to have such nice hair you completely ruined it."
    "You look so much better with straight hair."
    "You look hideous."
    "Why do you wanna look black? You're a n***** lover." (I profusely apologize for this one)
    "You need to fix your hair."

    I don't know if I can take this anymore, I'm afraid I'm going to snap but I absolutely hated myself for years because of my hair and I love myself too much to let myself be insulted and hated. Any advice? Thank yall sm for reading :)


    hey, sarah. welcome!! :)

    if you need someone to listen and vent to, i have relatives who also make hateful comments about my embracing my curls and waves .
    actually having to grow back to full potential because of that
  • marleenymarleeny Registered Users Posts: 10
    I'm so glad you embrace yourself, no matter their negative comments. Unfortunately, I know what it is to be told, "You look better when you have your hair straight..." It's terrible. Those kind of comments made me STOP straightening my hair. Hair is beautiful in every way, but when you are told you look better by changing into someone your'e not, then it just messes you up inside...with anger mostly. I never really straightened my hair often in the first place, but after receiving comments like that the times that I would straighten it, I pretty much stopped it entirely. And guess what? It felt great and continues to. It felt like I was giving a big F you to everyone. hahaha, because I was being me no matter what they wanted to see me look like.

    So keep rocking your beautiful hair. Being natural is being who you are. Whether you want to wear it up in a bun, in a ponytail, or wear it down, you flaunt that beauty with pride. To me, that's what worked. Making that statement says it all. It says "I don't care what you think. Deal with it, cuz it's here to stay..it is who I am."
  • sdkittysdkitty Registered Users Posts: 360 Curl Novice
    it's a shame your family is so filled with self-hate
    Reminds me of a woman my MIL used to talk about. She was Filipino, married to a white guy. She didn't want to allow her small children to play outside because they might get darker from the sun.

    I agree with the others. Just tell your family your love your hair and you're proud of it.
  • naturecatnaturecat Registered Users Posts: 1,986 Curl Neophyte
    I'm so sorry you have to deal with this. You sound like someone with a strong sense of self, to be aware where the root of what they say comes (self hate) from at such a young age. I agree with what the others have said, saying something like, "I like my hair, and I wear it for myself, not for other people." Or the silence thing if you don't want to address it head on, but it sounds like it would be best head-on so it doesn't fester.

    3A/f/i
    Super baby fine hair, low porosity
    Shampoos: SM Fruit Fusion (mostly), Avalon lemon (to clarify). Occasional aloe vera and glycerin to wash.
    Stylers: Intelligent Nutrients Perfect Hold Hairspray
    Treatments: Catnip tea, IA girl's PT, Fermented Rice Water, Catnip Tea, Amla tea, Irish Moss, SS PT
  • AngelaE9999AngelaE9999 Registered Users Posts: 132 Curl Novice
    I'll bet your hair is beautiful. I think black women have some of the prettiest hair in the entire world; when they say those things to you, you can think to yourself that being compared is extremely fortunate.

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