CurlTalk

Curl Stigma and Being Jewish

PeacewmnPeacewmn Posts: 3Registered Users
I hope I don't offend anyone out there who is Jewish (I am Jewish by the way) but my relatives get very upset when I wear my hair natural and curly. It is as if I look more Jewish that way---dark eyes abd curly dark hair. Does this response come from the need to blend into the mainstream---maybe even for safety reasons going back centuries? Has anyone else experienced this???
How do I decide between Ouidad or Devachan salons for a cut?
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Comments

  • multicolorcurlsmulticolorcurls Posts: 85Registered Users
    I personally think its less because it makes you look 'more Jewish' (I am myself and I don't think I look more Jewish with curly rather than straight) and more just not liking curly hair. There've been a bunch of threads over time where people just don't like curly hair. Maybe it's because it isn't 'expected' and they don't like that, or because it's more 'wild', whatever, I think it has more to do with that than religon/culture/whatever.
  • spiderlashes5000spiderlashes5000 Posts: 17,495Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    *I'm not Jewish*

    I did notice that there were several Jewish women interviewed in Massey's CG book...they all seemed to mention their Jewish identity in relation to their curly hair...and (if I recall) none seemed to really love being curly-haired.

    Maybe it's the 'too ethnic' thing many ethnic Whites feel.

  • moisturemaniacmoisturemaniac Posts: 51Registered Users
    My Mom is Jewish and my Dad Catholic
    However, my mom's hair is STICK strraight and black naturally. I get my curls (dark brown) from my Catholic, red-headed father. So, even though I have noticed a lot of jewish women with curly hair, I've seen just as many with straight. I agree with Mulitcolorcurls. I think straight hair is just more accepted. Oh well. :roll:
    Have finally figured out I am a 3A! VERY fine strands. CG since 7/05!
  • DancingbadgerDancingbadger Posts: 136Registered Users
    I think it is about "passing" so to speak. No one wants to look "ethnic." (except me apparently :lol: )

    I grew up in Albany, NY. A city that was mostly Italian, Irish, Afro-Am and Jewish. When I was growing up I pretty much looked like everyone else and most people who didn't know me assumed I was a little Catholic Italian girl. (like everyone else)

    When I went to college in Wisconsin, the ethnic makeup was very different, suddenly I was shorter, darker and people who didn't know me often guessed that I was Jewish. (except two times when I was asked if I was Puerto Rican and Persian by a Puerto Rican and a Persian respectively.) I thought this was interesting, in Albany I blended in no problem, but in Wisconsin I stuck out. Many of the other Jewish women I met (who were out of state students from NYC burbs and Chicago) dyed and straightened their hair to the point of damage.

    I think that Jews have definite issues about "looking Jewish." Don't get me started on the term....

    BTW check out the thread on the General Board about the Genetics of Hair Texture. There was an offshoot about Jews on there. (my fault) :lol:
    My hair is a mix of 2b/3a and even a bit of 3b thrown in! I would call my hair wavycelli. It curls most when I leave it alone after wet scrunching. My hair has a spring factor of about 2 or 3 inches and has a very silky, medium texture.
  • SuZenSuZen Posts: 1,595Registered Users
    I'm not Jewish. But I live in an area where there lots of Jewish people, and I have Jewish friends. Most of them have curly hair of some degree, and nearly all straighten their hair. That's not so different from curlies of other origins, who also mostly straighten. Maybe it's as much to be in fashion as to not look Jewish, I don't know.

    I'm not in an Orthodox area, but the Orthodox women wear wigs, right? So I guess they can have any kind of hair they want.
  • CurlEEEECurlEEEE Posts: 308Registered Users
    I am Jewish (although not super religious) and never thought of straigtening my hair because of it. I don't even relate it to my hair at all. If I want it straight I make it straight. If I want to wear it curly I wear it curly. It totally has nothing to do with being Jewish as far as I am concerned. Although, I am sure for some people it does...
    3A/3B (not really sure)/No Shampoo/Conditioner Only/Honey/Aussie Volumizer+condish/Biolage Gel/Plop/Diffuse/Spritz of Bed Head Maxxed Out
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  • MipMip Posts: 233Registered Users
    I have Jewish ancestry and have been told I look Jewish. While I hated my hair when I was younger, I've now learnt how to style it and I love it.
  • HaNeulHaNeul Posts: 3Registered Users
    Can anyone explain to me how someone can 'look Jewish'? 'Jewish' is the name of different ethnic groups scattered all over the world with a distinct 'religion'. I didnt know there was a 'standard' in being Jewish....or are we talking about the Jewish people in the US?
    theedraakje

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  • funkymunkycurlfunkymunkycurl Posts: 83Registered Users
    I personally think that we get too hung up on race and ethnicity. I think it's sad that so many of us change the way we look to make those around us comfortable. I think the only reason to change your looks is to please yourself. I consider myself to be a Hispanic woman. However, I would say that my ancestry is European in general since I am a mix of Irish, French, and Spanish, as well as Mexican and Native American. All the time people ask if I am Jewish or Greek. But the bottom line is that I know who I am, and I LOVE myself in spite of what others think about my appearance. I love that I look so ethnic and I wouldn't change it for anyone.[/i]
    Formerly known as colomunky.
  • eternalsunshineeternalsunshine Posts: 8Registered Users
    when people say a woman Looks Jewish they mean more or less this: that she has pale or olive skin, dark, curly hair, a larger than average nose, a full mouth, and a curvacious body. Not always ALL of these things, but the curly hair and the nose are big on the list. I am Jewish and I am sometimes mistaken for other ethnicities, such as Italian and occasionally Puerto Rican. (Puerto Rican only after dark -- I'm way too pale to really pull that one off).

    It is difficult for many American Jews and non-Jews living now to understand anti-Semitism, because it is not as prevalent as it once was, especially in progressive, metropolitan areas. In fact, it baffles me. I have a hard time wrapping my mind around it. Yet my mother was tortured for looking and being Jewish throughout her childhood, and my father was a holocaust survivor. So these things are real, and being identified as Jewish has proven very dangerous for many people.

    That said, I am proud of my heritage and I love having curly hair. I don't really love the halo of frizz, but hopefully I will find products that eradicate that! My mother raised me to love and appreciate my curls. I have gotten them blown out a grand total of twice in my life, both times as a novelty.

    So when people compliment me on my hair, I say thank you. When people tell me I look Jewish, I say thank you to that as well.
  • eternalsunshineeternalsunshine Posts: 8Registered Users
    sorry, double post!
  • mermaidhair02mermaidhair02 Posts: 15Registered Users
    i get my curls from my dad's side of the family - all Jewish. I celebrate them as part of my heritage. Personally I think I look more Jewish when I wear it curly, although I haven't straightened for a long time. I am very proud of my Jewish identity and I do associate my curls with that, so I love my curls :)
    modified cg - type 3a
  • mermaidhair02mermaidhair02 Posts: 15Registered Users
    When people tell me I look Jewish, I say thank you to that as well.

    I agree....I take that as a compliment also :D
    modified cg - type 3a
  • banjocurlbanjocurl Posts: 1,020Registered Users
    When people tell me I look Jewish, I say thank you to that as well.

    I agree....I take that as a compliment also :D

    right on sisters!! people used to say i looked swedish when i bleached and ironed my hair. no more. my semitic ancestry is showing thru now!!! i was the only curly in my group of high school friends. also one of 2 jewish girls-the other was a straightie tho. we grew up in waspland usa. jews could not move into certain areas. it was BAD.
    Susan suburban NY
    3b going gray, not thick, waist length when wet, a bit below shoulders when dry
    CG since 11/11/04
    /home/leaving?target=http%3A%2F%2Fpublic.fotki.com%2Fbanjolady%2F" class="Popup
    PW: banjo
    HG: suave and honey for co-wash, deva, i use garnier fructis regular CO's or boots pink or white as leave ins and LA looks sport gel. plop w microfiber turban, then curl towel scrunch, then another turban.i sleep with the turban on. little one minute hair styling videos /home/leaving?target=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fuser%2Flazycurls" class="Popup
  • sixelasixela Posts: 18Registered Users
    [I teach in a high school with a high proportion of jewish people. I'd say 8 out of 10 of the jewish girls have their hair "japanese straightened"...I want to shake them and tell them how beautiful their curls are--one day, they'll get the idea, i hope....


    quote="spiderlashes5000"]*I'm not Jewish*

    I did notice that there were several Jewish women interviewed in Massey's CG book...they all seemed to mention their Jewish identity in relation to their curly hair...and (if I recall) none seemed to really love being curly-haired.

    Maybe it's the 'too ethnic' thing many ethnic Whites feel.[/quote]
    Super crazy uber thick, ringlets below, flat on top middle eastern hair
  • lenakamuralenakamura Posts: 3Registered Users
    I have very curly/frizzy dark blonde hair. I'm not Jewish, and one of the first ways I learned about anti-Semitism and about how conflicted some Jewish women feel about curly hair was when I was 13 and living briefly on the East Coast. In the first week of classes at my new school I was teased relentlessly about having "frizzy Jew-hair". I was hurt but also baffled, I'd never heard of such a thing. It got even more complicated when students who were Jewish assumed that I was Jewish because my hair was so curly. I thought they would like my hair, but instead they were some of the nastiest teasers, nagging me to "do something" about my hair.

    It was bad enough to be a curly growing up, I can't imagine how much worse it is when your hair makes you a target for racism and religious bigotry.
  • betweenshadesbetweenshades Posts: 130Registered Users
    I feel very lucky then- a lot of the Jewish girls at my school wore their curls with pride and love. So, my hair wasn't all that unusual. I got most of the flack from my mom's friends and people here on the east coast when I moved here.

    It's so sad. It's HAIR. It was put there without anyone's opinion in the matter and how it grows out of your head should be a moot point.
    Sarah - 3B/C, CG since 11/25/05

    DevaCurl and Jessicurl rock my hair care world.

    My Hair Journal

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  • banjocurlbanjocurl Posts: 1,020Registered Users
    I feel very lucky then- a lot of the Jewish girls at my school wore their curls with pride and love. So, my hair wasn't all that unusual. I got most of the flack from my mom's friends and people here on the east coast when I moved here.

    It's so sad. It's HAIR. It was put there without anyone's opinion in the matter and how it grows out of your head should be a moot point.

    might be generational. when i was growing up, NOBODY wore their hair curly unless they just could not do anything about it. now i see curls all over the place--it is very nice to see.
    Susan suburban NY
    3b going gray, not thick, waist length when wet, a bit below shoulders when dry
    CG since 11/11/04
    /home/leaving?target=http%3A%2F%2Fpublic.fotki.com%2Fbanjolady%2F" class="Popup
    PW: banjo
    HG: suave and honey for co-wash, deva, i use garnier fructis regular CO's or boots pink or white as leave ins and LA looks sport gel. plop w microfiber turban, then curl towel scrunch, then another turban.i sleep with the turban on. little one minute hair styling videos /home/leaving?target=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fuser%2Flazycurls" class="Popup
  • MerriMerri Posts: 160Registered Users
    the Jews over the centuries. I am and I grew up with survivors of the holocaust and although I married a catholic man and raising my son christian due to the fact that he has half brothers , the stories I heard as a child and young adult are terrifying that people hate you just because of your heritage! It still happens in this world and its wrong. People often resist their heritage coming to this country to fit in and succeed and not to face prejudice. My maiden name was not "jewish" sounding so i've heard many comments not intended for Jews to hear. There is a lot of prejudice. I imagine part of the reason Lorraine had some Jewish women in her book is because her salon is in nyc where there is a large jewish population. I didn't straighten mine for that reason. I was the only woman in 2 generations of my family that wanted it long. My aunt whose hair is probably curlier always wore it short so I just didn't know what to do but this place I have learned so much, I prefer curly now. I feel special. I think curly is often perceived as less neat but you can pull it back, or if styled well, good cut it doesn't have to look out of control depending on your type. Here is to a more open minded world.
    Deciding what to be when I grow up!!!
    Mostly a 3b with thick, dry, frizzy hair. Using Jessicurl CC, re:coil, jessicurl conditioners and Elucence and Curl Junkie
  • rosyCurlsrosyCurls Posts: 50Registered Users
    I'm of Jewish descent (among many other things!), I have dark curly hair and I am often times asked about my ethnic background. My dad's family came out of Germany in the 1860s, and they converted to Christianity once they arrived in America. Through the years, a lot of "watering down" occured in his family-- the typical Caucasion "Well, I'm Irish and Italian and French with a little bit of Scottish." Curly hair was always dominant though, and occasionally a very Jewish looking person would pop up in the family. I guess things got mixed up even more when my parents married. My mother's family is Hispanic, a mixture of Spanish and American Indian (they all have stick straight, black hair.) In a nutshell, I look like a very tanned Jew with an Indian nose. lol
    2c/3a...very thin and fine... Modified CG (I co-wash everyday)

    Suave Naturals Lavender Conditioner
    LA Looks Sport Gel
    Honey
  • sweetpeacurlisweetpeacurli Posts: 343Registered Users
    I LOL'd a little while reading this thread... my family is offended when I straighten. Everyone has curly hair in my gene pool, so if I straighten they feel like I'm rejecting the family!
    Sulfate and Silicone-free since 2005
    CO-wash convert since October 2010
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    Twitter: @sweetpeacurli

    Currently loving:
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  • Pearl BubblegumPearl Bubblegum Posts: 1Registered Users
    I have Jewish hair. Sometimes I get hassled about it. Not too much.
    akisslil2.jpg[/img]
  • FrizzyJenFrizzyJen Posts: 22Registered Users
    I defenitely inherited my father's jew-fro. :)
    3b/c, short now-growing it out
  • prolixprolix Posts: 14Registered Users
    FrizzyJen wrote:
    I defenitely inherited my father's jew-fro. :)

    Oh, man, the jew-fro. I rocked it from about ages 7 to 10.

    As much as I loathed it on myself, that's how much I love it on boys to this very day.
    Stylist: Chai @ Dirty Little Secret
    Products: OneC, Angell, Suave Naturals Lavender with extra honey added (for co-washes)
    My hair: layered shoulder-length 3b
  • FloatyTheFishFloatyTheFish Posts: 136Registered Users
    A friend of mine makes fun of me when i wear my hair up. She says I look like a hasidic jewish woman. You know with the curlies in front of the ears? :roll: I am not jewish by the way.
    Hair Type: 3a/b/c
  • banjocurlbanjocurl Posts: 1,020Registered Users
    A friend of mine makes fun of me when i wear my hair up. She says I look like a hasidic jewish woman. You know with the curlies in front of the ears? :roll: I am not jewish by the way.

    your so called friend is clueless. actually it is the hasidic MEN that wear the curlies in front of the ears, the women wear wigs or kerchiefs covering ALL their hair. the sidecurls are called "payess" and have religious significance.
    Susan suburban NY
    3b going gray, not thick, waist length when wet, a bit below shoulders when dry
    CG since 11/11/04
    /home/leaving?target=http%3A%2F%2Fpublic.fotki.com%2Fbanjolady%2F" class="Popup
    PW: banjo
    HG: suave and honey for co-wash, deva, i use garnier fructis regular CO's or boots pink or white as leave ins and LA looks sport gel. plop w microfiber turban, then curl towel scrunch, then another turban.i sleep with the turban on. little one minute hair styling videos /home/leaving?target=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fuser%2Flazycurls" class="Popup
  • EilonwyEilonwy Posts: 12,389Registered Users
    1. Banjocurl's right about the forelocks. Those are curled with curling irons, BTW, in order to make them shorter (since observant Jews don't cut them). It doesn't have to do with natural hair texture.

    2. I'm Jewish with olive skin and dark, curly hair, but the two are not related. A portion of my dad's side of the family is Iberian/Turkish/Morrocan, and that seems to be what I've inherited. Accordingly, most people guess that I'm Latina/Catholic, or Arab or Persian/Muslim. My brother has extremely pale skin, straight sandy hair, blue eyes, and freckles. People never believe that we're related.

    The problem with saying that people "look Jewish" is that it promotes stereotypes of ugliness/deformity, and of clannishness--that there are no ethnically Asian Jews, for example. Plus, there are a lot of different acenstrally Jewish ethnicities. It certainly doesn't mean that you're anti-Semitic, but it's like complimenting a Black woman for "being so articulate." At the same time, I'm not gonna contradict anyone for saying that Jerry Seinfeld looks Jewish.

    3. It has never occurred to me to "pass." Being Jewish and being a quivering ball of angst are not genetically related, either :D
  • FloatyTheFishFloatyTheFish Posts: 136Registered Users
    Thanks for the info Eilonwy and banjocurl. I will relay the information back to my friend.
    Hair Type: 3a/b/c
  • banjocurlbanjocurl Posts: 1,020Registered Users
    Eilonwy wrote:
    3. It has never occurred to me to "pass." Being Jewish and being a quivering ball of angst are not genetically related, either :D

    maybe not, but there sure is a large correlation--just ask Woody Allen :)
    Susan suburban NY
    3b going gray, not thick, waist length when wet, a bit below shoulders when dry
    CG since 11/11/04
    /home/leaving?target=http%3A%2F%2Fpublic.fotki.com%2Fbanjolady%2F" class="Popup
    PW: banjo
    HG: suave and honey for co-wash, deva, i use garnier fructis regular CO's or boots pink or white as leave ins and LA looks sport gel. plop w microfiber turban, then curl towel scrunch, then another turban.i sleep with the turban on. little one minute hair styling videos /home/leaving?target=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fuser%2Flazycurls" class="Popup
  • katethegreatkatethegreat Posts: 801Registered Users
    I have a Jewish friend who has the most beautiful thick, dark brown, curly hair. Unfortunately, she spends a ridiculous amount of time straightening it every day. I always bug her about this, but she remains in denial. Just thought I'd share...
    "Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate, but that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us."
    -Marianne Williamson
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