Curl Stigma and Being Jewish

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  • curlypearlcurlypearl Posts: 12,158Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    Is your real hair the picture in the middle? Very pretty curls. :profileleft:
    2/c Coarse hair med. density.
    Highly porous. Color over grey.
    I love all the Curl Junkie products. Still experimenting with gels and curl creams. Still hoping for 2nd day hair....
    Every day is a gift :flower:
  • BlackAngelPlayahBlackAngelPlayah Posts: 1,419Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    SAB5748 wrote: »
    As an Orthodox Jewish married woman, I cover my hair with a scarf, hat, or wig in the presence of any men other than my father, brother, husband (or theoretically grandfather or sons, I just don't have any!). Most married woman have 1-3 wigs depending on how often they plan to wear "hair" vs. scarves (daily, for the Sabbath, for special occasions, just for work, etc)- and almost every one of my "curly" friends has gone stick-straight!

    I actually see a different side of the self-perceived "stigma":
    I spent 20 years learning to love my hair, and refused to buy a straight wig- but some friends think the straight wigs are just "easier" to deal with. (Funny, because I care for my own wigs; they all send them to a stylist every few weeks for a $30 wash and set...).
    In other circles, curly hair is considered unkempt and immodest- usually because of a cycle in which no one knows how to care for the hair, so they just brush it and yank it into a ponytail or braid, and it frizzes up like the kid stuck their finger in an electrical socket, and round and round we go! Once these kids grow up hearing about how their hair is so "messy" and "inappropriate", they all run at the chance to wear a straight wig!

    Just for the record, the photos below are my hair and my wig.

    Unkept my BUTT! Your hair is prettier than your wig!!
    :afro:FroZen:afro:
  • SAB5748SAB5748 Posts: 7Registered Users
    curlypearl wrote: »
    Is your real hair the picture in the middle? Very pretty curls. :profileleft:
    Thanks! I love when people have to ask...
  • SAB5748SAB5748 Posts: 7Registered Users
    SAB5748 wrote: »
    As an Orthodox Jewish married woman, I cover my hair with a scarf, hat, or wig in the presence of any men other than my father, brother, husband (or theoretically grandfather or sons, I just don't have any!). Most married woman have 1-3 wigs depending on how often they plan to wear "hair" vs. scarves (daily, for the Sabbath, for special occasions, just for work, etc)- and almost every one of my "curly" friends has gone stick-straight!

    I actually see a different side of the self-perceived "stigma":
    I spent 20 years learning to love my hair, and refused to buy a straight wig- but some friends think the straight wigs are just "easier" to deal with. (Funny, because I care for my own wigs; they all send them to a stylist every few weeks for a $30 wash and set...).
    In other circles, curly hair is considered unkempt and immodest- usually because of a cycle in which no one knows how to care for the hair, so they just brush it and yank it into a ponytail or braid, and it frizzes up like the kid stuck their finger in an electrical socket, and round and round we go! Once these kids grow up hearing about how their hair is so "messy" and "inappropriate", they all run at the chance to wear a straight wig!

    Just for the record, the photos below are my hair and my wig.

    Unkept my BUTT! Your hair is prettier than your wig!!
    I've found several good curly wigmakers and keep telling people about them, and I've been "educating" relatives (and random people in the neighborhood) about caring for curly hair for years...hopefully it'll make a bit of an impact and eventually, they'll embrace their curls!
  • PookarinaPookarina Posts: 69Registered Users
    My college boyfriend was quite proud of his Curly Russian Jewish locks and was CG in the sixties!,
  • yossarianyossarian Posts: 967Registered Users
    Pookarina wrote: »
    My college boyfriend was quite proud of his Curly Russian Jewish locks and was CG in the sixties!,

    I have visions of Treat Williams as Berger in the movie Hair, with appropriately long, gorgeous curly hair :love7:
    When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace. - Jimi
    2c/3a, BSL, medium, low porosity
    Low-poo: Bobeam and CV poo bars; Acure Argan Oil & Stem Cell
    Conditioner: Acure Argan Oil & Stem Cell; Desert Essence Shea
    Stylers: Sweet Curls Elixir Curl Cream; SM CES
    PT: BASK Whiskey Soak
  • GroYoFroGroYoFro Posts: 237Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    curlypearl wrote: »
    Is your real hair the picture in the middle? Very pretty curls. :profileleft:

    ^^ I second that!
    "Life is too short to keep your hair short"

    Click here to visit - GRO YO FRO!
  • adthomasadthomas Posts: 5,525Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    They are all beautiful but I can see the middle one is clearly your real hair. I can tell the other two are wigs by how the part falls at the top. Mine does the same thing sometmes. I found that brushing my wig before I put it on my head makes the part fall in a more natural looking way
    Yes, it's real. No, you can't touch it. :wav:
  • GroYoFroGroYoFro Posts: 237Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    Speaking of being Jewish, I'm going to Israel for Birthright this Saturday : )!! You know what I am going to wear?? GRO YO FRO t-shirts every single day : ) i've already got 10 of them made in different colors... I have to support the movement where ever I go, if you know what I mean!! :iconbiggrin:
    "Life is too short to keep your hair short"

    Click here to visit - GRO YO FRO!
  • curlicious13curlicious13 Posts: 1,632Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    While I'm not directly Jewish, I have Jewish roots. I think the stigma about curly hair isn't just in the Jewish community but the African American community as well. My mom does not like that I wear my hair curly. She always says that my hair looks better straight. What she doesn't realize is that my hair is healthier since I've stopped pressing my hair. I think it's because as black people, we have been conditioned to keep out hair straight.
  • CurlyGrey3CurlyGrey3 Posts: 508Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    .
    Salt & pepper wavy mix 2B/2C
    Low to normal porosity, coarse, kinky, normal elasticity
    Current favorites:
    Low poo: Yes To Cukes Color Protection (the no sulfate one)
    Conditioners: Renpure MPHIP, CJ Smoothing Lotion, AB LI, CJ Curl Rehab, CJ Argan/Olive, Darcy's Pumpkin
    Style: FSG, BRHG
    Pre-poo/DT: Conditioner with honey & coconut oil

    iHerb discount code: PNQ285
  • yossarianyossarian Posts: 967Registered Users
    GroYoFro wrote: »
    Speaking of being Jewish, I'm going to Israel for Birthright this Saturday : )!!

    Mazel tov! You will have an awesome experience - savor every moment of it. My son went on Birthright two years ago, and is still in contact with many of the other "campers".

    I'll be looking for the GYF attire on their website this summer :)

    Sent from my SPH-D710 using CurlTalk App
    When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace. - Jimi
    2c/3a, BSL, medium, low porosity
    Low-poo: Bobeam and CV poo bars; Acure Argan Oil & Stem Cell
    Conditioner: Acure Argan Oil & Stem Cell; Desert Essence Shea
    Stylers: Sweet Curls Elixir Curl Cream; SM CES
    PT: BASK Whiskey Soak
  • KorkscrewKorkscrew Posts: 1,834Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    GroYoFro wrote: »
    Speaking of being Jewish, I'm going to Israel for Birthright this Saturday : )!! You know what I am going to wear?? GRO YO FRO t-shirts every single day : ) i've already got 10 of them made in different colors... I have to support the movement where ever I go, if you know what I mean!! :iconbiggrin:

    Let us know how it goes ;) I have yet to go to Israel and would love to hear about your Birthright experience.
  • JessMessJessMess Posts: 151Registered Users
    I don't think we should judge people for asking about our ethnicity. Some people are legitimately interested in it in a way that is not at all racist. For me, I think that's one of the most fascinating things about living in America--everyone's got an immigrant story. It's an important part of everyone's history. And because so many of us are "blends" of different immigrant cultures, it's interesting to find out that you have a shared cultural history with someone.

    It's important to note that everyone on this thread who has criticized others for asking about their ethnicity has then volunteered up information about their ethnicity--suggesting that it IS empirically interesting, and they DO want to share the information. So what is so bad about people asking? Why assume that they do so with dark, ulterior motives?

    I am a total "mutt"--I'm half-Jewish, by the way (ethnically speaking; I was raised Unitarian)--and I volunteer my patchwork background willingly when asked. It's fun to find other people who are one-eighth Danish and can tell me more about the Danish immigrant experience than I ever learned from my mom. Or who also have crazy relatives who joined the Mayflower Club. Or whose great-grandparents were also secular Jews in Russia during the revolution. What's not interesting about that? The only thing I really F up on is when I am too quick to explain that, despite my last name (married name), I'm not really French-Canadian. I do it because I don't want to seem like a poser--that's not the culture I grew up with, and I want to be honest about that--but sometimes I think it looks as though I'm disavowing that part of my identity.

    As an aside, my looks are very stereotypically Jewish, except for my blue eyes (that would be the Danish genes, I guess). But those same physical attributes also convince people that I'm a full-blooded French Canadian!
    Jessica
    Type 2c: coarse, high-density, low porosity (so it would seem)
    Avoiding protein and glycerin; going for soft, non-crunchy, frizz-free waves
    CO & RO: Tresemme Naturals Moisture
    Sealer: Olive oil
    Leave-in/Styler: Kinky Curly Knot Today
    DT: olive oil and honey
  • KorkscrewKorkscrew Posts: 1,834Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    JessMess wrote: »
    For me, I think that's one of the most fascinating things about living in America--everyone's got an immigrant story.

    I'm sure you mean well with this romantic - albeit chiefly Eurocentric - narrative but it just isn't accurate. Native Americans, whose land was stolen from them (by immigrants no less), were never immigrants in this - their own - country. And most African-Americans initially arrived here because they were shackled and shipped over for the purpose of enslavement.

    Not trying to paint you as a villain, JM. I just want every one included when we talk about the American story.

    Meanwhile, I agree w/you that sometimes (maybe even often) inquiries about "race" are quite innocent.
  • JessMessJessMess Posts: 151Registered Users
    I did forget about Native Americans, and I apologize about that...though with intermarriage many Native Americans, too, share an immigrant story through one or both parents.

    I was including African Americans in the immigrant experience. There's been a lot of really interesting work done on African American geneaology in recent years, enabling many African Americans to trace their own family's story of coming to this country. I can understand that some may not view the African diaspora as a kind of immigrant experience, but please understand that I meant to include African Americans in my statement and meant no offense.

    I think that my own perspective--Jewish and French Canadian, by marriage--makes me inclined to view forced emigrations (i.e., immigration not by choice) as a fundamental part of the immigrant experience.
    Jessica
    Type 2c: coarse, high-density, low porosity (so it would seem)
    Avoiding protein and glycerin; going for soft, non-crunchy, frizz-free waves
    CO & RO: Tresemme Naturals Moisture
    Sealer: Olive oil
    Leave-in/Styler: Kinky Curly Knot Today
    DT: olive oil and honey
  • KorkscrewKorkscrew Posts: 1,834Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    Again, I see that your will is good. I was correcting misinformation that was exclusive in nature: every American does not have an immigrant story ... especially Natives and many African Americans. That was my point.
  • JessMessJessMess Posts: 151Registered Users
    I understand--my counterpoint was that while I erred about Native Americans, my perspective is that the African diaspora is indeed an immigrant story, and a very important and compelling one. We can agree to disagree on that--I can see your side of it, certainly--but please take my word for it that my intention by saying "everyone's got an immigrant story" was to include African Americans.

    And really, the only observation I meant to make is that ethnicity is fundamentally interesting, and it's too bad that it is sometimes a knee-jerk reaction to vilify people when they ask about it.
    Jessica
    Type 2c: coarse, high-density, low porosity (so it would seem)
    Avoiding protein and glycerin; going for soft, non-crunchy, frizz-free waves
    CO & RO: Tresemme Naturals Moisture
    Sealer: Olive oil
    Leave-in/Styler: Kinky Curly Knot Today
    DT: olive oil and honey
  • KorkscrewKorkscrew Posts: 1,834Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    LOL Nothing like a circular discussion. I've made my point. Do with it what you will.
  • JessMessJessMess Posts: 151Registered Users
    Guess I'll use it to support my own.
    Jessica
    Type 2c: coarse, high-density, low porosity (so it would seem)
    Avoiding protein and glycerin; going for soft, non-crunchy, frizz-free waves
    CO & RO: Tresemme Naturals Moisture
    Sealer: Olive oil
    Leave-in/Styler: Kinky Curly Knot Today
    DT: olive oil and honey
  • jaronajarona Posts: 13Registered Users
    American, of Irish descent. I was also born a Catholic.
    I'm fair-skinned, freckled and all my life people have either thought me to be either a. Jewish, b. Italian, c. Spanish. I'm the Anthony Quinn of the female gender!
    It's funny though, because I have two neices who are Jewish and they both have straight hair.
    After years of being in curly denial, I have finally embraced my wavy curls and am very happy. The waves and curls are my poor girl botox--they make me look much younger:)
  • RobinTMPRobinTMP Posts: 1Registered Users
    I'm an American of (in descending order) English/Scottish/Irish/French Huguenot/Native American ancestry, with dark curly hair, cool brown eyes, and fair ruddy skin, but more people think I'm Jewish than anything else, oddly enough. I spent 8.5 years in Athens, Georgia (1989-1997), where the official hair color would seem to be blonde to light brown, and definitely straight, and the automatic assumption seemed to be that I must be Jewish (because apparently that's how being short and fat w/dark curly hair, dark eyes, a slightly longer nose, and an obvious northeastern US accent reads down there), and trust me, this was NOT seen as a good thing there. Oddly enough, a number of local people who were themselves Jewish also assumed I was as well, and this has continued even after I moved back to the Boston area--in fact, I was almost scolded by an Orthodox man in Coolidge Corner in Brookline (Brookline having a large Jewish population) for being out and about on the Sabbath, until I cut him off and told him I wasn't Jewish at all. Heck, a friend of mine ran into me on Yom Kippur and wanted to know if I was on my way to the synagogue, and was boggled to learn I wasn't Jewish like him! It's becoming a running joke, it really is...

    My mom has been known to joke that it's osmosis from having so many Jewish friends & housemates over the years; there's apparently also a school of thought that believes the Celtic peoples are descended from one of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel (hmm, maybe...). Mind you, there are lots of things about Judaism that I like a lot (starting w/the emphasis on education), but hey, I'm still just a lapsed Methodist of mostly generic British Isles extraction, so the whole thing is just very puzzling.
    Fine 3a/b/c, depending on the weather, my mood, my overall health, and whatever the hell it feels like doing; chin-length bob; medium/dark cool brown w/the grey roots being touched up every 2-3 weeks, because according to my hairdresser I'm now around 65% "blonde" *sigh*
  • JessiiLeighhJessiiLeighh Posts: 195Registered Users
    The "looking Jewish" part definitely makes sense even though it's false. I'm white from european descent and have 0 Jewish blood in me that I know of and have dark curly hair and eyes from the italian side of my family. I have been STOPPED ON THE STREET and asked if I was Jewish. Friends that I've had for years have said to me "wait, you aren't Jewish?" after finding out about my Christmas plans. My very Jewish doctor has replied to me with "spoken like a true Jewish woman" with a straight, serious face during a conversation. No matter what anyone says, curly hair makes you look more Jewish. I think it's silly and untrue, but that's what society thinks. Dark curly hair = Jew. I don't know if that what your families think when they prefer your hair straight, but the stereotype is definitely there.
    :wav:
    3a, fine/med strand thickness, high density, low porosity
    CG since April 2012
    BC October 2012
    Cleanser: SheaMoisture Manuka Honey or CJ Daily Fix
    RO Conditioner: Mop Top Daily Conditioner
    Leave In: KCKT
    Stylers: Either Raw Curls Spray Gel, Raw Curls Medium Hold Gel, or MopTop Curly Custard, and always topped with Curlisto Control II Gel
    Sealer: Pure Argan Oil
  • CurlyFries314CurlyFries314 Posts: 40Registered Users
    Yeah I would definitely say that it's a stereotype that if you have dark curly hair and fair skin that you are jewish. I am German, Irish, Italian, Dutch, Polish, and Russian. I am also half jewish (father jewish, mother catholic, so I consider myself half) now my fathers hair was pin straight and dark brown, my mothers hair was wavy and auburn brown. Me? Dark chocolate and full of voluminous curls. I deal with people always pointing out the jewish part, and other than my hair I wouldn't be labeled that way. I don't let it bother me though, I guess it's just a conversation starter..
  • amduraroseamdurarose Posts: 4Registered Users
    I always say I have "Jewish hair", and when people ask me if I'm Jewish I just hold up my hair lol
  • YanaBrionYanaBrion Posts: 4Registered Users
    I half-dodged that bullet. My mum's hair has been straight all her life, but she was known as a Jew because she was dark-haired in Belarus, which is like blonde-land. My dad, on the other hand - well, let's just say he was rocking the disco 'fro when he was young, though it was light. I got his hair, so my hair's ash brown and frizzy enough that I could have an afro too, if I wanted. I don't.

    I've had a lot of pressure to straighten my hair, not from my parents, though, because my mum's a skeptic about straightening. It's just people who aren't Jewish, oddly, who give me that hell. Most Jewish people I meet look me from head to toe and declare, very approvingly,

    "What a good Jewish beauty!"
    2b-ish, depending on the day. Occasional forays into 3b territory.

    Gave up on shampoo a while ago except for the biggest of messes (try cadet buns, those things don't come out if you do them right.)

    Conditioner: Matrix Total Results Curl. My mum bought it once on one of her 'we might as well try' trips and I've found it's beautiful.

    Canadian Curly. Unfortunately. I swear, there is no good season for curlies here. 1/2 of the year it's winter, then the other half it's humid. Yay.
  • MyrnaMyrna Posts: 2,420Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
  • tengoRizostengoRizos Posts: 195Registered Users
    This thread was a very interesting read. I have always associated curls with Celtic, so Irish and Scottish, and most of those ethnicities are Catholic.

    I've heard "jew-fro" before but in my mind it was more of a guy thing. I havent seen a female curly and thought "I wonder if she is Jewish"
    2c/3a mix and very fine, normal porosity
    Shampoo: Loreal EverSleek Sulfate-free (Only 1 or 2x a week)

    CoWash Suave Naturals Coconut or VO5 Kiwi Lime Squeeze

    Rinse Out: Giovanni 2chic Avocado and Olive Oil or GVPCB

    Leave in: More Suave Naturals Coconut or GVPCB Always diluted with water/epsom salt spray

    Products: AG Re:coil with EcoStyler Olive Oil gel or HETT gel


  • anonymous_166474anonymous_166474 Posts: 70Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    I'm Jewish and really never cared what people thought. I embrace who I am. It just takes time, wisdom and self confidence to do that. It does alienate you from others but if a person has a problem with my hair or how I look, it is just that. Their problem and not mine. Hang in there.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]Kosher Curls
    mostly 3b curls
    Low Porosity
    fine, medium, coarse
    medium to high density
    Products: Giovanni direct leave in and olive or argan oil eco styler.

    LONG: 10"+ (armpit to waist length)
  • DaniGirl88DaniGirl88 Posts: 1,583Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    tengoRizos wrote: »
    This thread was a very interesting read. I have always associated curls with Celtic, so Irish and Scottish, and most of those ethnicities are Catholic.

    I've heard "jew-fro" before but in my mind it was more of a guy thing. I havent seen a female curly and thought "I wonder if she is Jewish"

    I would have to agree with this.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

    3B, fine, normal porosity, high density, medium width and length
    Conditioner: Tresemme Naturals, Trader Joe's Tea Tree Tingle
    Co-Wash: As I Am Coconut Co-Wash
    Leave in Products: As I Am Leave-In, SM Smoothie/Milk, KCKT, Giovanni Direct Leave-In
    Air Dry

    Looking for new products and methods to try!



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