Curl Stigma and Being Jewish



  • EdieEdie Posts: 30Registered Users
    When I was in college, I was really excited to meet my first Jewish classmate. I've never been around many other Jewish people in my life, and I knew the community at my school would be small. So when I found out she was Jewish I said "you are?! Me too!" She replied with "well OBVIOUSLY I am. Just look at my hair." And she grabbed her dark, curly hair with both hands. I had no idea that she was Jewish before she flat out told me.

    I've never quite understood this stigma. My mom has brown hair, and many Jewish people do have darker colored hair, but her hair is a straight up 1 (pun slightly intended.) My hair is 3a, and coppery in color. I've actually been asked more often in my life if I'm Irish instead of being asked if I'm Jewish. Plus, I'm the only one in my entire family who is still living who has curly hair, and we're a fully Jewish family on both sides. I guess I just don't quite understand why people make so many blatant assumptions based on a person's looks. But perhaps I'm idealistic, naive, or both.
  • MidwesterncurlMidwesterncurl Posts: 133Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    There are a lot of ethnic hang-ups with curly hair. What is interesting is the term "ethnic" can be used to describe anyone, but often it's used in the context of "doesn't look Scandinavian with straight blonde hair."

    I am an Indian who was born in Guyana, and a lot of women from there have a mix of wavy to curly hair. Unfortunately, a lot of the younger women around my age or younger dislike curly hair because it looks "too ethnic." I know here there is another thread about being Indian and having curly hair, and it looks like despite an ocean apart, Indians typically don't like curly hair. I'm not sure what it is, but having straight hair is associated with "whiteness" (I hope that doesn't offend), and donning the straight hair is more acceptable. Sad too, since curly hair is a dominant genetic trait...

    Me, I just wear it curly and let it get big. I don't care if people think I am "too ethnic" because that is their problem they need to sort out. I wished I had told this to my 16 year old self when I was damaging the life out of it and could smell it burning from the iron...

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