Politics Attached to Our Natural Hairtype?

msjokermsjoker Posts: 1,658Registered Users
A black woman told me that she loves my hair and asked me if I was militant and she raised her fist in the air :shock: I was speechless and didn't know what to say. So I said 'thanks, I'm not militant' and then I rushed off. Has anyone said that to you?
"It moisturizes my situation... preserves my sexy."

Comments

  • st. louis bluest. louis blue Posts: 404Registered Users
    Something similar has happened to me. How old was this person? The person was alluding to the emergence of the afro in the 70s, which it was very consciously a symbol of the radical Black ideology movment that was thriving then. Think Angela Davis.

    I guess it is somewhat ignorant, since natural hair on Black women in the US is much less political now than it was 30 years ago. I don't get offended by it, honestly I feel honored. I have a lot of respect for much of the ideology of that movement, and Idon't mind being thought of as a "militant."

    I'm also getting to be a lot more easygoing about mere ignorance than I use to be. I don't do as much education in casual encounters as I could, but at the same time letting some of this stuff roll of of my back really helps with the stress levels, you know?
  • msjokermsjoker Posts: 1,658Registered Users
    Something similar has happened to me. How old was this person? The person was alluding to the emergence of the afro in the 70s, which it was very consciously a symbol of the radical Black ideology movment that was thriving then. Think Angela Davis.

    I guess it is somewhat ignorant, since natural hair on Black women in the US is much less political now than it was 30 years ago. I don't get offended by it, honestly I feel honored. I have a lot of respect for much of the ideology of that movement, and Idon't mind being thought of as a "militant."

    I'm also getting to be a lot more easygoing about mere ignorance than I use to be. I don't do as much education in casual encounters as I could, but at the same time letting some of this stuff roll of of my back really helps with the stress levels, you know?


    She was probably late 40s- early 50s. Her question just kinda threw me off guard. I wasn't offended, I was just really shocked. I also notice that a majority of black men look at me differently and say things like 'sister', 'nubian queen' when they meet me. That never happened when I was relaxed.
    "It moisturizes my situation... preserves my sexy."
  • FireFlowerFireFlower Posts: 137Registered Users
    I mentioned to someone that I was transitioning and they asked me if I my boyfriend was African.... Huh!??

    All I could do was (blank stare).... I've learned to keep such information to myself....
    Classic 4a/b, fine, dense, normal to dry, low porosity
    event.png
  • st. louis bluest. louis blue Posts: 404Registered Users
    Yeah, she was probably thinking of the 70s, too. I bet it was a compliment.
  • jeamariajeamaria Posts: 1,851Registered Users
    It's odd that they would ask you if your boyfriend was African. Most African people (I'm specifically referring to people more recently from the continent here) that I know, have met, or have seen, in "the West", relax their hair. People who do stay natural tend to have either less textured (finer) or loosely curled/ wavy hair.

    An Eritrean girl I know who wears her hair in a 'fro went to visit some family, (it was the first time she had returned since she left as a toddler and she decided to make a point of wearing her hair out, thinking it would help people see her as less foreign), and everybody was, like "why haven't you combed your hair?"

    why should it be militant to wear your hair the way it naturally is? I know hair is going to always be politically tinged, but there's little lasting impact in the en masse, sheep-like movement to natural hair of the 60s and 70s. I don't think it's right to make a trend out of what you naturally are. Heaven help you once you go out of fashion.
  • CurlyLdyDTCurlyLdyDT Posts: 72Registered Users
    jeamaria wrote:
    why should it be militant to wear your hair the way it naturally is? I know hair is going to always be politically tinged, but there's little lasting impact in the en masse, sheep-like movement to natural hair of the 60s and 70s. I don't think it's right to make a trend out of what you naturally are. Heaven help you once you go out of fashion.

    It is considered militant because when the Black Power/Black is Beautiful movement began in the late 60s and the early 70s, wearing your hair natural was a rejection of attempts to assimilate into white culture. So the thought was that if you were sporting a 'fro, you must support the radial ideas of Black Panthers, SNICC, and other pro-black activist movements of the time. Wearing afros caused a lot of disharmony within families because parents felt their children were undoing everything they had done in the civil rights movement by being so loud and "in-your-face" and being so anti-Establishment.
    LadyDeeTee
    "Never under underestimate the power of a
    LADY!"
    Last relaxer: 8/04; Partial BC: 10/04; 4a/b hair- earlobe length when blow dried and flat ironed
  • jeamariajeamaria Posts: 1,851Registered Users
    I understand the historical context, and I do acknowledge the militancy this hairstyle symbolized in the 60s and 70s. My argument is that, while other features of the civil rights movement have had lasting impact, from which all people of color, as well as many other marginalized groups benefit from today, the ideology *behind* wearing a 'fro did not penetrate as deeply into the psyche of people. It hasn't stopped many from succumbing to "good hair" delusions, and chemically altering their hair to fall into these lines.

    Plus, the fact that rocking a 'fro was watered down to a trend, with many Europeans altering their hair to wear one, too, meant the symbolism was largely distorted. I think this is why today a lot of people wrongly view a 'fro as odd or anachronistic, a disco throwback, or representing a caricature of militancy, or just like many parents in the 60s did, as ugly.

    Wearing straight/loosely curled hair down has never truly "gone out of fashion", although it has at many times not been considered cutting edge. This is because it is viewed as "normal", whilst tighter curls, and wearing a 'fro is somehow not. This is why I question the long-term effect of the hair component of the civil rights struggle. Plus, I don't like surrendering what is naturally a part of me to the whim of fashion.
  • CreationCreation Posts: 48Registered Users
    I can understand both points of view. On one hand I wear my hair natural because I want to be okay with just being me. And I feel like my natural hair is a statement that being me the way God created me is beautiful and okay. And I'm also sick of dealing with rude, unprofessional stylists! And I actually like my natural hair.

    But on the other hand sometimes I do feel like a rebel and I want to shatter those misconceptions about our nautral hair. And I respect some of the things that Angela Davis and others had said about being black and being proud of that.

    But I also don't have the attitude of being angry with other races just because of the stereotypes of society. Because I see this prejudice with many people. Whether its a jewish girl with lovely curly to kinky hair. Or a beautiful latin woman that is being taunted about her beautiful waves or curls. Or even a European woman that doesn't have blonde hair that has been brainwashed into thinking that blonde hair is the only way to be beautiful.
    Righteousness isn't what you do it's a gift!

    I'm still trying to find out what my hair type is!!

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