Thursday, September 25, 2008

Chronicles of Life ... Hair wars

I went to the mall with a friend on Labor Day, and we had an interesting exchange with a store clerk.
The clerk complimented my hair and asked me how long I had been natural (three and a half years and counting). She used to be natural herself and asked to touch my hair.
Soon the three of us struck up a conversation about hair.
My friend mentioned she was getting a relaxer the following week. And the clerk called my friend ever so softly, but loud enough where we could still hear, “a weak black woman.”
Did we hear correctly? Homegirl was trying to call my friend out on her personal hair decision.
Now if that isn’t the pot calling the kettle black!
She was no longer natural. So what does that say about her?
The whole situation had me thinking of the battle between “good” and “bad” hair.
There seems to be a constant source of contention with some in the happy nappy and silky straight crews. Representatives from each group tend to demean one another’s hair preference.
It sort of reminds me of the song and dance routine from “School Daze” when the Jiggaboos and Wannabees poke at each other.
The song brought up several sentiments.
The Wannabes (i.e rexlaxed hair) want to be white and think they’re better, seem more attractive, have hard hair, have good and long hair and are evil.
Whereas, the Jiggaboos (i.e. natural hair) are not ashamed of their blackness, can’t get a man, have stronger hair, have bad and short hair and are jealous,
Spike Lee seemed to have hit it on the nail!
And the problem is too many people buy into these myths and perpetuate these feelings each day.
I say it’s time for a cease fire order.
All hair types are beautiful, whether it be relaxed and short, long and natural or somewhere in between.
Relaxed and natural sisters need to seat down and agree to disagree.
Not everyone with straight hair wants to be white. And all natural hair wearers are not revolutionaries.
Furthermore, there are plenty of women with cute short natural ‘dos, and even more with natural hair down their back.
We have enough to weary about without scrutinizing over someone else’s hair.
Relaxed hair isn’t right for me, but who am I to say it’s wrong for you?
Yours truly plans to live nappily ever after, but I won’t put down anyone else who chooses otherwise.
Any hair is good as long as you take care of it.

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