Appropriation of Hair: What’s Good for the Goose…

I swear this is not a troll post. This will be an open thread in which all respectful comments are welcome.  There’s some hypocrisy I sense in the whole “appropriation of hair” argument. Cosmopolitan and other media outlets are catching heat about styles that appear to be more “black” and are accused of appropriating historical and cultural beauty trends as their own.

That might fly if you talking about how to make your hair into an afro when you have 1a textured Caucasian hair. But this??

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This is a big old nothing. Google “designs shaved in head” and see the variety that comes up. Cosmo is only guilty of not recognizing that folks been doing this since electric shavers were invented.

If we’re going to be up in arms about this, then we’re going to have a lot of explaining to do.










According to Madame Noire, Cosmo got dragged so bad they had to take the post and article down.

While this style isn’t just a “Black” style that can only be worn by “Black” people, an element of our community has once again been appropriated and spun as some sort of new trend by a majority white publication without recognition. And of course, when Twitter (primarily Black Twitter) got a hold of the news, reactions were abundant, declaring disapproval of Comso’s article. Soon after, the publication pulled both the tweet and the article from their site and social media pages.

I get the protests about appropriation, and most of them are legit. But this one was too weak an argument when black women have been and continue to desire to mimic the straight, long hair that comes naturally from white, Asian, Indian, Hispanic and Middle Eastern women. To me, this comes off more as hypocritical, bullying behavior.

And please, don’t come up in here saying that white people aren’t the only people with straight hair. I think I covered that in the paragraph above. And please don’t come in here and say black people have straight hair too. Because you’ll be disingenuous. The typical black person isn’t born with yaki.

Cue the timer for people who will come in here saying black folks aren’t trying to copy white women’s hair, but the blacks on the Island of Papua New Guinea, Solomon Island and Vanuatu.


Okay, you got me. But wait…their hair is kinky!!! Rock a kinky blond weave, then. But you’re not going to convince me when you’re wearing blond straight doll hair to the middle of your back. This is not to decry black women who choose to wear weaves for variety. However, I feel that as a community, we have little leg to stand on when it comes to hair style cultural appropriation when we continue to finance billions in acquiring hair that has never belonged to us.

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