Hair

Black Women, Hair, and Swirling

Written by Penelope Farthing

It’s always the objectively unattractive ones that have something slick to say about black women’s hair.

Some nobody I had never heard of until today posted on social media that he doesn’t like women who wear their hair in afro styles. In this blog, I will give him something I’m sure he wants, but never gets: a black woman’s attention.

I wish these dudes were brave enough to just say they hate black women and go off to greener pastures of Becky, Xianghua, Prisha, and Luz with the good hair and leave our styling choices out of it. I would honestly respect them more if they did.

Anyway, as someone who is prone to whipping out my own kinky afro unit from time to time and living my Pam Grier fantasy, and exclusively wears natural hair textures, be it home grown or store bought, to that I say…

HOORAY!

I’m not even going to go in too much on this, he is a short, little lawn gnome of a man, and his tiny stature at what seems to be stuck in pre-pubescence automatically renders his opinion invalid, since I’m sure he couldn’t reach my fro, fake or real, from down there anyway.

Much like Chris Brown liking women with nice hair, I’m happy that black women don’t fall into the preferences of males like these. I imagine that eventually black women will catch on, and avoid them, ultimately living life footloose and fuckboy free.

There are two things I want to touch on in relation to black women’s hair and the many, MANY opinions surrounding it.

The first is this: why is it always black men who are all up in our kinks and coils? Don’t they have meaningful things to do, like, I don’t know, building something worth talking about? Someone please point me in the direction of nonblack men in the public eye tearing down their own race of women for their hair, in numbers similar to black men.

Is Brad on Twitter complaining about Becky’s hair? Is Chang ripping on Chenguang’s locks over on Weibo (a Chinese microblogging website)? Somehow, I don’t think so, because they are actually doing things worthwhile, and, bonus, they don’t announce on social media a preference no one asked for or cared about. I understand that the black male collective has no real power, and use the outrage they garner on social media as currency, rather than making real money moves, but surely they must have some aspirations to shoot for that doesn’t involve putting down the image of the woman who squeezed him out her lady parts.

The second is this: the only group of people to hate black women’s hair more than black women is black men. Which is why, among all the reasons that black women say they don’t want to date nonblack men, their hair being the deterrent is utterly laughable. Black women will say they don’t want to explain their hair practices to Chad or Chao, when black men, who grew up watching their moms don a bonnet every night, spend hours at the salon getting braids, or had a bag of weave in her closet, will be the first to publicly disparage literally any style she chooses.

For example, if she wears her hair in a TWA, she’s a bald headed ho. If she wears weaves or wigs, she’s the quintessential hair-hatted-hooligan. If she gets a relaxer, then she’s trying to look like a white woman. If she gets locs, then that is the nappiest of nappy. And yes, black women are still being punished in some corporate settings for their choice of hairstyle. But comments from Lil Duval and other males who share his sentiment only add more weight to the hair discrimination that many women face.

Black women who let their hair being the deciding factor on whether or not to date out are doing themselves a disservice (provided the potential partner was vetted appropriately and deemed a suitable match). The implication is that nonblack men will not understand black hair. Meanwhile, seemingly every single day, black men are out here saying how much they hate every style a black woman picks, despite growing that very same hair himself. Do they understand your hair? Doesn’t seem that way.

Lil whoever’s opinion on hair does not matter, but it speaks to a greater conversation about black women’s hair and the role it plays in their relationship options. If you don’t want to date out, I support you, but your hair being the deciding factor, when black men don’t seem all that keen on your hair either, doesn’t seem like the best option to me.

What say you? Let’s hear it in the comments.

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