WHO REALLY IS "NATURAL"?
I must admit I was sucked into the bottomless vortex that is the "Natural is for blacks" debate. Curlynikki was recently attacked, for want of a better word, by a "senior editor" of Ebony magazine for featuring a Caucasian young woman who has curly hair. I had to read, and re-read all the related articles and the comments to see if I missed something because I just can't see what the uproar is about. The Ebony writer had this to say-
''the sacred sanctity of Black Girl Space was violated via the inclusion of a White woman on a natural hair blog, it should come as no surprise that a number of people were disappointed....''
The young lady, Sarah, who seems to be the epicenter of this new debacle was interviewed by Curly Nikki and asked pretty much the same standard questions that she had asked countless of black women in the past, " Had you always embraced your hair texture, What is your hair routine? What is your favorite hairstyle?..." Had there been no pictures posted of her, there probably wouldn't have been any issues. But why should there be though?
|Photo of Sarah- Cortesy of CurlyNikki|
I understand the need for black people to want something that is our own, I understand that we want to teach our kids that our hair is beautiful, but how is bashing a next woman because of the color of her skin (and the curls on her head) any different from what slave masters and countless others like them did to us? Wouldn't we be setting a better example for our children if we weren't discriminating against other races? We want to say "Black hair community" and "team natural hair", but this causes me to think we are trying to shove aside white persons! There have been persons of many cultures and races that have benefited from the wonderful hair care tips posted on sites such as curlynikki and naturally curly. It benefits them because hair is hair. At the end of the day that's all it is and that's all it ever will be. I don't know of any site right now where white forum members are banishing black persons and if there was one I'm certain there would be an uproar and a petition somewhere to close it down because it's racist! We can't speak to the hardships we faced as blacks and then turn and try to inflict the same evil on another human.
If by our words and actions we can help another woman to feel better about her self, that is all that matters. She stated that she had a difficult time accepting her curls growing up. How many blacks have had that issue? I know I did. She said friends and family were surprised when she started wearing her hair natural. How many blacks have had that issue? I certainly did. Based on this article she identifies with many other naturals. Telling this young woman that she isn't natural because of the color of her skin is racist. Black people seem to think racism is a one way street, well, it isn't. Being natural is about accepting and learning to love the hair that grows out of our head for what is is, curly/kinky/coily/wavy. We have our corner of the web where we can share our struggles and frustrations and get tips on how to do our hair. If this corner has some white persons why should we kick them out? I am sure I am not the only person who has watched a video on youtube featuring non-black person and actually found it helpful on my natural hair journey. How does them saying they are natural take away from us being natural? That sounds more like a problem within ourselves and our rather frail and weak image of who we are and what we represent as a people. The hair typing chart that everyone seems to love referring to, has curls starting from 2a- 4c.
Earlier I mentioned that Curlynikki was attacked for featuring Sarah. Here is her very articulate response. Now I've never seen a black person with 2a/2b, have you? Curly, kinky, wavy, we all face our own hair demons. Let us share tips, styles, and ideas without spreading the hate. There is enough love for all of us.