I make it no secret that I love straight hair and my goal is WL hair. But I’m also loving my textured hair, which is more textured than pictures show despite still being relaxed. Over the past 5 years, I have watched black women move from relaxers and embrace natural hair. I have also learned a lot and seen other women (mainly online not in real life) learn about hair care and educate themselves on what works for our hair.
I’ve also seen the struggles some face to keep, style and maintain natural hair. But no women comes without the pain of beauty. Women, especially black women, are put through so much pressure, but sometimes I wonder who is to blame.
Back when I had to get my engagement ring resized, about 2 years ago I’d say, DH, my friend and I went to the place where he purchased my ring. There was a girl there who DH stated was mixed with Spanish working the counter. When I saw her, all I saw was wild hair and thought to myself she could use some deep conditioning, but her hair is nice. Nice curls and texture. In other words, it just looked dry. DH don’t be caring lol. But my friend made a harsh statement. He said “She’s a pretty girl, why her hair has to look like that; can’t she relax it or something to make herself look better?” I replied “How about you do something to make yourself look better!” That shut him up. But it did make me quite sad because I felt his comment to the wrong person can damage a self esteem. Let’s mildly mention the fact that he still gave this girl his number.
Later, I pointed out to him that his sister has curly hair and does he think she would be prettier with straight hair. No comment.
A few months back, I was looking a hot mess (ain’t even gonna lie) but I was still going through morning sickness, extreme fatigue and hair was not a priority. My twist out had a died a slow death over the week. But it wasn’t dry and it was neat; that’s all that mattered. One of my male friends stated “omg Tasia what’s wrong with your hair?” I replied “what’s wrong with it?” And he replied that it was short of it looking nappy. I asked him if it was out of place, unkept, dirty, or embarrassing and he replied no to all questions. I told him “That’s why you’ll never have a real women; you can’t handle realness!” I’m not natural, but I did take offense to his comment. I was pretty mean, but these are the kind of comments that force women to live up to a standard that we don’t even understand we are living up to. Who are we really pleasing?
The first friend was West Indian and the second is Spanish.
Now my husband who is Spanish was there when I started my journey, struggling with my hair. He was the one who told me to stop going to Dominicans (his people) because it was not working. He helped me a lot to get where I am with my poor hair. I told him one day “I just want long hair; why is that so hard?” He told me “long hair is ugly, why can’t you just go natural?” I looked at him like he was stupid. Now who’s looking stupid lol.
One day he confessed to me that he likes my hair in curly styles because it looks better and he prefers short hair. I found that confusing as Spanish culture embraces long hair. He told me back when he lived in his country he watch his uncle force his two daughter have long hair. It always had to be long and they couldn’t cut it. He said his cousins would be miserable with it so long because they had no choice in the matter. When one got old enough, she cut it and keeps it short. The other one keeps it long. He told me if he ever had a daughter, he would never force her to keep her hair short, but would teach her it didn’t have to be long either. He also doesn’t care for straight hair.
Now, I don’t look at DH acceptance to my textured hair, but I do take his acceptance as support.
My only male friend who never comments my hair is black. I lie. He saw it once in a ponytail, said it looked good and told me to “show these heauxs at work!” I was very surprised.
In the end, as most of us move toward embracing our hair in any state it is in, I begin to wonder whos standard we have lived up to all this time? Is it ours or a mans? Many people blame Europe, but I think differently. We don’t go to Europe for courtship, so why are we really blaming them? I’ve had a women tell me that she doesn’t wear her hair curly and doesn’t cut it because her bf will get mad. I said to her “are you serious?” But a lot of females read into this. I’m sure you’ve heard of worse but this is the tippy tip of the iceberg.
So in the end, who’s standard is it really and how are you living up to your own standards?
One Day, It Will Happen