Black women spend millions of dollars on beauty products each year. And when they’ve taken all that time to get “beautiful,” best believe sistas are going to have quite an attitude about taking their “beauty” off. This can go for any scenario from not going into the swimming pool because she has a fresh perm. She may not exercise regularly because she doesn’t want to mess up her fresh hairdo. She may get upset when she finds out it’s raining and her hair will frizz up.
Or, maybe it’s something to do with other beauty products like makeup. On VH1’s show “You’re Cut Off,” African-American cast member Chrissy was cut from the show because she was being difficult during the no-makeup episode. One other cast member dared to say she had fake hair after Chrissy pointed out that cast member was wearing fake eyelashes. That argument got worse, and her attitude escalated. The judge had had enough and showed her the door.
But while watching the show, viewers could see that even without the makeup, Chrissy was actually quite pretty. If she didn’t have fake hair in her head, she’d have still been as fierce. But she spent more time criticizing the host for wearing makeup and asking her if it was fair for the host to “look hot” but she couldn’t. The bigger picture was Chrissy looked just as hot without all the makeup and extra hair, and she didn’t even seem to know it. Not only did it show her personal insecurities outside but the ones going on inside as well. Chrissy’s reaction made me remember a situation right before my senior prom.
A girl I attended a Chicago public high school called Morgan Park with visited the same beauty salon (Donté’s) that I did for prom. I’d never seen her there before and we weren’t friends, but I was still cordial to her up until she made one comment that rubbed me the wrong way. She was getting a manicure and I was getting my hair curled into stacks, and she said, “The people at Morgan Park are bourgeoisie. They act like they’re too good to wear hair weave. But I always wear weave. I think it makes me look better.”
The comment sat with me for over 10 years for two reasons: 1) Bourgeoisie means “members of the middle class.” That’s all. It struck me strange that it didn’t occur to her that some of these girls weren’t wearing weave simply because they were content with their own hair. 2) The comment made it sound like she wasn’t proud of her own head of hair. While every woman is entitled to wear her hair however she chooses from natural to perm to weave, it’s counterproductive to judge another woman for not wearing her hair the way you do.
The next time you see a woman with a hairstyle you wouldn’t wear and you don’t like it, remember you don’t have to. She does. Twitter went crazy talking about Brandy’s lacefront wig, but Brandy was still making money while the tweets were rolling in. Erykah Badu took some flack when she took the headwrap off. Clearly that didn’t stop her personal growth. She just started doing stranger things with her hair and wearing wigs with caps to really defy what people thought of her and her hair. India Arie went so far as to make a song “I Am Not My Hair” and had an album skyrocket to number one on the Billboard charts. MC Lyte is a hip-hop legend and from rapping to acting, I can’t recall her ever wearing weave. She comfortably goes on award shows and television shows and concerts with a short cut or a ponytail and gets compliments about how youthful and healthy she always looks. We’ll probably never catch Tina Turner performing without a wig, but her fans are so blinded by her talent they could care less about her hair.
The bigger picture is all of these women above are comfortable in their own skin and like wearing their hair their way. As long as they feel pretty, let them have their moments. Artificial hair. Real hair weave. Natural hair. Permed hair. Bald head. When you’re comfortable in your own skin, your hair is just another accessory to enhance your inner beauty. Love yourself more than you love your hair. Always take care of your hair, but don’t be defined by your hair. Once you can accomplish that hair confidence goal, you’ll do whatever you feel like whenever you feel like it without worrying about what others think.
Additional Notes: In the middle photo, Erykah Badu performs at Lilith 2010 in Calgary, Canada on Sunday, June 27, 2010. Calgary is the first stop for the all-women touring festival which heads to Edmonton, tomorrow. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Jeff McIntosh)
For more info:
“Every black woman with a perm is not trying to look white, Naomi Campbell’s bald spot“
“Hairstyle vacation, how to twist your hair into braids“
“Makeup pretty women, are you satisfied with your inner self?”
“Ready to work out but don’t want to mess up your hair“
“The controversy of permed hair, are black women selling out?”
VH1 “You’re Cut Off!”
“Who cares more about women’s hair in a relationship, African-American men or African-American women?”
“Would you date yourself? Embracing your sexy in fashion, hair and health“