29 April 2012

Natural hair blog rant | Can we move on?

"There is nothing more frightful than ignorance in action."---Goethe
Two weeks ago it happened. Then, yesterday. And just now...again.

What am I talking about? The never-ending lip service of relaxed hair versus natural hair. And quite frankly, it is sounding more and more like people looking to air their misinformed views whilst clutching onto them as their last vestiges of keeping an argument alive. Now I can take people wanting to genuinely know about my decision to loc my hair or asking someone about their decision to be natural. But some people just have some very flawed views about natural hair. Where is it coming from? Is it a consequence of the black race being enslaved? Colonialism? The brainwash that straight is great and better? Are we still mentally bound in chains? When I had relaxed hair I never heard people say such things. The most I heard was women saying, "Not me, I don't think I can handle it!" Or, "I can't quite imagine it." Okay, fine that is their opinion. And shouldn't we just accept it? 

Now, what I cannot embrace is the downright negative hogwash that some people allow to roll off their tongues. Since when is wearing your hair in locs something that only lesbians do? That was a hot item in a Facebook group a couple weeks ago. I mean really, so you better watch yourself 'cos the lady with locs sitting next to you on the bus is gay? What nonsense! 

And, since when is it that having Sisterlocks is a cult? My goodness! A cult? I can tell you what a cult is but I try to promote this as a family-friendly blog. I'm not even going to touch the dreads vs. locs terminology tiff. 

Here are some more of the negatives I've heard and/or read:
  • Locs are dirty because we don't wash them
  • Afros are simply unkempt and unattractive
  • Relaxed hair is better because it is straight
  • You cannot do anything with your natural hair
  • Natural hair makes you look old
If you know others, feel free to add them. I have said and will continue to say, I will not push my choices down anyone's throat. One should never have to. I respect a person's opinion to wear their hair how they wish. And mind you, that extends to their job description, food choices, way of life, religion, etc. I can be respectful of that person without maligning them, making them feel insignificant even though I disagree. Don't push your thoughts on me either. Share with me, show me and leave me to make my mind up. I hope that is how I transmit my ideas on this forum. 

It seems that people spend so much time looking for the negatives when it comes to this topic rather than looking up the positives and getting informed. There are so many blogs and resource sites, not to mention books that tackle the topic of natural hair. Are you telling me that in this information age, women are still touting these fallacies? 

Give it a rest now!

The status, nationality or race of the persons who were positing their opposing views are not known to me. The way you wear your hair does not have to define who are. I know it does not define me. I am a woman with joys, hurts, accomplishments and downfalls just like anyone else. I have dreams and passions. I have character. CHARACTER. Don't allow people to box you in and place labels on you because you have made a decision to not chemically process your hair. 

Why do women still toss these scandalous bits of misinformation about? Is it just to pose opposition? 

People are people wherever we go, I know. Maybe it is just me openly wishing that we could just stop this pettiness, especially given that there are so many more important issues facing our communities: broken homes, child abuse, hurting men and women, poverty, joblessness. Let's feed our ideas into finding solutions for those things.

I end with this Marcus Garvey quote:
"Do not remove the kinks from your hair. Remove them from your brain."

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