I didn’t think a word could be more overused and annoying than “swagger,” until I heard “natural.”
In case you somehow don’t already know, going “natural” is the latest trend among African-American women who are saying goodbye to relaxers (also known as perms), which chemically straighten their naturally curly or kinky hair.
Going natural was on the rise many years ago, but it virtually exploded into a movement following the 2009 Chris Rock movie, Good Hair. In the movie, Rock highlights the extremes Black women take to achieve so-called “good hair” – be it in the form of weaves or relaxers, which he famously coined “creamy crack.”
For many African-American women, the film was an inspiration to overcome their addiction to relaxers, not just because of the sometimes damaging effects it has on their hair, but also for a sense of African-American pride.
To the latter, I say bullcrap. I never believed in the silly notion that Black women who straighten their hair are trying to resemble their White female counterparts with long, silky smooth tresses. My hair is super thick and gets extra frizzy in the rain. I don’t like that, so I have a perm. Period.
Yet, for some reason it seems there’s this new sense of shame or judgment against women who rock a relaxer or weave. Recently, an Atlanta club promoter even offered discounts to women with natural hair and who don’t wear weaves.
If a relaxer is making your hair fall out, then by all means, get rid of it! But please don’t think you’re making a statement in the process. I’ve been getting relaxers for over 20 years now, and my hair is still healthy and I am still very much Black (gasp!).
It’s called individuality. Do you! Going natural doesn’t make a woman any better or “Blacker” than one rocking a weave down to her behind. If that’s the case, how do you explain when White women wear “extensions” and straighten their naturally curly hair? Who are they trying to be like?
Besides, if we’re talking about going natural, I say go all the way! Get rid of your makeup, nail polish, deodorant… heck, even get rid of your Spanx! But please don’t try to pressure me to do the same.
I’ve always marched to the beat of my own drum, and that won’t change, no matter how many movies Chris Rock makes. If I’m a fiend to the creamy crack, then fine. Call me Pookie.
*** Myranda Stephens is a TV reporter, blogger and hair model who currently resides in Baltimore, Maryland. What do you think? Do you agree that women with straight hair are judged harshly? Do you assume women with natural hair have more Black pride? Leave your comments below.
Myranda Stephens is a TV reporter, blogger and hair model who currently resides in Baltimore, Maryland.
What do you think? Do you agree that women with straight hair are judged harshly? Do you assume women with natural hair have more Black pride? Leave your comments below.