Good hair vs. Bad Hair…Whatever!

In the black community there is soo much controversy in hair. Some people believe that you have good hair if your hair straighten easily or curls up when it get up, while others believe that your hair is bad if its super nappy. We live in a very sad world if people really believe this. I came across this article that I totally agreed with and believes that everyone should read.

“he notion of bad hair and good hair is a cross cultural phenomenon that is dictated by hegemonic standards of beauty, in other words the closer to white the more beautiful it is perceived by communities of color. The value of “white” standards of beauty are historically based in slavery and its aftermath. Africans were stripped of their culture, values, and homeland and were physically, psychologically and legally required to treat whites as their superior. Rigid castes systems were created  that valued white over black. Even within the black community lighter skinned blacks were given economic and legal privileges over darker skinned blacks.  Once slavery was abolished laws and customs were put in place to continue to enslave black people legally, mentally, and physically. To this day these customs continue and continue to re emerge in different forms.

So what does this all have to do with hair? The media is a strong agent in reinforcing standards of normalcy, especially beauty.  This beauty standard is dictated by white values of beauty and accordingly, straight hair is valued over natural hair.  In the documentary, “Good Hair,” Chris Rock famously tries to sell black hair to a various hair store owners and they refuse to buy it. One woman cites “no one walks around with black hair anymore.” So when did nappy come to mean bad? Why is black hair considered bad?

 

Every woman is an individual and standards of beauty adjust accordingly yet it is necessary to understand that good hair versus bad hair is a discourse based on race and continues to reinforce racism in this day and age.  Today there is a strong movement of natural hair in which black women are keeping their hair natural as a sign of resilience and solidarity.”-elena

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