Natural Hair

Six years ago, I went natural. Natural for black women is going back to our unprocessed hair.  I got the idea when I saw a picture of a cute natural haired black model in Essence magazine (when I still was a fan). At the time, I was wearing braids. I took a pair of scissors and literally started cutting all the braids out of my hair, not caring if I was cutting off my real hair (usually I was paranoid about that). I was determined to get that cute short-cropped ‘do. Soon most of the braids were on my bedroom floor.  I un-plaited the rest of my hair and before I knew it, was staring at a new me. I cried. It was shocking. I eventually got over the loss of my straight hair. I have been natural ever since.  It was a relief not wasting my Saturday mornings at a salon, just to put relaxer in my hair to make it straight. It seemed like a waste of time, money and energy to make my hair be something that it was not meant to be.

Naturally Free Tonya
Me  with TWA

Eh, don’t get me wrong. I’m not a “Natural Nazi” (I hate this term and the fact there’s actually a definition in the “urban dictionary,” blah). As a matter of fact, last year I started wearing wigs on occasion (still curly, though). It’s just a way to have a different look/experiment with color. So, I don’t have anything against black women who relax/wear weaves or wigs.  My only issue, is that I think not enough black women even think about wearing their natural hair out. IMO, I think black women should do it once (or twice or three times 🙂 at some point in their life. It’s disturbing to know SOME black women go to their graves, not learning to appreciate their own hair.  I think it’s a combination of still buying into white standards of beauty and fear of not knowing how to care for their natural hair (despite all the resources available now). Also,  there are still very ignorant/hateful folks towards natural haired black women.  This causes some black women to shy away from showing their own hair.

Let’s take for example, Sheryl Underwood. The comedienne recently made disparaging remarks about natural black hair:

Sheryl Underwood, stand-up comedy star, actress, and co-host of CBS’ totally-not-a-ripoff-of-The View gabfest The Talk, has spent the better part of the Labor Day weekend fending off blistering criticism on Twitter over remarks she made on the show about natural black hair. Discussing supermodel Heidi Klum‘s revelation that she saves all of her sons’ shorn hair, Underwood asked “Why would you save afro hair?” and in questioning the utility of the saved hair, observed that “You can’t weave afro hair,” and that “You never see us at the hair place going ‘Look, here, what I need here is, I need those curly, nappy beads…That just seems nasty.”–from http://www.mediaite.com/online/watch-the-sheryl-underwood-clip-that-has-twitter-seething/

There seems to be a lot of anti-black attitudes from black comedians, these days. Sad this time it was from a black woman. Strangely, a black woman who claims to be a proud member of a black sorority. Underwood has always given off self-loathing vibes to me. I’m sure working in white Hollywood with its anti-black propaganda, doesn’t help. She probably thought she was being funny, but she failed miserably. I hope she gets some self-respect. I hope her comments don’t discourage black women from accepting their hair in its natural state.

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