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January 8, 2011

"Do Something With Your Hair!"


Brandee P. (not photographed above) writes:


Hey CN Fam!

First off, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the site!! I am on here everyday... like multiple times a day. I always find something new to read (I am an archive surfer).

I live in Georgia, south Georgia to be a little more exact, but I am from Maryland. And I must admit the people down here react a little less than excited about my natural hair. Case in point, my husband and I were talking about finding a new church to go to down here since we will be here for a while (he is finishing his degrees). I was approached a while back while in Walmart by a lady who invited me to her church. To back track, I was wearing a fly weave and my hair was long, straight, with a little wave to it. I found her card and gave her a call to see about visiting her church and she asked me to meet up to talk. I recently re-big chopped on Dec. 17th, so I went to the meeting with a cute TWA. I had never worn a TWA before- with my last few attempts at natural hair I always transitioned for at least a few months and had at least 6-8 inches of hair- but I felt good about wearing my TWA. As soon as I walked in, her face went from smiling to concern as her eyes went from my face directly to my hair. I pretended not to notice, and began to greet her and explaining what I was hoping to gain from our meeting. She was very brief with me, handed me a pamphlet about the church, and went over the times and groups the church had. I was getting up and about to leave when she said the one thing I was dreading, “Oh, and when you come...make sure you do something with your hair”. I was furious! She was so lucky we were in the church or I would have laid hands on her, and not in the holy way, lol! To make matters worse, on the pamphlet she handed me it said “Come as you are, for we are all Gods children!” WTFreak! Really? Was she serious? The church ambassador, charged with bringing new congregants into the church, with this attitude? I was dumbfounded!! I guess she could see the anger building on my face, because she followed up her statement with, “We don’t want anybody to get the wrong idea about you or your orientation or beliefs”. –DEAD- I never, ever have come across anything like this!!! Needless to say we did not go to this church.
My question to my fellow natural divas is:

Have you been questioned about the worthiness of your natural hair in church, or any place where your natural hair should be the least of anybody’s concern?

And have any of you been in the same or similar situation, and how did you deal?

81 Chime in!:

DvaAuNaturel said...

I've never had this happen to me but what in the world. Luckily in my church I haven't encountered anything like this and I've noticed many natural ladies.

“We don’t want anybody to get the wrong idea about you or your orientation or beliefs". Exactly what was she implying? Some people can be so small/closed minded. I hope that you're able to find a church though.

Sharmer said...

Wow! I cannot believe someone that ignorant has a HEAD position at church. She either needs to educate herself, or someone with more since who is not a hypocrite needs to get her position. The NERVE of some people!

Imani said...

I'm not sure what part of South Georgia you're in but I'm from Statesboro and I have definitely gotten some odd reactions to my hair. I live in Atlanta, now but I come home frequently.

I think that you should definitely call this woman out on what she said. Ask her why your hair would give someone the "wrong idea." Try to teach her your reasons for wearing your hair in it's natural state. She can't argue with the fact that what is growing out of your scalp is what God gave you and you are perfectly withing your rights to embrace it.

And if you haven't left already, if you get any more comments like that from other members of the congregation then I would consider changing churches. I'm sure you want your house of worship to be a place where you can come as you are.

While the South Georgia can be a bit backwards, coming from someone who was raised there, I promise you there are more open-minded churches and people out there. You just have to find them.

Anonymous said...

This woman was looking to get snatched! However we all know that when you do anything there are going to be people who disagree with our choices even in church. You just gotta roll with the punches and be the best you can be. There will be other churches that could care less about what is on top of your head!

KekeCurly said...

yea a lot of people only act "holy" on Sunday tho, but try another church and if you like your hair DONT WORRY about someone else who will not dictate how you are living or what your wearing.

Channing said...

Girl stop! What exactly did she want you to 'do' with a twa?? Lol.

I know it's insulting but you have to realize not everyone is going to feel the way you do about your hair and they may make ignorant comments but that's why if it bothers you, you have to educate them. It doesn't have to be a lengthy back story or catching an attitude but have something to say when you encounter folks like that.

Being up here in the DMV I can see how it's off putting because I was soo surprised [coming from the south] how common it was to see natural hair, no one made comments or paid me any mind & it took some getting used to.

But you have to understand that is the minority for now, once you step out of any minority community you'll see not everyone is as accepting as it seems, but it can and will change, which is why it's important to, like with anything, just educate others, stay confident and don't take it personally.

You know who you are, and the only thing that defines you is what YOU say does...I've never had a negative experience like that from being natural, but I have in other areas and I just apply this to everything else.

Tiffany Cross said...

I am finding more and more that people are associating natural hair with sexual orientation. It's funny that something so natural can represent so many different things to people. In my opinion getting a relaxer or color should say so much more because it requires effort to do the things and change your hair.

Anonymous said...

Maybe this sounds ignorant, but thank God you found out what the congregation was like before becoming a member of that particular church. I live near south Georgia, and there are a lot of ignorant people here (especially regarding natural hair). I've been called all sorts of names, some questioning my sexuaal identity (has been called the "d" word), others telling me my hair (especially in twists) wasn't flattering at all. Some even laugh and point. It hurts, but I've stuck with keeping my hair natural.

The church members are obviously not living the spirit of the word of Christ. What if your appearance was impacted due to illness, accident or some other calamity? Would they turn their backs on you then? Agh. This is one of my pet peeves with Christians (in name only). I work in a place where people constantly affirm their Christians, but then act in a way that isn't very Christian at all.

Sorry this happened to you.

Bree said...

You are good because I would have showed up and showed out with my hair at that church just for the hell of it, but let me stop being a devilish ...lol. But seriously, that is sad and hypocritical but you should have asked her what “orientation and beliefs” are you JUDGINGLY referring too? Is there a hotline or a contact at the church you could call because I will surely do a compliant on her behalf because you shouldn’t deter someone from going to church regardless of how they choose to wear their hair or what their “orientation or beliefs“ happened to be. But I won’t get into the “sometimes” Christians debate. I have nothing to that extent but when my boyfriend’s mother was in a hospital, his sister was like “you should comb your hair before we go visit her”? Like 1) she was unconscious and 2) when she eventually woke up my hair was the last thing on her mind so I just looked at her like she was dumb. People try to push the "other’s might have a problem" bit when it is them who has the problem

Anonymous said...

This is such a case of ignorance!! I am so embarrassed for the true body of Christ. I am so glad that do not have that issue here in Ohio. Actually it has been quite the opposite, as a lot more of our members are either natural or going natural. I think I am rather naive about the acceptance of natural hair down south since when I was in Atlanta a couple of months ago it seemed everywhere I turned I saw more natural hairstyles.

As for the sexual orientation thing, my daughter (during a conversation about getting kinky twist before I bc'd) brought it to my attention that with the younger set, short fros or two strand twist are associated with lesbians. I of coursed paid her no mind I am what I irregardless of a hairstyle.

I hope you have found a church that truly believes in coming as you are.

Anonymous said...

I'm not surprised. Ignorance is everywhere...even the church.

LBell said...

Co-signing Anonymous 1:01 pm...because I'm guessing that if you hadn't been wearing that weave in WalMart she wouldn't have even come up to you in the first place. You just got shown what kind of people are there and thank God for that. Now if you'd been there for a while I might see trying to prove a point but I wouldn't even waste my time...find another church. Alternately, go there -- with your husband -- and see what happens.

As for sexual orientation...um, that's been going on for a while now. I got it when I first went natural back in the mid-1990s. Way I see it, if being able to know my own hair and watch it grow healthy while saving tons of time and money at the same time makes me a lesbian, then hand me my rainbow flag RIGHT NOW, lol...

Anonymous said...

Never happened to me, sorry it happened to her.

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry this happened to you and I am sooo glad you did not go to that church! I keep reading about the way some of the ladies are treated because they choose to wear their hair natural and it makes me angry this is soooo wrong!This has not happened to me but it has happened to a coworker of mine by her own family! again I am sorry this happened to you . Please dont change your hair unless you want to! raina

Tonia said...

That was evidece that that church is not the place for you to be. So un-Christian like. Why your hair matters in the house of the Lord, The same Lord that gave you your texture, makes no sense to me. I live in SC and we have a growing number of natural at my church. That was pure ignorance!

Nikki Aimee said...

DANG! It's really unfortunate how comfortable some ppl are with being ignorant and showing it when they speak. I really wish that you didn't have to experience that situsation, Brandee. Especially when looking for a church to attend. I think you should write a letter to the lady and to the church to aware them of the situation. The church should know that they shouldn't have a member that's offending someone & keeping ppl from visiting their service. If the church feels the same as this lady, they should be made aware of how WRONG they are and if it's just her thought process, the church needs to know so that someone can speak with her about The Word of God. I mean, just what if this "church ambassador" comes across a young woman sporting a low fade that has recently fought cancer? She's just going to judge her and assume she might be a certain way because of her hair cut??!! OR what happens if a woman begins suffering from alopecia? Suddenly she's not good enough to be in the church?? Just plain idiotic!

This part: "She was so lucky we were in the church or I would have laid hands on her, and not in the holy way, lol!" :D TOO HILARIOUS!!

Anonymous said...

That's so ignorant...people like that give Christians a bad name. All you can do is call her on her ignorance (firmly, but politely) and move on to a group that will accepting instead of judgemental.

SweetT said...

wow. how rude! you should have told her that man looks at the outward appearance, but God looks at the heart. what would He see in hers that day? the church i attend is predominantly white, but i get compliments on my hair nearly every sunday, regardless of how i'm rocking it.

that's a real shame, but as previous posters said, good thing you found out about her early.

Anonymous said...

I've been reading articles from Curly Nikki for about a year and a half and no article other than this one sparked so much sadness and shame for that church ambassador. I'm going to pray for her so that one day she can reflect on what she said to you..Bless you in your search for a church home.

Anonymous said...

So sad, sorry you had to endure this one. Take care and good luck.

Anonymous said...

that was a pretty intense experience...

My natural reaction would have been utter confusion so I would have asked her what did she mean by that and then politely put her in her place...that's a mess. No one should be judged and placed in a box just because of one thing...hair, race, weight, age, sex, etc etc. Ignorance man....smh

Jeannette said...

Brandee P...I am so sorry that Woman treated you that way. It's unfortunate, but people like her continue to exist in society and the fact that you said you were in Southern Georgia, makes me realize it will not be the last time you will receive that kind of feedback. Because I'm from Jersey and have MANY natural people around me, I've never experienced such ignorance. However, when people react that way, it's important to point out their rude and ignorant behavior and time to educate them. FOR REAL. You don't have to get upset, ghetto or go up in her butt. It's one of those moments where you do the "Southern" thing and tell her off while you are smiling in her face. I love when Southerns do that, it cracks me up LOL LOL LOL LOL. You let her know how ignorant her behavior is and that you wouldn't be caught dead in her church while being polite and stern at the same time. She will get your point. I've heard of people saying that there are some with twa's who think that a twa is a sign of someone's sexual orientation being a lesbian. Nothing wrong with Lesbians, they are great people but a hair style does not define one's sexual orientation. Keep your head up girl, it's gonna be all right :)

SweetThang said...

That is so hypocritical that the message of the church says come as you are yet this woman says you need to do something with your hair. Where does she get the idea that how you wear your hair dictates your sexual orientation. There are plenty of straight haired lesbians out there as well has kinky haired ones.

:LOL @ "I would have laid hands on her, and not in the holy way, lol! "

Mina said...

Some of my church members questioned my transition and big chop, and accepted its my personal conviction. My family on the other hand gave me grief, my bro offered to buy me some lace wigs and my hubby likes my TWA but hates twist/twist out styles.

Anonymous said...

That is crazy! I would have gone with a fresh new twist out just for shock value and giggles. The South has always been really "conservative" and backwards with the way they think. My stepfather is from Mississippi and we still have debates about why my hair being natural has no indication of my sexual orientation and frankly if it did who's business is it anyway. When I was in high school he tried to keep me from playing sports because he said that "it makes you too masculine" and that the girls are usually gay so I would become gay too...no lie.

When my hair was really short I got many comments and was "accidentaly" mistaken for a man (even though I have double D's sitting on my chest). I just don't have the energy for those kinds of people anymore. When I run into folks like that I just look at them and shake my head and pity their ignorance because it keeps them in a tiny box that won't allow them be who they really want to be.

I went to school in Alabama and anytime you do anything that goes against the so called norm you are labled. Im a vegetarian and people acted as if the end of the world was upon us. My diet was major issue and the topic of many conversations and I wore my hair straight at that time. Can you imagine the tongues wagging if I had big chopped at that time? All any of us can do is live our own truth and let the haters hate.

Blutopaz said...

I love it when "church folks" like this woman (who I seperate from truly spiritual people who are educated about His word) preach about how God does not judge.

Porchia said...

I'm sorry that you were treated so poorly. I too live in Southern Ga. The majority of the older ladies in my congregation loved my TWA. The only thing they would say with any negativity is "It's really short. You cut all that pretty hair.", but it was always followed by "It looks good on you."

No one has called me sir or asked me if I'm lesbian. After I first BC'd I really did enjoy the androgyny of my new look though. lol

I hope you find a church that isn't so judgmental with congregants whom aren't ill-mannered. I've been around some of the most conservative Christians, but they have never taken their personal opinions to that extreme. By the way, I'm sure God thinks that your TWA is fabulous, and Jesus will have your back if you ever see that lady again. :)

Redbonegirl97 said...

Wow, you would think that you wouldn't have to think about this but there are so people that just don't get it. It's really sad.

Peace, Love and Chocolate
Tiffany

Joy said...

I received awkward comments from 1 person in my church. She felt I was so pretty and my hair compromised my look. She said if she were my husband, she would've kicked me out of her house! Whatever...and I told her that.Sad, but she does not represent my church and the pastor. The lady actually came back to me and apologized. I accepted it in love and moved on cuz guess what....I know what I'm doing and the negative comments didn't work.

Don't hold judgement on the church or the pastor. Their are alot of people that can misrepresent something that is sweet and awesome. If you can get past the "coal" you can find the "diamond"....

Anonymous said...

So sad to hear that but if I ever had the chance to speak with her again, I would remind her that GOD gave me that hair and I don't question HIM...

Novemberlady13 said...

I've never been in a situation like this but I would have went to that church, sat in the front row, and came in late so EVERYBODY could see me. I have long hair, so I would have worn my hair extra big too! I wish somebody would say something like this to me!

SteampunkRoyale said...

I've had one of the mothers make a slightly offensive comment once. I walked into the church hours after my chop for choir rehearsal. I had the tiniest afro at the time. The mother simply said, "Just make sure you don't start dressing like a boy now." I was a bit offended since she assumed such things about me.

Anonymous said...

I would have worn the longest dreadlocked wig I can find, call my friend who is always up to any shenanigans I get up to to. We would have represented at that church come Sunday. Seriously.

Anonymous said...

nothing but love for my natural hair at my church...and ironically, we are in Georgia...the ATL.

and don't forget the devil has many ways to discourage you from being in church or getting closer to Jesus, so remember there are haters in the church too.

just keep on moving forward! if you want to go back then go, but if not you can come to Atlanta Berean Seventh-day Adventist church...where all natuarals are welcome!

Purple Fabric said...

Wow! She needs serious prayer!

Purple Fabric said...

BTW, I attend a giga-church (bigger than mega) in Southern Cali. Very diverse. Latina, filipino, black, lots of multi-racial so I've never experienced this type of attitude at church.

Previously, I attended a very small church with Nigerian pastors. They couldn't get over the fact that I wore my hair short by choice. They had never heard of such. The Nigerian ladies were not fond of natural hair; especially short.

Anonymous said...

Wow that is so upsetting..well maybe thus was a sign from god that you didn't belong in that church anyway. I hope that you find a new church that accepts you, ALL of you.

But I do agree though, people like that give Christians a bad name. They always say come as you are but got the nerve to speak about your hair. Ignorance at its best.

Anonymous said...

Seriously?? What was her motivation in telling you that? To get you to come BACK? lol Wow. I'm a christian 2 months post BC and have never encountered anything like this. My church folk have shown me nothing but love, but even if they didn't it's just hair! and it's mine! When God created you in his image he specifically appointed you to have the hair on top of your head and it's unlike any one else's on the planet. Furthermore, you don't go to church to impress other people you go to worship the Lord. She should not be approaching any strangers on behalf of her church. If she is African American, even she had a TWA straight out of the womb.So what's her real issue? If you ever visit Tampa, FL come see us at Grace Family Church,where our motto is "You Matter to God". not "you matter if your hair is chin length or longer and straight"...people are ridiculous.
Angela

Jeannette said...

@Porcha 4:23 PM...since both of you are in Southern Georgia, perhaps you can invite her to attend your church one day.

StaceyMarie said...

I didn't have the negative church experience post-BC and I hope I never have it, but I did have a co-worker who is a serious Jehovah's witness comment after I'd had my hair straightened for a trim. He said that he thought my straight hair suited me better and that he liked it much more. I pointed out that I'm sure God likes the hair HE gave me better. It's comments like that that give me pause when it comes to organized religion. I would've politely told that lady that I love God and He loves me, so thank goodness I don't need your vote to get into Heaven!

Kay said...

That's why i don't bother with church, i worship at Church of St Mattress where there's no hypocrisy. How you wear your hair is your own business, she was rude and is obviously a self righteous hypocrite. Look for a new church.

Anonymous said...

Ridiculous.

But I have to say that I'm so happy to see someone whose name is spelled like mine!!!! :D

Leo the Yardie Chick said...

Wow. I guess I've been a lesbian since birth, considering that I was born with a TWA!

Idiot. >_< I wish you the best of luck on your church search. Hopefully you'll find people who will really let you 'come as you are'.

kandi83 said...

When I went to church the first Sunday after my BC. I was approached with alot of the same questions I got at work,but the one I got most often was Why did you cut off your hair? It was so long and beautiful! While people questioned my decision it wan't until I got to church that i heard whispers and snickering and the negative attention some were giving my hair! Some people are just hypocrites! And all churched have at least one! Just remember that you go to church for God and to strengthen your walk with Him and noone else!

Pamela said...

Brandee, first of all I want you to know that this should not have happen to you especially by someone who claims to be a child of God. This is clearly not of God. I am a Christian and people who say things like this have clearly not read their bible. We were made in God image and God did not make any mistakes. The only person you have to please is God. God is happy with how he made you and that's including your hair.

My pastor has refer to natural hair as nappy, as if it was a bad thing from the pulpit. I just let it filter through because I wear my natural hair proudly and I am pleased with how God made me. The interesting thing about me is without having to go off on certain people about their crude statements about my hair, I have actually got more women in my church to start wearing their hair natural because they see how healthy my hair is and notice how I am able to wear my hair in so many diffrent ways. I agree since this was your first experience at that particular church, to ask God to help you find the right church for you. Church is a time to focus on God, not your hair. Don't give up on finding a church home because of this. You will be surprise just how many women want to wear their hair like you. Wearing your hair natural makes you a role model and most people thinks it's a fad not a way of life. You will find that people are more afraid of who you will influence by wearing your hair natural.

Women are losing their hair and having more health issues due to all the chemicals that they subject themselves to just to be like everybody else. I let my hair and my good health speak for itself. Amen

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry for the ignorance you've had to face. I live in MS and we have several natural ladies in our congregation. We enjoy preservice chats about new products, techniques and failures. I was the first,if I received any opposition, I took it as excitement. I refuse to see the negativity in God's house. But I have had family to comment that my locs are tracks. LOL

Ayeshia said...

Well, my mother wouldn't let me get my hair cut off so my first week of college, September 4th, 2010, I BCed.

When I came home the utter distate was not hidden on her face, nor did she attempt to do so. I've been putting up with her blunt comments about my TWA being "Nappy" and "Not Done." However, two days ago my friend was putting my hair in a protective style, cornrows. When she was almost done, my mother came in the room and said "Well, now you starting to look like somebody decent. Not a child acting like her momma can't afford to get her hair permed and making me look bad." Now mind you I am 18 years old and a VERY respectful adult but to disrespect me in front of my friends, Unacceptable. (Crazy thing: the girl that was doing my hair is natural, too, about APL)

So I got an attitude with my mother and said,"Well, thank you very much for your support MOM but unlike you I couldn't care less about what other people think about me. But, everyone else LOVES my natural hair; so, the only person who thinks I'm making you look bad is you. And if you're going to continue to disrespect me in public or private, I think I will spend my Christmas Break elsewhere."

She hasn't said a single thing about my hair since, good or bad.

Anonymous said...

Lol everything comes back to you, so either her hair will fall out or her daughter will go natural just to show her how ignorant her ideals are!!!

Anonymous said...

I have a situation that involved my daughter. At the time my daughter was 7 and attended a private school. I have never straightened her hair because it is thin and very delicate; she was wearing it in little pony tails at the time. An older woman came up to me one day and started to give me advice about how I could use grease and a hot comb to straighten my daughter's hair so that she would look better in a "mixed environment". I just nodded and said uh huh. The thing that really got to me was that this woman was the grandmother of a little boy who was probably one of the baddest kids at the entire school whereas my daughter was a top student and one of the most well behaved children there. I just thought this woman should have focused more on her grandson and his behavior in the "mixed environment" rather than my daughter. I was not rude to her because I think she was trying to be helpful. By the way, her grandson ended up flunking that year and eventually was expelled because of behavior problems.

Anonymous said...

I'm in New York City and I've gotten nothing but compliments at my church. I attend a large and diverse church with women with natural hair and relaxed or straightened hair and everyone embraces each other in love. I actually have had a visitor to the church (a non-African American woman) touch my hair unexpectedly while asking me "how I got it like that." (I was wearing kinky curly curling custard and I have coils that are slightly bigger than pen spring coils). I have received nothing but love, advice, and encouragement.

Anonymous said...

OMGosh! The audacity of that lady! Some people are so rude and don't know what to let come out of their mouth. I have never had anything like this happen to me. Thank God! Because I don't know what I'd do. I'm so sorry this happened to you. She was definitely not Christ-like.

Anonymous said...

Why do women bite their tongues? You post your story here, which was great to read YET you never said what was on your mind to this women. Why????? I really do not play that keeping quiet when someone offends me crap. I am quick to speak up and let what is on my mind be known. She was quick to tell you to do something with your hair and you should have been just as quick to say "God blessed me with this hair just the way it is and I'm in no rush to do anything different with it from what you see. I'm natural and if you cannot appreciate that than perhaps you and I serve two different Gods. Furthermore, I wear a wedding ring and my husband will be attending with me. So, there can be no confusion."

The fact that she is a church ambassador is all the more reason why you should have let her know how ignorant and rude she came across to you. People in positions need to know so that they can at least try to learn from their past mistakes. You never know, your speaking up could have prevented it from happening again while educating her at the same time.

Sorry, I just had to say what was on my mind. I really did enjoy your post and yes, I have had ignorant remarks too! Mine actually came from family members who are all church going and trust me, once I finished with them they knew never to come at me with that b.s. again. Ignorance is ignorance.

naturallyme4mebyme said...

Speechless.. I am absolutely speechless.... are there REALLY people out there, that are that ignorant? I have never encountered anything of such foolishness,however it appears from reading different forums that "OUR" hair is really an issue for everyone...WHY is that? I mean seriously....HAIR. I do not understand among all the things going on in our community why is HAIR of all things so talked about, ridiculed, judged and so forth? I just dont get it. I have been natural for ( technically, all natural) not even a mth..however my hair has been a TWA since june, I was transitioning. Oddly enough I get sooo many compliments on my hair. I love it and my hair loves me. Now I did have to convey the "my natural hair" to the new boyfriend, he was a victim of ignorance. Yet once I explained the stance, he loves my hair NOW also, and from the looks of things I am eternally grateful for that, alone. So moving forward, my question.. WHY is "OUR" hair such an issue to what appears to the entire world?

Amaralice said...

I am amazed at these kind of stories. People with self-hate try to encourage others to do the same sometimes so that they can feel okay. Being religious and being accepting and non judgemental do not always go hand in hand.

Breanna said...

Wow that is something for that lady to be so bold and say that to you. Me personally I would have kept talking until the door, and then waited until I was out of the church door then went off on that bytch. As long as I wasn't in the lords house then it was ok for me to do it lol yeah I know wrong. But you don't talk about a lady's hair like that and then made it so public at that. Hum, I know over in Atlanta they are known for asking for your paycheck to see if you make enough money to join their churches. My uncle stays in McDonough,GA on the outskirts of Atl, but he's stayed in different parts of Atlanta and he told me this is what alot of them will do I was like "WTF" crap service is that.

Anonymous said...

That's just wrong. I doubt that the geographic area has anything to do with it, because there are ignorant people everywhere. Although she is the "church ambassador" she may not really speak for everyone. I would still attend and maybe talk to the pastor after service and let him know that his ambassador was not very welcoming to you and your natural hair.

Anonymous said...

This is "treat people how you want to be treated". I'd find that lady and have a good talk with her. She owes an apology.

Find another church or seek God within your own heart.

Monika said...

I am sorry that you had such a bad experience!How twisted must her mind be!
Ladies, let us just get our rainbow flags out and wave for our free hair, our free mind and our free sisters out there who are in love with each other!
The last time somebody has to say something negative about my hair I strongly adviced her to step her fiber intake up, because narrow-mindedness can lead to serious constipations.
Hope you and your dh will find a warm, welcoming place where you can just be and praise God!

Anonymous said...

I bet this woman's comment was more about your sexuality than your natural hair. I think she stereotyped you as a possible lesbian. That is what I gathered from her follow up comment. However that is beside the point, she should not have said anything. If I were you I would contact the pastor or other leadership and let them know what image their ambassador is setting for the church.

Kitty said...

No. I've never had that happen at church, and I went to Catholic church too. My hair was never an issue. My friends and I used to go to church dressed like goths and people (not even the clergy) thought anything of it. We were God's children no matter how we dressed or how we styled out hair.

Outside the church was a different story. I've had people confuse me for a young man several times. I've had "friends" act worried that I wasn't interested in guys, and blah blah blah. But the people in my life that really mattered NEVER made those assumptions no matter how many phases I went through. I was their friend/sister/daughter plain and simple.

I pray that church leader reflects on the Word and repents. God wants us to love each other and care about each other, not outside appearances. God bless! <3

Anonymous said...

Yeah. I'm seventeen and we have to have a 200 hour internship for school.
I went to one of the hospitals downtown for an interview to be an intern. I went to the interview with my naturally curly hair slicked back into a low bun, so it wasn't standing up all over my head or something. About a week later I got an email congratulating me on getting the position, but at the bottom there was a few sentences that said "Curly hair is not acceptable in professional work places. Please adjust to this policy before beginning your internship with us."

-_- Really?!

Anonymous said...

Wow just wow!!!!!! My Church has been my biggest supporter and many have followed suit. I have gotten the ignorant comments associating my hair to my sexuality because I sport the TWA by choice from others though...

Anonymous said...

I have come across priceless facial expressions whether at work or at the food store, etc. I had a co-worker of mine yell at me to put a wig on and I have had another one suggest that I get a straightening treatment done to my hair. It use to severely bother me, but now I expect it more than a comment so I guess I have become stronger. Church is just a building, god does accept you just the way you are, and those who find the way you look to interfere with you being a member there well you do not have to join their church. It will be less offerings for them so their loss.

Anonymous said...

My 14 year old daughter and I can't believe this article. We recently relocated, and visited a new church this morning. We were welcomed, and I didn't feel uncomfortable about my TWA at all! This is sad!!! It is hard enough to find a church that is a good fit, without this craziness!!! What's next...weight, complexion, age discrimination? If that's what they are about there, then maybe she did you a favor. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Church folks are the worst folks. She was beyond ignorant but you will find that and then some in these black wanna be mega churches. Forget her and her silly self. The fact that she felt real good about what she said is a clear indication that she doesnt have christ in your life because if she did God has a way of convicting you in your wrongdoing!!!!!!! People should really get over themselves and stay out of other folks business. And who really has a meeting with someone before they join a church. It God's house not her house.

Kenya said...

I know I have gotten the questioning or assumptions about my sexual orientation since I cut me hair. I am over the whole idea over stereotypes. I have definitely spent time working on my own assumptions and presumptions because of it. I am so sorry that she said that to you and that other experience that regularly.

pinkysmith said...

@StaceyMarie- I am a Jehovah's Witness and that person's out of pocket comment should simply be taken as his opinion. As ridiculous as it sounded. I'm happy to say my congregation has been nothing but supportive, encouraging, and complimentary about my hair and there are many natural women right along with me.

It's sad how ignorant and downright rude people can be about something that's ultimately none of their business.

Chandra said...

I am so sorry to hear about your experience. I am also from Maryland and moved down to ATL about six years ago. I have to tell you that I have had great experiences here in ATL. I get more looks and questions in MD with my natural styles then in ATL. Come on over to my church, Berean Christian Church in Stone Mountain and you will see that, I joke with you not, almost half of our congregation is natural! We are also what you would call a mega church but, believe me folks are there for the good word not any nonsense worrying about your appearance!

Samantha said...

So a few questions:1)What type of church was it? 2) How old was the lady? 3) (this is really a comment) WELCOME TO THE SOUTH! I've been natural for 10 years - my grandmother called me ugly when I BC'd the first time and father told me that college would be tough looking like that...
It's not about what other's think, it's about what energy you put out and how you REact to situations like that. I think you did the right thing. I can totally relate. I have a really big interview wednesday and I'm totally nervous cause I refuse to wear a wig (which is normally how I handle interviews). I'm tired of hiding and making excuses - this is my natural HALO and I will wear it how I please :) Follow me on YouTube supernatllady

CurlyChronicles said...

I don't do church. That's just wrong though..old people get on my nerves some times because they feel they can say what they want but we're all to respect our elders.. how about we respect every damn body??

Julissa said...

I am very sorry this happened to you. Never happened to me, thank God.
Most of the commentators here are judging "the church" as a whole, it was only "one" member of the church with that attitude, she doesn't know and we don't know how the other people in that church are, so we should not judge all by the actions of only "one".
I'm sure she will find a home church where mostly everydody is loving. Because you can find all kinds of people in all churches, they're just not converted, they are there for position or who knows why.

coco_fiere said...

I hate that you had to encounter such a rude and questionable Christian. However, as others have said, it's good you found out early what prejudices/judgement are acceptable in that church. You will find the right church soon!

Anonymous @7:05 PM (1/9), you should save the letter (make a copy also) then consult with your school administrators and possibly, an attorney. I have worked in many corporate and professional environments and my hair has been curly and natural since birth. They hire me, they hire my hair. That notation at the end of your offer letter seems discriminatory. Good luck!

Jasmine said...

i would've cussed that so-and-so out in the name of the Lord. that was extremely ignorant. since when does the texture of a person's hair determine their 'orientation' or beliefs? smh. i'm sick of that.

Anonymous said...

Omgosh. I'm sorry that happen to you. Being from the south myself(South Carolina) we embrace natural hair to the fullest(well at least all the people I know) So I have no idea why that lady was acting the way she was. Sometimes as you already know, our own kind per say can make us angery and say the craziest things when in fact if her hair was natural and your length she would look like you. I'm so glad you kept your composure(I would have probably said something in a Bernie Mac type of tone myself though)You were the bigger person in this situation. Stay strong my sista.

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry to hear that happened to you but please understand it's the slave mentality/ condition that we (people of color) are still dealing with. God willing we will overcome [it]. Any(who) I must admit that when I started my transition (which I could only deal w/ two different textures for 4 months before it became a BIG hassel and I did the chop...Thank You Jesus I was met with that same opposition. When I chopped all the processed hair off I was thrilled to say the least. I finally felt like the REAL me was able to stand up and out however after I went home rewashed conditioned and styled my hair my next thought was, "I can go to work on Monday and I don't care what my white coworkers think but can I go to Church tomorrow"? That was my big challenge, so I went because if I didn't go how would I know I was truly free of what people thought of me. Fortunately my only two comments that could possibly be deemed negative were, "what did your Mother say when you cut off all that beautiful hair of yours"....WHAT? I am 40 years old granted people ususally think I am in my 20's but come on now LOL. And the other one came months later when a woman at church whom I like said, "You know I didn't like it at first so I never said anything but it really fits you and it looks nice" I thanked her for not trying to ruin my spirit based on her first thought and kept it moving. I think that once we start to know who we are [in Christ Jesus] we won't need to look for anyones approval and we won't feel the need to give our approval of something that God Himself deemed Good. Believe it or not we are on that path...I see it! Be Blessed.

Anonymous said...

I have been natural all my life, but choice to press n' curl my hair because it was easy. Needless to say my hair is now heat damaged and I want to grow healthy hair. This is when I decided to wear my hair in a twist n' curl like Curlnikki. The first day I went to my internship with this style my mentors ask what was wrong with my hair. Honestly I wanted to cuss my mentors out and tell them where they should go, but I didn't. I just smiled and continue to rock my hair. You have to do what is going to work for you and your hair. You can't let anyone else determine how you should wore your hair. As far as church that lady and others like her are the reason why people don't like going to church... Only God can judge people.

Anonymous said...

I feel you girlfriend, I love to wear my natural hair and especially in a ponytail. Since, I don't care for perms and press and comb. There always somebody wants to get in my hair at church. They have this thing about God told them to asked me if they could do my hair. Please, I don't like people in my hair. So, I put extension in my hair so they would leave me alone. Only one thing on my mind at church is God and I don't need anybody interrupting my me time with him. Next, time somebody approach you like that. Tell them to take it up with God. Because, God doesn't have a problem with my hair. You do., and keep it pushing. Matter of fact, I would have called the Bishop/Pastor on that brochure and reported her conduct toward me. Then I would put it in writing in a letter and sent a email. I bet the time next she approached somebody she would keep her thoughts to herself. You did the right thing. Just remember God is always testing you and the
devil always trying to find your weak spot. God looks on the inside not outside.
Trust God he will lead you to the right church. Be Bless

Anonymous said...

This is interesting because growing up I always associated natural hair with more religious people. It's probably because my father is a religion professor and many the African-American female students rocked natural hair. Furthermore, my mother is a minister and she's worn her hair in a fro for as long as I can remember. I guess it goes to show you can't make assumptions like this.

Anonymous said...

Interesting! When I moved to southeast AL, people in the town just continued to ask questions and wondered WHY I did not relax my hair. Weaves are the norm here. My former pastor was making comments once at bible study related to appearances and said something negative about kinky hair and implied that a person should get a "straightening comb or something" to "fix" their hair. I politely raised my hand and told him that I was proud of my kinky hair and thought that it was a parent's job to teach a girl HOW to groom her hair and embrace what's naturally there before they make major chemical changes to it. He appologized and added that he should have said ungroomed or something similar. BUT would you imagine that at the same church, one of the oldest deacons has ALWAYS complemented me on my natural hair and the styles I wear it in...If I wear it in a bun, he will ask me WHY I'm not wearing it in a big fro or twists.... --BDJ

Anonymous said...

Wait, what? She thought your TWA meant you were lezzie? I have never had this experience (sadly I've recently embraced a more heathen lifestyle and haven't attended religious services in almost 2 years) Maybe it was the area I lived in but everyone loved seeing my natural hair and I sometimes felt sorry for the little relaxed girls because they were just like everyone else and no one ever complimented them on their styles at church. I've worn puffs and fros to church as well as more demure styles and buns pretty much as long as I wasn't blocking anyone's view and was properly clothed no one really cared what your hair looked like.

Samantha said...

A lady at church asked me why I didn't want to relax my hair then that I should consider relaxing my hair (I used to have relaxed hair - not going back down that road).
Another lady was like, "what are you going to do to your hair? It's so stubborn, so thick, so..."whatever else she said, I tuned out once she started talking about my hair. (also in church)
The same lady above was like, "there's this hair product I found. It will straighten out your curls so you can comb your hair, your hair would be manageable and soft," she told me the name of the product and I was like, "oh, okay. I'll look up it's ingredients when I get home," an excuse to make her stop talking. She then said, "just look for and buy the product." The next Sunday, she was like, "you didn't find it? Did you even look for it," I said, "no," and she just looked at my hair said, "okay," and walked away. A girl that BCed, grew her hair out then her mum relaxed it looked at me and was like, "I knew you wouldn't have bothered looking for that product." Her mum's learning more about natural hair so I guess her mum would soon transition or let her transition back to natural.
One thing I like about where I live in England (the church above is a church in Nigeria) is that the people there don't care about my hair. The kids like playing around with my hair and oh my! they fiddle with my hair so much, trying this and that, making me look even crazier than I do on a crazy day and so on lol. My cousin's natural and we both let our hair be some days and leave the house so, no one bother's with our hair. :)

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