Does Straightening Hair for "Special Occasions" Send Kids the Wrong Message?

Via Aevin Gugas IG

By Erickka Sy Savané

We love Guinness World Record holder for biggest afro Aevin Dugas. She was one of our Naturally Glam picks and the CurlyNikki community showed her beaucoup love! But not everyone was feeling the love recently when she shared her views about straightening kids' hair for 'special occasions.' Who knows, maybe it was the "Ya welcome" at the end of the tweet, but some folks were hot as fish grease!

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Not so thrilled commenters:
  • corseiHow about girls do what they want with their hair?! All they need to know is they are beautiful and special natural or whatever way they want their hair. Do what you want for you. But not for anyone else
  • mskendra1913Maybe it’s less about looking “special” and more about looking different than you normally wear your hair. The opposite is also true....For example: many women put more curls in their hair for special occasion. I try to LET PEOPLE LIVE and fix their child’s hair or their own hair how they please.
Still others agreed:
  • teachingclassThis is exactly why I didn't straighten it for my wedding. Straight hair is not necessarily for special occasions, but for random days where rain is not in the forecast 😂
  • blessed_brandi73I made this mistake with my daughter and now she refuses to wear her hair in it's natural state. I'm a witness this is a huge MISTAKE!
  • ms_twisted_n_turnedI had the same thought and conversation with my daughter when I returned to natural. I apologized for making her think that her hair should be straight for special occasions.
  • naturallykrichSo glad you said this. I was graduating from 8th grade and wanted my hair to look “special” so I had it relaxed. Continued this for 20 years. Been back to natural for 4 years now. My natural hair is so much more special 💜
Aevin was quick to send out another tweet to try to clear up any misinterpretations:

I don't know if errrrrbody heard her though. Personally, I am in total agreement. It's not about whether you have the right to do what you want to with your kid's hair. Of course, you do. But don't shoot the messenger, it's about the actual message in this case. I recall last summer going to a funeral Down South and the family made a point of getting the granddaughter of the deceased hair straightened for the occasion. She was about 5 years old and I remember thinking, "Oh brother, they seriously feel that straight hair is the way to honor the dead?" As if her grandad was in the coffin saying, 'boy, your hair sure looks proper!' It is the wrong message. Do straight hair when and because you want to do, but don't do it to your kids for weddings, funerals, graduations, ribbon cuttings, birthday parties, bar mitzvahs, candle-lightings and so on and think that they won't associate straight with special or straight with better. Then we're right back where we started pre-natural hair movement.

But, hey, that's just us. How do you feel?

Does straightening hair for 'special occasions' send the wrong message to kids or are we making something out of nothing?
 
Erickka Sy Savané is managing editor of CurlyNikki.com, a wife, mom, and freelance writer based in Jersey, City, NJ. Her work has appeared in Essence.comEbony.com, Madamenoire.com, xoNecole.com, and more. When she’s not writing...wait, she’s always writing! Follow her on Twitter, Instagram or  ErickkaSySavane.com

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