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Curly Nikki

Handling Rude Comments About Your Hair

By January 27th, 202195 Comments

Handling Rude Comments About Your Hair

by Chelsea of Curly and Young

I recently received this heart wrenching message from a young curly in distress. At some point or another we have all felt a little low about our hair be it straight or curly. However, the pressures to conform are made worse when persons go out of their way to insult your decision to go natural. This young curly has agreed to let me share this in the hopes of helping others who are experiencing the same thing as her.

Hi. I think your idea for a curly teen blog is great because it’s a lot harder for us teens to handle the rude comments people make. Like yesterday, for example, while I was at the library, this girl with straight brownish hair said “How do you live with dry, hideous hair like that? Do something with that ugly pile of mess on your head” and I was left speechless. My sixteen year old brother came out of nowhere and replied “Yeah, her hair looks really bad like 99% of the time” and they both started laughing and continued to make fun of me. I just walked away. I haven’t talked to him since then. He’s also the main person who pokes fun at my hair, besides my eight year old brother. My mom even makes fun of my hair occasionally, and she relaxes her hair and wears extensions and says it’s to “make her look more Native American”. I usually try not to let that kind of stuff bother me but I couldn’t help but cry at the end of the day because I have enough trouble with my hair and I’ve been laughed at because of my hair since I was about six. Also having my own brother laugh along with some rude stranger just really hurt. And to think, some teens have to deal with that kind of stuff everyday, whether it’s about their hair, clothes, opinion, lifestyle, etc.

I am really touched and saddened by your story. I have heard many stories but yours is truly something else. So here’s how you could’ve handled it and how to handle it if God forbid it should happen again.

  • When we experience such things we need to learn to deflect. After my cut many persons had alot to say but after ignoring them they quickly became bored. When people are so blatantly rude I’d suggest the side eye and the ‘I’m better than you thus, I will not even reply to your comment’ stare. It usually stops them in their tracks.
  • Also you could try to divert the topic of the conversation away from your hair so that you are no longer the focus of attention. At times like this bringing up a new topic or reminding someone of something that was funny or that they had to do etc will not only shift their focus but also make them aware that you are not comfortable with the conversation.
  • Also, BE CONFIDENT!! Clamming up, starting the waterworks or not standing up for yourself is the equivalent of giving them the ok to say such hurtful things. When persons ask you why you wear your hair a certain way a simple “because I want to” usually suffices. Respectfully stick up for yourself or if you are shier simply walk away. You do not have to stand there and tolerate rude insults. Persons can insult the wind when it comes to me because I do not stick around to hear it.
  • Lastly explain your stance. Tell persons why you went natural in a clear and concise manner. Tell them how harsh relaxers are and about alopecia (hair loss) from weaves and wigs. Many persons ignorantly insult you but once you explain your stance they may find it hard to continue and argue against such good reasoning. Once in class I explained to some of my friends all about my decision to go natural and they were surprised at the information I had given them. After that I received very few “Why did you cut your hair?” questions.
How do you handle rude comments?

95 Comments

  • Hello says:

    People are always going to "hate on you" young lady. Sometimes for the dumbest crap. Grown ups and do it and so do kids. Kids are just a little more bold. Do what makes you happy and forget about them. I know you have heard this over and over again, but it is the truth. You cannot please everyone, so you got to please yourself. But ask yourself this, are you taking care of your hair. Is it moisturized, styled and washed at least every week? Is it neat. If you are not taking care of you hair, then that needs to change. But if your hair is neat, healthy, reasonably styled, moisturized and clean………..then forget what that fat headed girl.

  • Hello says:

    To the young lady who wrote this very sad letter. I too know what it like to be picked on. I have had people say some truly nasty things to me in my lifetime. Curly Nikki is right. You need to stand up for yourself. Ignoring people and their nasty comments wont make it go away. Take it from someone who has had nasty insults hurled at them as a kid and adult. Stand up for yourself, but in an intelligent way. If you start crying or show your anger…………….people will continue to pick on you.Stay cool. A comment like my hair looks like yours when it is not straightened …………….is a good comment. I always thought it was stupid that black women took pride in hair or a texture of hair that is not theirs by design. When the wigs and perms are out, we black women have kinky hair. I don't know what to say about your mom. My father lol, cracks on my hair from time to time. He use to put relaxers in hair to make his it straight back in the day……………..but now he is bald. And yes, I have had to kindly remind him of this fact…………….but I'm grown, so do you try any nonsense like that with any adults in your family. My point is, the people who make the comments usually have unhealthy hair themselves. Do let them get to you. Tell you something else. When I started work, I had a few coworkers make some not so nice comments about my hair behind my back. But that is because I get a little lazy when it comes to grooming my hair. Anywho…………………now all the young black women at my place of work have gone natural. Including the ones who made fun of my hair.

  • DA says:

    This just happened to me last week. I was passing a coworker in the parking lot on my way to my car, commented on how it looked like it was going to rain and another person came along and said, "well you won't want to get caught in the rain — your hair might kink up." I replied by saying it could start to pour rain at this exact minute and I'd be fine with it, and headed toward my car. I heard her say, "I was just joking" — uh huh…. So, I went home, slept on it and reported her to HR the next day. It's ridiculous how people think they can say things like that. I didn't feel like I needed to defend how my natural hair responds when it gets wet, first of all, and secondly, her comment suggested that "kinking up" is unpreferred or substandard….
    The HR Director said she will speak with her if that was fine with me, which it was, but I said, under no uncertain terms was this individual to approach me about this topic. period.

  • Chocolatepgh says:

    I'm natural becuase I was forced to go natural after a stylist burnt my scalp so bad that my dematologist told me i now have chemical alopecia. These chemicals are not good for anyone. Believ me when I say being bald isn't fun. After that incident, only 80% of my hair has grown back, but my hair it thick enough to cover the spots where hair is missing. Im glad God had given me a really full thick head of hair or i would be up a creek with not much options. Yet, I dont see being natural as a bad thing. I hold my head high no matter how I wear it. As Ms. Arie said "I am not my hair." The thing I find funny is that is white who love my fro, and always giving me comments when I have my hair out.. The comments of ignorance come from my black brothers and sister. So what does that tell you. I'm natural now and proud of it. When I decide to make the jump and have kids, best believe they will be natural too.

  • Harashio says:

    I dealt with this, too. I graduated high school about two weeks ago, and senior year was the most life-changing year I could've possibly asked for, other than graduating and prom and all that other stuff; it was the year that I went natural. Now initially, I wasn't too high in the confidence sector, so the rude comments weren't taken so lightly on my behalf. But it was when my mom told me that those girls that wore weaves couldn't last one day doing what I did: wearing my natural hair every day, in front of 500+ people with only the slightest bit of self-consciousness. They would stick their heads through the floor like ostriches while I stood tall…confidence is key

  • Harashio says:

    I dealt with this, too. I graduated high school about two weeks ago, and senior year was the most life-changing year I could've possibly asked for, other than graduating and prom and all that other stuff; it was the year that I went natural. Now initially, I wasn't too high in the confidence sector, so the rude comments weren't taken so lightly on my behalf. But it was when my mom told me that those girls that wore weaves couldn't last one day doing what I did: wearing my natural hair every day, in front of 500+ people with only the slightest bit of self-consciousness. They would stick their heads through the floor like ostriches while I stood tall…confidence is key

  • Unknown says:

    When my daughter was younger her cousin (while babysitting) decided to perm her hair w/o my permission. I was furious but once it started I had to keep it up. After her hair broke off I quit perming and just let it go back to natural. She's 11 now and we are both natural. I asked her if she would feel better looking like the other girls in her school and she said no, they all look the same and I am me. I like my hair and it doesn't itch or burn anymore. I want to wear MY hair not that white stuff. One of her friends asked her after I took her braids out what happened to her head and she politely told him ,I took my braids out. When he asked why her hair looked that way she said because that's the way it is. LOL

  • Anonymous says:

    I started wearing my natural hair in September, at the request of my boyfriend. My Afro is the subject of scrutiny at my job. But it wasn't my coworkers that insulted my hair. No, I happen to work with family as well, and, at the sight of my hair, my cousin began to laugh. Never would I have had the courage to go natural in high school. But I'm happy to be here now. This change takes strength and courage and it's such a shame that other people make it so difficult to do it.

  • SheAuNaturel says:

    You just have ta be confident and pleased with the way you look. I remember back in high school when there was a big dance coming up and i was surrounded by the females on the creamy crack. They asked me was i gonna relaxe my hair, i said no. they all started to laugh.. lol.. i meean from a good healthy place.. (BUT my feelings werent hurt because im a hella confident person and once i decide i wanna do somethin can't no one change my mind.) when they were done with a blank face i explained to them that im natural and im not paying money to damage my hair. Then the laughter died out and dese same creamy crackheads, lol.. was asking me about it and was it hard etc.. Sometimes you gotta just take the criticism and then wen dey done "gut punch dat @$$"(in my vivica fox voice) WITH TACT, because confidence like fear can be sensed without uttering a word.. even if you are not confident in your choice to go natural right after you BC, don't let them know, Fake it til you make it.. Keep your head up, it'll get better.. It's like a rite of passage.. every natural female has encounter atleast one vocal idiot in her time..

  • shopaholicsince1987 says:

    I just now read this and felt truly hurt for my fellow curly. I really like the suggestions especially the last one because no intelligent person can argue with logic but I also have a suggestion… I know my remark isn't PC or polite but say the following if you really want the offenders to back off; family included. I've used this a few times and you can't really argue w/ it;-) "I am not white nor do I have any genes that would make my hair naturally straight. I refuse to do anything to my hair because someone else is uncomfortable with the way I look or due to the fact they have trouble accpeting how they themselves naturally look! I am an independent thinker and as such a person I will do whatever I want with my hair since IT IS MY HAIR. If you find yourself so inclined to ever comment on MY HAIR again please keep it to yourself because I didn't ask for your opinion nor do I care."

  • Anonymous says:

    Hi, i read this and became enraged!

    Whenever I get rude comments, in my mind(or 2 their faces) I tell myself(or them) that they'll have suck it up and live with it because this is what I was born with and this is what GROWS from MY head, I'll be proud of who I am!

  • Anonymous says:

    That was a typo. I meant to type, "It is sad that so many women would rather risk becoming BALD from wearing extensions than daring to be seen with curly or kinky hair.

  • Anonymous says:

    It is sad that so many women would rather risk becoming BALD from wearing extensions than be seen with curly or kinky straight hair.

  • Anonymous says:

    CORPORATIONS AND COMPANIES MAKE BILLIONS OF DOLLARS FOR THEIR EFFORTS IN CONTINUING THE MYTH THAT CURLY OR KINKY HAIR IS UNDESIRABLE. Wake UP!!!!!!!!!!

  • Anonymous says:

    By telling women how to "fix" their curly or kinky hair is CONTINUING to promote womens'insecurity about having kinky and curly hair, and telling them how to "fix" or "cure" or "smooth" or "straighten" their curly hair is CONTINUING the foul myth that kinky and curly hair is bad or ugly.

  • Anonymous says:

    Ironically, when I was growing up, NO one ever said anything negative about my kinky hair, except my own PARENTS. They made rude and cruel comments about my hair being kinky the entire time I lived at home, and for decades after I left.

  • Anonymous says:

    This whole thing about it being a taboo to have kinky hair is like Nazi Germany, where everyone was expected to have Aryan looks. That mentality never ended, and is alive and well here. WAKE UP!

  • Anonymous says:

    It is disgusting that companies have been using the term "frizzy" as a code word for "curly," and that they are playing on womens' insecurity for having curly hair. A lot of times, they just show a before photo of a woman with curly hair that has not been brushed out, and say that is the "after" result, then they take the same model and have her brush her hair out, and they call it "frizzy," and use it as the before photo. The term "frizzy" is an acronym for kinky hair, and we should not support these products, nor should we support their anti-kinky hair propaganda they promote in so-called "beauty" magazines.

  • Anonymous says:

    Each person is born with the hair they have.
    Making fun of someone for having curly hair is like making fun of someone for being born tall or short, being born black, white or crippled. It is only by the grace of God that the person with straight hair has it, not because of any superiority of their own, and they should be reminded of that. They should be thankful to God if they like straight hair, instead of being arrogant, and express that gratitude to God by being kind to those that DON'T have straight hair.

  • Anonymous says:

    The guy I dated was so toxic.Therefore, I strongly urge each person to get away from, and STAY AWAY from toxic people who cannot accept the beauty that he or she posesses.

    __My story__
    When I had finally girded myself with confindence and did the big chop, the boyfriend with whom I shared my most precious gift with spoke such dispariging words, and these words nearly devoured my self-esteem and all of my faith that a man would accept me and my natural hair. I remember looking at myself one day and I allowed what he thought about me to be the same thing that I had begun to think about myself and that's when I had to draw the line…Sayonara sucker to him!

  • Anonymous says:

    I remember being called "bush" when I was younger. I am white but still suffer from the natural curls. I just say "It is a gift from my gram". It helps me to feel better because she is gone now, but I still feel her love.

  • Quiet Riot says:

    I don't know how I'd respond to be honest. I've never cared what people thought of my hair. My hair is an extennsion of me. She shouldn't care what people think either, its possible that the people who are trying to hurt her, have issues of their own and they want to take it out on someone else. If anything she should talk to her family about how it makes her feel, and as far as strangers go they're just ignorant.

    As long as she likes her hair, that's all that matters.

  • Anonymous says:

    Ignorant black negroes that call themselves a family! What a crying shame.

  • Anonymous says:

    Yeah I would probably insult them two for that cause I respect myself and I feel God made me who I am and nobody can judge my actions. If they didn't give birth to me, why would they put their mouths in my business? I feel so much pain for you. I am transitioning and I will go through with it just to get at foolish people with that sort of negative mentality! 🙁

  • Anonymous says:

    You have gotten a lot of comments so I hope you see this one. My personal saying is "Success is the best revenge." This has been my own mantra on my hair journey and I hope you adopt it for yourself. Tune them out for now. If you continue to care for your hair and nurture it, learn to style it so that its beautiful potential becomes manifest, all of those haters will have to EAT THEIR WORDS. I'm starting to see this come to pass in my own life and I trust that it will happen for you too. Keep the faith. You are truly beautifully made.

  • dreamyraynbo says:

    Ugh, being a teenager sucks. I've always had unruly hair, having never permed or straightened or anything like that, and not really knowing what to do with it as an early teen. When I was in middle school, the kids called me "Fro Master" and liked to throw stuff at my hair because they knew I wouldn't know it was there. One day I walked around with a spitball in my hair for probably two classes.

    There are no easy answers. Sometimes fighting back just fuels the fire, sometimes not saying anything does. When I got into high school, I eventually perfected the mocking "Why do you think I give a rat's patootie what you think?" attitude. It was moderately successful, but maybe not the healthiest path.

    For teens – and adults – it's important to make allies where you can, such as on the boards. But I think it's important to try to win people over, too. This girl has a tough situation with her mom and brother that's going to come to a head at some point. Because if they won't support her over hair, what else are they going to drop the ball on in the future? But they may not even realize how strongly she feels about the situation, either. There have been plenty of times I had to sit my mom down and set her straight on something, because she truly didn't get that she was being hurtful, not helpful (she wanted me to online date after a bad breakup, ugh).

    In the end, all you can do is try to stay strong. There will always be haters, and you can't fight all of them. Just remember why you do what you do, love yourself, try to surround yourself with other strong, caring people, and remember that happiness only comes from within.

  • Taryn Gerald says:

    I am natural too. But I wear my hair out sometimes and sometimes in a weave. My own sister makes negative comments about my hair (a lot of times in public) to make people laugh or ridicule my hair. Her hair is natural too, but her curls are more defined than mine. My hair is thick and mid length, but I wear it how I want to wear it. I figured if my own flesh and blood is so mean, why would I expect anything less from a stranger who doesn't even understand my type of hair?? I basically let their ugly comments be their comments. Sometimes I do point out that their comments are ugly and unwanted. My hair is between me and God. Just like their ugly words are going to be between them and God. So, I let them own their ugliness. You can't be responsible for that and you can't carry that weight. Let them be responsible for what comes out of their mouths. I just always ask "Why are you so worried about my hair?" As for my sister, I busted her out in front of my mom. My sister makes fun of me so much that she doesn't even realize she does it. My mom had to agree and let her know that she does always comment on my hair. It was kinda funny. (my sister and I are 36 and 33 respectively) Brothers are different… but sometimes.. if you point out their imperfections.. he might bite his tongue.. hair is hair.. it grows and changes as we… Don't worry about it. I don't.. Leave it to God.

  • Anonymous says:

    Wow, I went through the same thing with the whole both family and strangers thing (it was my mother and brother too). Strangers are one thing but, when its family, well, that one really hits home. I have a lot of hair and I tried (lol) to straighten it (experiment) between blow drying(I hate it!),parting, and then actually straightening it, it took me a total of 2 1/2 hours. Enough said. I don't even look good with straight hair!lol I say wear the hair you were born with but, wear it with pride.

  • Anonymous says:

    Just remember why you went natural! That girl may not have the courage you have to go natural. I only decided to go natural a few years back and that was because of a bad color experience that badly damaged my hair.

    Adults as we, took crap from family and friends as well. And guess what, it didn't get us down. We are still natural and loving it.

  • Anonymous says:

    Awwwww, sweetie. I'm so sorry about your family. I just want you to know that I was in your position at one time. I big chopped when I was 14, going into my freshman year of high school (Along with my sister that was going into her senior year). I got SO MUCH crap about it, including the 'are you gay' question. Most of it coming from my family, which was like a knife to the heart. My mom and other sisters were up in arms about it, but it turns out they were shooting down the idea because they didn't have the courage/confidence to do what I did. Now, 2/3 of my family members that trash-talked my decision are going natural because of the success that they've seen with my hair.
    Oh, and also people don't give me crap anymore about my hair – the key is it wear it with confidence. I know, easier said than done. Just hold your head up and fake it until you make it. Now, I have friends telling me that they miss my afro when I wear it twisted for winter.
    Good luck and it does get better! Especially in college or so my sister says. (I'm still a Junior).

  • KELLY B! says:

    Rude people have nothing better to do then tear other people down. FIghting those who insult you, such as some comments reccomend, is just innapropriate and solves absolutely nothing. Being nautral is about truly accepting yourself. ALL of yourself. And not everyone will accept you. But they don't have to live with your decisions, YOU do. And you have decided to do the best possible thing,and that is to love yourself in your purest form. Your intended form. And for that, I admire your efforts. I know that you have beautiful hair, and you need to see that. When the evil thoughts creep into your mind, or someone else voices them for you, just remember the support you have from me and your fellow natural sisters. Remember that you are beautiful. And that NO ONE can make you feel insecure or unworthy without your consent. You own it. Now work it.

  • Dezinediva says:

    I honestly would have said, oh so clearly you are a racist. That is what it is. Even if the girl is NOT an actual racist, but simply Like many people think it's okay to poke fun at what they don't understand, the fact that she would say that out loud to a person who (i can't tell from the article if the girl is black or biracial and the girl with the straight hair was white but for the sake of this argument I will just say that's what it is for now) has hair that is different than hers, shows a lack of couth. So when people have no couth and say nasty things like that, CALL THEM OUT. Say so if i was really dark would you then say somethign about that? What if I was in a wheel chair would you make fun of that. I dont feel our hair is a handicap, but in the agressor's mind, it is. It's something to poke fun at because the young lady is different and only bigots think it's cool to make fun of differences, thus I would take it to the extreme and call her ass a racist. I don't think staring quite cuts it. People need to know that their behavior is not tolerated because she needs to learn that NOW before she says it to the wrong one, who may go as far as to beat her down. If no one stands up and says hey, that's not cool and if you think it is then you are (insert word here). The girl was clearly bold so a look isn't going to change that.

  • THREADMILL says:

    I would have to say something like "God gave me my glorious head of hair. Who gave you your rudeness?"

  • Anonymous says:

    I am a natural in high school. I get a lot of compliments but there's still the stares,laughter,pointing and insults. I laugh because they don't no any better. if they get in my space, then i let them KNOW. They will learn one day when you have a gorgeous healthy fro and they are hanging on to the fried remains of their hair. I love my hair and that doesn't require their consent.

    Ya dig?

  • Toybox Playground says:

    UGH! This story was sad and infuriating at the same time. I don't have the patience to deal with ignorance and rude people. Both would have been given a verbal lashing they would never forget and that would be the end of it. I've never been one to mince my words and that would certainly have been cause for me to let loose.

    I have 2 young girls (and 2 boys) who are of school age but my husband and I homeschool. Not to "shield" them from stupid and thoughtless things happening but b/c it's just too much nowadays. This is just another example of an unnecessary pressure being added to kids. It's like the one poster said, people comment based on their own insecurities so don't take it personally. Deep down, she may be jealous she isn't brave enough to do her.

    BTW, I live in a predominantly white area and NEVER have I had anyone say anything negatively about mine or my children's hair. Quite the opposite, but I get much more flack from the Black community which is sad.

  • sandra says:

    If you want to get technical: this child appears to have been emotionally abused by her family which has set her up to be the "victim".

    If this is true, shame on her mother who is the head of the household. Spare me the "native american" b.s.

    My advice to this young woman: suck it up, get strong, stay in school. Ace your grades and then get away from your family: FAST.

    In the meantime show them respect but tell them don't talk about your hair because you've lost respect for them all. Just because their "blood" relative, unfortunately, doesn't mean they have your best interest at heart.

    I wish your mom would read this website. You both need to read it together.

  • Anonymous says:

    My initial response to this post was the same as everyone else's. I thought about my own natural hair, and the confidence I must have to be accepted by my peers, my job, and my family. I do feel there is another side to this tale that needs to be addressed. As with any hair style or hair choice, it MUST be maintained and properly groomed. Just because our hair is natural does not mean we should wear it in a "primal, natural" state… tangles and all! We do have a different hair care regimen for our natural hair needs and it should be followed. I have seen people with relaxed hair who did not adhere to a relaxed hair care routine, and the same for Caucasians. The result, a hot matted mess! We need to be mindful of our natural hair's appearance. We are always under constant scrutiny as is because we are different from others. It should be important that when we go out in public we put our best fro forward (I had to throw that in there!). We are entitled to our bad hair days, who isn't?! I only wanted to bring up this alternate point of view, because I have witnessed a couple "natural" disasters myself. I find myself trying to analyze the disaster as it sits in front of me. I instantly feel the urge to buy the victim a pick, my favorite tub of Jane Carter Nourish and Shine, or simply lightly spritz their hair with some good ol' H2O. I am in no way saying this is the case with the young lady because I have never seen her, but I do wanna say if this is the problem, spend a little extra time with your hair. Have a date night and get to know it. Get to know what it needs. Be good to it, and it will be good to you! As for the rude comments from others, that's life. I can recall my high school/middle school days and I was the "five head", "flat butt" black girl. There are always going to be people around you that have nothing to offer others except negativity. I would personally use them as my motivation to make my natural hair look better than their relaxed hair any day. I would find a fierce funky style that could only be executed effectively on natural hair. I have an extreme dislike that you have no support, but I would like for you to be strong in your natural hair journey. While you are dating your hair, take a moment to date yourself. Find out what makes you happy, and focus in those areas. I hope you find that YOU are what makes YOU happy! I feel that when people have finally reached this conclusion, negative people hold no weight. Whenever they're in your presence and this situation presents itself again, YOU alone will know how to handle them. For some odd reason when I think of curlies, I always wonder which came first, the chicken or the egg (the curly hair or the confidence). For me it was the confidence! But in any case, you already have your chicken now find your egg!… (or you have your egg, now find your chicken?????) Whatever!! Peace and Love to you!!!

  • Anonymous says:

    I understand that too. I've been transitioning for nearly a year and I'm in high school too and I get an equal balance of compliments and negativity and when something negative comes my way it usually from people with extensions or unhealthy hair lol so I just give them a side eye and keep going. It's unfortunate that some people's perspective of beauty is limited to European beauty.

  • Natmane says:

    I know we all like to strike back and explain our position but one lesson I learnt during my journey is to SHUT UP whenever you feel the need to explain yourself. Your life is your business and no one's.I had the same problem when I went natural in 2009. Fellow students were plain mean. But I found that some people genuinely loved my hair. So I used that opportunity to change my life completely. New hair, new friends and new decisions. I deleted all the negative people sending me negative vibes.
    It takes a while but after some time you'll find more love than hate. My parents were not on my side but I stood strong and ignored all their comments. Last week I wore my fro out and my Dad said he was going to show me a picture of him as a youth with a huge fro like mine!!lol. Just stay strong, tell yourself that your are beautiful, your face will reflect what you think. People have the nerve to tell us what we allow them to.

  • Anonymous says:

    Tell your ignorant brother that someday he's going to ask you to do him a favor and the answer will be NO! Then whip your hair back and forth : ). As far as that other idiot, she smelled your insecurity and went for the jugular. Stop giving people ammo to shoot at you! It took me forever to figure this out. Tell all haters "You made your point," then simply walk away. Don't give them any other reaction. They don't deserve it. You know she's jealous right? Your mom is too! You are far braver than you realize. You've learned to love yourself the way you are. You are so far ahead of the curve…you just don't know it yet.

  • Annie L. says:

    Stay close to this board and others like it, reach out to other curlies, we are here for each other, here for YOU! Remember, their trashiness is less about you and more about centuries of BS ignorance.

    But you must fight tooth and nail against anyone aiming to destroy your young, fragile self-esteem. Ignorance is no excuse for making someone's life hell regardless of how much they claim to care about you. Show them how 'Tom' their words and actions really are and by god dig deep and elevate Y-O-U to the CENTER of your universe, even fake that self-esteem until you truly own it. One day you will and all of this will be an unremarkable memory in an otherwise remarkable life.

  • Samantha says:

    I've been very lucky in that I haven't received many harsh comments about my hair. My 8 yr old sister once made a comment that my hair was fuzzy and looked silly but i agreed with her at the time since I had just woken up. (Yes I know she's just 8 but little kids can say some mean stuff let me tell you)

    I have met with people who are not so nice when it comes to other things about me. Like my skin. People I don't know love to give me skincare advice that I don't ask for. These people I don't know also always seem to be experts on everything to do with me, even though I never ask their advice.

    My mother always told me that people who come out of the blue and insult you are people who have low self esteem and just want to make themselves feel better by bringing you down too. And being the no-nonsense chick that I am, I adorn my face with a sarcastic smirk if ever anyone says anything negative to me. And if they don't get the hint I simply walk away.

    People like that girl are just ignorant and seem to be happy about it. Don't let them get to you. Your decisions are not putting food on her table or stealing clothes off her back so let it be and continue to do your thing. I'm sure you are more beautiful in your own right than people making nasty uninformed comments will ever be. Keep doing you dollface.

  • Anonymous says:

    A week after my BC, I went to my cousin for a trim (she is a licensed beautician). She had been around through my transition, and had always made shrewd comments, even as to go far as to call me Ms. Cellie from the color purple. I revealed my BC to my family around kwanzaa time, and although my cousin was not in attendance, word travels fast. Needless to say, when I went for a trim, for 30 minutes I was subjected to nasty remarks from my cousin, her 7 yr old daughter, and my aunt (who just happens to be natural??). I went from being called stupid, to nappy headed, to what ever you can think of. She told me she could not understand why I would want to be natural, my hair is too nappy to be natural, and it's pointless for me to continue, I should just let her perm my hair. I was horrified! For days their comments haunted me, and I almost regretted my decision to go natural. Then I pulled myself together and realized that I was doing this for me, and I didn't need anyone else's approval. Its taken me a long time to accept the way I am and to love myself and I love my family, but I refuse to let people pass their negativity onto me. I AM NATURAL AND PROUD OF IT!

  • gs says:

    It gets better sweetheart. Bullying under any name whether it be for hair, or preference, or skin color, or weight, or looks, or money is exactly that. Point out that they would look like a straight up bigot if it was referring to any other category so why should hair be any different. Also point out that you would much rather prefer having your hairline at 40 than having it worn off by putting god knows what in your hair.

    I'm sorry but your brother deserves a beating for not sticking up for you. Shame on him and your mother too. I hate to make the comparison to the struggle of being gay in high school because I don't want people to make the false assumption that gay=natural hair but its very similar in ways that families and communities treat is as something that shouldn't be, even though you're born that way.

  • Anonymous says:

    I agree witth the very first comment! My daughter is 16 and is transitioning and already at this age girls are so for lack of a better word 'tortured' by other girls. I, at first told her to be polite but I realised that only made fer feel worse. She is the only girl at her school transitioning and when she tells them she is 'going natural' they flat out say thats stupid! I have allowed her to say her peace to them in a forceful way without cursing but getting them off her back and keeping her self confidence. And when they come to her secrectly asking how she got her curls like that it makes her feel even better!!

  • Lilac says:

    Some people can be so mean, and I'm sorry that you had to go through that. Especially with your own brother and mom. They're supposed to be your support system, and they're simply failing. You need to have a talk with your mom and don't hold back, tell her how you feel, parents are SUPPOSED to bring their children UP not down. She's probably insecure herself (not only your mother but the girl who made those rude comments about your hair as well). As for your brothers, he knows he was in the wrong, and like everyone else has said disown his ass. Just ignore him for a couple weeks or a couple months. Me and my brother got into an argument (because he can be annoying as hell) and I didn't talk to him for a month. But by the second week he kept trying to talk to me and he would try and buy me stuff to show how sorry he was, and I kept ignoring him.

    I know it may be hard at times but you need to be confident! Brush your shoulders off and keep it going. I usually ignore rude comments thrown at me, but if push comes to shove stand up for yourself. That girl doesn't have any right to make illogical remarks about your hair, its none of her damn business so why does she care? Hopefully there is someone at your school or a friend you can talk to about this, someone who'll support you.

    Stay strong!!

  • Anonymous says:

    To the CURLY TEEN:

    I have experienced similar comments from coworkers and even my own mother about my natural hair. Each time I begin to feel sad and affected about the comments, I feel thankful for my opened mind and realize that my ability to embrace myself as I am outweighs any other person's opinion of me! Much of this acceptance comes from within, but I have also found comfort in visiting blogs and websites to read about naturals who have had similar experiences. Perhaps there is a fellow natural at your school or community you can bond with for support or simply a friendly exchange.

    Don't let THEM win!!!

  • adrien says:

    i would first off tell whoever made the comment that i like my hair and don't need any "help" with chemicals to feel beautiful about myself *pointed look at their relaxed head/weave* whether they like it or not. and then i'd ask why would you ever say such ugly things to someone like that? ask them what their intention was in being so rude to me for no reason. i'd point out to both their faces that it's extra trifling for a brother to hurt his sister for some stranger just cuz he thinks she's cute (which was probably the deal here)maybe even hint at a few embarassing facts about HIM to let him know to back off unless he wants to go there…). go hard, interrogate, and put their ugly behaviour on blast. to her mom/parents she could write a letter (so that she doesn't come off as disrespectful) and point out that she is THEIR daughter, the fruit of THEIR womb from the top of her kinky head to her pinky toes and that she loves all her naturally INHERITED features. they don't have to like her style choices or help enhance her natural look, but for them to say things like that, make fun and allow her siblings to make fun of her, especially as her parents, HURTS. as a parent, that would shame me BIG TIME!

  • Anonymous says:

    My heart truly goes out to you. It is already hard enough going natural. And it sooooo sad you do not have your family's support. But dont you give up hang on in there. Don't let those people stop your journey. They just don't understand. Keep practicing styles that are becoming and keep your head held high. Let those negative comments bounce right off you and don't even entertain them.

  • Anonymous says:

    The funniest negative comment came from a natural woman who straightens her hair with a flat iron everyday or almost everyday… I didn't even know she was natural! She said to me, "You don't have to wear your hair like THAT!" and gave me a crazy look.I almost went off on her, but I figured that she wasn't worth my time anyway. My mother says somethings, but I ignore those comments!

  • Bree says:

    Usually, I let comments roll off of me concerning my hair since I begin transitioning because I already had tough skin and though my parents didn’t like it at first, they came around or just kept their comments to themselves. But my heart does hurt for you because it doesn’t seem like you have a support system at home and the kids at school are being well…cruel kids. But I think you do need to stand up for yourself and start putting people in their place, whether it is from strangers like the bimbo at the library, to your brother and even your mom. Now I’ am NOT SAYING that you have to be ignorant, catty, mean or physical right back because there is a way to put people in their place while still coming off cool, calm and classy, trust me I’ am from the south we do it all the time…lol. First thing first, TALK TO YOUR MOM. Family, especially parents and siblings, think they have the privilege to talk to you any way because they know at the end of the day we love them and they love us but if your feelings are truly hurt or you think they are going to far TELL THEM and be firm with it. Trust me hon. DON’T TAKE S**T from anybody in this life! As for the others you should: 1) get thicker skin and ignore fools, 2) Response back witty, 3) Give the stern “Just try me….I don’t give a damn” look and 4) Stay strong and be YOU, there are just a$$holes in the world don't let them ruin your self esteem and self worth

  • Anonymous says:

    By: JB

    Hey lil sista, all i have to say is be strong! There WILL be times where the people you come in contact with everyday say things….even repeatedly!!! But you just have to LIVE FOR TOMORROW, NOT TODAY! And by saying that, think of how much youre hair will grow and prosper over the years meanwhile the girls with the relaxers have the SAME length and style!!! Thats how i look at it!!!
    Sure, ive gotten my share of remarks from my Boss, co workers, and even my boyfriend (now ex boyfriend)!!! One thing that he said one day that had me in shock. I was tellin him about how i was going to style my hair one day (i was about 5 months into my transition btw) and he just came outa no where and said, " You know that the 1st born child is known to have the best grade of hair…clearly you werent the 1st born babe!" As he laughed, i turned and looked at him like " Really dude, did u really just say that AND LAUGH at the end? Really, well if i recall, yo A** wasnt the 1st born either M*#*$@ F*%#@#!!!!" His smile quickly turned into a frown as i got up to go do sumthin else…..He quickly tried to apologize, but it didnt work…yeah i was heated for a while! I think that was the only time i actually allowed my frustration to get out…..Oh and it came OUT alright! hahaha smh!!

    Oh and another time my Boss came to me and picked at my hair and said, "Sooooooooo, what you gonna do with all this?!" And i clearly said, " the same thing i been doin Ms. Battle!" And she said, "Well ya know, you can still go natural and have your hair straightend, like me, i havent had a perm in 5 months ( i dont believe it cuz it looks like she comes to work with a fresh perm EVERYDAY!) So, i just laugh and say "Suuuure u have!" lol and i go about my day…..all i have to say is that TIME TELLS NO LIES!!! sooo we'll see who comes out ontop over the years!

    MAINLY SWEETHEART, KEEP YOUR HEAD UP AND LIVE FOR TOMORROW NOT TODAY!!! ♥♥♥

  • Anonymous says:

    really? this young girl is dealing with deep seated issues starting at home and ur advice is to give ppl the side-eye and think she better than somebody? my word. If her own mama is giving her ish about her hair, why go off on her brother or the stranger? Young lady if u are reading this please find an adult who you trust and who supports u, maybe a family member, a teacher, somebody in ur neighborhood, somebody at church and explain to them whats going on and that u need them as an ally to talk to ur mother. she needs to be checked for her ignorance. in her mind she might not even realize how serious this whole experience is to you and what impact her demeaning your journey is having. or it could be that she is just plain mean. I would say just talk to ur mama but I reckon if it was that easy you would have done that already. please don't start fighting strangers, hitting ur brother or giving ppl side eye and adopting an I'm better than u attitude until u address the core of ur matter: support from your mother. and here i was thinking this was a site for adults.

  • Breanna says:

    I'm so sorry that this happened to this young girl, and then to have the family show their arse off as well. I definitely would have put that chick in her spot either verbally or physically. Then for the brother siding with the enemy humph payback is a muther…ka I would have made some brownies and put some laxatives in it and feed it to the traitors. You don't go against the family in public, stand up and protect but at home it's a different story. Having to decide if you want to go natural is hard enough w/o having to deal with crap from strangers let alone its your own family. Be strong little and just vent and then let it go afterwards, if not well a little foolery doesn't hurt either.lol…

  • Anonymous says:

    Next time young sister…tell the person who insults your hair, that you decided as Marcus Garvey quoted to "remove the Kinks from my Brain and not my Hair". And that it's a personal decision and it's ok if you don't like it..it only matters that I do!

  • Anonymous says:

    How sad for this young lady! I personally believe she needs to become the queen of "quick wit." It's the art of staying calm, cool, and collected while "jabbing" the other person with a comment as snarky as theirs. I promise it works. I've never had anyone make a snarky comment about my hair, but I get them all the time about my thin frame.

    I was leaving a birthday party, and was holding balloons for a friend. An annoying person, who frequently made comments about me being thin remarked in front of EVERYONE, "Wow! If you give the balloons to her, they'll just blow away." I remarked, "Well, why don't we give them to you [name of person]. That way we know they'll be well-anchored." I then smiled. She looked like she wanted to cry. SN: Why do people think it's acceptable to make comments about a thin person's weight (especially if you don't know whether or not they have a health problem), but it's war if comments are made to an overweight person? I digress.

    Honey, you hang in there and hold your head high!

  • Karli K. says:

    Boy shouldn't be told to smack the mean person any more than a girl! If you want to make a smart retort, that's fine, but to all out "put them in their place" by being just as mean to them as they were to you just LOWERS the integrity of society! What do you want?! A bunch of dirty street fights?

    She doesn't need to "internalize" it where it will stay and fester and hurt her for life – she needs to ignore the idiot who hurt her and find a support system somewhere who can help her realize that it's not about her! It's that other person's insecurity showing through and making her act like a despicable person.

  • Koily K says:

    My dear, please take heart. Teenagers can be so very cruel. Fortunately, I have not received any negative comments about my natural. However, I was teased dreadfully and bullied by a bunch of very jealous girls while in secondary school and I still feel sad when I think about it. I wish I had stood up to them more. Do not let them get away with making you feel bad about being you. I got teased about my body changing sooner than the other girls, I got called names for sounding different (because I had a slight foreign accent and did not use their slangs) , got teased for wearing braces, the list goes on.

    Now I look back and realise they were insecure and JEALOUS. yes they are. They pick on stuff they wish they had. She wishes she had your guts to go against the grain of society and do your thing. Next time say something sassy like 'And how is it any of your concern what I do with my hair, who do you think you are?'
    I have learnt not to take crap from people as I got older. One silly former co worker of mine had the guts to tell me one day that I had put on weight after I had got back from a nice holiday. I looked at her from head to toe and said 'How dare you tell me that when you look pregnant! You need to sort yourself out 1st before speaking to me!' After that, she NEVER said any rubbish to me again.

    As for your brother, you really need to warn him. His behaviour is totally unacceptable. Say it like it is, don't mince your words. He can tease at home occasionally but to disrespect you in front a stranger is more than wrong. I agree with the previous posts, you need to have a calm detailed conversation with your mother. Let her know how much she hurts you and how you hoped that the person who brought you into this world would support and nurture you in the same world regardless of the choices you may make. Its not like you are doing drugs or street walking for God's sake.

    I think I'll stop the rant here babe. We are all here for you. Always remember in the words of India – this too shall pass………..

  • Anonymous says:

    I'm sorry that you have to go through this, I was natural all through high school, but I flat ironed my hair. I wasn't brave enought to wear it out. But I do now and when I hear rude comments I nip them in the bud right then and there. Sometimes politely and sometimes not, depending on my mood lol. One was from a stranger, "You have a beautiful face, why would you wear your hair like that?" She was black and had a weave, I could tell bc her tracks were showing lol. But I responded, "I don't have to imulate another race in order to be beautiful, I'm black and proud of what God has blessed me with, if you don't like it, well that's just your problem." Then I walked away. You should talk to your mother and tell her that she shouldn't put you down, mothers are supposed to nurture and instile(sp?) self confindence not shoot it to hell! Your brother will pick on you no matter what, BUT that does NOT excuse his actions, call him on it let him now how you feel, if you feel your going to cry don't hold it back so he knows your serious. Don't let anyone make you feel ashamed of your hair, it's what God blessed you with.

  • Carla says:

    Thank you @Anonymous 10:29 AM! I don't know why we have this blame the victim mentality. Its no only her brothers, but her MOTHER – the one person that should stand up for her and tell her that she's beautiful no matter what .

    And yes, brother's do tease younger siblings, but they should never allow someone on the outside to do so. My mother gave me shit growing up, but he would have told that girl to F-off that the same time. Consider his example though…

  • Anonymous says:

    I'm a sophomore in college and I've been natural for a short time now. It was extremely difficult at first but now I'm starting to love it more and more. I commend you for having the courage to go natural in high school! i don't think a lot of us would of had had the strength.

    as for the girl in the library, you should have told her that "after your ignorance response, and after spending most of your time looking for flaws in other people, and after trying to hide your insecurities by claiming to be perfect, and after wondering why I DONT want to be styled like you, I'll still be natural, so stop wasting your time and do something productive with your life."

    and as far as your mother, you need to have a one on one talk with her and find the root to her smart remarks, why does she feel that being black is not good enough? instead we have to assimilate to something we aren't by making our hair looking more "native american"?? if we were meant to be them, we would be.

  • London2011 says:

    Just to add:

    just smile and quote the great Maya Angelou and tell them "Thank you, but I've already been raised."

    This has to be dealt on the head otherwise people become bitter.So move on and work on some comebacks they don't HAVE to be rude.Being tactful and a diplomat is saying the truth without being rude or stooping to people's level it's called being assertive.

  • Ms. Overproof says:

    Hmmm….You want me to come up there? Cause we can just deal with this right now!…

    Was my initial reaction when I read this. But life is cruel, people are cruel and it hurts the most when the are your own flesh and blood.

    The comments you are recieving are dead on. It hurts me sometimes even now, but dont let them see you hurt. As for your brother, here's how you fix that. The next time he jumps on the hate my sister bandwagon for a girl, say "I think you should just ask if she will go out with you, hating on me wont help your cause." Embarrass him one time REAL GOOD, he will think twice. And if all else fails he lives with you he has to go to sleep sometime, soap in the pillowcase…lol

  • Lilith_Iyapo says:

    That is one of the most heartbreaking things I've ever read. My brother and I are 8 years apart so for the longest we didn't get along very well, but we always had/have each others back. In highschool I was bullied for what I believe was because I didn't grow up on the ghetto side of town, I didn't speak in ebonics and I wasn't worried about wearing what everyone else was wearing (not that it mattered, my family was pretty broke at that time). I was bullied my freshman and most of my sophomore years by the same two girls (one more than the other). I did what a few have suggested here, ignoring it or walking away (which is hard to do if you're in a classroom together lol) but it didn't work, they just became more persistent. Eventually one day she got snotty with me while I wasn't feeling well and I let her have it! I blew up in front of the whole class and the class clown had to bring me down. They all thought I was crazy but she left me alone after that *laughs* All of that to say is that sometimes you have to fight back, with words or whathaveyou. You don't want vicious negative people riding you into the ground until you graduate. It will slowly make you insane. Good luck!

  • London2011 says:

    It's a tough old word out there.People with nothing good to say will always be around unfortunately so the good thing to do is develop some wit!

    i.e ''If you haven't got nothing good to say don't say nothing at all'' etc… That way you don't focus ib what is said and you have said something back without stooping to her level. Wit is the only thing that will help you as i m quite easily offended at times even from those i know so i work HARD at develop some funny comebacks and that sqauashes the matter.

    Also tell off your brother for not sticking up for you one thing was clear with my siblings at home we would make fun n fight but outside at school we wer united and stuck up for another 100%.

    Remember you are beautiful because God says so :
    Psalm 139:14 we are fearfully and wonderfully made.
    Hope that helps.Stay strong.What don't kill you makes you stronger.

  • Anonymous says:

    The next time that happens to you. just flip all ur hair in her face. Shes just jealous that ur hair is thick and healthy. Even if it was dry that day, whatever i see tones of white women with dry hair. But she was probably jus being rude. Life. She just wants what u have. If shes black her hair is beyond damaged,you'll never see that wet! If she was white she could be jealous of ur texture and volume. I'm 4b i've had that happen to me. i was insulted 2 months ago in college. Then the next day they all tried to curl up there hair like mine. Gurl felt stupid when i kept on getting compliments and ppl asked her whats wrong with ur hair. why so much hair spray lol! Trust me. Dont even look at people like that. Leave when they start talking. The fact that u dont give two shits will stick with them. Do the same thing at home. Confidence is ur greatest defense. Once u show it. ppl will change there mind and want what u have. Family always comes around. Disowne ur brother for 2 month cus he sounds like mine. he'll get the message.

  • KC says:

    Well said KinkyNappyHappy! (aka Anon 11:23 am)

  • SassyNatrl805 says:

    This is truly horrible for anyone to have to go through. I pray for rude people like that because they don't realize that they are making fun of God's creation and that is the utmost disrespect. If faced with something like that again, just let them know straight up that you pray for them because they don't have sense enough to do better. You and your natural hair are beautiful in God's eyes and don't let anyone make u feel otherwise. Be blessed

  • GJones says:

    I guess I am not as mature as most because I have never dealt with anyone saying anything negative about my hair or anything else about my person. I know it is because the way I carry myself but also I am the queen of the side eye. When someone seems as though they might be thinking about saying something out of line I am looking at them really suspect. I don't usually use profanity but if a stranger and my brother would have came at me like that. I would have acted a real fool right there!!!!! I hope that your natural swag will kick in soon and those kind of comments won't sting as bad!!! Sending you hugs!!!

  • Anonymous says:

    No one said responding to these comments means being as "trifling" as the critics, unless your perception of defending yourself means to curse and carry on.

    It's very easy to tell someone to shake off the negativity, esp, when you had a support system at home. Apparently this girl does not have that, and she could very well tell anyone that she doesn't need chemicals in her hair, and they could mind their business and she will mind hers. And she could tell her brother she will make a deal with him–don't insult her hair and she won't talk about his acne/glasses/whatever.Not saying it would stop the rudeness at first, but for me as a kid I felt proactive instead of praying no one would say something to me every time i walked past. After a while folks got bored.

    It's very abstract to tell someone (esp. a kid) to just work on getting friends, ignore stupidity, etc. We see the effects of bullying in schools more often here lately, kids need to be told WHAT TO DO because to them, these things are earth shattering. I'm not just talking about the hair thing, it's bullying in general.

    Simple, and there is no drama nor loss of dignity-smh

  • Anonymous says:

    Yeah, anyone who is different is going to get picked on in high school, so hopefully you have other things that you are proud of, and honestly, you will have to learn to love yourself as you are if you don't already. No one is going to give you that kind of validation.
    This isn't any different from being too fat, too skinny, "ugly", nerdy, etc.
    But I'm more disappointed that having natural hair in high school is some kind of anomaly. I was natural in high school. I have other friends who have never had a relaxer(I'm in my 30's). When did this become such a daring thing. Oh my gosh, a black girl whose hair hasn't been relaxed! I wish I knew.

  • Anonymous says:

    I don't let what people say bother me. I guess I had to develop a tough skin in elementary. Kids can be cruel as well as adults. I will share this with you. When I did my Big Chop everyone had something to say some nice some not so nice. However, this one comment stuck with me…a guy on my job was tying to hit on me…so my Big Chop really took him for a loop. One day He told me "I have some perm in the truck of my car do you want it?" I don't know what made me respond this way, but I told him "No take it and use it on yourself." Well needless to say the negative comments stop. Now….months down the line my hair started to grow and I was rocking my first nice puff, and he said "WOW I like your hair!" I was looking like REALLY, and WHO CARES WHAT YOU LIKE. So needless to say he was history!!

    You have to first embrace your decision to go natural, and develop a tough skin and not let anyone including your mom get to you. You can ask your mother in a very respectable way to stop making negative comments about your hair. Let her know how it makes you feel. I did and my mom stopped!!

    I don't recommended explaining to anyone as to why you went natural unless they are interested embracing their natural texture. The decision to go natural was yours and you don't need anyone's validation!!

    Keep you head up and remember it's all about the curls"

    KinkyNappyHappy

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonynous 10:29AM

    "(3). U could say to your brother and the stranger, "so are u so insecure that putting another person down makes you feel better?" They won't have a coherent answer for that!

    THAT'S A GOOD ONE!

  • Anonymous says:

    Remember that Andy Griffith show where Andy instructs Opie to fight a bully? And he says "I'm not telling him to go off fighting people but he needs to know when to stand up for himself." LOL, I'm an old school girl. Anyways sometimes walking away and taking the high road is not the solution. Speak up, defend yourself and learn to be assertive, otherwise people will continue to bully you. Especially your brother. Your home is your safe haven and if you can't be happy there then life becomes very hard. Tell him what he says hurts you deeply and that he has to stop. Ask him how he would feel if people picked on him. And to take a stranger-side in an argument would a sibling? That's a no-no.

  • KC says:

    Y'all need to read Bullet point # 3 again! Yes, the author advises the girl to ignore the comments, but she also says to stand up for herself! Ignoring someone's foolishness and choosing to conduct yourself with dignity and class is something a mature young woman would do. You don't have to reduce yourself to someone's triflingness (is that a word lol?) in order to get your point across.

    For example, I grew up as a chubby child, the girl with the pretty face. Yes I received insults, but my mother taught me early on that those insults came from a place of insecurity in someone else, and that I shouldn't own them. Does that sound like internalizing? I don't think so. I knew that I was smart and talented, so I focused on doing my thing and I found my own friends. And those who teased me didn't matter to me anyway.

    I had to thicken my skin, because the world doesn't always receive you in a positive way. I had to "put my boots on."

    Anyway, this girl is SO young to be natural, even at the opposition of her mother. This girl is destined for great things! Hope she stays confident!

  • Unknown says:

    This is sad because my daughter is 11 (on YouTube BTW as LITTLECURLSROCKTOO) and she addresses this. Fortunately she is now the leader at school and with her friends regarding natural hair. I am VERY disappointed in the mom; because she is suppose to be her biggest fan. I am. I cheer Nyia going out and coming in. She was NOT happy about going natural over a year ago, but I've stood right beside her…and went natural myself. If we aren't SHOWING and EMBRACING our selves then it makes it so much harder for our youth. Truth be told the little relaxed girls that I see, don't have room to tease her anyway because their hair is damaged, short and never done.

    Just last week she came home and told me that 2 more of her friends came to school with their hair BC'd…after asking her and watching the styles that she wears.

    Don't get me wrong, it did take time for her to accept it. But we role played and I do agree with earlier comments that you have to be ready with replies or they will catch you off guard. I know being an adult, when I came to work after I bc'd I got a question of two, but my confidence level is so high that they quickly redirected any "concern" they may have had about MY hair. If you don't accept your own hair and shine through it so bright that others can't see your glory (literally)…then no one else will! Love, peace and blessings to all. *)

  • Anonymous says:

    Depending on the situation I might:
    (1). Simply smile and say, "thanks"
    (2). I 'm sure your brother is not perfect so I would point out some of his faults. I know its unkind to hit below the belt, but in all reality he is asking for it.
    (3). U could say to your brother and the stranger, "so are u so insecure that putting another person down makes you feel better?" They won't have a coherent answer for that!
    (4). I'd have a heart to heart talk with my mother, print articles on natural hair vs relaxed hair. And tell her how how comments are coming across to me.
    And (5). Repeat positive confirmations about yourself to yourself until you start to believe them. Let your brother, mother and strangers know that hey, "I am doing me and I don't say nothing about how you do you".
    One of those comments should shut them all up!

  • Anonymous says:

    ETA: And to tell this young lady to "just work on herself and ignore the comments"—what?! If these were boys, no one would tell them to "work on themselves", they would be instructed to be assertive and tell these fools to go you know where. I hate how as women, we are taught to internalize all the crap thrown at us as if we asked for it. This child has more sense than her own mother, she doesn't need to work on herself.

  • Anonymous says:

    It annoys me the way women and girls are always expected to be more mature when dealing with rude people, like we should always suck up our hurt just to take the high road. I did that years ago (not re: my hair, but other issues) and it ate me up for years, I would go home crying thinking about what I SHOULD have sent to a-hole x,y,z. And the insults continued until I either 1) told someone off or 2) insulted them about their own insecurities. Black people can be incredibly cruel to each other, and for a grown woman to make fun of her child's hair while she is sporting yaki herself is some slave mindset ish. When this girl's hair is beautiful and growing, they will be asking her how to get their hair like that.

    I see Black boys walking around with their pants dragging the ground and no one says boo, but many of our girls who have decided to be natural have to go through this nonsense? smdh

  • Anonymous says:

    I would have laughed out loud, put on a big fake grin and said, 'And why do you think I care? Who are you anyway?' Then turn around and walk away laughing, if u can manage it.
    This will work for most people from school to co-workers. Coz, that puts em on level they were trying to drag u down to.

  • Anonymous says:

    I find that the best defense is often a solid offense. I'm not necessarily encouraging picking on and bullying straight-haired girls, but when we are knowledgeable about the social implications of preferring straight over curly and natural then oftentimes we can shut people up. I had a different problem growing up: Long hair; LONG, wavy hair, to be exact. I was often insulted (almost everyday) at school by people asking me if I was "mixed". (Sometimes the comments were innocent enough, but not always!). Even teachers (of all races) would even ask. And, I knew when they were being sneaky and trying to get a question in when no one was around to check them. I would always leave 'em wondering. Cuz, why is it important at all? My background is diverse, but it's not truly any different than any other family who has lived here for centuries. Some of us look one way, and others another. In my family, my brothers, sisters, and parents and have hair that is just as diverse as our personalities. So, I often found myself using analogies, and facts about GENES to explain that 1 and 1 does not always equal a straightforward 2. Maybe it equals 4 minus 2, or maybe 100 divided by 50. My parents always helped me come to conclusions that aided me in finding ways to shut the ignorant people up.

    I agree that confidence is key, and living in this world, esp THIS society is like living in a battlezone, esp when we try to be ourselves and contrary to the masses. No one goes into battle unarmed. I would suggest arming oneself with knowledge, and finding a dignified, unencumbered, confident way that truly is PERSONAL to verbally defend onslaughts! I agree that most of the times, the people who are being the loudest are not only (so obviously) insecure, they don't have an opinion about jacksquat. Instead, they're parroting what they've heard, seen, or experienced, and are totally unaware that not everyone does or should think, live, feel the same way they do.

    It's truly sad, and I would let them know that I pity them. Not to be condescending, but in a "I'm-here-if-you-need-another-lesson(-and-you-will)" way.

  • komirra says:

    i agree with an earlier post. im 17 and natural and i have many siblings. let me assure u tht if any of them talked to me like tht we wud have been scrapping. ldike it abt to go down in the public library type of thing. and the only things left ugly and messed uo wud have been that girls face when I got a hold of it.

    im sorry i just have to disagree with the stay silent thing, those were fighting words. and even if i didnt punch her in the face, she wud have felt the pain by the time she left.

    i got mad love for the girl in the article. i understand it is hard being a natural teen , But God didnt make any mistakes when dhe made me. including my hair

  • Anonymous says:

    Wow this is so sad.Ifeel sorry 4u. I'm 16 and when i wear my natural hair to school everyone wants to touch it they think it's beautiful.They hate it if i wear it straight or wear a weave. you need to have confidence. confidence is key!!!

  • DrChuck24 says:

    to deal with the negativity…which I had to from my family as well, with their slick comments..you have to just not let it phase you. Whenever anyone came at me and said something, I just reminded them that it's a change that has happened and they're just going to have to accept it. POINT BLANK. STERN FACE. Without a blink or a hesitation. You have to not let people get to you cause this is something that will happen throughout your life with your hair and other issues not related to your hair.

    My brother told me he would disown me if I cut my hair…and I told him the date of my BC and dared him to stop talking to me. Can you believe it that when he sees my hair and how it is growing he compliments it? "Oh I see you got some hangtime now! Niiiiiice!" Ok not the best, but that's just brothers for you lol

    Now I'm sarcastic as hell..so to the chick in the library would've gotten an AHOLE response from me and she wouldn't have known what her hit her. Somehing along the lines of "and you care becauuuuuuseeeeee *crickets crickets* like AfroDisiac said..add a little "sass or spunk."

  • AfroDisiac says:

    I think we have all encountered rude comments about our hair. In my opinion the best thing to do is ignore them. In my experience a few guys have made rude comments, and sometimes I get a bit sassy and respond back with something like "Regardless of what my hair looks like, you STILL want to talk to me, so whats your point???"
    I dont think there is anything wrong with adding a little sass or spunk to let people know that this is YOU, accept it or shut up.

    Its all about exuding confidence, knowing AND be comfortable about who you are and not caring what others think.

    I would also like to say, that almost 90% of the people who have made rude comments (friends, fam,etc) have later came back to me and said that they love my hair now that they have gotten "used" to it.

  • Anonymous says:

    This is not an easy question to answer. There are a lot of things to consider.

    (1) Is she happy with her hair? I would like to see a picture of the curly teens hair. If she is like me, it takes time and assistance to get our hair where you want it to be. Seeing her hair and being able to offer assistance to her would be a positive way to help, if needed. Although teasing is wrong sometimes it is based on truth and fixing the problem may eliminate the teasing. I was teased for being fat in school. The kids called me Shamu… Truth is I was overweight. I knew it and I didn’t like it. I lost weight because it was what I wanted and inadvertently the teasing stopped. Is her hair dry or can she use some styling advice? Maybe. And if so this is the forum to offer that kind of help.
    (2) On the other hand, some people are just rude and in that case I would completely agree with the first comment (minus the profanity). Teens handle things differently than adults. Sometimes you just have to tell people off and let them know you are not going to stand for their insults. SHOW them how much it hurts you.
    (3) When all else fails, keep positive people around you. People that can put back what ignorant people take away. Having a friend to talk to when you have these encounters can help a great deal. Become friends with another curly girl in your area or someone who supports your decision.

  • Anonymous says:

    I feel so bad for what she's going thru. Kids can be mean and I guess I am fortunate to have gone natural at an older age and when I care less about what people think. I've basically shown/proven how pretty and stylish natural hair can be. The very people who used to make rude comments have ended up giving me compliments and wanting to know how I do certain styles. They've basically had to eat their words. BUT with that said, a lot of them probably would still prefer me with straight hair but oh well! Even if you don't feel confident, fake it. You will get more confident as times goes on and the comments will lessen when they see it has no effect. Never show those mean people weakness. ~KF519

  • bkKinksnCurls says:

    I think the whole family needs to be put in check, starting with mom. You can recount the library story with her and tell her how hurt and betrayed you felt so that she can help keep the boys at least respectful around you. If that doesn't work or mom isn't the approachable type, confront your bro in front of your little bro and mom when everyone's together so you don't have to repeat yourself. Explain to bro that while he does not have to like your hair, he may even hate it, in no circumstance should he ever, EVER side with a complete stranger over flesh and blood. Because god forbid he should ever have hard times in his life, that stranger will be no where to be found…there will only be family.

    Also, if you see ANY other girls going natural as well, make a point to smile and compliment her and gush over each others tresses. I do this all the time and get an equally enthusiastic "I love YOUR hair". It's an awesome confidence booster. Bonus points if you do this in front of mom who will start to see that this isn't just a phase of yours, that there's a community of naturals out there and this is something to be respected. Good luck!

  • Anonymous says:

    O freaking get over it already. Your brother would probably tease you for whatever you do anyway, whether it looks nice or not. that is what brothers and (a lot of family ) do, actually, especially when you are growing up.

    As for others, ignore them. Or work on yourself until you are beautiful no matter what!

  • Curly Hairdo Ideas says:

    I agree with Anon at 8:28 – it's almost always because of their own insecurities that people lash out at others. 99.999% of the time!!

    You can make a mean retort if you want to, but generally speaking, people who are mean aren't very happy. That goes for the stranger who was rude to you – and for yourself. If you become defensive all the time and try to come up with snotty things to say back to rude people – YOU will become just like them. and it won't make you happy long term.

    I would say either walk away or give a SHORT explanation of why you love your hair – and end the conversation.

    As for the brother – family is a whole other ballgame 🙁 He was probably just jumping on her bandwagon to look cool. 🙁 and a myriad of other mean-brother reasons.

    I hope that we can do something to help with these insecurities and make kids (young and older!) feel confident in who they are and what they look like! That is one reason I started journalling my daughter's hair care, too – in hopes that we can get past this "I have to look like everyone else to fit in" thing! 🙁

    Wear your hair like it comes out of your head – there is NOTHING bad or wrong in that!!

    (It's also okay to preplan a few return comments for the future. For example -lol- I had seen a baby onsie that said, "If my breastfeeding offends you, please feel free to put a blanket over your head"!! It made me laugh, I would never say it, because to some it could be rude – but the shirt did make me laugh….. fast forward to a time I was getting ready to bf my daughter in a resturaunt… and my MIL said "Here?! In a resturaunt?!?" and I was so shocked and surprised I said "Why not?! Everyone else is eating!" – – and we haven't ever needed to broach the subject again. 🙂 But I said it out of sheer surprise – not snotty-ness, which I think helped! It wasn't the best preplanned answer, probably! lol)

    ~Karli
    www.curlyhairdoideas.com

  • Anonymous says:

    ANONYMOUSE (8:28AM) PART 2
    Now, let me share my own hurtful comments and I how I reacted:

    1) "You dont have the hair for it. You wont get a job. You won't get a man. You'll look like a boy. Are you gay?"–My very own parents.

    MY REACTION: I said to my parents: "Its either you help me figure out how to do my hair,style it, give constructive criticism..or don't say anything. I didnt go natural to have big curls like you imagined…I just want to be natural. If you can't except that, then dont hurt my feeling, just dont say anything"

    Your parents are people who you can speak to. Sometimes when you "call them out" it really embarrases them bc they know they are wrong.
    Also you should talk to your brother.

    2) "straighten your hair. Why dont texturize. Get a keratin. You can use heat instead of chemicals too you know. I just need to put a hotcomb in your hair. Nappy headed hoe. Get that RATS NEST of your head. You look like Sh*t. GET A PERM ALREADY"

    They always spoke as if I was only natural bc I had no money to relax.lol
    –my very own coworkers

    MY REACTION: Smile and nod or even laugh..and come in the next day with the same hair. They eventually caught on to the fact that I didnt care. They literally brought up my hair every month. Someone tries to get a reaction out of me by saying crueler things, and sometimes I do vent to my understanding and supportive friend ONLY (if I tell people who agree with those cruel comments they would only try to woo me to give in to society) . But I NEVER show those people who mean nothing to me..coworkers..random strangers..etc.

    They want you to show that reaction, but you stay strong. Cry at home in your room. Watch some beautiful heads of natural hair. Read Blogs. And gain that confidence for another fight.

    They WILL CEASE. THEY WILL. Once they see they are not making a dent in you. Any ounce of weakness is a sign of victory. People do not like different and at an age that people are trying to find themselves by emmulating young adults celebs, they will assume you to do they same. If you dont, they will gang up on you until you do.
    It is your job to understand that predicament you are in and REMEMBER it is not about you. It has ALWAYS been about them!

    I hope this helped!

  • Anonymous says:

    I agree with the very first reply. Those comments were fighting words and I definitely would've laid down the verbal smack down.

    If I were in that family I would be mean as heck to everyone all the time.

    >:(

  • Anonymous says:

    ANONYMOUS PART 1:

    This story touched so much that I had to respond.

    I can only imagine how hard it is to be natural while in high school. You are so brave and strong.

    The first thing you must understand is that people make comments based on there own insecurites. And just because that person has "acceptable" hair doesnt mean this is not the case. When Someone whole life has been based on the beauty of there hair and the envy people have toward it, many are baffled as to why YOU dont want there hair. These people will try to inflict there own hatred of themselves on you bc they know they feel they are nothing without there hair and there style and so should you. Obviously the same goes to people who make fun of your hair and there hair looks horrible themselves. There are reflected there own hang ups. Because truly if someone is HAPPY with themselves, they would have no need to make fun of them. REALLY, think about who made fun of those who wore certain clothes? The people who are constantly obssessed with there own clothing appearance right? They need that Gucci, that new nike, and they feel incomplete without it.

    So always remember that is not about you. Its ALWAYS about them.

  • Anonymous says:

    My heart hurts for our young natural sisters who not only have to deal with the new experience of being natural but have to experience it in such a judgmental and often hostile enviornment like grade school.

    I found that the best way I handle negative comments is to ignore them. It's so easy to engage in quips and arguments with these people and that is what they want. Then I remember how much I LOVE my hair and enjoy feeling the texture of my natural tresses and it makes me feel alright.

  • Anonymous says:

    Nope, sorry, I don't agree with the tips giving to the girl. I would've told the stranger that this is my hair, my business and since I didn't ask for her opinion she should (insert profanity here) off. And I would disown my brother for atleast a month. You don't treat a sibling that way. You don't hurt her like that. I wouldn't be able to handel it diplomatically. I'd tell him that what he said, really hurt me deeply and if he can't treat me with respect and the kindness I deserve and treat him with, then do not deal with me AT ALL.

    You do not need to agree with my choice, but to bully me about it? Nope, [bleep] off.

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