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Pick Yo’ Afro Daddy… Cause It’s Flat on One Side

By January 27th, 202184 Comments

Pick Yo' Afro Daddy... Cause It's Flat on One Side

by Tyesia of A Blues for Nina

I received an email this weekend that I have not been able to dismiss despite my many attempts to pretend it did not happen. I am just in such disbelief that it has indeed earned it’s on blog post.

I have to consider that everyone does not understand this natural hair movement and everyone is not going to “like” my kinks.

That’s fine.

You are certainly entitled to your opinions and preferences. However, when your reasoning for not being in agreement with this beautiful movement resembles something along the lines of the following, a mean side-eye is most definitely in order.

“Natural hair, lol. It’s cute on some girls. I think it’s just a fad though. I’ll be glad when it goes away. I think some girls do it because they can not afford the good weave or sew-in. So this is their excuse. But I don’t think any of these girls will be natural for the rest of their life. Girls talk like this is a lifetime commitment. Straight down hair is equivalent to a guy with a fresh fade. It’s accepted everywhere like Visa. You can not attend a formal banquet, dance, or business meeting looking like foxy Cleopatra Brown in a dress.”

*insert broken heart here*

My dear friend goes on to say, “You will be looked down upon by white people.”

I just died. Please dress my body in full African garb and make arrangements for Badu to deliver my eulogy. Thanks.

To say I am disappointed would be the understatement of the century. It is beyond saddening to hear African Americans speak with such disdain for those of us who choose to revel in our natural splendor. Is that level of confidence and self-actualization in itself not enough to make a woman beautiful in her own right? To tell me that the hair growing from my scalp is unacceptable for display is just. . .

What’s worse is that this friend of mine is right. These are merely observations of our society’s ideals about beauty and the pressure we feel to conform. Since I BC’d, I have most definitely noticed a difference in the way and the frequency in which I am approached by men. It certainly takes some getting used to. No woman ever wants to feel LESS attractive, but how many of you would take freedom and self-love any day over cat calls from unworthy suitors while you mind your own business?

I thought so.

I have embraced my hair, and I have accepted that many of my peers disapprove. I have my own idea of beauty and it goes far beyond a 4oz bundle of Virgin Indian hair in a 1b. If my kinks are going to work against me in my social life, workplace, or affect career advancement in any way then I seriously need to re-evaluate the company I keep and the industry in which I want to display my many talents.

For the record, I can afford the “good” weave and my love for self can afford to go without it.

#Boom

In the meantime, somebody cue Willow!

*Whips hair back and forth*

84 Comments

  • Anonymous says:

    My job requires that I work with the Military, and mostly military white men. Whom you would normally think conservative right. Since my work is based off of sales and commmission, I ignorantly thought business would be affected. But it worked out to be the absolute opposite. Business went through the roof and no one I mean no one gave me a crazy look based off of my hair. I came in dressed appropriately and held my head up high with confidence. And that's why my clients saw, confidence!!!! Need I say more.

  • Anonymous says:

    Interesting I met my fiance with natural hair, gotten jobs with my natural hair (even wore a fro to work a few times) and have gotten complemented by white people. Even before I was natural I've never spent ridiculous amounts of money on weave (there were always more important things to spend my money on.) Your friend sounds incredibly ignorant.

  • takaratreasure says:

    wow i'm sorry to hear that but you are beautiful and so is your hair. who cares if its lifetime or momentarily. the most glorious thing is about goin natural is finding yourself. your strengths and weaknesses. and i suppose his pants are waist high, he's wrapped in a tie and his resume speaks "white" oh "for a lifetime!" i pray i dont have to face comments like these wen i BC. but im sure i will. enjoy the day ignore the devil til he fades away

  • Anonymous says:

    This was a direct opinion from someone that to me speaks about identification. People especially those with a American background and history have a disconnect to their heritage and a denial about their identity. Yes I find people, especially African or Latin people, to have a different approach when they see you with your natural texture some appear to be uncomfortable especially in the work enivronment. I cannot place anymore energy into analyzing other's thoughts about me, that's useless.

  • Anonymous says:

    Listen honey, your girl is dilussional! Lol She and her comment is Distorted @ best! This is 2011 is she living under a Rock? The girl appears to be ignorant…uneducated…uninformed…and some more ish! Who speaks like that to a friend? By the way you did say she was your friend right? Hummm??? Do yourself a favor and "Bounce" the Troll like a bad check! Anyways, they say we are a "Reflection" of who we surround ourselves around! Now,you sound like a smart lady, but what do I know?

  • Ambitious_Tiff says:

    Wow, what a poisonous "friend". **smh**

  • Anonymous says:

    lord lord lord! where to start. Hun u need a new friend. not just because of the fact that she hating on ur hair, but she is a hater in general. who says stupid ish like that? And in 2011 with a Black president and all if she don't have the good sense to figure out what is so deadly wrong with her thought process why are you surrounding urself with ppl like her anyways? what is she possibly contributing to your life? She obviously doesn't support you or your life journey and she definitely ain't too bright.

    I always crack up at black women particularly fussing and fretting about what white ppl gonna think, what the black man like etc etc. guess what? white ppl don't really give a flying ish that we natural. I should know cuz i live in one of them states where my heart skips a beat when i see random black ppl at walmart. LMAO. matter of fact they more likely to think it cute and have hair envy than to think wth is wrong with ur head. And even if they thinking that they will NEVER fix they mouth to say jack ish about it. that would be black ppl. lol.

    While there may be some men who love tracks and remy hair all over the place, and wont be with u unless ur hair is bone straight most men I know don't give a damn. My man HATES weave, and lots of other dudes I know hate it too. In fact the abnormally circular hairline and fake baby hair from lace fronts, and fingers getting caught up in tracks is kind of a joke to some of them. lmao. Do you and rock it with confidence and men will come if that is what u care about. But yeah that female, u need to get rid of asap.

  • Anonymous says:

    Don't most women realize that walking around with smelly weaves is ridiculous?!? Hair weave has a horrible smell as soon as you open the package! The hair industry is laughing at everyone buying their "products" made to purposely damage your hair It's your decision at the end of the day, but that ignorant comment sounded like it came from a hoodrat. Please go hate yourself all by yourself!!! Having a sewn in foreign object on your scalp to portray a FAKE image of who you really are makes you happy????

  • Latonya says:

    It's funny because since I started transitioning to natural hair (I'm 9 months in) I have received more compliments on my hair then when it was straight. My co-workers who are mainly caucasian love my hair. Even at the gym, the african american ladies there are always staring at me and and come up to me complimenting me. I love how the can't even do a good workout bc they are scared to sweat out their perm.
    For your friends to say this is a fad…wth? How is it a fad to be the way God created you. It's a fad for people to have to create a fake image of themselves in order to look like evryone else in society.
    My hair was very unhealthy and thin and that's why I decided to go natural. Not because I saw others doing it!
    I hope you put your friend in their place!!

    LaTonya G NYC, NY

  • Anonymous says:

    Sorry Anonymous at 11:47 pm, but black women do speak of black naturals this way. I have heard it with my own ears. I get most of my compliments from non-black people. Now, i don't think men necessarily don't like natural hair, i think they don't like short hair more. I think once we start growing our hair out and taking care of it and it grows the way it suppose to, they will get use to it and they will like it. I work with a bunch of men. at first they were like, why did you do that? I BC'd short afro. Now that my hair has gotten long and full, they love it. it is not the texture so much, it is the lenght.

  • Anonymous says:

    I agree with Sasha B. everyone has an opinion about hair whether it is natural, permed, pressed, braided or sewn in. The important thing is to not be defined by our hair but by who we are. I get many compliments on my natural hair from white to black. My husband loves my fro and he is white. It's really about your confidence and how you carry yourself. What is on the inside should beam out before they check the fro-hawk or twist out! Stay natural and blessed!!!

  • Anonymous says:

    THIS CANT BE A BLACK FEMALE, IT HAS TO BE A WHITE FEMALE TRYING TO SOUND BLACK OR A BLACK MAN WHO IS HATING, THIS IS A PUBLICITY STUNT. DONT BE FOOLED. "I CANT WAIT TIL IT GOES AWAY" "I DONT THINK ANY OF these GIRLS…"SOUNDS LIKE A CAUCASIAN TRYING TO PORTRAY HERSELF AS BLACK. CANT YALL SEE THAT. ITS EASY TO PRETEND TO SOUND BLACK NOWADAYS. ALL ANY1 HAS TO DO IS VIEW OUR VIDEOS AND BLOGS TO TYPE LIKE US. PAY ATTENTION TO WHAT SHE/HE IS SAYING. I KNO SHES WHITE, THIS WAS NOT LEFT BY A BLACK WOMAN, SHOW HER PHOTO AND ILL BELIEVE IT!

  • SashaB. says:

    People will have "opinions" on what the motives of other women have for going natural. That's a given and I think all of us knew that going in…but who cares? Honestly. The mental constipation that keeps other African Americans from realizing that regarding anything other than their natural hair as SUPERIOR or BETTER or as a sign of affluence is chiefly influenced by a need to adhere to arbitrary standards of beauty. I hate to get critical of 'us', but African Americans are the main ones quick to spend their paycheck on their hair & nails, not paying attention to their (lacking) wealth of self-awareness & REAL self-confidence.

    Personally, I'll take self-awareness & confidence over "the good weave/sew-in" any day because at some point–one will certainly outweigh the other.

    I don't really care that this person said what they said, as much as I worry about the mind set that MOTIVATED them to say what they did. Relaxed women don't have to jump on the (alleged) "bandwagon". That's not the point. But they could stand to determine what would keep them from embracing their natural hair, should they ever decide to do it.

    In the meantime…JUST WHIP IT! *whips hair*

  • aliyakeys says:

    What an amazing article! And it speaks nothing but the truth!

  • Doc says:

    hi tyesia
    thanks for sharing this with us.

    one of your concluding sentences really summarizes my belief about the situation:
    "If my kinks are going to work against me in my social life, workplace, or affect career advancement in any way then I seriously need to re-evaluate the company I keep and the industry in which I want to display my many talents."

    i love that statement. your friend's racial/ethnic identity issues should not be your problem. the immediate emotion this post evoked from me was sympathy. i feel this every time i hear that another Black person doesn't like natural/kinky/coily hair. i think, you must not like yourself then, sweetness.

    seriously, i feel so sorry for them. they have to live the rest of their life in skin that they hate. truly the saddest way to exist.

    give them the boot and keeps it moving!

  • lisa says:

    Wow and to think all this time I had been telling myself I never had a weave because I was afraid the braiding or glue would take my hair out. Clearly, I was just being delusional. It was finance all along. Lmao. I couldn't resist the joke. Seriously, y'all I really don't understand why, how a woman decides to wear her hair is such a hot topic. I'm really only concerned with what's going on with my scalp and hair. I definitely don't think going natural is a trend, but even if it is, so…? I don't remember getting side eye for my choices when I started wearing skinny jeans instead of bootcut. Natural hair is stylish and beautiful and maybe that is why some people are coming to it. Personally, I was fighting a losing battle with my scalp after each relaxer and it is nice to exercise or walk in the rain/go near water without terror. I do think the writer of the comment in all seriousness may have some things going on with acceptance because of her comment that " straight down hair is like a fresh fade and visa, accepted everywhere." How you dress, wear your hair and carry yourself shouldn't be up for everyone's discussion and/or acceptance. And if it is, maybe that's more about what you allow than what other people think of you. Perhaps, Erykah said it best in Certainly… "the world is mine, when I wake up. I don't need nobody telling me the time."

  • Nicole says:

    booo…to the he's merely observing "society's views about beauty." white people and black people, of certain social classes, think black and mixed hair is beautiful. indians too. my indian professor said I have the most beautiful hair at my university.
    your friend is a just a n#@!%. what did chris rock say? there are two types of black people: black people and n#@!%. and black people hate n#@!%. okay i'm talking like a n#@!% right now, but do you see my point? some people just haven't caught on yet because they're narrow minded.
    white people, mexicans (i don't need to be PC here because the lady was mexican and not from anywhere else), especially indians (not native americans), and some black people who have perms or extensions say they wish their hair was like mine. all these people have straight hair.
    don't be sad though, it's an isolated incidence.

  • Unknown says:

    I did not decide to go natural because it was the
    thing to do. My hair was unhealthy and I was tired of the perm just killing my hair every time I put it in there. Not only that, I can definitely afford to get my hair done, though it has helped with the budgeting. And I can definitely wear my hair to formal settings as long as it is taken care of and not wild. And white ppl have been the people who have given me the most comments on my hair.

  • Anonymous says:

    Apparently she never attended a formal banquet, dance, or business meeting with other black women. What a narrow, small world she has.

  • Anonymous says:

    That is so freaking stupid it doesn't even warrant a direct reply. It's almost like a person of another race walking up to me, yelling the N-word and walking away…it's just…stupid and unbelievably transparent in it's ignorance.

    I just hope that 20 years from now when WALKING AROUND WITH THE HAIR THAT GROWS OUT OF YOUR HEAD is not such a big freaking deal. Ladies, let us never give up so that our nieces, our grandchildren, the future women of our community will not have to deal so much with crap like this. Unbelievable.

    I hope in 20 years this natural hair awareness will have taken over Africa too!

  • Emma says:

    should've reached through the computer and slapped that friend with your black hand!

  • Anonymous says:

    I totally agree with your response to this post!

    *whipping my hair back and forth* LOL

  • Annie L. says:

    Sadly, these people, this mindset is our problem. These people raise young boys and girls to regurgitate this pitiful hatred. These types of feelings may not affect you but they may validate someone else's bigoted opinions or worse, discourage someone striving for greater self-acceptance. I for one am grateful to feel part of a very strong community.

    BTW, it was so poetic when you wrote, insert heartbreak. I still feel this way on occasion when seemingly conscious Black women say stupid things about natural hair and yes, I'm a confident and independent woman – just human and not afraid to admit that.

  • Anonymous says:

    yea this is sad but I have had the same issues. I went natural with dreads 5yrs ago all I heard was 'dread head' or nappy. I have been growing my hair out since October. When I where my w&g curls its even worse!! They just can not say anything nice, nothing and it does hurt my feelings especially when I know my hair is looking good!! Really I just dont get it, have we lost all of our identity as black people. Or is it that we can not see anything good about our God given self. I thought it was because I'm from a small town but I guess I was wrong, and yes I have had more compliments from white people than blacks.

  • Anonymous says:

    I swear some people can be so ignorant about our hair and it's USUALLY the ones with the SAME hair type. Why do people continously act like natural hair can't be tamed? As if it's unmanageable and can't look professional or neat? Maybe your friend needs to become best friends with google images to open their mindset. Natural hair doesn't consist of only huge fros. It's a shame that it takes BALLS to wear your hair kinky and free because of the ignorance that lies in Black people. Now I'm not saying other races don't dislike our hair, but our race will be quick to laugh at natural hair and call it nappy & ugly when they have the same hair growing out of their scalp. *SELF HATE PEOPLE!!!

    I just have to laugh at them and keep it moving. I've also noticed that I don't get hit on by younger black men (as I did with relaxed hair), which I'm not surprised. I only get stares, but I get comments on my hair from older black men. Hm.. Not that it matters but it's just an observation. Oh well. I love my kinks & curls and I am never going back to a relaxer. This isn't a trend for me, I got tired of the chemicals. 🙂

  • Anonymous says:

    I'm an older lady (47) who just went natural after about 20 years of relaxers because of basically how horrible my hair looked. When I would get the relaxer it would look good for about 4 days or so–after that pretty bad. I have seen some people with decent looking relaxed hair but a lot with jacked up hair like mine. I personally have not ever cared for weaves and think that they look ridiculous on most people. What I don't do however, is go around commenting upon how people wear their hair. I realize it's a personal decision and I was always taught to not comment on other people's appearance (unless it's a compliment). I think the person with the negative comments is ill informed at best and ignorant at worst. By the way, congratulations to all the younger women who have come up with all the creative and innovative ways to wear and take care of natural hair. You are truly an inspiration!

  • Koily K says:

    I work as a doctor in a very large Trauma Centre/Teaching hospital in South London and no one has had a problem with my hair. My bosses actually compliment me on my hair styles weekly and one of them was actually disappointed when I put in kinky twists! Another could not stop staring at my twist out while discussing a patient and afterwards stuck his hands in my fro without asking! He said it looked attached! The nerve! I'm also a bit tired about answering questions about my hair at work. No one (even the black people) understands the shrinkage of my wash and goes.
    When I work with children, the toddlers have tried to grab my hair and their Mums are horrified. I just worry about them depositing snot in my hair!

    My husband loves my hair. Calls me his African queen! When we go out, he points out the other natural sisters. I still get chatted up, straight or coily by all kinds of men. No different since I went natural. I believe it's in the way you carry and present yourself.

    Being natural has helped me accept me as I am. God does not make any mistakes. My hair is kinky and I accept that. If others can't, then that their problem. I can more than afford the Brazilian weaves and all the Yaki but they make my scalp itch and give me an awful dry flaky scalp.
    One of my cousins said I could go natural only because I am 'pretty' so can get away with the look! WTH?! I let her know who stupid that statement sounded. But she keeps asking questions about natural hair care so I guess she is more than curious about it….you never know, she may convert to the coily side 🙂

  • Anonymous says:

    Your 'friend' and I use that term loosely is sadly mistaken! Rockin' your natural curls is empowering if you embrace it. It doesn't matter that she is not confident enough to do the same. This is not a fad for most of us. And not to mention that most white people don't have a problem with natural hair but we have for years mistakenly thoguht this. Many,prefer our natural hair and encourage and recognize our beauty more than we do! Stand strond sister!

  • Anonymous says:

    tell ya friend to visit
    http://runningmommy04.blogspot.com/ and see how much you will be looked down upon by white people…you might end up married to one and have his babies.

    playa hating at its best!

    well, this is definitely a reason to appreciate curly nikki's site…natural beauties and information to arm you to face life.

    keep ya head up and if you want keep it natural.

    peace.

  • Anonymous says:

    Seriously? All I can do is laugh at this stu pidity. "I'll be glad when it goes away…" ???? does how people choose to wear their hair bother this girl's friend that much? Geez.

  • Anonymous says:

    Wow!! I didn't know going natural was a fad. I didn't even know there was so much info about natural hair care till after I decided to BC (July 2010). When it comes to the men, yes I have noticed that I've gotten much less attention from them, but I can do without catcalls and unnecessary comments. I love my natural hair, wish I would've BC sooner. I will never go back to the creamy crack NEVER!!

  • Anonymous says:

    OMG! I just saw Music Rocker Pete Wentz sporting a Curly Permed fro…. on the MTV show "The Seven"….How bout that?! LOL

  • Anonymous says:

    This is one of the reasons I've been reluctant to remove the relaxer from my hair. I'm afraid someone will think poorly of me or think I look unattractive. I already have pre-existing self esteem issues and I don't want to make things worse for myself. But I will sometime in the future remove the relaxer from my hair just to see how it goes. I'll continue reading this blog since it's so inspiring. All of the information here is so great.

  • Amber says:

    Wow. I like to allow every woman their right to enjoy their preference. I allow them to mention their preference to me so long as they're not forcing a view. I wouldn't want to be around this person at all.

    The natural 'fad?' Um…yeah, many women have been natural their whole lives. I think more people are just waking up to the idea that there are options, you don't *have* to get a perm and you don't *have* to have a sew in.

    And does she only accept guys with a fresh fade? What if he had a fro, cornrows, shaved his head, dreds, had it permed or texturized or had soft curls of his own? If we're allowed to accept black men with all sorts of hair, why can't we accept our women the same way? I've known so many black guys who had huge afros, and women love it.

    I don't apologize for anything I choose to wear or how I style my hair. I used to worry, "Is my hair too big? Is this dress to bright?" I don't any more. If I like it, I go forth. If you're confident the men will come calling.

  • Chidi says:

    Your friend is bitter and passive aggressive and frankly I feel sorry for her. My friends don't do anything but support me in all my endeavors despite having their own prefernces and such. Those are not the words of a friend and that statement did not come from love. Perhaps you might want to reevaluate the people you keep close to you bc in a friendship there should only be love, positivity, and acceptance.

    Anyway, going natural was, for me, a beginning of a long journey of self acceptance and feeling completely comfortable and content in my skin. I agree that going against the norm alone makes a woman beautiful and courageous in her own way. Although I have actually had more men approach me since I've went natural and a number of men compliment my hair on a day to day basis, I couldn't care less. I didn't go natural for anyone's compliments or approval nor for their criticisms or disapproval. None of these things flatter nor disappoint me. Their compliments are honestly just an affirmation of what I already know. I'm aware my hair is fabulous. If you agree or disagree, that's cool. And I've found that's one of the best philosophies you can possess in life.

    The men, people, companies that matter won't give a fuck about how you wear your hair, the ones that don't matter might. Fuck them. We only do this life thing once and Id rather live it authentically rather than grappling and struggling to obtain a beauty standard that I can only ever IMITATE, and badly in my opinion. I'd rather create my own standard.

    Mad love to my fellow natural women and all women who go against the grain. You're amazing, you're contrary, and you're beautiful.

  • Lisa says:

    I don't care what anybody has to say about me being natural. Fad or not, it's my hair and I get to do what I want with it. If anybody were to email me some crap like that their feelings would have been hurt by the end of it all. How dare someone be so closed minded? If you don't want to go natural, that's your business but please understand my natural hair is my business. I could probably go off for days so let me stop here.

  • Ariel X says:

    I've honestly gotten hit on by MORE black men and WAY MORE white men since I let my hair be curly. So it's not your hair, it may just be the places you hang around.

  • Danielle says:

    What I find most amusing is that my black friends, family members, and coworkers have the most disdain for my natural hair. My other (than black) friends are intrigued by it. I have done it all- from Halle Berry short to Keri Hilson bob to Beyonce-esque weave- I have never been more confident and in love with myself, than the day I went natural! It's sad that I have to defend my very curly, very feminine natural hair at every gathering, but so be it. The attitudes and comments aren't even offensive anymore. My curls are an outward representation of the beauty, indepedence, and intelligence that come beaming out of me everyday! Cue "Pretty Girl Rock" ***Struts away***

  • Janae says:

    GIRL BYE.

  • Focused says:

    @ sarah, i added that tidbit b/c the poster's friend said she will be looked down upon by white people. not b/c i seek validation from anyone.

  • Anonymous says:

    Wow "You will be looked down upon by white people." With friends like that, really who needs enemies. And if it's not a lifetime choice for some and just a fad? I've been on a long fad. My last relaxer was 10 years ago this coming July!!!! Keep your kinks, curls and coils and love them!!!!

  • Anonymous says:

    The way to start changing this is to start wearng more natural styles to work, special events, maybe even interviews. Like an updo with some texture, not just only straightened. It would take a while but this is a bway to make our natural hair more familiar in those situations. I do kind of feel form though, feeling like my own hair might not be considered appropriate or professional for an internship.
    My own family said I should look professional not like a model! Its up to us, I know its not easy at first for some (I transitioned twice ).
    We have to be the change to show our natural hair is a lifestyle

  • kimberly says:

    “You will be looked down upon by white people.”

    and I'm supposed to care about that because……
    *quizzical look, shrugging shoulders*

    Honestly, I think that quote sums up the entire spirit of all she wrote….self-hatred….valuing the perceived opinions of others over her own intrinsic self-worth (though she obviously is unaware of her intrinsic value).

  • Anonymous says:

    ^^^^^^….continued
    Another thing i gotta add is, HOW in the hell is goin natural a fad, when we were ALL BORN THIS WAY????? wtf? If anything, perms and weaves are the most un-natural thing out there for us African Americans!!! U think we were born with a perm or that sew-in??! Come On now……smh ignorance is a MF aint it?!
    #imjustsayin

  • Anonymous says:

    Ummm….. WTF?!!! Is anyone else offended by this Tom-foolery??!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Anonymous says:

    Excuse me?!! I do not now, nor have I ever, lived my life (or wore my hair) to be looked up to by any race of people — white or otherwise. I really had no idea that some people — sistas?! — actually thought this way. I mean really WTF!!!

  • diademydo says:

    I've never permed but was close friends with my curling iron through my third year of college. When I started to wear twists and bantu knots a family member told me she was worried about me, like I was on drugs or had joined a gang. I had one male aquaintance tell me my hair was unladylike 🙁 Small minds make small talk. Just for the record, our white friends are always going to infatuated by our natural locks in the same way they enjoy going out for "ethnic" food. What really matters is how we can best enjoy being ourselves without looking to anyone at all to cosign for our happiness.

  • CurlyBee! says:

    SO SAD to see that this continues to be an issue for some! I love my kinks! For a while before I BC'd, I was nervous and afraid of the reception I would get and I was afraid people would think it was just a fad…it wasn't. I tried transitioning through braids and my BC came as a result of that line of demarcation!!! My comb slid right on through my new growth and got stuck at that permed mess!!! There were compliments and there was confusion…the biggest question I got was WHY? To which I responded…it's my hair, not me and if you define who I am by my hair you may not want to continue talking to me. It hurt dearly when my own dad called my hair nappy…he said it with such negativity; I tried to explain the reality of my journey getting to know my real hair, but all he saw was naps. He then went on to tell me that I would need to conform my hairstyles in order to succeed in mainstream America…I may not be my hair but WE DO NOT CONFORM!!!!

  • nellboogie says:

    Sista, you said it perfectly! I would just like to add that while many of the points she made represent the viewpoints of many (You have NO clue how much I defend my hair at FAMILY functions alone…) It is not our reality and I believe many of us have decided to not believe the hype, not just with our hair, but on societal views of beauty as a whole…I plan to continue to "Naomi Campbell" walk *while playing "She's a Bad Mama-Jama" on my I-pod*

  • Anonymous says:

    i love this post… i am a fan of both the sew in and my beautiful natural kinks, i love it all. But i must say i get more compliments on my natural hair anyday and within about 2 wks of having my weave in I CAN NOT WAIT to see my curls spring back up….anyone can get 18" remy 1b but only i have this crown of 4b/c

  • nellboogie says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • Coils and Such says:

    Thank you Anon 1:44pm I was just about to make a similar comment. WE don't even realize that at this point in time we are our biggest critics. I find that when I wear my hair in a more curl defined manner I receive more compliments from black people. But when I wear my hair in a kinkier manner I get tons of compliments from white people and very few from black. It's like what one of my friend says: "Everyone wants to be natural but no one wants to be nappy."

  • Franki says:

    "you will be looked down upon by white people"

    …right. That's why my white girlfriends compliment my hair every time I wear it out and are mildly disappointed whenever I straighten it. That's why the last white guy I dated used to beg me to wear my hair out. That's why my old supervisor always had compliments about my hair. Because they were all looking down on me. Uh-huh. What white folks has this homie been hanging out with?

    Don't get me wrong; I wouldn't Jill Scott it up in a board meeting, the same way I wouldn't expect blonde straight-hair Susie to hold a meeting in pigtails. But when my hair's in a bun, the way I wear it to work most days, no one's thinking about my hair. They're thinking about my work, as they should be. And when I rock it out on the weekends, people aren't thinking about anything other than my unadulterated fly-ness.

    As for men, think of your curly hair as a filter. It allows the less-than-worthy to remove themselves from the occasion; saving you the trouble of doing it later.

  • Anonymous says:

    If I were the poster of this article I would have looked at my friend with a -___- and said "you clearly don't know and I don't have the time to teach it to you" and walked off!

  • KC says:

    @AishaSaidIt: LMAO @ 'FU juice'!

    To the ladies on Youtube, and the bloggers forging a path to self-acceptance and appreciation for your natural beauty: Keep it coming. The styling tips, the haircare advice, the encouragment. Thanks.

  • Anonymous says:

    No offense, but i call people like your friend slave catchers but i tend to be dramatic like that. There is no way she could not have known her words would be hurtful, and why will she be "glad when it goes away"? Why is it that women who take care and style their own hair bothers her? And to end it with 'white people will not accept you'–I have encountered Black people who constantly worry about what White folks think about everything from their hair, walk, dress and that slave mentality cripples them; they actually feel threatened when you don't walk lockstep. The fact that she thinks a Black woman is acceptable with straight, fake hair is tragic for her.

  • AishaSaidIt says:

    I have honestly never had a problem in the work place (I am a developer) or with men (I am married but I still get hit on). I may get strange looks from random mostly Black strangers, but that's about it. But then again I'm really good at ignoring negativity from strangers, it must be the FU juice I drink every morning.

  • Anonymous says:

    @sarah 11:35 a.m. i understand what you are saying, but when i think the thought process is, at least for me, is that it's ashamed that a lot of black people don't appreciate our natural hair. i personally do not get too wrapped up compliments made by others.

  • Anonymous says:

    Does anyone ever get the feeling that black people are afraid of the natural movement because our races may start to believe that weaves or permed hair isn’t biologically ours? Solidifying the idea that our hair is just plain different than a 1B silky straight? I am not trying to be funny, but every time I am around my friends who have relaxers or weaves they become very uptight about the subject of hair. They don't like to talk about it (unless they are cutting jokes), and if they do they get very defensive. I have had people ask me questions regarding my hair and my relaxed friends will jump in my conversation and answer the question for me. As if they were afraid that if I answered I might let some cultural secret out of the bag. They also make a point to let it be known that what I have "done" to my hair isn’t what black women do as a whole. As if they were distancing themselves from me. SOMETIMES I FEEL THAT WE THINK THAT BY LETTING OUR HAIR GROW NATURALLY WE ARE AIRING SOME SORT OF BLACK DIRTY LAUNDRY. I love my friends, but that doesn’t mean I can’t question their actions.

  • Anonymous says:

    Wow I'm so sorry to hear about your friend and my heart breaks with you. I was natural before I knew how to take care of my hair and it was dry and looked a mess but I still loved my hair and the fact that this is me, it's mine and who can say that I shouldn't wear it natural. As time is go on I am learning how to care for my hair and I am happy about that. It is a shame that we have to go through so much just to accept our God-given hair, it is how he made us at least that is how I figure it. I don't care what whites or blacks like your friend think about my hair and I don't want to live up to the standard of beauty that society continues to parade everywhere I look. I hope that you stick to your guns and revel in your natural beautiful hair. I'm sorry that you had to keep going over the email you received, I understand why, because she took the time to write her opinion and send it to you saying something negative to you about something that is a big and beautiful part of you. As they say about stepping or line dance "it's a lifestyle" natural hair is a lifestyle and not a fad and kudos to you for honoring yourself enough to be offended by her comments, she was way out of line and you know it.

  • StaceyMarie says:

    That's a venomous statement from a "friend". I have a friend who suggests a straight weave when I think out loud about protective styles, but I love my hair too much to look like an imposter. I get it straightened every 6 months to get a trim, which is a temporary (2 weeks, tops) change! I think my friend's suggestions stem from her desire to have long straight hair rather than the long AfroLatina 3C hair she was born with. The frenemy mentioned in the post seems to suffer from cultural myopia in that she hasn't seen natural hair worn outside of a fro and is perhaps too insecure regarding her own beauty to consider another standard. Hair is hair and ungroomed, unhealthy hair is what it is. I never see unkempt, patchy heads of natural hair, but I frequently see bad perms (broken, thin hair, w/no edges) and bad weaves/wigs that make you assume that what's underneath must be even worse if that was the solution. We're ALL in a recession. I'm a degreed professional, but why would I buy what grows for free just because I can when I could contribute to my IRA? I want to grow my wealth and my hair! Now if I could just cure my PJism…

  • Anonymous says:

    OK so in her Eyes i looked a mess at my Husband khaki ball, Even though every on complimented my new look. Doesn't matter, i didn't go natural because of a fad and like many of you said I can afford the expensive weave and bi weekly visits to the salon.I went natural (again) because my hair was unhealthy and breaking off, no matter what i did to it. No heat, air drying moisturizing, not even putting it in ponytails to keep me from pulling it. So what was left, Relaxers.I'm not hating, To each his own.

  • Sharmer says:

    The girl who sent the email is obviously completely uneducated about natural hair, so her ignorant comments are no surprise. Who words don't mean much to me because she is only regurgitating the information she has been taught by society. Nothing new there, lets just be proud all us ladies who come here know the real deal about being natural.

  • Tahlove says:

    JINKIES! It's good that you and your friend are so comfortable with each other that you can be honest about your differing opinions but…yikes. I think the bottom line is everything aint for everybody and if you spend your life trying to fit someone elses idea of beauty you're destined for a lifetime of emptiness. *Whips Hair back n forth* 🙂

  • Anonymous says:

    Yeah, I second what you said, Abstract. I am Soooo over it. Who made "White people" the authority on kinky curly hair anyway? Whatever…moving on.

  • Anonymous says:

    I've been natural since I was 17. I'm in my 30's now. I've worked in finance at Lockheed, IBM, and Equifax. I have never had a problem finding a job with my afro. I never had a problem finding a boyfriend. Men still approach me, even though I've been married for 10 years. Its all in how you carry yourself. When you feel beautiful, you'll be beautiful.

  • Unknown says:

    Wow! It can imagine that it did hurt to hear that coming from a friend. But, good for you for brushing off your shoulders and keeping your head up. Now, it is true that some women may not stay natural for the rest of their lives… and that's fine! But for many (most) of us, isn't a fad. It's embracing and flaunting our beauty the way it was meant to be flaunted.

    Now, as for the comment about being looked down on by white people. LMAO!!!!! If white people are going to look down on me, they're going to do it regardless of how I wear my hair. Honestly, I've had more positive responses from white folks about my hair that from black folks. Black folks are quick to give me the stank face or hint that I need to "do something to" my hair. LOL. White folks either don't care or they are in complete awe. Most don't even think twice about my fluffy fro or puffs.

  • JustTrena says:

    My honest opinion about the statement is this: Folks who are insecure with who/what they are, finds some form of comfort in bashing anyone who forces them to look back at themselves. It’s like their minds tell them if we wear our natural hair, we’re going to let the “others” know our secrets! I agree with what the other poster said,… dump the bump!

  • shea_nicole says:

    I don't believe alot of people are going natural because it is a "fad" i think they are all individual personal choices. Like my decision to go natural was because for 11 years i was getting relaxers and my hair stayed shoulder length or shorter always fluxuating never getting longer no matter what i did or did not do. I didnt straighten my hair everyday only every two weeks when i washed and i moisturized it everyother day but to no avail it still broke off. So in my senior year of college i decided to stop getting my scalp burned and spending 50+ dollars on something that wasn't benefiting me and I also saw so many other women on Howard's (HU YOU KNOW!) campus who embraced their natural curls and switched it up to straight when they felt like. So one day stopped perming and its almost three years since i made that choice and my mom and sister have stopped perming as well and we all have healthier thicker happier hair and scalps because of it. And whether my hair is curly or straight it is ready for all ocassions professional, formal or casual. So the writer or that ridiculous statement is so sadly mistaken and will probably be alone this valentines day.

  • Abstract says:

    I know these things can be very hurtful to hear…I guess I am getting used to hearing it enough to the point where it's not as shocking as before

  • Anonymous says:

    I got a wig made in July last year. Straight hair, kind of curled up a little bit at the ends. It was beautiful. I posted it on my facebook page and my hairdresser posted it on hers. The picture got many compliments, but it was too hot to wear.
    I still have it and I said I would put it back on when the weather cooled off a bit. Well, it's now February of the following year and I haven't put it on. It's still in the closet, but I everytime I look at it I just can't bring myself to wear it. I would feel so weird. Kind of like an imposter or something.

    It's sad that most of us were never taught how to embrace and take care of our natural hair for so many years. Of course people have questions and comments. If we had worn our hair natural all of these years, they would know what our hair looks like and not be shocked or surprised when they see it.

    I am not a fad and neither is my hair.

  • Sabrina R Perkins says:

    I truly have no words for that ignorant sista. I also have money for weaves…I choose to use it on my Naturalness…

  • Anonymous says:

    Wow!! Everyone is entitled to their own preferance but to state that wearing your hair natural is unacceptable in certain social settings is just sad.

    I can't be mad though because some people just don't know and you can't fault someone for being unaware. I once felt the same way your friend does!! I'm an attorney and for the longest time I would only wear my hair flat ironed at work–no braidouts or curly hair!! Then one day I decided to rock the curly and to my surprise THE WHITE PEOPLE LOVEd IT!!! I got compliments from parners old enough to be my grandfather and several of the white female attorneys and secretaries told me how much they loved it and actually asked me for tips on how they could get their hair to hold a curl….LoL!!

    So my point is, don't be too upset with your friend. Unfortunately, many of us have been conditioned to view our natural hair as unacceptable. Hopefully, one day your friend will learn to truely appreciate her beauty.

  • Anonymous says:

    I don't think people are saying "I get the most compliments from white people" because they are reeling in being accepted. I think they are saying it because everyone believes its "the white man" (lol how archaic is that, do you see how silly this all sounds!)that is looking down on our hair. Yes there are very europeanized standards of beauty, but lots of the negativity towards natural hair is from black, and so, those who get the most compliments from whites are merely pointing out that the argument that natural hair makes us unacceptable to whites is a generalization and a fallacy for the most part. p.s. I LOVE MY HAIR!

  • TDiva says:

    I really enjoyed reading this post. I agree with the poster because I too have friends who disagree-way too strongly-about my hair choices. However, it has been my experience that men seem to approach me more since I've begun to wear my natural hair loud and proud. I've been natural for years, but sadly I bought into the hype that straight hair (or even braids) were more acceptable to society than the kinky curls. Yet, secretly I would look on in awe at those women who chose to go against the grade and bask in their natural glory. Now, I could care less about what the people around me think or feel about MY OWN HAIR. If my hair scares or intimidates someone, they should take it up with their psychiatrist. What I have growing out of my head should not be a problem to anyone on ANY occasion because God clearly made me this way and who are they to feel like it is not good enough. #POW

  • MsStephNicole says:

    Thank God I haven't had an encounter like this. I hope that I never have to deal with someone who regards my hair in such a negative way. This is where "keepin' it real" goes wrong. She thought that she was being honest and straight forward with you but your friend's comments were very rude. I've notice that people treat me the way that I treat myself. When I don't feel confident, it shows and I don't get much of a response from men. When I am confident with how I look (straight or kinky), I can tell a difference in how people (men especially)approch me.

  • NtrlGAGrl says:

    Your friend needs to turn on the television. There are many natural commercial actresses being shown. Also, I was watching one of the news channels and there was a beautiful, black woman on there (a financial expert, I think) with gorgeous 4a-b hair. This is true for for your friend because of HIS/HER own personal beliefs and what he/she buys into. Is this person the authority for white-people-think? Just like black people aren't a monolith, all thinking the same, nor are white people. It's individual preference. Some people will like it. Some won't. C'est la vie!

    FYI, the very first compliment I got on my very first twist-out was from a white lady in a department store. A perfect stranger.

  • Anonymous says:

    @KeetaRay….I agree 100%, as well as with the other posters. But to your point, I wasn't always a fan of natural hair. I am currently transitioning and find myself sometimes questioning my decision. However, I have realized that the uncertainty I feel is most definitely flawed thinking – how could it be that the way God made me – beautifully in His image – is wrong? or not good enough? That in and of itself shows me how our minds have been so enslaved for so long and continue to be. Going natural for me is personal, primarily because I know it's flawed thinking that kept me addicted to chemicals….especially when the entire time I was resisting the love for the curls I would always see forming at my roots. Personally – that's the demon I'm trying to fight. As far as fad goes, it was only after my decision that I realized how many others out there were on the same journey and thank God for that because the knowledge, inspiration and support that is generated from that is well appreciated.

    I can only pray that one day the writer's "friend" would free their mind as well.

  • sarah says:

    it always makes me sad to hear "i get the most compliments from white people" because in one sentence we state how the negative comments don't matter but we reel when white people give compliments, because it is us who have issues. it's weird and backhanded.

  • KeetaRay says:

    I agree with everyone above – I don't care what others think of MY hair, and that is exactly why I decided to go natural in the first place (I stopped caring). Hopefully, this person will realize one day that natural hair is a beautiful thing and won't look down on it and think it's just a fad. It's possible, because even though my own feelings weren't AS negative, I wasn't always a "fan" of natural hair. My viewpoint has changed with the more knowledge I obtained.

    And for the record, white people LOVE our natural hair (or at least the ones I encounter, because I've gotten many compliments from them). It is *US* who STILL have the issue, and that's sad.

  • Anonymous says:

    KUDOS, well written and I most definitely agree with you! My advice: Dump the bump–don't need "friends" like that! P.S. I live where it's straight hair world 24/7 and my biggest compliments come from my elderly friends who are white! Some of my Hispanic friends have also complimented me but haven't got a lot of compliments from black males (including the hubby) and of course, that's not a problem with me, really don't need his or their approval to feel good about myself!

  • Raniesaj says:

    That's what I'm talking about!!!! I agree 100% with the author!!! Why is it that I should have to set my self-love aside in order to be 'accepted' among society and the company I keep. My mindset during this entire process (15 months in), is that if you can't accept me the way I am-in all my God-given beauty-then it is time that I let you go. I am no longer afraid to lose a so-called good friend because of the way I look, act, dress, eat, or believe. I have come to the realization that the people who are in my life are there because the truly accept me for who I am. As a single woman, how can I say I want a man that won't try to change me to fit his image, when I am to busy trying to change myself? I have nothing against women who desire to wear their hair, permed, weave, or whatever, but FOR ME, the decision to go natural change more than just my hairstyle, it change my life and the perception I had OF ME!!! This is a personal choice, unique to every individual. For some, this may be the newest fashion trend, and for others, it's much, much more. My desire is for every woman to embrace their beauty individually, whether is be with a weave, a wig, a relaxer, or a 'fro!!! Thank you Tyesia for writing this article and thank you Nikki for having a forum such as this that it can be viewed/discussed!!

  • Focused says:

    normally, i don't comment on these posts b/c i really don't care what other people think of my hair. but i couldn't resist. i'm sad to say, tyesia, but your friend sounds a bit bitter. i'll never understand why seeing other people shine makes some folks get that bitter beer face. why not just be HAPPY these women are happy?

    for many people, i.e. nikki, who never transitioned, natural hair IS a lifetime commitment. many women featured on this site have never relaxed or only tried it briefly. who is she to comment on someone else's commitment? i never plan to relax my hair again & i'm almost 3 years in.

    also, please send her a link to one of the MANY posts on here w/women rocking naturals at their weddings & other formal events. i think it's sad that her idea of natural hair is limited to a foxy cleopatra fro. but if that's what i want to wear to a formal event, i will!

    i hope you have also noticed a difference in the QUALITY of men who approach you. to paraphrase the famous marcus garvey quote, i'd prefer a man relax the kinks from his mind than remove them from my hair.

    also, high 5 at "For the record, I can afford the 'good' weave and my love for self can afford to go without it." boom, indeed! and may i add a "girl, bye!"?

    p.s. i get the MOST compliments on my hair from white people who "wish [their] hair could do that." #runtelldat

  • april says:

    What craziness. My natural hair is not a fad. I've been natural before it was popular. I can indeed afford weaves, braids, perms, but that's not the point. I am most myself with my hair in its natural state. And this kills me: "You will be looked down upon by white people." I don't give a ish! Why is he upholding white people to such a high standard, as if everything that blacks do has to be approved by them? I have white friends, and if I ever lose any because of the way that I choose to wear my hair, I'm sure it would be a reflection on those people and not their race. You've got to be kidding. I don't care who looks down on me for my natural hair. This man sounds ignorant as all heck. Seriously. IGNORANT!

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