by Dr. Phoenyx Austin via

Hi ladies! I’m still in the Cayman Islands shooting my TV spots. And yesterday I also had a blast hitting the airwaves on Radio Cayman. It was a really fun show where we discussed hot topics in culture and dating/relationships. And of course, the subject of hair came up.

Since I arrived on this beautiful island, several women have inquired about my natural hair. Natural hair is actually a rarity here- so I’ve kind of stuck out like a sore thumb. I even had local woman tell me how much she “loved” my hair. But right after giving me that compliment she also added “you look like you have that ‘good hair’- so you can pull off that style.”

In the Caymans (as well as many other West Indian and Caribbean countries), there is a very Eurocentric standard of beauty. I’m from Panama, and the same issues exist there. And what you observe are many women who try their hardest to have the straightest hair and the lightest skin. And they don’t only rely on relaxers and “staying out of the sun.” Sometimes women even resort to risky things like skin bleaching.

It’s a sad reality that even in 2011, many black women (in the US and abroad) are still struggling with self-esteem and identity issues. And as far as hair, it just makes me wonder how long it will be and what it’s going to take for all black women to come to place where “good hair” simply equals “healthy hair.”

What are your thoughts on women who use phrases like “good hair?” Has another black woman ever told you that you have ‘good hair’ because your hair appeared a certain ‘texture?’ Were you offended? How did you respond?

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