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Curly Nikki

Carolina Reporting from Santo Domingo, DR

By January 27th, 202154 Comments

MissRizos writes:
Carolina Reporting from Santo Domingo, DR

Dear CurlyNikki family,

If countries were assigned a report card, the Dominican Republic would get a big fat F-. Yes there are beautiful beaches here, palm trees everywhere, fresh coconut water and avocados, but the racial climate here is simply insane.

I was born here, raised in the US and then decided to come back here to learn more about my country. It’s been two years and very little has changed. I may sound like a broken record to many, but I just can’t get over it.

I’ve been natural for about a year and a half now and as my hair grows so do the negative, offensive and hurtful comments. Let me sum up a typical day where I am either walking to work, on my way to the grocery store or simply out and about:

A guy yelled, “Is that a wig?” and proceeds to putting his hands in my hair, literally pulling it to see if it was in fact a wig. I laughed and kept walking because I didn’t’t know what I would’ve done had I stayed a second longer. That same day, a girl looked at me all perplexed and asked, “How did you get it like that, doesn’t it feel weird.” I told her that I used some water and coconut oil and that it didn’t feel weird because it grew out of my head that way.

Just the other day in a matter of 5 minutes I was called a match, told that I had a ‘big mess in my hair’, that I must have a terrible barber, that I have lice in my hair, that I looked like Medusa, that I looked like a thug, that they would pay my bill at the salon and the list goes on and on…and on!

They say all of this brusquely without hesitation. I do walk tall and proud and I am completely unapologetic for rocking a fro, but that just doesn’t work here.

This ish is crazy and I know that I should ignore them and keep it moving, but it gets to me sometimes. Most days I just brush it off and block all comments, but some days I cry because I feel powerless and incapable of changing the situation at the time. Yes I am hopeful and optimistic and I prove this day in and day out by supporting women who are going through the process and by being a loud advocate for natural hair in the country, but sometimes I lose faith y’all. I feel like things won’t change and when I hear little 5 year olds taking about wanting to have fair skin and “good” hair, it makes me want to vomit.

I could leave here if I wanted to, but is escaping this reality the right thing to do? Is fighting it worth it?

Original post in Spanish via MissRizos.com

54 Comments

  • Miss Rizos says:

    I can't believe so many of you have been or know of someone who talks about the DR and our issues, it's awful.

    @Melinda, I see it on a daily basis, my Haitian sisters on this end are almost bald because of the relaxers they are using.

    Much love to all the Dominican naturalistas! Again, thanks for all your love, it has really touched me and encouraged me to keep on keeping on!

  • Melinda says:

    Carolina keep up the good work!!!! I am Haitian and I know exactly what you are talking about. People use skin lighteners and perms as a means to look like something they will NEVER be. I just went to Haiti this summer with my hair in a BIG OL' Puff and people looked at me like I was wearing bell-bottoms and a flannel button-up. lol. They asked to touch it, many thought it was a wig, and others wondered how I could afford to live in America and not afford to get my hair done. What Elaine said is very much true. The word 'polite' does not exist. Many times they would bombard me with rude comments than give me a compliment once they realized I didn't care for their opinion – though it was a back handed compliment. I also find it funny how women from the Caribbean 'dislike' natural hair THAN wear long kinky weave ponytails.
    My Mom STILL thinks I am going through a phase (been natural since 2007) and always says how much I have damaged my hair – though I went from a TWA to SL hair lol. I LOVE LOVE LOVE what you are doing and what you stand for – PLEASE keep up the good work. I go back to Haiti in the end of December and I have already starting building a wall of defense lol

    ~Stay Natural~

  • Meli says:

    Hi Miss Rizos,

    I'm Dominican American, residing in the Bronx, NY. I think you're very brave to be natural in the DR. When I decided to big chop 4 years ago, my parents truly believed I was going through a phase and that this short hair cut was only for easier maintenance while I an away to college. Once I graduated my mom would ask me when i was going to relax my hair again to apply for jobs. I am happily employed and have yet to perm my hair. I've had to put up with hurtful comments from both my mom, dad and extended family about my hair. My grandmother used to always ask me when i was going to really "comb" my hair. My mom still calls it "pelo malo" until this day. She's getting better at avoiding the phrase because at times she stops herself and says "cabello Rizos" instead. I really don't care for commentary about my hair that others make. However, I think it is
    the most hurtful when the negative comments come from your own family.

    However, I think i made a break through in my family because my 17 year old sister recently big chopped and looks up to me for hair advice 😉

    In addition to the image of natural hair in the DR, women with natural hair are normally considered to be very Christian women who do not perm their hair, wear makeup or earrings and only wear skirts. I was asked if I
    was a newly converted Christian all the time. I think it is really sad that our culture rejects it's natural appearance and has created long bone straight hair as a form of beauty and coming of age. I begged my mother for a perm at the age of 14 due to this mindset.

    Some of the very few positive comments I heard about my Afro was that it is called a "funky." Many women would ask me how I got my hair in a funky. I would stare at them in disbelief. My only fear about the natural hair movement in the dr is that it has become a mere fashion statement and not a form on which
    women find their true beauty in their natural appearance.

    There is a natural hair blog in the dr called GoNatural Caribe. I think it's the Dominican version of curly Nikki along with miss rizos' blog. Below is the link.
    Please watch the really interested video in the prensas section. It aired in a Dominican news station called Zona 5 on television.

    http://www.gonaturalcaribe.com/index.html

    Keep up the great work miss Rizos. You look beautiful and believe it or not you're setting the example for little Dominican girls all over the dr.

    Best,

    Meli

  • Onome says:

    @Naijaprincess, I love the "kolomentality" comment…only my Nigerians lol.
    And I feel like Nigerians would do the same thing, but not so rudely/hatefully, more like they're trying to help you, because I must admit that without the right products, natural hair can look a mess, but people in some other countries just don't have the right products.

  • Anonymous says:

    Those haters need to kick rocks bare foot!!! Keep your head up sista girl and rock your curls!!!!!

  • Anonymous says:

    Are all you naturals going to DR going to meet up with Carolina? If so, do a meet up and let us see the pics!

  • Naijaprincess says:

    Just came back from the DR and I definitely noticed the preference for fair skin and straight hair. The interesting thing though, is that there were so many men with afros of different lengths- twa, medium, BAA! It was a beautiful thing to see. However, I didn't see a single female wearing her hair in its natural state. My friends and I were the only naturals in the entire resort. At times I wanted to slap folks and tell them to wake up- you're a black country! You're all black- just different shades of black and its all beautiful. Stop with the kolomentality (enslaved mindset) and stop "drinking the koolaid."

  • Anonymous says:

    Carolina, Since melanin in skin and natural hair texture are based on DNA, which CANNOT be changed (except probably over millions of years), and therefore speaks to the essence of why self-acceptance and respect of others is soooo important (especially among those of African descent) and
    In the spirit of Sept 20, 2007 in Jena, LA (though thankfully discrimination against black hair texture is no where near as serious as hanging nooses as a sign against those with black skin)….I am going to do some research and personally email you on your website by the end of next week with my ideas.

    Much Love and Peace,
    Jami

  • Tiffany B. says:

    That is a hot mess, but what can you do? If I were you, I would stay if it doesn't bother you much but if you're starting to feel feelings of depression and lack of confidence then you might need to be in a more welcoming and friendly environment. Black women already have enough to deal with, we don't need any additional and unnecessary stress because of some hair. Stress kills. If you are going to stay, wear your hair how you like it but you may need a more organized and wide spread approach to this. Maybe a marketing campaign or some tee shirts, maybe find a group of young women and hold events at schools for girls educating them on self-hate and self-confidence. If you're going to stay, you need to fight back.

  • Gizzle says:

    I was there as a natural and maybe my Spanish wasn't good enough to notice any bad remarks or maybe they are extra bold because they know you are Dominican. Either way, I also had some nice good friends there who never had a bad thing to say about my hair. This was in Santo Domingo in 2005 . . . one wanted to do a sit-in at a club that discriminated against black people (she lived in the US for a short time) . . . so their are people there who
    a) will like/compliment you on your hair and beauty in its natural state and/or
    b) like you for you regardless of if they agree with your style choices or not!
    FIND THOSE PEOPLE AND IGNORE THE RUDE STRANGERS ON THE STREET!

  • Yari says:

    I too was born and raised here with my mom and dad both being from DR. I haven't been over there since I was 15 (and now I'm 18) and my hair was permed back then. I haven't gotten a perm since January 2010 and I big chopped in February of this year. I have some family from DR on Facebook but I doubt they'll like my hair in person. I was thinking about straightening it before I go(I'm going for about a week in December) but then I kinda really want to see what my grandma thinks and what my aunts think.

    I already know one of them will be supportive (the "well as long as you like it and you're happy" kind of support) and the others will be like WTH happened? When are you perming it?

    And it's such a shame too because I think my curls are so cute. I think I'm gonna go with a wash and go and see how that works out and if I can't rewash as often as I like (you know the water situation over there lol) then maybe I'll straighten it for a length check.

    But keep doing you! They will have to realize one day that not only straight hair is pretty.

  • Anonymous says:

    This desire of wanting to be fair skin with long straight hair is everywhere you go. Im living on an African island where the people are mixed with Asian, Indian, Arab & Afrian blood. Its the same mentality. Once in awhile you see someone wearing their hair curly but they really dont like it that way. Its lack of education and product availability if you ask me.

  • Anonymous says:

    Fair, medium and dark-skinned Latinos violently refuse to acknowledge that the millions of Africans brought to South America, the Caribbean and Central America left virtually no one without African ancestry whether their eyes are blue or brown, their hair is blond or black, straight or curly or their skin is the lightest light or the deepest dark. It is the same thing in the U.S. South and many other countries. They are not rejecting YOU but rejecting this unavoidable reality about themselves. You are up against centuries of propaganda that used a fantasy Euro image (that even most Euros do not have) to keep the majority of the population poor, without access to political power and socially irrelevant. With people divided over marginal differences in skin color and hair curl, the status quo still has no large-scale opposition.

    But YOU are making a difference and your society is better for you withstanding and exposing their humiliating state of affairs. Your curly sisters are proud of you and are your base. Love your site! Also please do not hesitate to 'rise up' if anyone tries to touch you or verbally assault you in the future. Whether it is Dominican or even Martian culture, you-know-what need to be put in their place.

  • Anonymous says:

    Awww… *hugs* Carolina. I know exactly what you mean. Just returned from the Dominican Republic- went for a friend's wedding and stayed a week to travel around the country. Half way through my trip, I was ready to return. I have never felt more unattractive in a country than I felt in the DR and I have traveled extensively throughout Africa, Europe, South and Central America and Asia. The level of colorism and the negativity towards natural hair was just on another level!!!

    I thought the United States was bad regarding these issues, especially colorism, but the DR (Dominican Republic) takes the cake!!! I was traveling with a girlfriend of mine who is biracial and even she took note of it; she received loads of atttention because of her hair and skin tone but she was seriously disturbed by the blatant "colorism." I say colorism because they were all black- various shades of black, but there was definitely a clear preference for fairer skin.

    It was a rude awakening for me because I had just returned from my home country of Nigeria where I spent two weeks, before traveling to the DR. Just like the DR- we come in different hues, skin tones, hair texture etc. In Nigeria, I felt like a queen. In contrast, in the DR I felt… not even sure how to describe it ;o(

    The beaches were gorgeous; the men were beautiful. The food and music were incredible. But I hate going on vacation and feeling like I just barely escaped an insane asylum. Mental slavery is alive and well in this world and it really saddens me.

  • Anonymous says:

    You are so beautiful! That mentality is so prevalent in every country. Can't add anymore to these poignant comments. Keep your head up 🙂

  • Sophie says:

    Wow, it's so interesting that people say your hair must "feel weird" when they may have hair that feels the same!
    I think you're doing a good thing. Be sure not to let defending yourself be your job, though! The best witness is to be all those things they think you shouldn't be: smart, fun, successful, charming, confident… and they'll see that their judgement is wrong!

  • Eileen Z. Fuentes says:

    Babes, it so worth it. I lost my hair to cancer 3 years ago but I had it natural for almost a decade before it became a trend (in the U.S). I love my hair… so grateful to have it back. Like you I'm Dominican and was surprised at the growing movement happening when I visited this summer. Stick with it and be the leader and the voice for our country. Maybe YOU can bring that F to A…

    Palante, Siempre Palante!

    Your Afro-Dominican Sistah From NYC loves and supports you! Keep your head up!

  • Anonymous says:

    First, let me say I love your beautiful, thick, and healthy looking fro, you wear it well girl!LOL
    Secondly, I feel yo pain. I will be heading home to OHIO for a family Christmas Party and I have cousins that abhor my natural hair. Not one time have they ever said something positive about my hair (not that I need them to)but I have been natural for a while and sometimes I ignore their negativity and sometimes I come back with a smart remark. But in no wise, am I changing my hair because of their opinion. I am pulling for you that you will continue to stand your ground knowing and feeling GREAT about you. Just keep "doing YOU", because life's too short to waste time on other people's insecurity.
    Allnatural1 (Michelle in TX)

  • Anonymous says:

    I do not know why people of African descent remain their own worst enemies…this is an old, tiresome issue. I don't know how many hundreds of years will have to pass for it to change.

  • Carolina (Miss Rizos) says:

    Ladies seriously you have me here in tears, happy ones of course! Thank you for all this love, I am definitely feeling it!

    I have read every single one of your comments and it's obvious that we need these kinds of conversations more often and that we need to stand with one another in solidarity!

    Jemi and the others who proposed a convention or something of the like, I am so down and I've been toying around with the idea for a while. We have done a few meet-ups so far.

    Those of you suggesting that I start a blog, I did four months ago! It's called MissRizos.com (miss curls) where I showcase women's stories, give tips, and reaffirm natural beauty in any way possible. We have been on TV, in the papers and on national and international blogs. In less than 4 months over 900 Dominicans and other naturals from around the world have joined our Facebook Fan Page. Nikki was definitely part of the inspiration of starting this, thanks Nik!

    Things are changing and I will remain hopeful! It's seriously such an incredible feeling to be in this space (CurlyNikki.com) and feel supported. I promise you that as I sit here in this tropical cool night, I can feel hugs and loads of love from you ladies.

  • Kasey says:

    I know that girl! Hey! While I was looking at your picture, I was thinking to myself: "why does she look so familiar?" But now, I know. I went to the same school as her.
    I think you were a senior while I was a sophomore in college!
    =)
    Small world, eh?

  • Anonymous says:

    This is the second time in 2 weeks there has been a convo here about a location that generally hates African textured hair-last week it was many African countries. We certainly have our share of brainwashed people in the States, but it makes me wonder what it is in the water here in America that makes us, collectively, more vocal about accepting our hair, loving it even. And I'm spoiled because I live in natural hair capital Brooklyn NY-if a stranger walked up to me and put their hands in my hair laughing they would absolutely regret it. I'm so sorry this young lady is subjected to this venom on a daily basis-how can anyone look at her soft, glossy curls and say she is inferior?! Would one of those morons look at Curly Nikki's glorious mane, and ask her why she doesn't get a perm?-self hatred is something else.

    Someone mentioned she should start her own blog in the DR and I think that's a FANTASTIC idea- She will be a trailblazer, I'm sure there are a lot of women there who are either sick of Dominican blowouts, or have lost most of their hair from all that heat & smoke and would LOVE to have guidance on how to nurture their own hair.

  • trinieats says:

    You are an absolutely beautiful woman & i'm not just saying that either. I've come to realise that people are really ignorant about things they don't know, hair being one of them. I'm also from the Caribbean ( Trinidad) luckily there isn't a big deal about natural hair here, however i do tend to get the silly comments from time to time and it isn't from strangers either. You stay strong & keep that chin up.

  • Anonymous says:

    Carolina, in the spirit of Jena 6 in Louisiana, if you ever want us black USA Chicas to organize, come down there and descend on the DR and peacefully walk around with our natural hair for a weekend, laughing, loving life and smiling…I'M IN!!! …with group discounts on air fare and sharing hotel rooms, that is…lol.

    Peace,
    Jami

  • Anonymous says:

    This makes me so sad. How did one race of people convince the world that they are the perfect ideal and how did so many millions of people allow themselves to believe the lie that they have to change what makes them unique to be beautiful???? Apparently, 1/10 Asian women in certain countries has had surgery to alter the eye lids, and even in India light skin is prized. I am so in awe of their beautiful tones sometimes, so I just don't get it. I am sorry you have to be on the receiving end of this madness in the DR. I get this somewhat in the US, a couple of people airing their stupid, trivial, unwanted opinions. But it sounds like people in the DR have a long ways to go as far as learning manners and social graces. I can't STAND to be touched. Especially rudely. I have a black belt and fast reflexes, and I would probably feel a little bad later if I accidentally dislocated someone's elbow on reflex. Or not….

  • Anonymous says:

    I am Haitian (born and raised in BK), and my experiences in Haiti and DR are not horrific, but I did get a lot of 'interesting' comments.

    In the DR, I mostly wore a twist out, since my hair layed down, most of the guys were ok with it,
    but the women…not so much.
    I got asked to get my hair straightened constantly, out in the street!

    In haiti all the kids were always shocked that my hair was natural, they all asked me why did I not perm my hair, and proceeded to tell me that they couldnt wait to become older so that they could get their hair straightened.
    I was shocked to have alot of the women come up to me (in secret, whispering like it was a crime) and ask about the hair products that I use.

    But overall people just kept insisting that I had 'good' hair that you could keep natural (my hair is very shiny, and thick). Mind you my hair is very course, moderately kinky (kinks that clump together), and extremely hard!!!
    After ppl felt my hair they are always very shocked. But it opened alot of (secret) communication about natural hair.

    On the bright side I am dating a dominican (very pale, with straight hair) and he loves to play with my hair.

    -Mx

  • Anonymous says:

    Afro Latinos stand up! Thanks for sharing part of your story. Judging from the comments this was definitely something we needed to hear. Hang in there.

  • SammySam says:

    I recently did a study abroad program in Santiago, in the northern part of the island and I experienced some of the same thing. While my host mother loved my hair, people en la calle or in the conchos would gawk at me, laugh, touch my hair… all kinds of craziness. I even had an incident during Carnaval where I got confetti thrown in my face and my hair pulled.

    Even though these experiences were negative, for every negative one I encountered, there were multiple positives as well. There were so many people at my host university (PUCMM) that praised me for wearing my hair in its natural state, both Dominicans and Haitians.

    What I thought was interesting were the looks I got from Haitian women. I'm darker skinned, and I was often mistaken for being Haitian, but I thought it was so strange that as a member of the minority that is discriminated against, that they would look at me like I did something wrong.

    Nevertheless I thoroughly enjoyed my experience in the DR. It taught me a lot about myself and gave me the courage to proudly display my hair when I got back to the United States. 🙂

  • Carolina says:

    Thank you so much ladies for your encouraging words! I have to say that I am definitely not the only one going through this, so many women of all ages and from various countries in Latin America write to me about these same frustrations.

    I really appreciate the community here at CurlyNikki.com and I feel blessed that little by little a natural hair community is being formed here in the DR, there are several dominican natural hair bloggers, meet-ups and constant discussions.

    I will certainly keep you updated. I think it's important that women of color see pass their nationalities and look at all of our similar struggles and triumphs.

    Much love chicas!
    Gracias!

  • Natural_fienD says:

    If you are fighting for something that you believe in, then you should always fight! You are dismantling myths about our natural hair and showing the world that it is okay to be authentic to yourself and what you believe in. Keep walking tall and proud- you never know whose mind you are changing just by you being you ….

  • Anonymous says:

    I know exactly what you mean, unfortunately its the Euro standards of beauty MANY countries abide by. I'm Dominican myself, but have yet to visit which will be next year. And trust me I will be rocking my fro the entire time with my head held high because at least I have healthy hair. In the end what you think of yourself is what matters so screw the haters!

  • Anonymous says:

    This is very sad especially because i know how you feel. I'm dominican too, i live in NY. I work with a lot of Latinos. When i big chopped and wore my hair natural i got a lot of negative feedback. That same week my uncle and cousins came to the states from DR to visit and had nothing nice to say. I didnt let that change my outlook on myself and I love who i am. But it does get to you when so many people have nothing nice to say. Im glad that you are who you areand womt change. This just proves that today it might be a few people that are accepting of natural hair in our culture but hopefully it can help make a difference in the long run

  • Anonymous says:

    First of all I'd like to say that I visit your blog everyday…Me encanta! I know it must be brutal for you over there. Natural hair is frowned not just in DR but in Latin America in general. I am also Afro-Latina and truley understand your struggle. You have come tooo far to be defeated. Athough you are the minority, you have reached a level of self acceptance and self worth that many will never reach in their life time. Sigue palante…fuerza afrolatina

  • Anonymous says:

    I want to co-sign on the FRO Convention in the DR. That would be awesome. Show them what it means to be black kinky-curly and proud of it. I hate it when I hear about self-hate.

  • Anonymous says:

    I think a natural hair convention is a great idea~! I have been there to visit (wearing micro braids) AND had no idea that there was racial tension!! I have even considered moving there.. Geez its hard to find a place for a 'sistah' to be her damn self! Real talk!!

  • Proudofmycurlz says:

    It's a shame that in this day and age attitudes like this still exist! 🙁 The responsibility lies with the family's.Prejudices/ignorant mindsets are learnt in the home and though incorrect when one is of age to realise that they need to judge it and be like "i shouldn't think like that anymore".

    I am sooo glad about the natural revolution as it's an opportunity to re-educate sum folks about our beautiful but misunderstood hair.

    I'm 20mnths-post n can't wait to be 100% natural. The key is to prepare for such things and use that moment to tell them about your hair in a positive way.

  • Anonymous says:

    I have never been to the DR but I have always heard they are into fair skin and mixed hair. And now I can believe it. I think you need to start a website like Curly Nikki's and you need to start a fraternity for both men and women who wear long and loose or locked natural hair. In the spirit of Ghandi who transformed his own community. In the spirit of Martin Luther King who transformed his own community, you should always go back to your community and not abandon it. It's been too many people immigrating to Europe and North America to escape political unrest, cultural chaos and/or dire economic straits in their home communities and the entire world is suffering because of this. I don't know much about negative effects of colonization on the indigenous peoples but those who descend from the Africans forced over here for slavery (like you and me) are still collectively suffering from lingering effects of that inhumane institution and the DR is just one place out of many in the Western Hemisphere. The fact that you are there in your home country and seeking advice says to me that you are headed in the right direction. Remember, with Grassroots and Mass Media combined, things will change. Much Peace to you!

  • Anonymous says:

    You are beautiful. Be who you are. This is a spiritual journey as well.

    I understand their is enmity between Haitians and DR's. Is this true? Just wondering if their is the same volume of negativity in Haiti. Does anyone know?

  • ThisOwl says:

    Wow… Amazing……..I know it's easier said than done but please stay and continue being strong. Continue to embrace your God given healthy head of hair. You WILL inspire someone and you never know how far that can go. That someone you inspired may inspire someone else and before you know it you begin to see some change. Everything takes baby steps. You know the saying, "what doesn't kill you will only make you stronger right"? Keep up the good work. Many blessings to you.

  • TMS says:

    I wish we could have a fro convention in the Dominican Republic to support our natural hair friends. If the people in DR could see the range of beauty and styles of natural hair, I'm sure it would give them pause and they just might not be so opininated the next time they see a natural hair beauty.

  • Anonymous says:

    See, there are the Martin Luther Kings of the world (who believe in peaceful protest)like the commentors above and then there the Malcolm X's who believe in kicking ass. This is where I fit in.

    I would've snatched his hair right back. LOL. If someone calls me a match, I'd say "yeah, you better watch your mouth before I come over there and light yo ass up!"

    Everytime they come at you, come right back. I would rock T-shirts with crazy natural slogans like "Yeah, I'm natural BIOTCH!" Sorry, that is what I'd do. That's the best advice I can give. Real talk.

  • Anonymous says:

    See, there are the Martin Luther Kings of the world (who believe in peaceful protest) and then there are their are the Malcolm X's who believe in kicking ass.

    I would've snatched his hair right back. LOL. If someone calls me a match, I'd say "yeah, you better watch your mouth before I come over there and light yo ass up!"

    Everytime they come at you, come right back. I would rock T-shirts with crazy natural slogans like "Yeah, I'm natural BIOTCH!" Sorry, that is what I'd do. That's the best advice I can give. Real talk.

  • fabwtalk says:

    OMG! I am so sorry you are going through this but as other posters have stated keep fighting and stand strong beautiful and proud. Unfortunately this is not the first time I've heard about this type of reaction in regards to natural hair in DR. It's sickening and frustrating but you have to remember to remind yourself that these people are just a bunch of ignorant a****.

  • Nicole says:

    Yeah. Dominicans are so confused about themselves. I wish I could slap them and say, "Stop lying to yourself. You have African blood. You were not born with straight hair." I may have to go there soon. In Nigeria, I knew people would not like my hair so I got braids, but I refuse to put heat or a chemical on my hair. They're just going to have to deal with it in the DR.

  • Monz03b says:

    I've had a similar situation where this guy told me that I needed to comb my hair. I was like, this dude must have fallen and bumped his big head. Get outta here, I don't need a silly comb. I'm going to rock my hair how I want it. Point. Blank. Period.

  • Hxyzyn says:

    I've heard a lot of similar stuff about the DR. According to many who have spoken about it, there is a pervasive anti-black climate even though many of the people are black!

    My former stylist(stress on the FORMER part) is from the DR and she was always making disparaging comments about my hair in its natural state. Like "Nobody will like you hair like that. They say that they do, and they really don't". Lol, that wench.

    A colonized mindset is a hard thing to shake off.

  • Anonymous says:

    I definitely cosign with Elaine. A los Dominicanos les encanta el "bochinche" – they love to mind people's business!
    But just remember, when you're feeling down, that you're a strong woman and those people do not know you, pay your bills or buy your food.

    I am from DR as well and I'm planning a trip there in early Dec. – first time my family will see me rocking my natural hair, well, since I was a little girl. I felt a little curious as to what their reactions would be but they all know I've gone natural and have seen pics of me and they've all, allegedly, responded positive…
    I could care less what strangers think of me but then again I'm very good at blocking people out. As the saying goes, palabras necias, oidos sordos — deaf ear to absurd words.

  • Elaine says:

    Being from the DR as well, I know one thing, people do not hold back. Ever. There is no sense of restraint, or not saying what's on your mind in order to be polite. I know this is of no great consolation, pero en la Republica, todo el mundo tiene que sufrir de un complejo. Everybody has to be made fun of for something. Narizon, Caco duro, Bembon, Feo/a, Palo de luz…the taunts for everyone are endless. For me it has always been that I laugh too much and too loud. I know that It's difficult for you because you're hearing this mess from strangers repeatedly about something that has been a very significant and personal choice, but know that most Dominicans suffer from an insecurity, something that they've been taunted about their whole lives (yes, also by strangers on the street). It comes out of this cycle of not caring for other peoples' feelings that's a sad part of Dominican culture. I haven't been back with my curly hair, but to be honest, I think I'm probably going to flatiron when I go back this December because I know que todo el mundo se va fijar si estreno mis rizos. I think you are so incredibly brave to brandish your curls with no shame. If people comment on it, it's because they notice your hair and secretly wonder what their hair would look like. They have to reject you so that they can accept themselves in their altered state. The next time they head to the salon and spend hours relaxing, burning their scalps, cutting, putting on rolos, burning under the hooded dryer, the blow dryer and flat iron, they'll think of the girl that only puts water and coconut oil in her hair.

  • Takia says:

    My heart breaks for your struggle, I'm so sorry to hear that after all this time the Domincans are still having trouble accepting their lineage. You know as an African American, I still experience similiar situations from black girls that prefer to rock perms. Personally whatever an individual chooses to do with thier hair is up to them, however it becomes a problem when others choose to ridicule those who chose the natural route. I'm praying for your strength, I'm proud of you and I salute you. I know it may get tough sometimes but know that you are not in this alone. Whenever screaming and crying is not enough come right here to curlynikki.com and look to your fellow natural sistas to give you strength. Be strong girl!

    By the way, I LOOOOOOVE your hair, you are rocking that!!!! I can't wait for mine to grow as long!!!

  • Anonymous says:

    CONGRATS to you! I have never felt discriminated against because of my skin color and natural hair, until I visited. I say congrats that you are willing to stick it out and overcome that negativity, it will definitely make you stronger. I have friends there with natural hair so you are not alone. Keep your head up!

  • JH69 says:

    As a natural Dominicana myself, I know how ignorant Dominicans can be. Unfortunately, this is not going to change any time soon no matter how hard she tries. I would just say to stay strong and don't pay attention to the foolish people.

  • Amanda says:

    I don't know u but I'm proud as hell of you, and I know u will get tru this, cus if u were going to fold and return to the US u wud have done it by now. The way you handle these people's ignorance (yes they are ignorant to the facts)by not to popping off on them but rather trying to explain r just walking away with a smile shows that you a strong individual. I wish you the best and I encourage you to try to continue to explain and educate ppl, everyone, every time will not care but I'm sure someone will sometime. Stay strong!!

  • Anonymous says:

    Keep holding your head up high and keep doing you the way that you are doing. When you have those days where it seems to be too much, have those days go into your home close your door and cry, scream or yell or whatever you need to do to get through. It is none of their business what your hair looks like or feels like you are on a journey of self acceptance and they are not, I say this because they have a problem with you being who God has made you. They have the problem not you, you might have to make the decision to not pay them any mind at all because if it is non stop and not changing after all this time then it might not ever change but you never know. I'm pulling for you and hope that you don't let them get to you too much.

  • Leeka says:

    I am so sorry to hear about your trials in DR. I know it may be hard but its well worth it to stay if it effects just one person. DR and other islands are funny that way. Most reject the african heritage and claim the european and Taino portion. I'm from the caribbean too and I understand the trials that our people place ourselves in. How much importance we place on being light skinned with "good hair". We try to be anything than what we are. But this is how God made us, with a strong heritage and with the colorfulness of our cultures. Don't let ignorance influence your journey of self. Love who you are and love the skin that your in. By the way, I'm loving your hair. Keep walking tall.

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