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Curly Nikki

Brazilian Woman Takes Story of Racism to Press

By January 27th, 202137 Comments

via Blackwomenofbrazil

Brazilian Woman Takes Story of Racism to PressEster Cesari0

Following up on a story I posted a few days ago, the black woman who accused her employer of demanding that she straighten her hair in order to conform to the institution’s standard of straight hair has taken her story to the press. Maintaining her recollection of the story, the woman, 19-year old Ester Cesario, said that the director of the school told her that “the standard is straight hair” and that she had to straighten it in order to maintain “boa aparência (good appearance).”

Cleyton Wenceslau Borges is Ester’s lawyer and a member of the União de Núcleos de Educação Popular para Negras/os e Classe Trabalhadora (Union of Centers of Popular Education for Blacks and the Working Class) (UNEafro). For him, racism functions in direct and indirect ways:

“There is no doubt that when an association of kinky/curly hair is made in counterpoint to straight hair, this means that straight hair is the correct, the beautiful and the standard.”

Borges also affirmed that a criminal investigation of the matter is moving forward. There will also be demands of compensation pertaining to issues of labor and civil offenses to the dignity and honor of Ms. Cesario as a black woman as well as the psychological trauma she suffered. Representatives of the college say that the incident was a simple misunderstanding although they also maintain that tied down hair, along with the school’s t-shirt and jeans are the standard at the school.

When I posted this article a few days, I included the comments of a black female hairdresser that I know who works and lives in São Paulo. She basically told me that that is the way things are in Brazil and black women know this. In her case, while she is able to wear basically any hair style she wishes at work, this is because she works in the hair industry; if she were to work in another industry, she knows that she would have to conform to Brazil’s European standard of “boa aparência” as well.

Tonight, I had another dialogue about this situation with another friend that lives in São Paulo. A black woman, late 30’s who works as an attorney. After I forwarded the information to her, she replied that this, the question of black hair in the workplace, was a “delicate subject” and that it (racism) was also hard to prove. I won’t include the entire 30-minute dialogue that we had about the issue, but here are a few comments she made (translated from Portuguese, excluding my own comments, replies and questions).

“It’s been a few years since black women (in Brazil) started wearing their natural hair, different from black American women that assumed their position as black women in society a long time ago. Here, I would like very much to let my hair grow without going through any chemical process; I have tried to do that, including now. But I try to follow fashion trends in order to not feel isolated or not be treated as person that is out of style. In my job, I could go as I wish, but I would feel bad if I had this badly done hair…In the case of this girl, I don’t think that it was racism, but she could have gotten a cut, a hairdo that would have been more in style…. Many (black) women are wearing natural/kinky/curly hair nowadays and they are beautiful but it has to be done right….Now, I have done various hydrations in my hair but if I can’t handle this, I will go back to using the American product of the Avlon brand in order to straighten my hair*.

“I think that she (Cesario) could wear her hair this way but she needs to do it better. She should look for a hairdresser to get a cut that’s more in style. (Her hair) is natural, it’s beautiful, but she gives the impression that she just got out of bed and went to work…she could have put some leave in cream in it that you have so much of there (in the US). We also have this here. …

“In order to wear the hair in the way that she is wearing it, it has to have style. Nowadays I see in the subway, mainly, black women going out (looking) like they just woke up, didn’t comb their hair, nor put cream in it; this looks ugly, you have to take care of it. The hair has to be well-cut, without uneven length, this, unfortunately is negligence. A woman has to do her hair, regardless of whether she is white, black or Asian….it has to be a good cut.

Maybe this was the comment that was made at the school and she took it as racism. White people, nowadays feel intimidated in saying certain things to black people because they can be accused of racism. Not everything is racism….There are companies that have norms, and if we don’t wish to adapt ourselves, we need to search for those that accept us how we wish to present ourselves. Her hair is good for the club, (but) not for work.”

It is important to take her comments in context of the history of black Brazilians. Although Brazil has a similar history of slavery and racism as the US, the absence of legalized segregation made it difficult to convince the Afro-Brazilian population that racism indeed existed. As such, while there have been black civil rights organizations and brotherhoods in Brazil since at the least the 19th century, it has only been since about 1985 with the end of a military dictatorship, that black Brazilian organizations have been able to fight for anti-racist laws, affirmative action policies and make advances in the struggle for equality. Similar to the black experience in the US, black Brazilians had also been indoctrinated to hate and distance themselves from all things that denote African ancestry and culture. But in the past two decades, particularly since the late 1990s, millions of Afro-Brazilians have begun to take pride in their varying skin tones and hair textures and defining themselves as black, Afro-Brazilian or afro-descendant rather than the plethora of terms that they have historically used to escape blackness.

Brazilian Woman Takes Story of Racism to PressEster Cesari0

But I’m curious. Based on her comments, the woman I had this dialogue with clearly saw Cesario’s hair as being badly done and also inappropriate for a work environment. According to her, she needed to cream it, update it and get a better haircut. In the Brazilian context, her hair was “bad”. Yes, they do use the terms “good hair (cabelo bom)” and “bad hair (cabelo ruim)” in Brazil and it ain’t hard to tell which is considered which. But, judging from her photo, would her hair be considered “bad” or “good” in the black American community? Did she have a bad hairstyle or was it inappropriate for a work environment as my friend argued? Or was my friend also indoctrinated by a European standard because she also insisted that she (Cesario) needed to put something in her hair in order to make it look better?

What do you think? Feel free to comment.

*American products made specifically for black hair are very popular in Brazil and can be found in countless hair salons that cater to the Afro-Brazilian community.


  • Brazilian Woman says:

    I appreciated the story of all the Brazilian women, and in their story I am very interested.Thanks for sharing.

  • Anonymous says:

    Baffled that her texture would cause such a raucous in South America where so many people are of mixed blood and also have mixed textures. Really a shame. She is beautiful.

  • Anonymous says:

    Esther would be considered attractive in most circles regardless of race. I am shocked that her 3c/4a hairtype is considered unacceptable considering back in the 80's white women got perms so their hair could look like hers..and you also see white girls who covet the 'beach wave' look of hair which really sort of looks like Esthers just a bit looser. I guess I wouldn't have any friends or a job for that matter in Brazil..cuz my big wiry fro is nowhere as loosely curled as Esther's.

  • Mika Ansley says:

    Oh I see. Whenever a call comes in or an issue comes up a screen pops up and I cant read the articles all in one sitting. I just read something about school and a job. I was agreeing with the attorney about a professional appearance. Natural hair is fine if it is maintained and not just all over the place. Its so sad the nasty comments people leave when I ask for clarity. Instead of the smart remarks, simply answer the question. We still have a long way to go to better comraderie between US.

  • Anonymous says:

    For me, the biggest irony of the situation is that Ester Cesario's hair seems like it's of the the 3c/4a type of not-quite-so-kinky hair that's coveted in today's American natural hair community, especially for new naturals or those thinking about transitioning. (I hope ya'll know what I mean: it's not that I covet it or you covet it… but we all know the type of hair on the heads of most models for most natural hair products.)

    I could be wrong about her hair. It's just one picture, and I bet most brazilians aren't doing that same type of hair typing the natural hair blogs are obsessed with. Actually, I completely loathe that hair typing system, mainly because it doesn't account for the thickness and fragility of individual strands, which imho is a much more important factor in determining how easy it is to maintain hair health.

    And anyway, everything I've said so far is just whatever. What it comes down to is, she's got a cute style. If I saw her on the subway, I'd think to myself, "she looks fly".

  • Anonymous says:

    Her hair is nice to me…It seems that the acceptance of curly hair is little to none, people with naturally straight hair should not comment on curly textured hair which they know nothing about. Next thing you know they will be telling her to take the black off of her skin because they don't like it…It's brain washing! This is done to make an individual hate themselves…Europeans need to leave black people alone…everyone hates themselves because of this…take off the weave and take out the contacts and open your eyes, ignorant people! There is another site who referred to Kelis's naturally curly hair as a gherri curl…Black people don't even know what their hair texture looks like without chemicals…what a shame!

  • Jasmineleiylani says:

    Her hair looks clean, healthy and well loved. As well as thoughtfully styled. I find it funny that if it were a Caucasian woman with CURLY hair that was say, red or blonde (or even black), she would most likely never be asked to cut or "style it better".

    Why is it that because she's black that she has 'Pelo Malo' (or Bad Hair, as mine has been called in the past by both Puerto Rican and Dominican stylists).

    I think the Attorney's concept of her own hair, and how it should look, is backwards and that is very unfortunate.
    Unfortunately that we continue to fight for our right to just be ourselves, enlightened Society my natural brown hiney!

    I feel I'm understanding when it comes to general Ignorance. Most people just don't know, and you can't blame them for not knowing about a type of hair they have never even seen in person (or never touched, or heard bad mouthed as a child and what not).
    But sometimes it's just in excusable.
    I'm proud of this young woman, I hope she gets her vindication.

    No matter if your hair is straight as a board, thin/soft as a babies, red as fire, black as coal, brown like chocolate, blonde as the sun, curly as a Q, kinky as an Afro or cut into a mohawlk and died electric blue…. Profession is how you carry yourself in intelligence, education, hygiene, attitude and yes even look to an extent. But the NATURAL texture of your hair should NEVER be in question.

  • Anonymous says:

    WOW! Both pics look fine to me, #@?! Nimrods!

  • Anonymous says:

    Check out the "Black in Latin America" Series. That should give some insight into this issue.

  • Eliza says:

    I'm Brazilian and currently live in Rio. Unfortunately I have to agree that most of black women here still think that our natural hair is not "professional". That's so sad! Racism is an enormous issue here but the general mentality still is that "we're all mixed and have some root in Africa so we can't be racist". This thought is wrong in so many ways and has really affected generations of black people here in Brazil. When it's time to get into a good school, get a better job or upgrade your life … then it's clear to see who is black and who is not…

    I have looser curls but still get all the looks like I'm from another planet. And then the obligatory "your hair is so beautiful… is it natural? how difficult it is to manage it??" Girrrl, I woke up and washed just like you… and please dont touch it… *blank stare*

    I can see some changes though, at least here in Rio. A few of my black work colleagues already use their hair natural and all out. That was never an issue in my company.

  • Anonymous says:

    Ester's hair is gorgeous. Fits her well. I'm glad she stood up for herself and her hair. Sad to hear how prominent racism is in Brazil. Yes, we are still dealing with it here in the U.S. but it's a bit different since we girl's are sticking together, wearing our afros, twist outs, braids, twists, bantu knots and whatever else we choose to wear. We are educating the ignorant, telling off the racist, and honorably ignoring comments from old folk who just don't get it. I will pray for Ester as she endures all the crap that will come her way as she fights "just to be her beautiful self".
    Allnatural1 (A.K.A. Michelle in TX)

  • Anonymous says:

    She's a very pretty girl with curls Brazil curl haters can suck it!!!!

  • mbm says:

    Wow, there is nothing wrong with her hair. It appears healthy and looks nice. I don't see how it can be viewed as unprofessional. If they told her to change the style to a ponytail or bun to look professional that would be one thing, but to tell someone to alter their hair texture is a slap in the face. I get that around the world straight hair is the perceived standard of beauty but no one has the right to tell anyone that the way their hair grows out of their scalp is wrong. If people truly examined the REAL reasons for their attitudes about certain racial features, they'd see how silly it is. Black hair IS different, period. Yeah, our hair comes in all textures but it in general it is not naturally straight. If a woman relaxes fine, but why should a woman of color have to conform to something that is not a natural feature of hers?

    People need to wake up. There's nothing wrong with straight hair, but that should not be the ONLY standard for acceptable hair.

  • Anonymous says:

    I agree with annoymous 2:57: we should educate the masses and try to change peoples perspectives about natural hair. Apparently, a lot of people are ignorant about natural hair. They think that it is a political statement, a sign of anger. Often they do not realize what one goes through to make one's hair straight or "more acceptable" in a culture where straight is seen as the norm and as beautiful. When confronted with ignorant comments from people who obviously know nothing about black natural hair, we should react calmly and just explain why we decided to go natural, and explain about the chemical processes of making natural hair straight, how dangerous it is, the consequences of long-term chemical use, and so forth. And, then just ask them if they would want you to go through such a harmful process just to make hair straight, just for cosmetic purposes. Because most people are good at heart, when confronted with this information, they will probably begin to understand why many people choose to go natural. In fact, they may become advocates of women wearing their hair natural. Many persons who only see black persons on casual basis or at work, who have never lived with or among black people, have no clue about the hair or what so many of us go through to make it straight. Some people really think we wash and dry it, and it comes out straight. So, it is up to us. We must not get angry or be offended. We must educate.

  • Anonymous says:

    This scenario is shocking and Not all at the same time, but people are uneducated regardless of race. The straight hair race also needs some info because like us, they parents and fore-parents told them that frizzy curls was "bad".

    Let me tell the story of what happened to me 1 week ago in my office right here in North America…Montreal to be exact. So last week-end I decided I am going to transition by adding braid extensions (now I never wore braided extensions in all my 32 years…my hair was always a good length ….not necessarily healthy but lengthy nonetheless. anyways back to the story, so after labouring to get them in I realized it was too bulky and heavy for me so decided right away I will take them down at the end of this week (really need to). Ooookay am getting to it…LOL. so I walked into work Monday with my hair style feeling fly (even though I wanted them out, it still looked amazing), after lunch the weight of this hair was so getting to me so I spoke out loudly about my neck pain being cause by this addition of Kanekalon extensions. I guess this outburst was an invitation to one of my co workers to give his 2 pence. He is of course from the straight hair race and from Romanian background. So I'll quote the words that came out…"frankly I don't like your hair style it is coming from a rebellious period and it's an extremely unprofessional look and I rather hair styles that are less obvious". While I was in shock and though he was way out of place for a man and a 43 year old at that, so in trying to be polite I mentioned the difference of black and white hair well mister blurted and I quote again "I think you have a problem with being black in Canada"…well of course I from the Caribbean I let him have it up, down and everywhere in between because really he was out of line and obviously ignorant. Anyways after a few days of calming down I realized he's just like the rest of them (or myself a while back) uneducated. Ok there is more but I've occupied enough space here and I need to get back to work…LOL.

    I will conclude by saying LET'S EDUCATE THE MASSES. I would agree with an earlier post it took us a while to accept our hair texture, not everyone learns at the same pace and only when our voices are constantly repeated can we alleviate ideas set by generations past.

    Today what are we doing to change peoples perspectives (black and white)?

  • Anonymous says:

    I am shocked at the comments made by the author's friend. I think Ms.Cesari0's hair is beautiful. The picture indicates that the hair is well-kempt and has plenty of style. I would even venture to say that the style is rather conservative. I am glad that Ms. Cesari0 is taking legal action but it may be difficult to prove a case of racial discrimination based on the hair issue. Even in the United States, if I am not mistaken, it is difficult to bring a successful legal action for employment discrimination with respect to hair issues. At least the suit will highlight some of the racial problems facing many non-white persons in Brazil. In fact, those of us in the United States who feel strongly about how blacks are treated in places like Brazil, Egypt, Libya, etc, should write our congresspersons and let our feelings be known. Perhaps, political and monetary pressure (decrease in tourist dollars or foreign aid assistance in some cases) will force those governments who prefer to look the other way with respect to racism and other human rights violations to adopt stronger laws and policies that will protect the rights of all their citizens regardless of color, race, gender, or religious affiliation.

  • Bridget says:

    I strongly agree with Candace @ 12:04. I am an attorney and I wear my hair natural. The styles presented in the photos of Ester appear to be quite appropriate for a professional environment. Moreover, Ester's supervisors demanded that she straighten her hair and not simply pull it back into a bun or away from her face. There is a difference. It appears clear to me that the comments were racially motivated. Straightening one's hair does not make one a professional. I am an attorney because I went to law school and passed the Bar. My curly/kinky hair does not make me any less professional than any of my colleagues. The problem is that there is an outdated standard based in racism at play in many societies. I don't believe we should straighten our hair to appear to be professional, but instead fight the stereotype of professionalism with our fierce coils and kinks!

  • Anonymous says:

    In response to Candace,
    There are caucasians in this world who have extremely curly hair. I'm sure they would have a problem working in this school, as well. That is the difference between racism and discrimination. Now…if the story stated that there are plenty of causcasians with curly hair already working there with no problem…then that might be a case of racism…until then.

    *Sigh* @ "racism" being loosely thrown around like "friend". If the man was racist, she wouldn't have gotten hired in the first place, due to her being "overly qualified". I'm sure once she straightenes her hair, then she would be fine, regardless of her race. (or at least that is how the story reads)

    And to be clear, I have no problem calling a spade a spade…which is why I said this is a case of discrimination based on hairtype. Hair is not a consistent trait across the race board – as I'm sure you see on countless blog, forums, Ytubes, etc. We come in a STRONG variety. Loose curls, tight curls, kinky, coily, frizzy, etc. And so do other races. Racism would just be incorrect.

  • Afroisland says:

    @jovalee, I was thinking the same thing. If they're all bent out of shape because of Ester's hair, then they would stone me in the street. lol. In the US, if your hair has a curl pattern and isn't very cottony, then you have "good hair". I've noticed that in Black Latin America if your hair is anything but straight, then it's bad. Why is the standard for "good hair" so severely limited? Does anyone know? My only guess would be that it's because Black Latinos, on average, have a much looser and silker hair type than your average Black American. The range of kinkiness isn't we have here isn't the norm there.

  • jovalee says:

    In America, most African-American women who believe certain textures of hair are better than others would consider her hair to be "good hair" because of its loose curl pattern. I find it very interesting that her hair texture is considered "bad" in Brazil. I think it just goes to show the extent of European influences in that country.

  • Candace Nicholson says:

    Based on the photos above, I fail to see how Ester's hair isn't presentable or needs cream or a new cut or whatnot. But maybe the styles of Brazil are quite different from the U.S. natural hair community. I don't know.

    If the professional environment Ester works in calls for a bun or a short, above-the-ear, military-inspired haircut, I'd understand and say yes, some jobs are that strict. But I got the impression from the first article that she didn't work in a kitchen, bank or military base, so I don't understand the lawyer's comments at all.

    Ester was told her hair wasn't presentable because it wasn't straight. Not just because it wasn't pulled back enough. That's discrimination AND racism. Ester's suffering discrimination due to a system of institutionalized racism that perpetuates a view of superiority based on racial standards. Not sure how the argument that it's not racism follows, but whatever.

    Oftentimes, people of color try so hard to wiggle out of calling a spade a spade. We're so caught up in the fear of tackling this disease called racism. We don't want to hurt anyone's feelings or be accused of playing the "race card."

    But all we're doing is hurting ourselves and future generations because the disease will continue to linger and grow, leaving symptoms such as workplace, housing and healthcare discrimination, high unemployment, high incarceration rate and good knows what else alive and well for generations to come.

    For some reason, so many of us around the world are so hesitant to speak up and be heard. It's like we're okay with saying the status quo is good enough so why make waves.

  • Anonymous says:

    Paul Mooney said it best…"when our hair is relaxed white people are relaxed…when our hair is "nappy white people are not happy."

  • Anonymous says:

    MsAn_sley did you miss the first sentence that states she was told to straighten her hair? And with your reasoning, Ester would fit in fine at your job with that top photo of her hair pulled back. It always puzzles me when people comment on articles they either have not read, or interpret it differently.

  • Anonymous says:

    She works at a school, and the uniform, if you will is school t-shirts and jeans. Does your "professional" job require reading comprehension to complete your tasks?

  • Mika Ansley says:

    I understand everyone thinking her hair frowned upon as racist. But if she is truly working in a professional setting then her hair should be pulled back. I work at a hotel and they have very strict guidelines for everyone. We have uniforms and everything. One guideline is your hair must be pulled back and out of your face completely. No matter your skin color or hair type. Its all about an appearance of proffesionalism. You hair can be curly, nappy, straight, kinky, etc but it must be pulled back and out of your face. No exceptions. Thats what it sounds like the attorney meant to me. I am not sure about Brazilian history or much about the good hair/bad hair in context of type. When I read it, I was hearing loud and clear about style. At work, you have rules to follow especially if your company takes appearance seriously. It is the same as wearing inappropriate clothing to the work place. Sure you may want to express yourself but you must still accept that most work places want a professional setting. Her hair would not be acceptable at my job unless both sides were pinned back. She can still have the flower and it can still be worn down but the side that is free flowing in the front would not be accepted. One last comment because I am confused, I thought she was in school like college? Or is she in a work environment.

  • Anonymous says:

    Wow the irony that her hair is so beautiful. That top photo of her is so pretty, and I love that she's wearing a flower in the other pic.

    I wonder what this lawyer would consider a natural hairstyle "done right"? These people are so brainwashed it's unreal. I noticed several White women on the train this morning with very messy updos, dark roots with blond hair, wet stringy hair from showering. How f'd up is it that they are automatically considered presentable because of their skin color and hair texture?! At this point I almost wish I could spend a few days scandalizing in brazil with my twistout. I wish Ester all success, hopefully a positive outcome will be a legal precedent.

  • Anonymous says:

    Cosigning Lacoya about what really happened to Ester. I hope she gets some kind of recompense (financial or otherwise).

    The attorney's comments are actually quite typical. Echoes of it can be heard in many "professional" environments where black women work, here in the States and elsewhere. This is not a Brazilian thing; this is a "non-straight hair isn't good enough" thing, which extends to a "African features aren't good enough" thing.

    There's a very slim chance that I might be asked to go to Brazil for a work visit (2 weeks) next year. If that's how they react to Ester's hair (which black folks here in the States would consider "good") then based on these recent articles I'll probably just put in some kinky twist extensions and call it a day. It might still not be considered "boa aparencia" but I bet they'd like it better than my normal hairstyle, which is a 'fro (and would probably appear "uncombed, uncreamed" etc.). A wig would probably be better because I can take it off at night but I REALLY HATE WIGS…so much so that I can't even bring myself to wear one for 2 weeks around people I'll probably never see again.

    The more I think about this, the more effed-up it all is. People wonder where the strong black woman image comes from…a big reason is because we have to deal with far more ish than other women just to exist in our own right.

  • Anonymous says:

    I think your friend has some issues – some of the things she said was very sad. There is nothing wrong with Ester Cesari0's hair – it is in fact very pretty and does/did not need 'cream' and all the other things she suggested it needed to look b'etter' or more 'presentable' *sigh* this post and the African vs African American post on BGLH has really brought down my mood today 🙁

  • Prinie says:

    I don't know how I feel about this woman's comments. I sense some underlying disdain. But for Ester, I'm happy she stood up for herself.

  • NancyM says:

    I think her hair looks great and it looks professional and completely appropriate in a corporate/professional environment. This is most definitely a case of discrimination.

  • Anonymous says:

    However it is phrased, the underlying message was she still needs to do something with it to make it more acceptable. I've learned to take such comments in stride—there will ALWAYS be those as such—but sometimes I do play devil's advocate and start asking questions in a way to get to the root/motive/belief behind the questions. Cause, really, who are U to say what I should or should not look like? Which, of course, people have rights to their opinion, but I like to explore what's behind the need is to communicate it to that person. That's where it gets interesting.

    A big part of my decision to go natural was this: I have XX number of years left on this earth. I refuse to get to the end of my life and look back and realize I couldn't be me because of external ideas, society, etc – that says I shouldn't look like I do. So with that in mind, I did it understanding it may cost me my job, a future interview, a man, etc. And it was a black man, a corporate vp I spoke to everyday—STOPPED speaking to me for weeks. And it was cool–because at that point I became free, and in the words of Rev. Denise Bell –Unapologetic, Unashamed, and Unrehearsed. Alright, I'm done…lol

  • bludini1 says:

    How sad….I'm curious as to why this is an issue now? Did they not observe that she had natural hair when she interviewed for the job? If tied down hair, T-shirt and jeans are the rule for the college, was this not discussed prior?

    As for the attorney comments …..even sadder. Ester's hair is beautiful. It amazes me how 1 tiny seed has spread so much hate…..sigh

  • Anonymous says:

    I think there is a difference in "racism" and "discrimination". I do not think that Ester's situation was one of "racism", but of "discrimination". She was told that because she had hair "A" (Or DIDN'T have hair "B"), that she would not be able to, I assume, teach at the school until she obtained hair "B".

    This is discrimination. There is a difference. Is one better than the other? Nope. But I just wanted to make that distinction that people seem to interchange the two all the time in the black community when, in fact, they're two different things. They actually, often times, go hand in hand with another…BUT, there's a difference.

    Anywhoo, I agree with the others. I know I am definitely envious of that georgeous head of hair. But we as the natural community have to understand that there was a time where we (or most of us) would look at her hair and think the same. The acknowledgement of the true beauty of natural hair will not come by others overnight. Just like we have evolved, everyone has to evolve, as well.

    She (attorney @ Sao Paulo) sounds quite ignorant to us, but she, too, will soon come to know the beauty of natural hair. (Maybe, maybe not).

    It is sad that people are still dealing with this Good Hair/Bad Hair thing. Hopefully, with the increase in those who have "seen the light", we can start to begin to influence others and educate them (or more accurately, UN-educate them – remember, this is a "learned" mind-set.) We have been told for YEARS that our hair is ugly….not everyone has been un-educated that that is not true.

  • Anonymous says:

    I really love this site because it really opens my eyes to a lot of issues that women the world over have to deal with as it relates to our hair. I think we have to realize that we are on the forefront of a revolution by claiming our hair and being proud of the beauty that God has bestowed upon us and people are threatened by that. The world looks to the United States for trends, and I have a feeling that in the coming years women the world over will be throwing of the shackles of mental slavery, embracing their hair and embracing their blackness. Ladies we are leading a revolution!!! Wear that fro with pride.


  • Anonymous says:

    Wow! So she has to do something to her naturally curly, beautiful hair to make it presentable to white folks? But a white woman with straight hair can hop straight out of bed and go and as long as her hair is straight it's presentable? Ester's hair is beautiful. Ironically enough, in answer to Op's question, her hair would be considered "goood hair," by historical standards and by some here in the United States, even though there is no such thing. GOD DOESN'T MAKE MISTAKES! Internalized racism is alive and well throughout this world and it's time for us to stand up and fight it. Having fair skin, straight hair, looser textured hair, a less African and more westernized accent doesn't make you better. Please stop the madness. God must be crying up in heaven at our foolishness.


  • Anonymous says:

    I think Ester's hair is BEAUTIFUL, not GOOD, not BAD… BEAUTIFUL. It is unfortunate that she has to go through this. I am proud of her for standing up for herself since in the last post it was mentioned that she felt inferior to her boss and would walk with her head down. I truly wish her the best of luck and the strength to endure the criticisms and "threats' or inferred "threats" that were mentioned in the previous post.

    As far as the comments mentioned by the person interviewed….. She herself mentioned that she would like to wear her hair in its natural state but feels as though she can not. She has definitely drank the kool-aid. It all starts with education, knowledge is power. Once educated, they will realize the options they have with wearing their natural hair.

    As far as my hair, I guess they would probably think I've been in a coma for a year and just woke up and walked outside.


  • Anonymous says:

    I am not surprised about this. I also dealt with something similar however i did not respond to it as my senior was African. It did lead me to think about her ignorance and hair choices.

    I am glad for Ester, our hair is an extension to us, when someone talks about or touches something so personal how can it not be taken any other way. Racism in the UK is still about indirectly, it can be very risky tackling indirect racism.

    If those with "good hair" were treated that way there would be drastic changes immediately. If i have learnt anything from CN site is good hair is healthy hair, educate these people. Like chris rocks good hair, i wish there was a expose on perms and texturisers that would be a strong message. In the UK we have pictures of rotten lungs on cigarette boxes. On every chemical should be a warning for side effects etc burnt scalp.

    As for the black hair dresser she sounded a tad ignorant although i am not surprised, some people are influenced quite easily. In my book, from a hair stylist,i would expect a professional to know that what she might consider messy or badly styled hair could be result of allergy to products, hair rejecting products any type of condition. She should be educated afro brazilians about hair and not think straight away its bad hair must cut.

    I would like to know the outcome of Ester's case.

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