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Curly Nikki

Stereotypes, Assumptions and Other Foolishness

By January 27th, 202127 Comments

Stereotypes, Assumptions and Other Foolishness

by Sherrell Dorsey of Organic Beauty Vixen

“You look Jamaican.”


“You’re a vegan right?”

“Want to come to this protest with me?”

Real talk… being natural ain’t easy. People make instant assumptions simply based off the fact you’re living your life sans perm and you’d rather rock a twist out versus a weave. And if you’re a loc rocker like me you’re religion, ethnicity and political involvement is always in question. The men in Harlem are quick to call me a Rasta and back home in Seattle people twist their face up at me when they see me chowing down on some fried chicken at the local spot.

Now I completely understand that this Natural Hair Revolution has come at a price. It’s new. It’s bold. It’s re-staking our claim in loving ourselves the way that God made us. But is anyone else completely exhausted with addressing ignorant questions and un-rooted stereotypes?

I admit that I love going to the farmer’s market, being involved in my community and buying local but I don’t light incense on the regular and get stoned while listening to Bob Marley.

I came across this funny animated video on YouTube that completely addresses some of these issues naturals like me face. What other misconceptions about natural hair have you been confronted by? I’m feeling like we may need an educational hour!

Sherrell Dorsey is a natural beauty expert, writer, speaker and advocate of health, wellness and sustainability in communities of color. In addition to creating, Sherrell writes beauty articles for Tyra Banks’s beauty and fashion site, Jones Magazine, and Posh Beauty. Follow Sherrell on twitter at and connect with her on facebook at


CN says:

That fembot voice killed it! “My interests range from Nirvana to Lil Wayne…” THIS!

My ipod is a hodgepodge and actually quite ridic when shuffled- – everything from Coldplay to Drake… from Train to Kanye to Prince, Queen, Bey, New Edition… even a little Ingrid Michaelson. #NoBoxesForMeBoo


  • Anonymous says:

    No, I do not have "good hair" or a "good grade," b/c all hair is GOOD hair. I simply take the time out to baby my hair and try to take care of it to the best of my ability.

    Yes, it is all mine, and NO, you may not dig your fingers in my scalp to do a weave check. lol!

    I have NEVER been approached with any of the stereotypes listed. Interesting….maybe it also has something to do with one's individual style as well?…Something to ponder…


  • Anonymous says:

    LOL at Annie L

  • Anonymous says:

    I wear a huge afro, I hate spoken word and never liked NeoSoul. And I'm on my way to fat burger now….

  • Erin says:

    I've run into a couple of people who seemed to think that natural hair was just a different TYPE of perm and that, unless it's a fade or a ?uestlove fro, it's been chemically altered. When I was a kid, a white woman (with an adopted black daughter) from our church asked my mother what kind of perm she used on my hair. My mom never straightened my hair, but I think this lady was under the assumption that ALL black women permed, no matter what.

  • Nicole Johnson says:

    This is cute..and kinda true…

  • Annie L. says:

    Many non-Blacks and Black men treat me like I'm mystical – I'm not kidding! They approach and speak to me like I'm wise beyond my years and have tapped into some all connecting consciousness like 'the Force', Lol!

    Or they treat me like a supermodel, which I love! As if being natural makes me glamorous for supposedly being 'above' pedestrian standards of beauty, and they assume I'm well-traveled and highly educated. I am well-traveled and have an advanced degree, but it's interesting because we all know this wasn't always the public perception.

  • Anonymous says:

    No matter where you're from there will be people who say things that don't make sense. Some people lack common sense and have no clue what is appropriate to say and what is not. I use awkward moments to teach the misinformed.

  • thebrownesteye says:

    "No I am not Macy Gray's daughter" lmao…i guess i can't talk 2 much tho since i am vegan

  • Passion says:

    Im still confused by this one, via my own aunt:

    "Your hair looks so good…How'd you get to be so nappy?"


  • Jamiece says:

    Where are you guys from because where I am from don't anybody speak like that! No one stereotypes like that in Kansas City….weird!
    I guess we don't care what about your hair and your health preferences here in KC.

  • Anonymous says:

    I'm from The Bahamas I get your an artist right? lol and I am guess our Art community is loaded with natural heads! However I do love the greetings from Rastas, Empress/Princess!

  • Monique says:

    I completely get that, but I guess I fit the stereotype. Black vegan with locs who loves Bob Marley's music. I don't smoke though lol

  • Anonymous says:

    Straight up ignorant comments made to me re: my hair:

    "Wow, you aren't afraid to s w e a t!"
    Said to me after having run nonstop for one hour on a treadmill at fast pace in a hot — gym. . . while staring at my hair.

    "Not scurred of the rain, eh? That's different"

    "You mixed"

    "You don't wash your hair very often right? I heard that "you guys" make different oils in your body than we do"

    My all time favorite:
    "How long did it take for you to put all those tiny little curls in your hair?"
    No Joke!

  • tammy says:

    I LOVE THIS! I am not a militant feminist though I was in the Army and I do believe women can do anything they put their minds to. I do not hate women with perms nor do I think I am superior. No, I do not have “GOOD HAIR”, my hair is healthy. And, don’t get it twisted “Smells like Teen Spirit” is an awesome song!

  • Anonymous says:

    I completely get that no someones character shouldn't be judged by their appearance. But just a slightly different take, I grew up around people where locs were a representation of a belief and a religion. Just like how muslim women wear a hijab as a representation of their faith. The " fashion dread" thing is a little new, and I don't think its that offensive for people to be curious if its just a style or a little deeper.

  • honeybrown1976 says:

    No, I'm not mixed since curly/kinky hair + light skin =/= mixed.

    Yes, I comb my hair.

    Yes, it's my real hair.

    No, I'm not protesting anything.

  • Samantha Nneamaka says:

    "Wow , I wish I could just go straight to sleep or wake up and go without doing anything " #notatall

    "I know she doesn't think she has "good hair" "

    " all these girls walking around here nappy headed , who they trynna protest "

    " uh uh , I don't know what she was thinking , you gotta be amber rose b a d d to go and chop your hair off / wear your hair natural like that" #WRONGagain

    " she must be part of that new natural hair m o v e m e n t. She soo extra " #naturalhairsaLIFESTYLE

    Why should the natural state of a human being be odd or an object of abnormality ? I love our hair : ))))

  • Anonymous says:

    A coworker of mine wants me to wear my have in a FULL AFRO…what is that anyway????? I didn't know there was a such thing as a half Afro…

  • Anonymous says:

    This may sound weird but I actually like most of the assumptions people make about me because of my hair. Some people assume that I eat really healthy and work out frequently. I have guys tell me that I look really innocent and I dont remember getting that comment before. Yes, it may not be entirely true(I eat EVERYTHING i sight and I'm far from innocent shhhh)but I would rather that be the assumption than anything bad.

  • Anonymous says:

    Did she say she kept a "knife and vaseline in my car"? What-the-fasheezy? Too funny!

  • Anonymous says:

    I'm with Nikki on this! I enjoy a wide variety of music and my iPod is quite eclectic to say the least. I am a true music lover. If it sounds good to my ears, I will have it on my iPod. Trying to put me into some small box would be ridiculous, because I don't fit the stereotypical "Black girl" mold.


  • T Monique says:

    Great article. I am actually a vegan/vegetarian and people would be surprised that natural hair came first. People often assume that I pro black or only listen to neosoul music. Actually I Jewish and love listening to country music. Im rocking Bantu knots this week at work and although I often wear my hair in my usually puff; people have been treating me differently.

  • Anonymous says:

    Aw hell no, I know you didn't just put your hand in my fro!!! And no, India Arie is not my inspiration, I am not into poetry,spoken word or whatever, i am not a vegan, in fact i like to think of myself as a carnivore, yes i do love my afro fusion music and i do speak Swahili…but that has nothing to do with my hair…please don't stereotype me!!

  • Diane says:

    Brilliant! To add to the list….
    1. Please stop yelling out "Erykah Badu" when I wear a head wrap.
    2. Please stop giving me the Black power fist when my hear is in an afro.
    3. Please don't share your unsolicited opinion about my hair as in "I like it better when you wear it like (insert hairstyle)…"

  • Spokenheart says:

    Great article! I get the "is that a wig?" and "can i tough it?" all the time. like hell no u cant touch it, my hair aint no puppy! O & my fav ever was the people that told me they wished my hair was a rug because its so soft!

  • Sydni_Michelle says:

    Yes I can play a violin, but I will be the first in line for a gucci mane concert! LOL One of the questions I get is, is that all your hair?

  • Anonymous says:

    Someone commented one day that my hair smelt great. The thing was that she was totally shocked by that fact. It was like she expected my hair to be dirty and smelly. I thanked her and then she actually asked if everyone with natural hair smelt that good? My reply (half joking/half serious): Anyone's hair can smell great, if they wash it regularly.

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