I have never seen this movie. I heard about what this movie means to the Black community, yet after watching this clip I was unsure about the film. Opinion aside the extremes expressed in the video are very real. This video led me to the Tyra episode on “good hair”.

Lately Hollywood’s indie scene has been a buzz about the release of the Docucomedy Good Hair; exposing to White America the lengths Black American women go to for their hair. I started to think about my own thoughts, feelings, and experiences when it comes to my hair.

Tyra makes a point of driving 2 things: There is a deeper reason that Black American women straighten their hair and People who aren’t black wouldn’t understand. Its true people outside of the community wouldn’t understand. So I can’t speak from anyone else’s background but my own. So I will speak about my own hair struggles.

My life/ My hair

I personally have wanted to try almost every hairstyle. Over the past year I have worn my hair in a various styles of weaves, natural, straightened, and relaxed. My hair in large part is virgin hair, meaning I have not chemically changed it. When I say straightened I mean pressed, meaning I use heat through a comb to straighten my hair. At one point in my life I wanted dreadlocks to me they looked so glamorous. I didn’t get them for two reasons. Firstly, if I didn’t want them anymore I would have to shave my head. Secondly, I was afraid I would be able to get a Job with them. That is my reality.

In the videos, you have women who say that they straighten their hair to blend in. I don’t know if I can say that is why I do. I don’t feel like anything I do will cause me blend in. I am a Black American woman. I am not going to blend in. That is the facts. I am glad. I straighten my hair because it’s what I am used to. My mother presses her hair and she pressed mine. I never thought about what natural hair versus straightened hair. In honesty, neither style is any easier they both have their own maintenances.

The reason many of us do not wear our hair natural is because we are afraid that in the arenas we frequent will not accept us. If you live in a majority Black community you will be exposed to various hair styles. But in majority white areas the black women wear their hair straight for the most part. I never thought about how anyone at my school would think of me if I had dreads, but when I considered going natural I asked another black woman at my job if she seen many natural haired women.

I was not taught about good hair and bad hair. From the videos they would have you believe that good hair is only a term to describe hair that is more fine. I believe in good and bad hair. Bad hair is damaged hair and anyone can have damaged hair. Good hair is hair that is not damaged.

Just amongst the women in my family we have very different textures of hair. My hair is thin. Both of my sisters have thick hair. My youngest sister’s original hair texture was wavy and big. My cousin’s hair is thick and coarse. We all wear our hair pretty much the same. Straight. What I thought was a bit comical in the clips of Tyra, was that these woman went through some much to make their daughters hair a certain way to make them assimilate to the European lifestyle while they daughters have ethnic names.

One girl said people with nappy hair are “low class”. She is 5 years old. What does she know about low class people? When I told my mother about the episode, specifically the comment about nappy “low class” people, my mother responds “She got that from her mother. That means that they are low class.” I asked her why she made the choices that she in regards to me and my sisters’ hair. She explained as relaxers went no one ever said we needed one. My youngest sister has had the longest hair out of all of us. When she was four my mother decided she would take her to the salon on a regular basis to get her done because she didn’t want to do it. When my sister was six her hairstylist convinced my mother that a relaxer was the best for my sister, because my sister was difficult. My mother says if she could do it again she would not have put the chemical relaxer in my sister’s hair.

I asked my mother did she get teased in school when she was younger because her hair was different. My mother was bused in to the majority white neighborhood for school, so she was definitely different from the majority of her school. She told me she was not teased by white kids about her hair or “about anything else really.” What I realized is that some black women may think that wearing natural styles is unkempt or low class but many just don’t have an opinion.

I cut my hair very short a little over a year ago, something that Black women do not do often. I did not have any hair issues nor did I go through any relationship problems… I went to the salon and told my hairdresser I wanted something new. When I got tired of that style I got a weave. And a year later my hair is longer now than it was before I cut it. I did not think anything other than I want a change. I really didn’t think it mattered about how much hair I cut off. I later came to find that many people were affected by my choice to cut my hair. An associate of my mother stated she wasn’t sure it was me “because black girls don’t normally cut their hair.” I was caught off guard. I then realized that some things are only important to some people.

I can admit that I felt that I might not be able to advance in a career if I chose to wear my hair naturally. I truthfully cannot say that any white person ever paid too much attention to my hair other than a compliment. Not that I have never had bad hair days around white people, but they just never seem to pay too much attention. I do want to debunk Tyra’s theory about it being about self- hatred. I do not hate myself personally or racially. I do not hide the fact that I am secure in who I am which includes being a Black American woman. I am not trying to be white, but if I were straightening my hair or adding a weave would not create this race.

To many people hair is just that. To others it defines who someone is or is not. To me it doesn’t matter. I will leave you with this:

We have to talk about liberating minds as well as liberating society. Angela Davis

Consciously taking in India Arie’s Just for today while in Flirt.

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