I notice with mainstream TV – meaning television not directed at minorities, especially Blacks – one never sees hair care commercials for our tresses. You will see Hispanic and Asian women in these ads sometimes but rarely will you see a Black female, and when you do her hair is either relaxed or ‘good’ curls, not ‘nappy’ locks. It burns me up to see everything for all other ethnic types but when it comes to our kinks, the companies remain silent. Who cares if there are Black-oriented ads on OWN or BET when there are hardly any on the other networks. All I ever see are hair care commercials directed at Caucasians, Asians, Hispanics, and others with slightly curly, wavy or straight locks. Never nappy.
Is our hair truly considered that ugly by others? For years, Black women pressed, hot combed, and relaxed our naturally kinky tresses till the locks were bone straight or close. We avoided getting our hair wet at all costs between usually bi-weekly treatments at the stylist’s, which meant we did not shampoo, shower, or get caught without umbrellas in the rain – nor did we swim or try to learn. The only time Black women who keep their hair relaxed ever get it cleansed is at the stylist’s, so they go around with funky heads between those bi-weekly visits.
I should know, I have smelled plenty of nasty naps in my time, my own included, and today I marvel at my past stupidity – clean hair is healthy hair, not dirty hair with greasy scalps. Hair grease does nothing to promote the growth of hair either, I don’t care what it contains. Most of it is just petrolatum with color and scent added. It’s junk and you’re better off using olive oil on your precious locks and scalp. It too stinks after a long week but it’s better in the long run. So is coconut oil, argan oil, even mayonnaise.
I guess it would bother White Americans – and White Canadians, White Europeans – a lot if they had to suffer through a hair commercial for say, Shea Moisture, or African Pride, or gasp! Blue Magic. Yet Whites don’t stop to think how it makes us feel to have to watch commercials with White women shaking, slinging, and tossing their silky manes which are fine enough for a man to run his fingers through. (Something that cannot be done with natural Black hair.) Whites get pissed off when they see an ad featuring an interracial family, so imagine how they’d react to ads on prominent networks with plenty of tan, bronze, brown, and mahogany skin, and hair worn in natural styles? Probably they would riot outside the corporate offices of these networks holding signs bearing racist slogans.
Who wrote the rules? Who decided that only Caucasian-type hair was beautiful, and that European beauty standards would be the norm worldwide for women everywhere? Who made this shit up? I’ll bet it was White men. Of course. The same ind of people who boldly declared that gentlemen prefer blondes, who keep White women starving themselves day and night, who have made bigger, firmer breasts a multi-million dollar industry, who keep dumb women subjugated under the thumb of a man who works 60 hour weeks to support them in their greedy shoe subscriptions, obsession with clothes, and trying to look as young as possible before that thin, Caucasian skin loses its elasticity and starts to show – usually around age 35 or thereabouts, depending on sun/nicotine//drug abuse or general lack of skin care, its age. White men hold the power, and they are the ones that keep all the shit stirred. Look at what that toupee-wearing old Oompa Loompa has been doing since he became Prez!
Even Black men talk shit about our hair, though how they can diss Black women boggles my mind when their own hair is just as nappy, their own lips are just as big – often bigger – and they have fat, meaty bodies with thick necks, big guts spilling over the belts, and are just as damned ignorant as any little ghetto hoodrat chick. Rather than tear us down, Black men should be more supportive. Not all Black men like pale-skinned women with thin lips and straight manes, remember. More than 80% of all Black men are actually married to Black women, not White or Hispanic or Asian. There must be something those Black men love about us, right? Forget John Legend and Kanye West and all the others who ‘married out of their race’. You were never going to meet them anyway, and they really aren’t that hot, it’s just what they have and who they are that made them seem eligible. Hell, I would much rather date just a regular guy than those creeps if you ask me. Michael Jordan isn’t all that. Who cares if that licorice stick married a White?
I adore my natural hair. I will never, ever relax my hair again with chemicals. Never. If anyone does not like it or how my hair looks, fuck ’em. I used to hate my naps but I’ve learned to love them and I am proud to be a woman of color with this type of hair which I don’t have to worry about stinking in an odd way when it gets wet, nor do I have to shampoo every day. I can just oil my tresses and go!