Last week, students of the Pretoria High School for Girls in South Africa held a demonstration in reaction to brand-new school guidelines that mostly impact ladies with natural hairdos. The lesson that we can take from this is that it's incorrect to perpetuate requirements that oblige women to chemically modify their natural hair.
Often hair discrimination is less apparent than at the Pretoria school example-- an expert stylist might state "her hair is challenging to handle" or a colleague might talk about North West's "excellent hair" in contrast to Blue Ivy's "child hair and Afro." Other times it's more obvious-- like that red-carpet minute when Zendaya used a beautiful dress and fears and was stated to smell like "patchouli oil," stimulating a cumulative eye-roll. Moments like these might appear fairly safe, however they are really typical micro-aggressions-- subtle actions to underlying (as well as subconscious) racial stereotypes that can seriously affect ladies' self-confidence.
African American females have actually long felt pressured to control their hair in an effort to appeal to European requirements of charm. The ladies at Pretoria echo the beliefs of females of African descent all over, who have actually heard that the only treatment for their messy, dirty, and less than professional hair issue is perming it.
Now that it is the start of the 20th century, it's a little confusing that natural hair is even still a problem. Even world class experts still discover themselves mystified by the Eighth Marvel of the World that is multitextured black hair. When we choose to honestly accept these differences, it will not be a demonstration however a cumulative movement-- everybody working towards the typical objective of the right for a black lady to rock her hair with pride.
More and more black ladies have actually been happily signing up with the "natural hair movement" and demanding representation, from the front pages of many popular magazines. After a hard-fought charge led by Rep. Marcia Fudge, the military rolled back its constraints to allow women to wear twists and dreadlocks, and got rid of the old rules and hopefully for good.
I can distinctly remember, when I would sit in front of my mom as she burned my scalp with a hot comb, but I did not realize the subliminal message she was sending me. And that was if you have straight hair like everyone else that equates to good hair. But the deeper and more damaging message was that my hair wasn't good at all.
Now I understand that when black ladies sign up with the natural hair movement, it's an option not just to accept our curls however to uncompromisingly accept our identity.