Having Natural Hair Is Serious Y’all…No Lye!
A young lady, who’s online name is Acting drama just posted the vid on the next page on YouTube. It’s a wonderful testimony to the feelings many of us have struggled with as we’ve made the decision to go and stay natural. Some folks’ decision may have been easier than others but make no mistake about it, many, many, many women agonize over their decision to stop slapping lye on their heads every six weeks to keep their hair straight. And with this, in many instances, these black women are ending a life long routine of conforming to a European standard of beauty that says straight hair is the epitome of beauty. For most women, and I’m comfortable saying this and am also including myself in this observation, the nappy stuff growing out of the heads is not “JUST” hair. That’s because first you have to make the decision to do it, then you have to deal with society’s perception (and it mainly comes from within our own community) that nappy hair is bad, ugly, unprofessional, unkempt and a whole lot of other ridiculous notions that have been drilled into us since slavery and still persist to this day. When you look beneath the surface, and really analyze and discuss these feelings and issues, you’ll find that from a broader perspective the scaring and the hurt and down right shame of having kinky hair runs gererations deep. So then I ask, how can anyone say, “It’s just hair…or it’s not that serious?”
Ok…that said, I’m going to leave it to Acting Drama to break it on down to ya. Her vid is in response to a young lady who also did a video on YouTube who says that natural women (on a certain website) hate women who perm their hair. I think what Acting Drama says is very well stated, insightful and thought provoking. So much so that I just had to post it here to share with those of you who don’t go “YouTubing” or frequent NP. Here are both vids. Enjoy.
How many of you went to the theaters to see TP’s new movie, “Meet the Browns”? If you did, you may remember the scene where one of the character (Jennifer Lewis) offers the mom (Angela Bassett) of a little girl (Chole Bailey) with gorgeous locs $10 to “help her out a little.” When mom refuses and leaves the kitchen, the other women tell her how rude her offer was. She proceeds to tell them that maybe she could go buy that little girl a box perm kit because there’s something wrong with her hair. “I’ve got one word for that,” she says with utter dismay and disgust, “N-A-P-P-Y, nappy!”
Of course, theater patrons scream in laughter. Perhaps because they felt the same way. Or, maybe they howled in laughter because Lewis’ character was the movie meanie and was always letting anything and everything fall out of her mouth, no matter how rude or hurtful. So that line was just keeping in character. It was meant to be outrageous and funny…TP banked that it would be, and it was to most people.
To that end, I’d love to see TP use more naturals in his movies…or at least they could wear nappy weaves. Ya think?
Now I’ll tell ya, that many hair boards are abuzz with conversations about that particular line with feelings ranging from, “Hey, it’s just comedy” to “I’m really offended.” No I won’t say that I was offended, but I didn’t laugh…primarily because it’s a sad commentary about the ill feelings black folks have about nappy hair. A bigger part of me hopes that TP wasn’t just going for the laughs, but that he was trying to subtly introduce the absurdity of black folk being offended by and rejecting our God-given natural hair. But even if that was his motive, I honestly think it went right over people’s heads. Comedy ONLY, in this instance was the bigger draw. The notion that our hair is something that shouldn’t be, is just tooo ingrained in most black folks for a “silly little joke” to actually plant a seed to the contrary.