It Ain’t Even Real…

Y’all look at this picture…and tell me…what is wrong with this picture?

I saw this on AOL, Wednesday, in a slide show that was talking about how you should know your hair and understand what it’s trying to tell you. Each slide featured a different hair fact such as things about the hair structure, growth cycle, scalp issues and such. Also each slide had a different straight haired model that was attempting to depict something about each hair fact. Most were white. One that I can remember was Asian. And low and behold the last one was of this young lady. And what are they talking about…hair thickness. I’m like screaming… you gotta be kidding me? She’s freaking wearing a weave or a wig. It reminded me of that scene in Spike Lee’s movie School Daze when the Wannabees and the Jigaboos have the confrontation in a doorway, just before the big dance number at Ree Ree’s Salon. Tisha Campbell tosses her light-blond, long-haired weave back and Spike Lee’s sister’s character says (I think it was her anyway), “It ain’t…even…real.”

 “What?” she says. “You heard me,” says the other girl. “You weren’t even born with blond hair and blue eyes.” At that point all she can say is, “You better watch it.”  Alright, don’t dog me if I don’t have all this quoted from memory as it went down exactly in that scene. But I think y’all get the point. Come on y’all. Look at that picture… They got this girl brushin’ a wig and talkin’ about hair thickness. Are you kidding me????? ***Sigh*** “It ain’t …even…real.”

 This isn’t the first time I’ve seen this type of thing. You see it in a lot of the black hair magazines where they’re talking hair care routines and regimens, especially for the stars, like these women are actually dealing with their real hair. I mean dang, it ain’t even their PERMED hair. Ya know?

It makes me wonder, when people (the buying/viewing) public reads this stuff, do they really equate what they’re looking at to black folks’ real hair. OK, what I’m trying to say is, when they tell you how Janet Jackson maintains her beautiful tresses, do people read that and actually think that Janet is really doing all that stuff to maintain her own hair or her LACE FRONT WIG??? Do the editors HONESTLY think black women think that? Shoot maybe they (the editors) don’t think their audiences really believe what they’re reading, and they just don’t care. Soooo many black women want long hair and the illusion of long hair soooo badly that it doesn’t even matter that you have to suspend disbelief to read these hair articles sometimes…cause these mags obviously make lots of money. I mean, show me Alicia Keys, Vanessa Williams, Mariah Carey, Tracey Ellis Ross, and talk about THEIR routines, and I’ll lay odds that they’re talking about hair care as it relates to their REAL hair. But Janet, Tyra, Angela Bassett, and the likes of ’em ain’t gettin up every morning and shampooing, blow drying and frying their wigs and weaves to get it on point. And I ain’t sayin that wearing them wigs and weaves don’t involve some kind of maintenance, cause they do. But don’t take the tone, like so many of these articles do, that these women are maintaining their real hair by doing hot oil treatments and using the Motions product line — cause they’re not.

Now getting back to that slide show, white folks might be fooled into thinking the hair sitting on that woman’s head is real. But I ain’t buyin it. And with all the wiggin’ and weavin’ that black folks do, I just can’t believe that they would be taken in to believe this is her actual hair. Would they? 

I’ll tell ya, I’da nevah even blinked twice if they’d have used a black model sporting her own hair…even permed…no matter the length. But these days, even that’s not good enough.

Dang.

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Comments
15 Responses to “It Ain’t Even Real…”
  1. augusta says:

    ROTFL..i dont see how anyone with a working set of eyes can think that that woman is brushing her real hair.

  2. Nappy Nat says:

    I know exactly what you mean. We must make believe that the products we see in everyday commercials really make your hair look like the model’s hair. You would need store bought tresses and a team of stylists. And I don’t understand is how can white people can be fooled by this…You can buy hair in Wal-Mart and Walgreens; it’s in your face every day. The thing that frustates me the most is when a hair magazine that has a “natural” section features a hairstyle that is NOT natural. Isn’t it the whole point to show what your naturally curly/kinky hair can do and how to do it? Not how to sew-in kinky hair to achieve a “natural” look…smh

  3. b. says:

    Well, just to add to things…many of the white women shown in mags and many famous ones bought the hair on their heads too. Now, of course, many times the fake hair isn’t too far off (texture-wise) from their natural hair.

    And I do know women with long thick relaxed hair who could really brush their hair like the girl in the picture…but the one above is obviously sporting something store-bought.

  4. nappyme says:

    B. this ain’t even about length for me. The point is that’s it’s a wig. They could have gotten their point across using anyone black woman sporting their own hair, either natural or relaxed. And heck the point about thickness being lost, especially on relaxed hair could have been right on the money…how many thin, whispy relaxed heads have you seen in your time lol.

    And yeah…me as well. I too know women with long thick, relaxed hair. Not a lot mind you but they do exist. So really, it irks me that they used a black woman and slapped a wig on her head to illustrate a point.

  5. pfirsch says:

    I have found out from experience that lots of white PEOPLE have no idea that the hair on the model’s head (and in ads like this one) isn’t real. Many of them don’t even know what black people’s natural hair looks like. It’s really eye-opening when people ask me, “Why doesn’t your hair look like [the other black woman’s]?” or “How do you make your hair stand up like that?”

  6. b. says:

    So true, nappyme. You initial point about the perceived need to cover up our REAL hair when depicting a black woman in the media irks me as well. Maybe (and yeah, I’m stretching it here) they assume black women usually have thinner hair (thanks to all the chemical abuse) the same way one college roommate of mine thought black people usually had straight hair too (except for a few like me and, oh, say, almost every black male she’s probably passed by in her life). So, if a black woman suddenly has thicker hair then — boom! — she must be pregnant as the article alludes. But “since all black women have that stringy thin hair, let’s use a wig to illustrate thicker hair while inserting the token lady.”

    Silly, really.

  7. MystiOne says:

    What amazes me is that so many people don’t realize that whites have been wearing false hair since the beginning of time. Think about it, have you ever seen Dolly Parton’s real hair? Going back further, Doris Day (actress in 1950s and 60s movies) wore the heck out of falls, buns, and wigs. And let’s not go there with Cher. I grew up with women who wore wigs because their hair was “unmanageable” or nappy (dirty word to those in my family). No wonder it took me so long to embrace my hair.

  8. Erica says:

    I love it…I too saw that slide show on AOL and thought, “am I the only one?” I just shook my head. Which leads me to…The April 14th issue of Ok! Magazine on page 70 (I’m in the Midwest, I know some issues are different depending on location)they have an article on celebrities “Going Green” when it comes to their beauty products…and lo and behold, there is a picture of Ms Tyra in all her wig/weave glory. Below her picture it states, “Tyra uses this deep-conditioning mask to keep her hair looking young and healthy”. Then they have a shot of the product. I thought it was so funny, even Tyra admits to not wearing her own hair!
    It’s a shame that magazine editors do this. This is probably why, in my younger days, I would spend dollar after dollar on product trying to get my hair to look like Janet’s or Whitney’s. I’m sure magazines, websites, etc. are in cahoots with product manufacturers…it’s all about The Benjamins when it comes down to it!

  9. nappyme says:

    Erica…see… That’s totally ridiculous they are marketing hair products to black women by using women who are wearing fake hair. What a freakin’ shame. I remember when my nice was about 10 or 11, and I mentioned to her that one of her favorite stars, probably Raven Symone, was wearing fake hair. Oh my goodness, she argued me up and down that her hair was real. I finally had to get on the Internet and show her pictures of all the different ways black women sew on, glue on and otherwise attach fake hair to their heads and do a pretty dang good job of making it look real to the untrained eye. I really didn’t want her to believe that all these black women were growing long straight bootie length hair. Yeah… I had to rock her little world. LOL.

    But these magazines do a horrible injustice, really cause they create an illusion of beauty and then feed their audience a crock of you what and are apparently succeeding with making people think these women are wearing their real hair and maintaining with products they’re advertising in magazines. And in my opinion, Trya should be damned ashamed of herself for promoting hair products to maintain her weave as if the hair on her head was real.

    No integrity there. You’re right it’s the might dollar that calls and if you’re naive enough to believe it, you’ll end up spending big bucks trying to recreate that very same illusion of beauty for yourself.

  10. Tashina says:

    Oh my goodness, what a weave. I am so glad that you posted this because I just about go nuts every time I see Kelly Rowland advertising for Dark and Lovely relaxers or Beyonce for L’oreal hair care. All I see is weave weave weave. I actually have no issue with whatever decision woman chose to make when it comes to their hair; however, I do have an issue when I see advertisements such as the one in the screenshot. I get sick and tired of it and wish just once I could open up Essence magazine and see an advertisement of products geared towards black women and AT LEAST see them with their own hair (an if it’s natural that would be even better).

  11. Nedra says:

    Hi. Thank you for sharing your perception about the weaves/wigs, and false advertising.

    I’m also glad to have landed here, because the recent issue of Ebony Magazine with the black hair/Korean cash article was a major letdown.

    It didn’t seem to go into how the dollars and cents spent really translate into our buying a look that doesn’t match many of our natural looks. We pay to look less like ourselves.

    Right now I wear my own natural hair, and it sickens me that sisters tell me I’m “brave” for wearing the hair that grows out of my head.

    A few weeks ago I decided to get my hair braided, just to have a change, yet still keep my hair natural. I was instructed to wash and blowdry my hair before getting the braiding done so that it would be “easier” to work with. (I probably blowdry my hair once every 18 months or so, meaning almost never.)

    As I sat there getting kinekalon (spelling? Made in China) added to my own Afro, just so the hairdresser could work with it and it could be shakeable (European-like), I felt a bit disgusted with myself for doing what felt like using Asian and European methods to get an “African” look.

    It’s like I had an epiphany sitting in that chair.

    Many folks complimented me on my hair-do, but I felt like a fraud.

    All I can think is that there must be someone out there willing to braid my hair without getting me to blow it straight or add artificial stuff to it.

    Thank you for this whole site, not just this post. God bless you.

  12. Anjela says:

    I am thankful for this topic because it really bothers me too! I wrote to the people at Carols Daughter and asked them WHY in the world would they use celebrities for their endorsements like Mary J Blidge and Jada Pinkett Smith who both wear weaves and wigs??? This is unfair to the public. I like both those stars, but not when they lie about their hair.

  13. donna says:

    Im so disappointed to read that Doris Day wore false hair in movies, very let down as have always loved her hair.

  14. afrikan queen says:

    I wanted to make a comment to the sister that began the post on this blog. It is interesting that all of the women you mentioned and I quote (“. I mean, show me Alicia Keys, Vanessa Williams, Mariah Carey, Tracey Ellis Ross, and talk about THEIR routines, and I’ll lay odds that they’re talking about hair care as it relates to their REAL hair” ) are biracial women who’s hair my indeed be real but it isn’t 100% afro hair. I say show me a REAL black woman with real Afrikan hair and not biracial hair. Show me a black woman and it doesn’t have to be a famous one, just one who is 100% black and represents the true texture of afrikan hair, which none of the women you mentioned do.

  15. nappyme says:

    Afrikan queen, I’ve read your post here, and I’m soooooo missing your point as it relates to my post. Feel free to elaborate if you pass through here again.

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