by Carla Thomas
This week on social media: edges were snatched, a baby was talked about, and a girlfriend of a famous R&B singer was dragged by Black Twitter. Yet the irony is that it’s Black folks talking about Black folks. What is it with Black people and hair? Did India Arie’s 2006 song, “I Am Not My Hair” mean nothing? To me, it was the realest proclamation of how something that grows of out my scalp doesn’t define me. I’m not sweeter with cute hair. My hair doesn’t mean I’m saved. My hair doesn’t represent my kindness, my
love, my intelligence, or my wit.
My hair is simply a piece of a total package.
But some Black women will give their entire paycheck for a 12 inch Brazilian weave or they will skip the gym and ignore their growing gut but their hair is laid. And for some reason, the next woman’s (or baby’s) hair becomes a topic of discussion.
When the recent episode of the Braxton Family Values aired earlier this week, Black Twitter went ham about Tamar Braxton’s lack of edges. The teasing went so far that Tamar took to Instagram to address her lack of edges; she cited that she experienced hair loss when she was pregnant. Whatever the reason, what a factitious topic to address, to have to explain the hair
on top of your own head when it is no one else’s business.
Chris Brown’s on-again-off-again girlfriend, Karrueche Tran, was slammed by social media after making a Blue Ivy hair joke
on 106 & Park. Tran co-hosted 106 & Park when she made a comment about Blue Ivy’s hair during the segment “Top Six Things Blue Ivy Thought at the VMAs.” Tran stated that Beyoncé’s daughter Blue Ivy thought: “I really did wake up like this because my parents didn’t comb my hair.”
Black Twitter dragged Tran by her Asian ponytail with comments about her joke. Although a few months ago, the same Black Twitter dragged Beyoncé and Jay Z for not combing Blue’s hair, there was even a petition for her hair.
Other women’s hair can become a mainstream topic as if everyone is a licensed cosmetologist. It’s this obsession with something so minuscule that it shows where most people’s mindsets really are. The ethnic beauty business is a $15 billion business that consists of a 96% African-American customer base, but roughly only 3% of the retailers are Black. This says that we are more concerned with having laid hair than investing.
And let’s not forget that Black women face a real battle in corporate American where they are being passed over for or fired from jobs, and kicked out of the armed services because of their hair. If Black women want to be up in arms about hair, let’s fight the battle of being able to wear our hair in our natural state without being marginalized from the mainstream.
But we’ll never fight that battle because we are too busy tearing down each other to see the real oppression.
Tasteless teasing says more about you than it does the subject of your joke.
It shows that your standard of beauty has been so conditioned that you believe that the lack of edges can take away one’s beauty or that it’s a call for teasing. Talking about Blue Ivy’s hair while her mother is on stage being honored for an award shows a materialistic attitude and a shallow character.
I remember when Beyoncé sat down with Oprah and described Blue as “fire.” I thought that was a beautiful description as it speaks directly to Blue’s personality. But to some, having a child who sparkles and is bright isn’t enough, a 2-year-old’s hair must be laid in order for her to matter.
I am much more than a pixie cut, I’m much more than if I choose to relax my hair, wear it natural, or if I choose to wear a weave. The point is that-it’s just hair. I’m much more than it, you’re much more than it, and so is baby Blue.
Carla Thomas is the Founder and Editor of Mad Style and Grace. She is a creator, writer, and all around fly girl who is blessed, highly favored, and trill. Find her inspiring and talking fashion on Twitter.