Before You Bark On Blue, Remember What The Real Issue Is

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 ThomasCarla 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.


5 responses to “Before You Bark On Blue, Remember What The Real Issue Is

  1. Oh Gosh! Don’t forget about Gabby at the Olympics where instead of focusing of her talent they were focusing of how “unkempt” her hair is. She won the gold and is the first Black woman who broke all stereotypes to become a gymnast and all the media was interested was her hair. I for example have natural hair but I’m also losing it. I use wigs because my hair isn’t going the way it suppose to, no matter how many hair lotions and treatments I use and to enhance a little of my facial features. But I wear natural at work. Where I live there’s not even one who can treat “ethnic” hair so I take care of my own, because I don’t want to drive 70 miles to fix my hair. Nice post! 🙂


  2. You make a good point. Some may say that it is rude to have an opinion about someone else’s opinion. I really do believe that we all must have an opinion and stand for something but I don’t agree with going against another soley based on their opinions. No one will ever be right in this matter and to give another stoke on a key pad, or another interview, or another documentary, or another blog about it is giving it more energy then enough. Whether the comment is for or against. I say we should let people express their feelings and opinions about another and just simply carry on (dangers of social media). Don’t argue, don’t debate, don’t advocate. When it comes to this hair business, I do believe it is a never ending battle. I have commented on other people’s hair and visa vera and it was simply just my opinion which I was entitled to. Not wrong or right, just my perspective (which is created by up bringing) if you are use to people looking a certain way then when they don’t look that way any more because they choose to change it, why is it so wrong for someone to make a comment about it. And not all comments are going to be in your favor if you choose to expose yourself for comments. (dangers of social media) Why are we so sensitive to others opinions. lol Your hair is laid.. OK good observation, your edges are missing… Ok good observation… your hair is nappy… OK good observation. These words mean nothing until the individual create a feeling behind them. and you can be empowered by it or you can be ashamed! I have nappy hair and I wear it straight at times, in an afro, in braids, sew in sometimes etc. People do comment on it frequently. No biggy because if you really know who you are then, people can say what ever the heck they want to say.


  3. I accept my hair, at long last. I’m glad I’m not in the public eye. No one achieves the goal of perfection, and there is always someone around to point it out. I can’t do anything with my hair but let it lay there. I know, some people envy that. Go figure.


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