Hair. Defining Black Women -Stereotypes


Stereotypes:

My hair doesn’t define who I am! My hair doesn’t say I’m not qualified! My hair does not say I’m a rebel. My hair says I am who I am and that I am a woman. Are these stereotypes?

I was raised to love who I am. I have always loved my hair. It was always long, thick, and black. Since my toddler, my mother has always told my sisters and me we are beautiful. Not to sound conceited, but we are.

I can remember when I was probably between eight and ten. Someone was always commenting on my hair. Those comments were never derogatory.

The one thing I didn’t like about my hair was that when I got old enough to style it myself, I couldn’t. From sixth through high school, I had to rely on my oldest sister, Precious, or my younger sister, Lisa, to style my hair every morning before getting on the bus to school.

And if one of them were mad at me for some reason, I would have to tackle my head myself. I guess I was never really in tune with the needs of my hair. I was more concerned with how my big, crooked feet looked in my shoes than anything else. At that age, I had it backward. I thought my feet defined who I was.

Why?

In Abu Dhabi this past February, I realized that my hair somewhat defines me. I saw many young and older women of color proud of their rich heritage.

I don’t know what country they originated from, but they walked tall, their heads held high, and their hair was not Americanized.

I am American, and with all the “Natural  Girls Rock” campaigns, you would think we, as an American race, would not have stereotypes or define a person by how their hair is naturally. LET ME SAY THAT AGAIN….. “N.A.T.U.R.A.L.L.Y”! It is who we are. It is who I am.

Why do some of white America define who we, me, or should I say, I am before getting to know “WHO I AM” first? It is a form of stereotyping. You like who I am on paper. (My resume) But wait until I walk through the door.

Look at her hair…..”She’s too Black! Maybe we can find someone the customer can connect with.”

My hair, natural hair, closed many doors for me.

Although I was very qualified for the job, my natural hair was not getting me the job. I wanted to see exactly what would happen if I gave in to the “creamy crack.” (Sodium hydroxide hair relaxers)

So I relaxed my hair and was hired through another interview with the same person, and yes, hired just like that. I’m not saying this is true for all African American women. I’m saying this is how it happened to me and for me.

Today

Twenty days in the United Arab Emirates was very enlightening. I am on a new journey with my hair and excited to see what lies ahead.

I am inspired by my baby sister, Lisa. She had been natural for six-plus years and had no problem cutting it off and starting again. I admire her for that.

I want to tell you that my hair does define who I am. My hair says I am qualified! My hair says I am as beautiful as the day my mother told me I was. My hair is a part of who I am. I love my hair and always have.

 

 

 

6 responses to “Hair. Defining Black Women -Stereotypes”

  1. Veronica L. Grimsley Avatar
    Veronica L. Grimsley

    This is very beautiful, inspiring and uplifting! I always thought my hair had to be on point for me to be on point but really matters is how we feel about our hair and I feel good about my natural hair. Thank you for this well written reminder.

  2. hairsmyexperience Avatar

    Thank you Veronica for your comment also thank you for expressing how we should feel. It truly is what really matters.

  3. POSH Avatar

    This was lovely. I am women who love all things hair. Xxx

    1. hairsmyexperience Avatar

      Thank you Posh. It feels really good to meet people who are as passionate about the same thing I’m passionate about.

  4. shellysopinion Avatar

    Great post!

    1. HairsMyExperience Avatar

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