ThaWell Forum 1: The Natural Hair “Movement”… Our Thoughts
This post is the first of many that will be a compilation of thoughts from all four of us here at ThaWell. The topics will range from anything in the news, politics, or anything controversial we feel like talking about. There are just some topics where we all share strong (maybe opposing) opinions. Some of our opinions may make you smile, some may make you laugh, some may make you strongly dislike us for 2-3 minutes before you remember how awesome we are. Either way, feel free to leave comments on anything you read.
The first topic of ThaWell Forum Series is a collection of our thoughts on the natural hair movement that so many women seem to be embracing. Buckle up…
Erik: First off, let me say that I don’t see a problem with a woman with natural hair. I don’t think that a woman has to have long straight hair down her back in order to be beautiful. If a woman decides she wants to ditch the relaxer and go natural, more power to her. Go for it. But I do have two solid issues here, and they are as follows:
- Going natural does not make you more black than anybody else. Congratulations on your new-found independence from relaxer, but don’t use it as an excuse to look down on women who haven’t made the same choice. Your choice of hair care hardly gets you any closer to the Motherland… Like, not at all. So chill out a little bit.
- The natural look is not for everybody. The idea here is if you are brutally honest with yourself, you can avoid somebody else from being real and being brutally honest with you. If you choose to do it, be sure that you know how to take care of it. No need in holding on to a bad look in the name of trying to stay natural.
Chris: Life is an evolution. I’m not talking about growing a third arm or anything. What I mean is that we were designed to continually grow and mature. This is especially evident when it comes to my views on the natural hair movement. When I was a tad bit younger (but no less handsome) I despised the natural hair movement. I hated every single second of it. I felt like a woman should have long, luxurious hair and she should take any means necessary to achieve it.Even if a woman had to do what Detroit Red did to get his conk, she betta had done it.
But over time I’ve come to respect what folks want to do with their hair. Except this guy (Exhibit A: Insufficient daddying). She has to wear it, not me. If a woman feels beautiful with long, flowing, processed hair, beautiful. If that same woman decides that she wants to do a “big chop” and feel beautiful with #3 on The Barber Style Chart, that’s just as beautiful.
Don’t excoriate me if I feel more attracted to someone with nine pounds of chemicals in her hair. There have been good and plenty of women with short, natural hair that I have practically stalked on MySpace. Just as there have been women with hair from six different types of mammals sewed, super glued and stapled on their heads who I DM’d to death on Twitter. What I don’t like is the ridicule I receive sometimes if I decide to wanna holler at a lady who uses the creamy crack. Having natural hair does not make one more englightened that anyone else. From 3rd grade to 5th grade I never left home without my Donnie’s activator (Tulsa stuff) but there was no spiritual change when I shaved it all off. The Church of Natural Hair for Latter Day Black folks can miss me with all that jingoism.
Marcus: First, as the only wifed-up member of the team, I’ll say this, it is super-amazing to have a wife that doesn’t blow the GNP of Estonia on perms, weaves, extensions, wigs, appointments, etc. My wife hasn’t had a perm since Reaganomics. I love that about her. When we went on our honeymoon to Florida and wanted to get in the Gulf, no problem. In Puerto Rico we were on the beach and in the water constantly. Went to the rainforest and got dumped on. No biggie (on a side note, if that had been my sister we would have been forced to carry a living canopy over the top of her head until dry land was found). I love the fact that I can touch her hair whenever…
With all of that being said, I couldn’t get enough of this picture of my wife. When she had straighter hair, it was if I had a ‘different’ woman. She had a different feel to her personality. I didn’t know where the hair came from, who used to own it or from what region of the world it originated. I just knew that I thought it was kind of sexy. And that’s where the conflict lies. Marsy has long hair. In fact, when combed out and straightened, her natural hair is nearly as long as the “added” hair she was rocking. Why did it sexy her up? Maybe its because deep down, no matter how into the natural look a man is, he still would like to have that occasional Black Barbie look. A woman with hair that blows a little bit in the wind. Hair he can run his fingers through (which doesn’t make sense b/c Black woman always seem to have oil in their hair, resulting in a mess for finger-through-hair kind of brothers), and hair he can grab a hold of whenever he wants. I guess moral of the story ladies is to change it up from time to time. I’m not saying you have to bathe your skull in the chemical-rich perms that are out there, I’m just saying a little pressing never hurt. And please, please don’t spend rent/mortgage on hair care. That is not cool (thank you Marsy for being so smart).