One of the things I miss most from my childhood is that the girls were real. Real breasts and butts. Real eye lashes. And real hair (not withstanding some braid styles). But since the days when KRS 1, Tupac, Biggie and The Pharcyde all got played on the radio within the same hour, and BET had grown-ups as hosts and program directors (Donnie Simpson has to be turning over in his grave. What’s that? He’s still alive? My apologies.), culture and society have shifted in some very stark, dramatic ways. One of the most grave changes in this writer’s mind has been what seems like the nearly global acceptance of hair weaves as “a good look.”
I hate hair weaves. Aside from being a clear physical indicator of how acceptable it has become to be fake, many of them simply look ridiculous. I know women who earn 6 figures, own real estate, have graduate degrees, and still rock weaves that look like preschoolers made them. In addition, they just scream, “I HATE MYSELF AND ALL THINGS BLAAAAAAAAAAACK!!!” Keep it real. Have you ever met a proud, pro-Black chick, who knew her history, quoted Sojourner and Ida B., AND rocked a blonde weave? I can’t imagine Erykah Badu negotiating with a Korean woman over a bag of Hawaiian Silky. Wait. Let me close my eyes. Nope, don’t see it.
The blame for weaves could legitimately go to European beauty standards, or to Black men who favor women with the “mixed” look, but a large portion of the blame must be assigned to low self-esteem, a low self-concept, and a desire to remove the “African” in African American. And this is partially why I don’t think Black women have come up as much as they should–they have to set some standards. Black women have to get to a point where they say emphatically, this is what I won’t accept in a man, and I will do nothing more than be myself o get one. A wise woman once said to me, “whatever a woman does to get a man is the same thing she will have to do to keep him.” She was pointing out how, when she met her husband, she wore no make up and wore clothes that fully covered her body. They are still together, and are paragons of happiness and success.
Feel free to take or leave this advice. In fact, let’s make it a competition. You teach your daughter to try to look like the women on TV, to wear tons of make up, to sport push up bras and blouses that reveal so much cleavage that her nipples may as well be on sale, and of course, to wear a gorgeous, lustrous, thick, horsey weave. I’m gonna teach my daughter to do the diametric opposite. We’ll check back in 20 years to see who won.
Originally posted May 10, 2010 by Earpiece
- Natural or Relaxed, For Black Women, Hair is Not a Settled Matter (huffingtonpost.com)
- Celebrities We’d Like To See Without Their Weaves (bossip.com)
- Skin Tone: What Makes Black Women Beautiful (dangerouslee.biz)