Ebony Article on Natural Hair

Thanks to A Tribe Called Curl, I found this interesting article on natural hair by Ebony contributor Akiba Solomon. In it, Solomon gives a historic and global view on natural hair. I really like this article because it is the beginning of many conversations that I think should occur about the representation and treatment of natural hair by the media, by our friends, family, etc., and by ourselves.

Some notable quotes from the article:
“After all, more than a century after the end of chattel slavery and some 50 years after the decolonization of much of Africa, conventional wisdom still tells us that tightly coiled hair is an ugly, shameful, unprofessional, unclean, thing to be “fixed”.

“In 2012, we’re living in a Black hair funhouse where Nicki Minaj—a pop superstar who rocks ombre pastel Bride of Frankenstein wigs—spits lyrics like, “I’m the Terminator … These little nappy headed hoes need a perminator…” for screaming White fans. A place where we’re more likely to see Wendy Williams pull a Post-it note out of her lace-front on live TV than we are to see a Black female host wear her hair as it grows out of her head.”

This is my opinion on natural hair: the number of women with natural hair in the media continues to increase. From commercials to celebrities to advertisements, we see it more and more. Does it truly represent reality? I’m not sure. Does greater representation of natural hair mean acceptance? I haven’t decided yet.

What do you think? Does natural hair get a bad rap in America? Or, is natural hair more negatively received in other countries, like the Dominican Republic or Brazil (as talked about in the article)?

4 thoughts on “Ebony Article on Natural Hair

  1. Hi Tiffany.

    Thanks for continuing to provide us with information that illuminate our minds to see that the fight continues. Yes a lot of African-American women are afraid to wear their hair natural. But with more and more media sources portraying us in our natural hair, it is possible that we can embrace our hair as being beautiful and versatile. Our hair can be styled in so many different ways and it has the ability to be curly, straight, up or down without the use of chemicals. This is what is so beautiful about natural hair.

    When I started my job years ago, everybody called me “the girl with the braids” because they didn’t know my name. But they knew my hair because I was the only one with natural hair. Even today, I am still the only woman with natural hair. I have never been ashamed of my natural hair. As a matter of fact, when I was a little girl, I didn’t like straightening my hair, which was done every week. I would do whatever I could after Sundays to get my hair back to its kinky/curly state. I loved the feel of my roots at the scalp as my hair was growing. Unfortunately, most women don’t feel this way.

    It is my opinion that society contributed in making women feel bad about themselves not only, by their hair, but by how big their breasts are, how small their thighs are, how big their butts are, how much they weigh, or how they feel about themselves emotionally. And if you are an African-American woman the focus is not only on your hair, but the shade of your skin. Just about every magazine cover tells a woman that there is something wrong with her. These magazines make money off the insecurities of women who have no or low self-esteem. And those insecurities are what drive women to “fix” whatever is “wrong” with them.

    The media continues to spread a negative image of African-American hair as “bad” or “ugly” to keep our women from realizing their true glory. It is hard to imagine that actual African countries now see themselves as ugly when they used to walk tall with pride and confidence. The media is bondage that can be broken when we decide to free our minds of what people want us to look like and realize that it operates not only to inform, but to deform. True liberty is truly loving who you are.

    • Hey. Thanks for stopping by. I too, feel like it’s great to see women with natural hair portrayed in a positive way. That’s why I started this blog. So natural women/men and advertisers could see great (and sometimes not so great) ways of displaying natural hair in the media. Thank you so much for your comment.

  2. Pingback: The Week in Review: 5 Most-Viewed Posts on NHITM « Natural Hair in the Media

  3. Pingback: The Week in Review: 5 Most-Viewed Posts on NHITM February 12 « Natural Hair in the Media

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