Y’all remember the scene in School Daze. The Jiggaboos and the Wannabes run into each other in the hallway, which leads to a musical battle of wits. Dark vs. Light. Nappy vs. Straight. Assimilated vs. Rebellious. Strutting their stuff around the faux beauty salon, they called each other “pickaninny,” “Barbie Doll,” “high yella heffa,” “tar baby,” and “wannabe white.” Spike Lee not only grossed $14 million from the film, he enlightened a nation to the truth of colorism.
This moment happened 22 years ago…
But somehow, we still hold these truths to be self-evident: nappy is bad. Tons of alkaline-based relaxer cream made yearly confirms this phenomenon. Even comedian, Chris Rock, created a film based on the concept of it. Walk into any black salon and you’ll hear the term “good hair.” The looser the curl, the better. We want that Farah Fawcett blowing-in-the-wind stuff.
Recurring from the 1970′s, again is a developing movement to grow hair out natural. Among the many new products, blogs and salons catered to women with strong African-rooted hair—perceptions of the au naturelle look have changed. And from the stylist point of view, good hair is not solely straight and long but strong, nourished and easy to style. The thicker the hair, the easier to explore styles with. In layman’s terms: It’s no longer about looking white.
The saddest thing is to see a little black girl point to a blonde-haired Barbie to describe features she aspires to possess. It starts with one dangerous phrase… so stop saying “good hair!”