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Mother Doing Daughter's Afro

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In a recent interview with our Deputy Editor, Victoria Uwumarogie, Gabrielle Union addressed some of the negative comments she had been receiving about her daughter Kaavia’s hair on social media. To put it simply, some people have been and continue to take issue with the appearance of Kaavia’s tresses.

“Kaav swims every day, so even when her hair is done in the morning, she swims. So it’s not going to be picture perfect or whatever people feel that means. I’m human. I see comments where they’re like, ‘That child’s hair is never done.’ And it is done, I just don’t chase her around making sure that we document her looking super, super done every single day,” Union said. “You’ll see her like that on occasion. But regular, Kaav is going to run around here during a pandemic after swim class and it’s going to be what it is. You’ll see her natural curls. You’ll also see that they’re going to be moisturized. That’s more of what I care about, hair health, not the style.”

The conversation is very reminiscent of conversations that swirled around Blue Ivy’s head when she was less than a year old. As you’ll recall, people took things so disgustingly far that they launched a petition urging Beyoncé to comb Blue Ivy’s hair. While these reactions are exacerbated because Gabby and Bey are A-list celebrities and exposed to a much larger audience, the conversations are not much different than the unhealthy ones that are aimed towards the hair of everyday Black girls and everyday Black mamas.

The unfortunate part is that many of the people who make these comments either mean well or don’t recognize the error of their ways. They’re our mamas, aunties, grandmothers, neighbors, sisters, cousins, and friends. Perhaps even we’re tempted to say some of these things ourselves sometimes. Sadly, the fact that people mean well doesn’t mitigate the harmful nature of their comments. So since we’re on the subject, here are ten things that you shouldn’t say about a Black child’s hair.

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