With the surge of black women sporting natural, kinky and curly styles, several questions have been raised. Of the most are uncertainties in the workplace and corporate environments. Then there are some from society as a whole.
These are just a few of the assumptions people make about girls with curls:
1. We like neo-soul and jazz
Not every woman rocking a ‘fro is riding to Bilal and Amel Larrieux. Plenty are just as into mainstream music as “the Barbz” (aka Nicki Minaj’s legion of followers). It’s hair not a school of thought.
2. We are vegetarians or vegans
Many women go natural in search of healthier hair; and, while it often translates into a raised level of consciousness regarding food, most aren’t forsaking juicy steaks and Oreo milkshakes.
3. We are “free” spirits
Every woman with natural hair is not a tree-hugging, weed-smoking hippie. We are not walking barefoot with holey boyfriend jeans at peace rallies. Lots of us are typical business casual folks working the corporate nine to five.
4. We are political
There is no correlation between hair and politics. So, please refrain from asking the next black woman you meet with natural hair if she plans to “occupy” her city.
5. We are hipsters
Wearing kinky and curly coifs isn’t just for indie, vintage cool kids anymore. All sorts of fashionistas, stay-at-home moms and executives are spreading their wild locks. Modern styles and new products have made it easier for women to create professional looks.
6. We are fighting the power
Obviously, women who choose to wear their hair in a way that doesn’t conform to European standards of beauty display a degree of pride. But, it does not mean you are going to see them walking around in Panther-face, marching with Al Sharpton or reciting Angela Davis.
7. We are lesbians
This is inaccurate on so many levels.
8. We are urban
The term urban refers to inner-city, cosmopolitan living. That is not where all natural sisters live. Many live in the suburbs. Natural hair is not specific to a particular demographic.
9. We are also into twists, ‘locks and braids
Nope. There are plenty of natural ladies that would never wear dreadlocks, twists or braids.
10. It’s just a fad
I don’t think this one even deserves an explanation.
Are you a natural woman? Have you ever been per-judged based on your hair style?
LaShaun Williams is a Madame Noire contributor and columnist whose work has appeared in the New York Times and across several popular sites, such as HuffPost Black Voices and the Grio. Visit her blog Politically Unapologetic for more on love, life and culture, or follow her on Twitter @itsmelashaun and Facebook.
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