African American women's health, hair politics, and physical activities. Studies show that African American women tend to pay more attention to their hair instead of their health issues. Researches came up with a theoretical argument to figure out why hair matter for some women. They discover that hair presents a barrier to exercise in that the time and economic restrictions involved in maintaining a hairstyle post exercise for physical activity as prohibitive. This study provides some perception about the relationship between hair and health for African American women and suggests that extra attention is justified to address views about beauty ideals and hairstyles as a barrier to exercise (Versey, 2014, p. 2015)
There has been a notable amount of conversation on the internet on the rebirth of the natural hair movement. Cherise Luter (2014) states that despite afros and the natural hair movement not being a new concept (i.e. the Black Power Movement), it has gone under what she calls a “refreshing change”. Furthermore, what used to be “I’m black and I’m proud”, has been replaced with “I’m me and I’m proud” (Luter 2016). So, what is the natural hair movement? It is defined as a movement where black women decide to not conform to the social norms of chemically altering their hair and wearing it in its natural, kinky, or curled state (Joignot 2015). The movement could also be considered as an outlet for black women to display their racial and cultural pride or to articulate their “political position (Brown 2014:297). However, simply the terminology “movement” is something that should be shocking to many. There is a great amount of historical context behind the continuous influence Eurocentric beauty ideals have had on black women for centuries. According to Nadia Brown (2014), Black natural hair throughout history has proven to be recognized as “either unintended or intended personal and political statements” (298). the beauty standard in Western society which praises European hair textures, has influenced many black women to be critical of other black women who choose to chemically straighten their hair, accusing them of being subservient to the dominant and pervasive racist
This whole movement for Natural hair may seem a little extreme to some, especially to those who aren’t Black women. Hair is just hair, right? It’s ridiculous that how your hair naturally grows out of your head effects how society looks at you. There is no way that wearing your hair naturally could prevent you from getting a job or could get you kicked out of your classroom while you’re trying to get your education right? Well it’s 2016 and that’s exactly what happens to Black girls all over the globe.
Chris Rock’s documentary, Good Hair, investigates the notion of what good hair is. Dominant society views good hair as straight or essentially caucasian hair. This is not only problematic to the self-esteem and confidence of black women, but it can also cause black women to appropriate Asian culture. Black women unfortunately take advantage of Asian culture in search of what society believes is good hair. Many black women wear weaves in order to align to what society believes is good hair. However, when they buy this hair, they do not realize what Asians go through. Likewise, Asians who give up their hair do not know where or who this hair will be going to. Thus, this desire for good hair further perpetuates the lack of understanding that black
The attitudes and arguments towards and against black hair in “Balm” by Lonnae O’Neal Parker and “My First Conk” by Malcolm X are contingent because they express two distinct views on black hair. Malcolm X pleads that manipulation of our hair by straightening or covering by wig is self- degradation. While Parker believes that the time she spent doing her daughters hair is translated to the love she has for them. This time not only assures the girls that they have a loving mother, it assures Parker that she could send them out into a world that would appreciate them because they had someone who put time (love) into the girls. Parker is aware of the scary truth that our worth by outside world is one dimensional and fuel by aesthetics. Both Lonnae O’Neal Parker and Malcolm X have analyze the importance of hair in the black community. Parker praises the “black hair ritual” while Malcolm criticizes it. Even though their topics differ, both essays share the act of taming natural hair, and the motifs of love and pain
hair and is extremely damaging to the hair and from personal experience can lead to permanent scarring and scalp irritation to name a few. Since Black women are apart of the “mass” that McCombs and Shaw reference in their theory, they are also consuming these images and have no other way to think about themselves. This puts more pressure on Black women to want to assimilate to Eurocentric standards of beauty which has a direct effect on their self-esteem as discussed in the very popular documentary ‘For Dark Girls’ where Black women discussed their struggles with trying to achieve this Eurocentric standard of beauty.
The researcher interview with African American women with natural hair and examination of social media. The researchers explain that in the natural hair community a curl texture is more attractive than kinky hair texture and lengthier hair more desirable than short hair; also having manageable hair is dynamic to African American women’s effective performances of Black femininity. This research expands the discourse in African American Studies that theorizes the experiences of African American women with natural hair compared to those of African American women with relaxed hair such as perms (Howard, 2015, p.
“Janie ties her hair up in the store un- der her husband’s orders so that other men will not touch her. Hair is a tool for sexual desirability across races and ethnic groups; however, the issue within the African community is that the “type” of hair that is often de- sired. However, hair is a marker of femininity, so to restrict or demean one’s hair is a direct attack on women’s being. This implies that when the hair is covered—as it had to be on the plantation or other places where African women existed, they were deemed less feminine and thus less womanly”
Most African American women get their hair advice from low class salon who are self-taught. Low class salons have no knowledge of black women's natural hair texture nor natural hair styles that will protect their hair to keep it from breaking off. These salons use hair relaxer products on their African American clients because it is a fast process and are able to quickly move on to the next client. However, African American woman does not have the option to choose between a relaxer or a protective hair style when dealing with these salons, As a matter of fact, The New York Times mentions, plenty of salons are educating themselves on natural hair styles. “Many wear their twist, locks or teenie-weenie Afros”,” proud to have not given in to the
As an African American hair plays a vital role in our society. The ideal of Black hair is one that allows you to explore your inner feelings, attitudes and sense of style through the facet of hair. However, this freedom of expression becomes questioned as you try to pursue a professional career. As an African American woman pursuing a career in the field of broadcast journalism, your freedom of expression through hair is often limited by corporate policy. By pursuing a career in this field and attaining my first internship in a top 10 market. I have already faced some challenges. Due to the fact that I was only an intern, I did not receive pressure from corporate level to change my look. However, I placed internal pressure on myself to assimilate to white culture standard of “professionalism” by straightening my hair for an intern newscast. I decided to elongate my naturally, kinky curly hair in order to fit the bill of a typical news anchor. Who declared black hair of any style to be unprofessional?
While Kylie Jenner’s faux dreadlocks for her ‘rebel-themed’ Teen Vogue photoshoot were described as beautiful, edgy, and raw by various style magazines, Zendaya Coleman’s dreadlocks she wore on the Oscars red carpet were described as making her look like she “smells like patchouli oil. Or, weed," by Fashion Police host Giuliana Rancic. America loves to appropriate black culture, even when black people themselves, don’t receive the same amount of love from America. From box braids to dashikis, black culture has been stolen by America and used for their own personal gain, disregarding the historical context and meaning of these traditions or blatantly perpetuating stereotypes.
Since the early 1900s, Black women have had a fascination with their hair. More explicitly, they have had a fascination with straightening their hair. The need to be accepted by the majority class has caused them to do so. Though the image of straight hair as being better than coarse hair still hasn’t left the Black community, there has been a surge of non straight hairstyles since the nineteen sixties. Wearing more natural hairstyles, which ironically enough include ‘weaves’ and ‘hair extensions’ has been considered to be more empowered and more enlightened. However, this image comes with a price, and though it appears the ‘natural’ hairstyle movement has advanced Black women, it has actually set
Black people struggle with their hair every day. It did matter if it’s good or bad hair, it’s always a struggle. Madhubti stated “when babies are born in black counties first thing you look at is hair and color. Hair is a main thing they look at because they don’t want it to bad
Historically, the pinnacle of beauty was a woman’s hair. In cultures all around the world, hair was considered to be the keeper of the soul and an important symbol of womanhood and virginal state.
We as black girls were and still are teased for our “unusual” features. Cloaks of shame are draped around our bodies and self-hate shatters our identity. It is insane, because when our white counterparts sport our anomalies it is exotic and chic. They adopt our culture and make it their own. For example, if a white man were to decide to grow dreadlocks, mind you, this is a popular hairstyle in the black community; he is able to wear them without abiding the obstacles that a black man with dreadlocks would face. The white man is not called a thug nor is he is he labeled a criminal, but the black man is. Moreover, within the past year, cornrows or french braids have become more popular in the white community. The problem is not just a matter of copying the hairstyle. Similar to fashion, beauty has a historical context and in the black community cornrows has added a layer of