Wednesday, September 4, 2013

"Nappy, the other “N” Word"

Wow, Sheryl Underwood really went there didn't she? I mean we are all pissed that she said “Afro hair, who wants that?” On national television on top of that! Oh no she didn't!
How dare she say, what we feel, but would never say to anybody except maybe our closest friends. We certainly don't say it to other women while we sit in salons waiting for hours to have something “done to our hair.”  “Afro hair?” In this heat and humidity? Are you kidding me? Who has time for that?
I wonder if we are really pissed off because of what she said or if she struck a nerve? We all know that when somebody gets our number, we go on the defense. We become outraged. When in doubt, get mad.
I think that what Ms. Underwood said was more true than we want to admit,  and that makes us mad. In all honesty, who does want Afro hair? 
Nobody, and everybody knows it.
The Beauty Supply stores know it. The Hair Care Industry knows it and so do you. You may not say it with your mouth, but the billions of dollars spent on hair care products to "soften, straighten and loosen your curl pattern" tell a different story.
If you've ever gotten a relaxer, a press and curl, a Jheri curl,  a blow-out, flat-ironed; worn wigs, weaves, braids, ponytails, texlaxed, stretched or whatever else to your hair, you know exactly what she's talking about.
Why would anyone want "dry, nappy hair," when you can have Indian Remy hair, Brazilian hair, Malaysian hair or even Yarn hair? Yes, you'd rather have Yarn hair over "Afro hair."
Why spend hours doing a twist-out or wash n go when it's just gonna puff up anyway once you go outside? Get my hair wet? Shrinkage? Hear the Fredrick Douglas jokes again? Don't play.
I have been “relaxer free” for the past six years, but I wear wigs. Prior to that, it was weaves. Yes, my real hair is “natural” but the hair that other people see is synthetic hair. Hair that was made in China. Hair that I throw on because my hair isn't bouncing or behaving. I know I'm not the only one.
Even among “naturals” we all want to know what products or techniques to use to “smooth our edges and change our curl patterns."
What can we do to make our kinky hair softer and straighter and less “Afro looking?” We all want to know. I mean, we have job interviews or school or work or a life to live. We can't go out looking like that! All “nappy” and stuff. 
There it is. I said it. Who wants Afro hair? 
Nobody and everybody knows it.