Updated: Jun 2, 2021
It’s been a lot of trial and error as well as resisting temptation to try every product on the market to get the perfect feel and look for my hair. My inner product junkism always reared its ugly head for me to go on the chase for the perfect products. I especially went through much of my “product junkism” as a loose natural chasing after that perfect curl. The perfect moisture to protein ratio and the perfect length. All of it eluded me. I was left disenchanted as well as broke because the natural hair community was being taken over by women who had a looser texture of hair. When I first came on the scene for natural hair back in early 2011, many of the youtube influencers had a tighter coil of hair. I was excited to come across so many women that looked like me celebrating and cultivating their own beauty. It really was the beginning of my deconstructing beauty standards and celebrating the versatility and the beauty of black hair. But, somewhere along the journey, it was hijacked by a numerical hierarchical system of 4c hair being at the bottom rung and the elusive and highly coveted 3b or 3c hair at the top. I saw myself right in there chasing that loose curl. Yet, with each purchase of this supposed miracle concoction, I grew weary and started looking deeper at what I was chasing and why I was chasing it. The truth is this, our community does not celebrate blackness. Not in its truest and unambiguous form. If it did, black women wouldn't be the biggest consumers of beauty products that do everything to disguise our blackness. It’s a inconvenient truth that many of us do not want to confront, but, I’m not hear to surpress the darker side of our character. We need to face it and sit with it and understand it before there is any hope of changing it. There’s no point to looking towards individuals outside the black community for answers and changes to how we perceive our own beauty. They don’t benefit from the change and more to the point, the dominant society will always perpetuate and elevate their women using blond hair and blue eyes as the gold standard. For the most part, we have been complicit in adhering to this standard. It is the hallmark of a defeated and conquered race of people. A collective “Stockholm syndrome“ in which the environment that is created in the black community corrals their black women to chase after a standard that is the complete antithesis of their natural beauty. At the same time this is going on, white women are doing their best to cultivate the black aesthetic. Why black women contort themselves into pretzels to achieve this look is because for the most part, black males demand it. After all, black women don‘t live in a vaccuum. There behavior is influenced by the ecosystem they live in. It’s pervasive in our one sided often hypocritical narrative of black lives matter, but, no “darkies” allowed, crooned by one of the most popular R&B artist of our time. He is popular because the very woman he is repulsed by continue to financially support him. Where do you lay the blame? White supremacy? How long are we going to play that record? At some point, when you know better, you do better. The irony is that black women are really the trendsetters. Everyone wants what we naturally posses, yet, we play the role of the victim so well, we forget we hold the power. We play the second, when we should be playing the role we are divinely made for....the first. Don’t call each other queens or gods, but, don’t want to do what it takes to earn that title. The change is internal. Black women can reverse this pathology on its head, if she wants to. So, the question becomes this...Do you want to do what it takes to change it? Honestly, I don’t think black women want to exercise their Godhood and step into their power. They still find satisfaction in being second. What a pity.