There’s not a day that I log onto twitter where I don’t find someone going on about black women’s hair. It is everyone’s favourite topic. Remember the twitter frenzy after even Debora Patta discussed it on 3rd Degree two years ago?
In fact, judgment of black women based merely on their hair goes far beyond social media. Just the other day I read a story about a black woman who was discharged by the US Navy due to the fact that she refused to cut off her dreadlocked hair. A few days later I read comments about how Thuli Madonsela’s hair “makes her look poor.”
In Vuzu’s I Am series Anele Mdoda, who surprised a lot of people when she decided to cut all her hair off a few months ago, talks about these kinds of judgments. One thing that she particularly highlighted that stayed with me is that when judgements towards white women are made based on their hair, it is always sexualised, but when it comes to black women, those judgements go as far as her attitude and even her financial standing. Check out the video HERE.
For whatever reason, black women have become the world’s favourite topic to scrutinise and it does nothing but stagnate the whole world. As women’s month has come to an end, it is important to ponder on these things and find out where we fit into the picture and what our role is.
In his Life Purpose column in the September issue of Destiny, Timothy Maurice talks about how injustices to women are a global challenge. He goes on to say that many of these injustices occur because we are taught “ideal” roles and behaviours that then become a cycle. He finally concludes that a starting point to stopping this cycle is by raising the quality of the conversation.
When it comes to black women’s hair, the quality of the conversation needs to improve. Why do we think that black women with weaves do not embrace their Africanness? Why do we believe that women with natural hair are trouble makers in the corporate world? The conversation needs to get into the roots of the judgements and finally, to where we all work at disproving the myths. It sounds like a lot of work, but who is gonna do it we who know better don’t?
Pic via Anele’s Instagram