G'day!
Where or whom do you think the bigger pressure among Black women to straighten their hair comes from? Whites? Or Blacks?
Am I wrong by saying that White folks generally mind kinky/curly hair less than Blacks themselves?

Detroiter Tiffany Buckley-Norwood says her thick, kinky-curly hair made her a target for ridicule in school.

"I was already different because I was a black Latina (Cuban) living in a predominately black community," says the labor and employment law attorney. "I remember in elementary and middle school, I would cry because people would tease me because my hair wasn't relaxed."
Source

This came into my mind after reading some things about Chris Rock’s “Good Hair”.
Non-Black folks don’t even understand what “good hair” is supposed to mean.
Btw, I don't mean to discard Asians and Latinos here. I think most of them are also pretty clueless about "good hair", with the possible exceptions of Latino communities with considerable African influence, Dominicans being a primary example.
Originally Posted by marx

Though maybe not on the same level, many non black people deal with the good hair/bad hair issue as well. Its just not talked about as much IMO. There are several threads on this site that discuss women of various ethnicities having to deal with it. One example would be the "Case of Mistaken Race" thread on the 3C board.

I don't think white people care as much about what black people do to their hair in general. However, in terms of the standard of beauty- i.e. black women's hair in its natural state deemed unacceptable- I think this is perpetuated a lot by white people as well, its just done more quietly.

There are other threads on the website about this similar topic, but just to give a quick reply:

During slavery, slaves were taught by their white masters that their dark skin and kinky, coily hair were ugly. Light skin was considered ideal and straight hair was considered "good" hair. Unfortunately, this belief has been carried down throughout the centuries. I've gotten curious looks and whispers from some other blacks when they see me in the street while most whites haven't paid me any mind. Blacks in general react more violently about hair because of the ingrained issues about it that have been passed down through time. It often isn't just about hair to us. Hair is often seen as a larger statement about our culture, which other people sometimes don't care to understand. Many black women relax their hair, but most white women aren't coveting locs or fros, which says a lot about how the two groups view themselves to me. Black women relax their hair to attempt to fit into a narrow standard of beauty and white women don't feel the need to imitate our hair, because they feel their hair is acceptable as is and/or is the "more acceptable" hair.
Originally Posted by LadyV69
Thats quite interesting, because in this context it rather implies that any racist connotations are inverted onto the black women BY the black women... Your traumatic history seems to serve as a perpetual-racism-inducing-machine - where even if the white folk arent any longer making an issue, you feel one is there.

Not meaning to be confrontational in any respect there ;o) its just interesting to see, and also to see you guys acknowledge it.

Though it might not be limited to race in this respect. Remember, white women do feel an above average urge to straighten our hair ourselves. and very few of us are completely naturally straight. Perhaps this is nothing to do with fitting in white society at all, since white society is not naturally straight-haired itself. Maybe it is purely down to universal asthetic.
Originally Posted by Fluffy4eva
There is a tremendous amount of self hate that encourages black women to straighten/perm. White women with curly hair are under pressure as well but not at the same level. While many white women are born with straight hair, much less black women are. So when black women are pressured to straighten, it is a larger issue. They are being pressured to change something that is generally seen as a phenotype of another ethnic group. Society sends the message that straight is better than curly and curly is better than kinky. Looser textures are seen as more acceptable. However, afro textured hair is looked down upon in any texture.

Hair that is closer to straight is closer to a "white standard of beauty". Since most black women have wavy, curly or kinky hair, I would say this standard of beauty is race based. While there are white people with tightly coiled or kinky hair, it is much less common. It is so uncommon that many people don't even *believe* white people can have kinky hair!

Of course there are many ethnic groups that have naturally curly/kinky hair or almost always have straight hair, but in most cases, society tends to dice them up into "black" and "white" anyway. hence the black/white discussion. I don't see how we can talk about it without talking about race.