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Join Date: Feb 2011
: Both ways?
I was not aware of this whole debate until Naturally Curly, but had noticed that some black chicks had straight hair and some had curlier hair. I looked at the Tyra Banks episode on youtube re the whole natural not natural debate.
In my opinion, natural is great. Not natural is also great. I think the dependent factor is motivation. Meaning, if the person is motivated to do either general style for themselves and to please themselves then great. If either general style (natural or not natural) is due to pressure to fit in, then neither is so great. I am supportive of natural hair because as a man with curly hair, and being mixed ethnicity, I have run into stereotyping myself and can understand the "fit in" pressure, while not belonging entirely to either world.
No matter how it's cut, we're all Africans, some of us have just wandered farther from home than others, or had a long journey away from Africa through the generations. I think if your hair reflects a more direct/recent African background, you should wear it with pride. I also think that if you want to style your hair in a way that is a little farther from Africa (if you have hair that reflects a more direct/recent African background), you should do it.
I think over-all that the Black and Native Pride movements have been good in the United States, because they have helped move this country beyond some prejudices (sadly yes they are still found) in the mainstream. I think one of the "final frontiers" in this respect is the business world. I think, sadly, that unfortunately in too many circumstances "looking professional" means "looking 'white'". This is a no go for me. To me, it reflects a history of bigotry in many parts of the country (U.S.) where being darker-complexioned was a ticket straight out the door and out of opportunities for wealth. The Black and Native Pride movements have done a good job of bringing hidden history to light, and encouraged mixed people who "cannot pass" to look at their roots/heritage/history and figure out why certain in-grained attitudes actually represent self-hate.
In the South of the U.S., for around 200 years mixed European and American Indian peoples could not admit to the American Indian part of their ancestry because they would lose any land on which they were, and be forced into "towns" (which were more like interment camps), and American Indians in many places were just not recognized as existing at all in the laws of many states. Like-wise, mixed backgrounds of other types were equally destructive to opportunity. Hair has played a large identifier in this whole problem. Looking too much one way or the other equaled opportunity or lack thereof. I think these types of circumstances led to the definitions of "professional" that exist today. I think it was to show from the perspective of the power-elite who was considered part of the power-elite and who the power-elite considered to be the enemy to the retention of that power.
I think by just letting ones' hair be natural, and making it not be natural sometimes can help change this out-dated image of "professional". In this way in-grained self-hate can be reduced and healthy self-love can be encouraged.
Personally, I think that the out-dated image of "professional" is on the way out, and I say "Thank the heck-goodness" that it is. I think too that being professional means, presenting the natural body in an up-standing way with an open and honest demeanor. I think expressing natural hair lets one be professional, in the definition I present, much more than with not natural hair. At the same time, having not natural hair possibly allows one to present a more creative side. The point regarding creativity, is why I think not natural hair is okay too. In these cases natural and not natural hair is motivation dependent, but both would stem from the same theme: self-determination of out-come.
Don't be afraid to show you. Don't be afraid to express that through your hair.