Stigmatized Natural Hair a Good Thing?

This may be a bit of a controversial question, but I've just gotta ask it. This isn't a question of why natural type 4 hair usually isn't considered beautiful, we've all heard that story and had that discussion at some point. What I want to know is whether or not you think there are benefits to be reaped from this trend.

In my opinion, I think disdain for natural hair can work to one's advantage. I understand and accept the fact that people judge each other for any reason possible. Still, when I come across a person who tags me as poor, low-class, or even ghetto because of my hair, it's a red flag that this is a person I want nothing to do with. It's like a way of weeding out people I need to avoid.

At the same time, "ghetto" women who are expected to degrade themselves for men are rarely pictured as having natural hair. I'm not saying that having an afro magically gives you any self confidence and common sense you may have lacked before. Still, when was the last time you saw a rap video with women dancing in metallic gold bikinis and a twist out on their head? My point with this is that I appreciate people who realize I'm not natural just because I don't have money for a relaxer. (Anybody who thinks you can "sweat out" a perm obviously doesn't know how relaxers work.) Natural women tend to bemoan all the men who won't think they're attractive with curly hair while overlooking all the men who have sense enough to understand something before they make a judgment about it.

So, your thoughts on the topic?
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I understand your point, and I think that it is always good to try to find positive things out of a negative situation. I agree that having natural hair is a good way to weed out people who are to be avoided. However, I think that if we start to believe that 'disdain for natural hair can work to one's advantage' then there is a risk that we may start to accept this 'disdain' instead of actively fighting against it.

For the sake of those little girls and boys growing up hating their hair - we need to strive to change the situation.

As adults it is a lot more easier for us to stick a middle finger up at the world and do what we want to do regardless of what people think - but the majority of little children are not emotionally equipped to do this. If we start to allow ourselves to believe that there is something advantageous that can come out of the 'disdain' that people have for natural hair, there is a strong chance that we will not have enough motivation to do anything about it.
I agree with you Alika. I couldnt have said it better.
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Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 337
I understand your point, and I think that it is always good to try to find positive things out of a negative situation. I agree that having natural hair is a good way to weed out people who are to be avoided. However, I think that if we start to believe that 'disdain for natural hair can work to one's advantage' then there is a risk that we may start to accept this 'disdain' instead of actively fighting against it.

For the sake of those little girls and boys growing up hating their hair - we need to strive to change the situation.

As adults it is a lot more easier for us to stick a middle finger up at the world and do what we want to do regardless of what people think - but the majority of little children are not emotionally equipped to do this. If we start to allow ourselves to believe that there is something advantageous that can come out of the 'disdain' that people have for natural hair, there is a strong chance that we will not have enough motivation to do anything about it.
Originally Posted by AlikaIssa
I agree 110%.
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I haven't heard being poor/ghetto is a stereotype of natural hair ever...usually it's that naturals are self righteous and bougie and secretly love white people...
BC'ed: 26 Dec 09
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What is bougie? And I was asked if I was "trying to be white" when I said I was going to stop getting my hair pressed. Yea...
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What is bougie? And I was asked if I was "trying to be white" when I said I was going to stop getting my hair pressed. Yea...
Originally Posted by moodydove
I think it means like "Stuck up".
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I haven't heard being poor/ghetto is a stereotype of natural hair ever...usually it's that naturals are self righteous and bougie and secretly love white people...
Originally Posted by ellepixie
It may be a regional thing then, but from my experience people seem to think that any woman who doesn't have straight chemical-fried hair "cain't get her hair done."

And since going natural, I've been followed around in stores more often. -.-
What is bougie? And I was asked if I was "trying to be white" when I said I was going to stop getting my hair pressed. Yea...
Originally Posted by moodydove
I think it means like "Stuck up".
Originally Posted by Alice9nobara
Yea, it means uppity.

I haven't heard being poor/ghetto is a stereotype of natural hair ever...usually it's that naturals are self righteous and bougie and secretly love white people...
Originally Posted by ellepixie
It may be a regional thing then, but from my experience people seem to think that any woman who doesn't have straight chemical-fried hair "cain't get her hair done."

And since going natural, I've been followed around in stores more often. -.-
Originally Posted by amaliru
Really?? Where are you from if you don't mind me asking? I've seriously never seen/heard that.
BC'ed: 26 Dec 09
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Grand Duchess Fierce Freckles, Mistress of the Mighty Snap and Doyenne of the Potent Products Pavane in the Order of the Curly Crusaders
I haven't heard being poor/ghetto is a stereotype of natural hair ever...usually it's that naturals are self righteous and bougie and secretly love white people...
Originally Posted by ellepixie
It may be a regional thing then, but from my experience people seem to think that any woman who doesn't have straight chemical-fried hair "cain't get her hair done."

And since going natural, I've been followed around in stores more often. -.-
Originally Posted by amaliru
Ha. I was born and raised in DC and I got that 'tude when I was younger rocking the braids and cornrows. Kids in my class (this is like...middle school) acted like my parents were too poor to afford a perm. I just responded with a : No. They're too SMART to give me a perm

Lol now that I'm older and wear my hair "out" mostly (bandouts, twistouts, wash n gos), I don't get that so much. Idk why.
I haven't heard being poor/ghetto is a stereotype of natural hair ever...usually it's that naturals are self righteous and bougie and secretly love white people...
Originally Posted by ellepixie
It may be a regional thing then, but from my experience people seem to think that any woman who doesn't have straight chemical-fried hair "cain't get her hair done."

And since going natural, I've been followed around in stores more often. -.-
Originally Posted by amaliru
Ha. I was born and raised in DC and I got that 'tude when I was younger rocking the braids and cornrows. Kids in my class (this is like...middle school) acted like my parents were too poor to afford a perm. I just responded with a : No. They're too SMART to give me a perm

Lol now that I'm older and wear my hair "out" mostly (bandouts, twistouts, wash n gos), I don't get that so much. Idk why.
Originally Posted by AmberBrown
I'm from DC too...it might sound bad, but I don't think kids count. They will make fun of you for ANYTHING - in the real world, doesn't hold much worth. I had a relaxer when I was a kid though, so I wouldn't know about getting made fun of for wearing your natural hair...I don't remember thinking girls without perms were poor though...I did give the side eye to girls who had to get their relaxers done at the salon though...I was like ummm your mom doesn't know how to do your hair? Smh...
BC'ed: 26 Dec 09
YouTube

Grand Duchess Fierce Freckles, Mistress of the Mighty Snap and Doyenne of the Potent Products Pavane in the Order of the Curly Crusaders
It may be a regional thing then, but from my experience people seem to think that any woman who doesn't have straight chemical-fried hair "cain't get her hair done."

And since going natural, I've been followed around in stores more often. -.-
Originally Posted by amaliru
Ha. I was born and raised in DC and I got that 'tude when I was younger rocking the braids and cornrows. Kids in my class (this is like...middle school) acted like my parents were too poor to afford a perm. I just responded with a : No. They're too SMART to give me a perm

Lol now that I'm older and wear my hair "out" mostly (bandouts, twistouts, wash n gos), I don't get that so much. Idk why.
Originally Posted by AmberBrown
I'm from DC too...it might sound bad, but I don't think kids count. They will make fun of you for ANYTHING - in the real world, doesn't hold much worth. I had a relaxer when I was a kid though, so I wouldn't know about getting made fun of for wearing your natural hair...I don't remember thinking girls without perms were poor though...I did give the side eye to girls who had to get their relaxers done at the salon though...I was like ummm your mom doesn't know how to do your hair? Smh...
Originally Posted by ellepixie
I was thinking it was a maturity thing at first. Then I considered my mother's experience in the city...as a grown woman. Her co-workers would ask some real foolish questions about her hair (my mom's natural too). One lady would offer to do her hair (at a friend's discount) just about every other week. Another lady told her she'd look so "pretty and classy" with straight hair. I'm gonna connect those backhanded compliments and offers to assumptions about wealth (or lack thereof).

Ha. I was born and raised in DC and I got that 'tude when I was younger rocking the braids and cornrows. Kids in my class (this is like...middle school) acted like my parents were too poor to afford a perm. I just responded with a : No. They're too SMART to give me a perm

Lol now that I'm older and wear my hair "out" mostly (bandouts, twistouts, wash n gos), I don't get that so much. Idk why.
Originally Posted by AmberBrown
I'm from DC too...it might sound bad, but I don't think kids count. They will make fun of you for ANYTHING - in the real world, doesn't hold much worth. I had a relaxer when I was a kid though, so I wouldn't know about getting made fun of for wearing your natural hair...I don't remember thinking girls without perms were poor though...I did give the side eye to girls who had to get their relaxers done at the salon though...I was like ummm your mom doesn't know how to do your hair? Smh...
Originally Posted by ellepixie
I was thinking it was a maturity thing at first. Then I considered my mother's experience in the city...as a grown woman. Her co-workers would ask some real foolish questions about her hair (my mom's natural too). One lady would offer to do her hair (at a friend's discount) just about every other week. Another lady told her she'd look so "pretty and classy" with straight hair. I'm gonna connect those backhanded compliments and offers to assumptions about wealth (or lack thereof).
Originally Posted by AmberBrown
Hmmm....I'm not sure about that, especially if it's in the workplace. Hearing all the stereotypes about natural hair from the online community and how people talk to me in real life I've never gotten any assumptions about wealth...it doesn't really make sense to me, like, if you're natural but decked out in Chanel, how can someone think you are poor?

WAIT. **Ding ding** LOL. Someone did leave a comment on my blog once when I said that Andre Walker products were overpriced and said that he was feeding off of the natural products trend and the argan oil hype telling me that I must be poor and couldn't afford his stuff and I needed to save my money and perm my kinky hair...does that count? I just chalked that up to them being an idiot, lol...
BC'ed: 26 Dec 09
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Grand Duchess Fierce Freckles, Mistress of the Mighty Snap and Doyenne of the Potent Products Pavane in the Order of the Curly Crusaders

I'm from DC too...it might sound bad, but I don't think kids count. They will make fun of you for ANYTHING - in the real world, doesn't hold much worth. I had a relaxer when I was a kid though, so I wouldn't know about getting made fun of for wearing your natural hair...I don't remember thinking girls without perms were poor though...I did give the side eye to girls who had to get their relaxers done at the salon though...I was like ummm your mom doesn't know how to do your hair? Smh...
Originally Posted by ellepixie
I was thinking it was a maturity thing at first. Then I considered my mother's experience in the city...as a grown woman. Her co-workers would ask some real foolish questions about her hair (my mom's natural too). One lady would offer to do her hair (at a friend's discount) just about every other week. Another lady told her she'd look so "pretty and classy" with straight hair. I'm gonna connect those backhanded compliments and offers to assumptions about wealth (or lack thereof).
Originally Posted by AmberBrown
Hmmm....I'm not sure about that, especially if it's in the workplace. Hearing all the stereotypes about natural hair from the online community and how people talk to me in real life I've never gotten any assumptions about wealth...it doesn't really make sense to me, like, if you're natural but decked out in Chanel, how can someone think you are poor?

WAIT. **Ding ding** LOL. Someone did leave a comment on my blog once when I said that Andre Walker products were overpriced and said that he was feeding off of the natural products trend and the argan oil hype telling me that I must be poor and couldn't afford his stuff and I needed to save my money and perm my kinky hair...does that count? I just chalked that up to them being an idiot, lol...
Originally Posted by ellepixie
Lol well their idiocy is a given. It's hard to tell if that "counts" though. Maybe they were being paid to rep Andre? Lmao
No one in my family is walking around in Chanel....but we definitely don't step out like Jojo the Hobo either. In my younger years I dressed pretty much the same as the permed girls in my socio-ec group (I've been told my style is more eccentric now but I also don't get the comments anymore either) and my mom def goes to job in biz-professional gear.

I was thinking it was a maturity thing at first. Then I considered my mother's experience in the city...as a grown woman. Her co-workers would ask some real foolish questions about her hair (my mom's natural too). One lady would offer to do her hair (at a friend's discount) just about every other week. Another lady told her she'd look so "pretty and classy" with straight hair. I'm gonna connect those backhanded compliments and offers to assumptions about wealth (or lack thereof).
Originally Posted by AmberBrown
Hmmm....I'm not sure about that, especially if it's in the workplace. Hearing all the stereotypes about natural hair from the online community and how people talk to me in real life I've never gotten any assumptions about wealth...it doesn't really make sense to me, like, if you're natural but decked out in Chanel, how can someone think you are poor?

WAIT. **Ding ding** LOL. Someone did leave a comment on my blog once when I said that Andre Walker products were overpriced and said that he was feeding off of the natural products trend and the argan oil hype telling me that I must be poor and couldn't afford his stuff and I needed to save my money and perm my kinky hair...does that count? I just chalked that up to them being an idiot, lol...
Originally Posted by ellepixie
Lol well their idiocy is a given. It's hard to tell if that "counts" though. Maybe they were being paid to rep Andre? Lmao
No one in my family is walking around in Chanel....but we definitely don't step out like Jojo the Hobo either. In my younger years I dressed pretty much the same as the permed girls in my socio-ec group (I've been told my style is more eccentric now but I also don't get the comments anymore either) and my mom def goes to job in biz-professional gear.
Originally Posted by AmberBrown
Lol! Perhaps.

Lmao @ "Jojo the Hobo"

I'm definitely not saying it couldn't happen - obviously people can often be a bit dim. Just saying that when we usually have threads about stereotypes of natural hair I don't see people saying that people think they are poor? I guess I've heard it all now...lawd...
BC'ed: 26 Dec 09
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Grand Duchess Fierce Freckles, Mistress of the Mighty Snap and Doyenne of the Potent Products Pavane in the Order of the Curly Crusaders
I've only heard of the "you must be poor" belief if you have natural 4b hair in Nigeria and in the Dominican Republic when speaking of Haitians. Not saying it doesn't happen in the U.S., but like Elle, I've never heard of that before.
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the poverty association is new to me too..the ones i've gotten several times are:

Granola crunching hippie or leftie political/eco activist

Afrocentric militant

Groovy finger snapping poetry reading & art gallery goer/artist or musician

Lesbian or Abandoned by male attention...thirsty for peen crumbs

Arrogant intellectual or college student

Foreign origin (not American)

Vegan, veggie or raw foodie

Trustafarian dilettante slacker (ie I don't need to have a real job where i'm required to 'be presentable' and i'm somehow better than you and free to do as i please... like no one to really answer to professionally, economically so I can just kink out at will)

...none of them bother me anymore.
True realism consists in revealing the surprising things
which habit keeps covered and prevents us from seeing.
- Jean Cocteau


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the poverty association is new to me too..the ones i've gotten several times are:

Granola crunching hippie or leftie political/eco activist

Afrocentric militant

Groovy finger snapping poetry reading & art gallery goer/artist or musician

Lesbian or Abandoned by male attention...thirsty for peen crumbs

Arrogant intellectual or college student

Foreign origin (not American)

Vegan, veggie or raw foodie

Trustafarian dilettante slacker (ie I don't need to have a real job where i'm required to 'be presentable' and i'm somehow better than you and free to do as i please... like no one to really answer to professionally, economically so I can just kink out at will)

...none of them bother me anymore.
Originally Posted by PrincessPresto
BC'ed: 26 Dec 09
YouTube

Grand Duchess Fierce Freckles, Mistress of the Mighty Snap and Doyenne of the Potent Products Pavane in the Order of the Curly Crusaders
the poverty association is new to me too..the ones i've gotten several times are:

Granola crunching hippie or leftie political/eco activist

Afrocentric militant

Groovy finger snapping poetry reading & art gallery goer/artist or musician

Lesbian or Abandoned by male attention...thirsty for peen crumbs

Arrogant intellectual or college student

Foreign origin (not American)

Vegan, veggie or raw foodie

Trustafarian dilettante slacker (ie I don't need to have a real job where i'm required to 'be presentable' and i'm somehow better than you and free to do as i please... like no one to really answer to professionally, economically so I can just kink out at will)

...none of them bother me anymore.
Originally Posted by PrincessPresto
Originally Posted by ellepixie
seriously, esp in the 90s in the U.S., omg ...it was either the much older guy having some sort of 1960s-70s Free Love/ Take-one-for-the-movement flashback or the younger wannabee player type pegging me as a easy, desperate lay because surely no one else was interested with my hair all knotted up like that. That whole doing me a favor by talking to me vibe. ick.<shudders>
True realism consists in revealing the surprising things
which habit keeps covered and prevents us from seeing.
- Jean Cocteau


<---Fotki photo albums

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