White Adoptive Mom's Hair Rant

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Oh, ok, I thought it was directed at me. I apologize for making that assumption.

I now live in a town, that is very different than how/where I grew up. Amongst so many other ignorant comments I've heard so many times, comments such as, "what she gonna do if that kid has nappy hair," in regards to a woman expecting a biracial child, or "what she want to adopt that black baby for." I also hear about a mom that adopted a biracial child, that she doesn't know how to do the child's hair. This little girl has the most beautiful curly hair. Once she wore it out and I complimented her. My MIL's response was, "now why you go and tell that girl her hair's pretty...you know it's a mess." This was said in front of the child, who is 4.

These comments don't come from a place of concern. They really are meant to hurt. So, I admit, I'm looking at this from a different place and from my own experiences. I see exactly what the writer is saying based on what I've seen myself in this environment.

So anyway perhaps if I had never experienced this place, I would have very similar views to yours. I don't know. I just see what this mother is saying and I can see why she's defensive. I'd be pissed too if I spent a lot of time trying to figure out what's best for my child's hair and a lot of people criticize what I do with her hair, especially knowing there are black mother's (perhaps the same ones commenting) that aren't practicing the best hair care techniques for their daughter.
Originally Posted by Kilajo
I agree with this also. Out while displaying the natural curl pattern- is NOT a mess. That does not indicate a lack of proper hair care. What does indicate a lack of proper care is dryness, breakage, over processing, over manipulation and rough handling. The presence of this very website is all about this.
Originally Posted by ricotdorothy
Right! I wish you could tell my MIL that so she would know I'm not the only one out there that thinks natural hair is beautiful and certainly not a "mess" when out!!
Originally Posted by Kilajo
I agree. I was told I would run back to the creamy crack when I told family members I was going natural. I have the you're of family who said don't Curr my sons hair because it'll grow back nappy! Wth. I tell folks I know well what to do with their baby's hair because they're clueless talking about Vaseline & water & soon a perm & wondering why it won't grow. It annoys me. Yes I know crazy very well & they are still stuck on the "good hair issue". Hate to say it but they are ignorant. Not mean though they just don't know they are contributing to a poor self image.

Someone just told someone else I know in a nice round about way she should straighten her hair if she's not going to maintain it while its natural. She's never said that to me. She wasn't being mean she was being critical because she was tired of seeing the style. I did a twistout on her hair & its healthier than mine. Folks just talk but they don't always say much.

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Last edited by ss40; 01-04-2013 at 06:11 AM.
People on both sides annoy the &**t out of me sometimes lol ...

On the one hand, yeah, this white lady and some others actually seem to embrace their adopted kid's natural hair by allowing the kid to walk around showing off the hair that God gave her (And it's sad that doing that is considered so radical). But on the other hand, you have some whites who contribute to the problem. I recall being babysat by a white lady who would take my sister's 3c/4a hair and do unholy things to it, practically ripping it all out of her skull to try and "tame" it. She wanted it straight so it would look "pretty" And that lady was never satisfied that my hair wasn't straight and was unhappy w/it because it's as thick as a forest.

On the other side, thank God for our growing curly movement, where black and non-black people very much treat natural hair as beautiful and sacred, because obviously it is and always was. ... Then again, you have people like my Mom, who is mostly black but is from the Old School of West Indian culture and has one basic belief that has informed her hair "care". She believes Africa isn't a continent - it's a jungle. Best to avoid anything associated with Africa, including black hair, including her own. Instead, she plays up her limited English ancestry and makes her "nappy hair" "presentable" by pressing it.

Unsolicited crap advice to tame curly/coily hair comes from all sides IMO, but I think it often (but not always) stems from a single source: Colonialism and the resulting racism. Some white people still think everything should be a reflection of their image, and so they become angry or repulsed when someone dares to not have straight hair. And then some black people internalize that white racism and feel shame when seeing natural hair on themselves or others. It makes some so anxious they try and control it with "advice" IMO.
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Last edited by Korkscrew; 01-08-2013 at 02:39 AM.
Sooooooo......does she also have an issue with white mom's giving her hair care advice? Obviously not.

Having experience with a lot of these mom's (white women who adopt African children), I understand where she's coming from, and I mostly don't sympathize. I understand getting unsolicited advice can get annoying and even offensive, but with the exception of a few incidents she mentioned, I don't believe even THE MAJORITY of these women had malevolent intentions. Many of these white adoptive moms will be of the Republican "I am colorblind" ilk. While it is NOT the place of these women to try and tell the white mom how to take care of her child's hair, you have to start SOMEWHERE. Yes, a lot of "us" dont know how to take care of our hair ourselves, but black women generally know....something. A good portion of white people are still surprised that we don't have to wash our hair on a daily bases. Natural hair is a mystery to many black women so it's sure, and expected, to be an anomaly to a white woman. I don't think that's an unfair assumption.

Quite frankly I believe half of her frustration and resentment is due to the fact that many of the people offering her advice ARE black women. That's not to say that these black women don't have their own racial hiccups...they may...my point is that by the nature of her article.....she does too. I don't believe she would have been offended if the people offering her advice were white moms with black children. I believe she stated that a few of the black women recommended websites to her and styling advice etc? Ok. Then she talks about how she found a wonderful site for "white moms with black kids" on managing hair. Ok. I guarantee you that website has cumulated advice from various natural hair websites. I'm not trivializing her experience, but I am taking into consideration the perspective that it's coming from.

One thing I have noticed, and this may be just my experience, but white moms with biological biracial children (if they are interested in their child's hair) are more receptive to advice no matter WHO it comes from (black white or whatever). White women who have simply adopted transracially are less likely and rather get advice within their "clique". They have their own websites, their own hair accessory websites (they dont go get beads and satin caps from the BSS), their own hair groups, and they are almost always receptive to advice that comes from "their clique" exclusively. They'll lurk and take tips from black natural hair sites all day long...and share them in their groups and websites as their own, but they will never join those natural hair groups or participate. Maybe they feel like they are being judged (most likely), unfairly....I understand....but the reason I don't sympathize with her is because I feel like in the majority of these situations, her issue is WHO is offering her advice.....

Last edited by Lovemenappy; 01-08-2013 at 05:34 AM.
I don't believe she would have been offended if the people offering her advice were white moms with black children.
Originally Posted by Lovemenappy
I don't doubt for a moment that some white moms w/black children devalue black women's opinions out of a racist instinct. And what's also true is that some black women have delivered "hair advice" to white women (for their black children) in a racially-tinged, rude way, making them fearful of any future hair advice from black women.

And yeah, the inverse is also true: Sometimes it only takes one white lady spewing some racist ish to a black lady, for that black lady to stop entertaining white opinions. Avoidance of a whole group isn't the answer in either case. Am just being descriptive here.

God bless American - one of the greatest, most racially charged empires on earth ... I've always felt blacks and whites in particular, have a love-hate relationship full of drama.
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I'm a caseworker, foster and adoptive. I want to keep this short:

There are not always African American homes available when an African American child needs placement. I encourage any curly who reads this post to consider foster care/adoption for this very curly reason. Furthermore, I am African American and I have Caucasian adoptive parents. My mother washed and conditioned my hair once per week, and left it alone cuz she did NOT have a CLUE. Ironically my hair was at its thickest, longest and freshest, done this exact way

I would encourage this adoptive mother to keep pulling up her big girl pants, cuz racial criticism is alive and well. It will always be her job to protect her girls in a way their bio mother could not. A simple "I'm not seeking hair advice" (exit here), BEFORE the unsolicited comments take full form should suffice.
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"To much is given, much is expected"
Sooooooo......does she also have an issue with white mom's giving her hair care advice? Obviously not.

Having experience with a lot of these mom's (white women who adopt African children), I understand where she's coming from, and I mostly don't sympathize. I understand getting unsolicited advice can get annoying and even offensive, but with the exception of a few incidents she mentioned, I don't believe even THE MAJORITY of these women had malevolent intentions. Many of these white adoptive moms will be of the Republican "I am colorblind" ilk. While it is NOT the place of these women to try and tell the white mom how to take care of her child's hair, you have to start SOMEWHERE. Yes, a lot of "us" dont know how to take care of our hair ourselves, but black women generally know....something. A good portion of white people are still surprised that we don't have to wash our hair on a daily bases. Natural hair is a mystery to many black women so it's sure, and expected, to be an anomaly to a white woman. I don't think that's an unfair assumption.

Quite frankly I believe half of her frustration and resentment is due to the fact that many of the people offering her advice ARE black women. That's not to say that these black women don't have their own racial hiccups...they may...my point is that by the nature of her article.....she does too. I don't believe she would have been offended if the people offering her advice were white moms with black children. I believe she stated that a few of the black women recommended websites to her and styling advice etc? Ok. Then she talks about how she found a wonderful site for "white moms with black kids" on managing hair. Ok. I guarantee you that website has cumulated advice from various natural hair websites. I'm not trivializing her experience, but I am taking into consideration the perspective that it's coming from.

One thing I have noticed, and this may be just my experience, but white moms with biological biracial children (if they are interested in their child's hair) are more receptive to advice no matter WHO it comes from (black white or whatever). White women who have simply adopted transracially are less likely and rather get advice within their "clique". They have their own websites, their own hair accessory websites (they dont go get beads and satin caps from the BSS), their own hair groups, and they are almost always receptive to advice that comes from "their clique" exclusively. They'll lurk and take tips from black natural hair sites all day long...and share them in their groups and websites as their own, but they will never join those natural hair groups or participate. Maybe they feel like they are being judged (most likely), unfairly....I understand....but the reason I don't sympathize with her is because I feel like in the majority of these situations, her issue is WHO is offering her advice.....
Originally Posted by Lovemenappy
I have to disagree, a majority of these intentions ARE coming from a negative perspective. Yes a few seem very polite and helpful but most of the comments are coming from women who have probably been raised to hate their natural hair texture and to conform to society's view as beautiful (long,straight hair). It gets tricky from here but I do get the feeling that most of these women see this lady as an outsider who is making the black culture look bad by not conforming to society's standards. You blame her for not being comfortable asking black women for advice. If a specific group of people are constantly berating you for doing something wrong (in their eyes) of course your not going to ask for their advice! For the most part this lady may believe black women look down on her for what shes doing, its not something you can let go and ignore easily. These white women, black child websites are hardly made because these women think they're better then black hair sites, its because its some place they can go without the fear of being looked at as an outsider. And most of the advice these women gave from the article is complete trash. This is the same advice these kinds of women gave to my white mother and it destroyed my hair. Its sad that people look down on others for trival things like that.. Gotta love our society.
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I'm really confused about why it's so hard to conceive that these comments were not from a place of helping but a place of negativity. I mean come on! We see this kind of behavior from black to black women ALL.THE.TIME.

You give unsolicited advice when you think there is something wrong, or someone is doing something in a way that you wouldn't do. There is nothing wrong with the way this mother does her dd's hair.

When black women use the phrase "have you ever thought about FIXING that hair" that is a negative comment. The lady has done her research, she does her dd's hair beautifully why would she need to "fix" that hair? Because it's kinky and not relaxed? Because she lets her daughter be proud of her natural curls and kinks? I bet you the ladies who were "giving her advice" had a relaxer on (or straight weave or lace front). No matter who was telling me that, I would be offended.

I mean, look at what they did to Gabby not too long ago for some halo fuzz after she won a Gold Medal. Seriously.


/end rant.

ETA: She says that this only happens when she goes out with her dd and her hair is in an afro. If this was "just helping" it would happen when her hair was in braids/twists as well as ponies. All the time. Not just when the girl's hair is out.
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Last edited by coilynapp; 01-10-2013 at 10:53 AM.
oops...duplicate post
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Last edited by Ninjarette; 01-10-2013 at 01:38 PM.
Maybe in some cases the mom is being defensive but a lot of times there is a racial overtone to the criticism and it is more harsh. I have heard black people say about white mothers with black children "she shouldn't have laid with a black man if she wasn't going to learn to do that child's hair." I have also heard people say they can't stand to see " little black kids with white moms and their hair sticking up all over their heads." Take that same hair and I don't believe these well meaning people would approach a woman they didn't know from Adam and give unsolicited hair advice if she was Moesha and not Becky. Yet only Becky needs the intervention? And I see little white kids whose hair looks a mess. Who is looking out for them? Is anybody talking to their mamas all crazy?

My friend is a foster parent who is white and she has had two black boys in her home. I gave her advice but because she asked me.
Originally Posted by adthomas
This. All of it.
I'm black, and I don't just walk up to folks and start giving advice to people...doesn't matter what the motivation may be behind wanting to do so. It's rude and out of order. With all the jacked up kids' heads (those with black mothers) I see, too many of us need to have seats.
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Last edited by Ninjarette; 01-10-2013 at 01:39 PM.
I'm really confused about why it's so hard to conceive that these comments were not from a place of helping but a place of negativity. I mean come on! We see this kind of behavior from black to black women ALL.THE.TIME.

You give unsolicited advice when you think there is something wrong, or someone is doing something in a way that you wouldn't do. There is nothing wrong with the way this mother does her dd's hair.

When black women use the phrase "have you ever thought about FIXING that hair" that is a negative comment. The lady has done her research, she does her dd's hair beautifully why would she need to "fix" that hair? Because it's kinky and not relaxed? Because she lets her daughter be proud of her natural curls and kinks? I bet you the ladies who were "giving her advice" had a relaxer on (or straight weave or lace front). No matter who was telling me that, I would be offended.

I mean, look at what they did to Gabby not too long ago for some halo fuzz after she won a Gold Medal. Seriously.


/end rant.

ETA: She says that this only happens when she goes out with her dd and her hair is in an afro. If this was "just helping" it would happen when her hair was in braids/twists as well as ponies. All the time. Not just when the girl's hair is out.
Originally Posted by coilynapp
Totally agree with this. Bottom line is you shouldn't go around giving unsolicited advice to STRANGERS (especially)...period. If you start there, you can pretty much not have to worry about your motives being suspect. IF you decide to go against that general rule, you open yourself up to all the side eye that's coming your way, because your manners are missing. SImple as that. All the "She COULD have meant...." is irrelevant. We don't know what was behind the advice, but we all know that unsolicitated advice is USUALLY not received well. That's all anyone needs to know when deciding whether or not to tell somebody something they didn't ask to be told.

It reminds me of the whole Zahara Jolie-Pitt situation, where black women were all up in arms about Zahara's hair "looking dry" and "raggedy". Give me a break.
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^^ITA. Not only is unsolicited advice not usually received well, unsolicited advice is often (I really would say always) laden with judgement.

You can't blame this mum for reacting the way she did ESPECIALLY after noticing that the "advice" comes only when her dd is sporting a cute a$$ afro. COME ON!!!!!!! No need to make assumptions there...we already know why she is getting "advice". And yes, she would react the same way if it were white women saying the same thing--the thing is, white women wouldn't tell her anything about her girl's afro...

Why do people think it's ok to just go giving "advice" without being asked. I've never understood this. I can be in an isle shopping but I WILL NOT DARE tell someone anything about what they should get if they are looking at the same things as me unless they ask me. And unsolicited advice always irks me...I mean, who asked you? Thanks.
A lot of people are projecting this kinky hair hate on the critics of this mother based off our own experiences. This woman could also be exaggerating a little. She is a blogger. Side eyes are going both ways imo.

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Not projecting anything.

She said herself that she noticed that this was happening only when her dd's hair was out in an afro. It's pretty clear (imo) that this is kinky hair hate. What else could it be? I look at the pic of her dd with an afro, and her hair looks beautiful to me, so whatever those critics are saying is BS--it's not "helping"

I have not had any personal experiences with kinky hair hate (errbody love my hair LOL), so I have nothing to project. I shaved all my hair but 1 inch when I went natural years ago. IDC about what anyone said, but no one said anything negative to me (ever to this date)

So are all bloggers exaggerating about their experiences?

Last edited by coilynapp; 01-10-2013 at 04:25 PM.
A lot of people are projecting this kinky hair hate on the critics of this mother based off our own experiences. This woman could also be exaggerating a little. She is a blogger. Side eyes are going both ways imo.

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Originally Posted by ss40
Nope, not at all. Here it is: When you offer unsolicited "help" the strong implication is that the receiver needs....help - there's something wrong that needs fixing, and you feel so strongly about it that you gather up enough nerve to say something. I would never go up to someone with mad makeup skills, offering unsolicited "help" on how to contour. Why would I? There would be nothing compelling me to do so.

I don't know if the woman is exaggerating or not. I'm only going by what was said. But I do know that there are black women who think they have a god-given assignment to "educate" white women on how to care for a black child's hair - whether they're asked for advice or not.

Oh, and along with coilynapp, I don't have experience with folks coming up to me, offering unsolicited advice on how to care for my hair.
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Last edited by Ninjarette; 01-10-2013 at 04:40 PM.
Nope, not at all. Here it is: When you offer unsolicited "help" the strong implication is that the receiver needs....help - there's something wrong that needs fixing, and you feel so strongly about it that you gather up enough nerve to say something. I would never go up to someone with mad makeup skills, offering unsolicited "help" on how to contour. Why would I? There would be nothing compelling me to do so.

I don't know if the woman is exaggerating or not. I'm only going by what was said. But I do know that there are black women who think they have a god-given assignment to "educate" white women on how to care for a black child's hair - whether they're asked for advice or not.

Oh, and along with coilynapp, I don't have experience with folks coming up to me, offering unsolicited advice on how to care for my hair.
Originally Posted by Ninjarette
Yes and yes. If I saw someone walking down the street with makeup that looks like bozo the clown, I wouldn't say a word to her. Not my business. If she likes it, I love it.
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"A life without fame can be a good life, but fame without a life is no life at all." - Clive Davis
^^ITA. Not only is unsolicited advice not usually received well, unsolicited advice is often (I really would say always) laden with judgement.

You can't blame this mum for reacting the way she did ESPECIALLY after noticing that the "advice" comes only when her dd is sporting a cute a$$ afro. COME ON!!!!!!! No need to make assumptions there...we already know why she is getting "advice". And yes, she would react the same way if it were white women saying the same thing--the thing is, white women wouldn't tell her anything about her girl's afro...

Why do people think it's ok to just go giving "advice" without being asked. I've never understood this. I can be in an isle shopping but I WILL NOT DARE tell someone anything about what they should get if they are looking at the same things as me unless they ask me. And unsolicited advice always irks me...I mean, who asked you? Thanks.
Originally Posted by coilynapp
How do you know? It's not unusual for white people to not be receptive to natural hair. Sure white adoptive moms with black children may not say anything about her afro, but by that same logic, black moms with natural hair who have daughter's with natural hair may not say anything about her afro.

It's not unusual for people with something in common to offer each other advice...and it doesn't necessarily mean someone is judging what you are doing as wrong. Me (as a natural) saying "Hey you should go to naturallycurly's website because they have a lot of helpful natural hair info and tips on how to take care of curly hair" to a natural (which is advice) is not saying "Girl you NEED to go on naturallycurly because you dont know how to take care of your hair". My point is that a good portion of the experiences that she referenced (although unsolicited and therefore rude) don't seem to come from a place of just being mean. Obviously she did need "help" at one point because she referred to the chocolate vanilla site to learn how to take care of her hair. No one is denying that these women were rude in giving her advice.

The interesting thing is that the white mom didnt give specifics as to these womens' hair texture or whether they had a weave, lace front or relaxer (although it's irrelevant anyway it's interesting that THAT was not what she attributed to these women offering her rude advice...she didn't even say they were ignorant), she didn't even specify whether the reason they were giving her "advice" was because their hair was natural. To her it all looks the same obviously. It's black women. That's who she said in her title she DIDNT want to give her advice. Regardless to whether the advice was positive, helpful, informative, truthful, coming from someone with natural hair or relaxed...she doesnt want advice from black women. Which is FINE....those women were EXTREMELY out of line as it stands for approaching her with tips etc (Im not referring to the obviously mean spirited comments), but again it goes back to...is it WHO is offering you advice or is it that you just dont want it? Obviously that's not the case, because she references learning HOW to style her daughter's hair and HOW to take care of it after she found the Chocolate Vanilla website....which implies that prior to that...she wasnt as educated on how to take care of her hair.

There most likely (as we know) is a correlation between whether the women who are offering her advice are educated or uneducated on hair and OBVIOUSLY mentality. But to her it just looks like black women. She categorizes all of it by the skin color of the advisor. So there is "judgment" on both sides.

How does negative comments about an afro = kinky hair hate? I personally dont like afros or at least not on everyone....period....but that has nothing to do with the "kink" in a persons' hair. I dont see how those have anything to do with each other.

I think the women were rude. However I dont believe all of them were trying to be mean or judgemental. I think that the white adoptive mom is defensive and because she feels that all black women judge her (no matter what) she is not receptive to any advice offered to her if the person offering it is a black woman.
A lot of people are projecting this kinky hair hate on the critics of this mother based off our own experiences. This woman could also be exaggerating a little. She is a blogger. Side eyes are going both ways imo.

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Originally Posted by ss40
Exactly, I just see it both ways. And if not making the assumption based on our own personal experiences of natural hair hate, experiences of natural hair hate that we have witnessed or been privy to. For all we know the black women that are judging her daughter's hair may ALL have natural hair, gave her excellent advice (she didn't specify), and just gave unsolicited advice (some of which that was mean and extremely nasty). OR all of the advice could have been garbage and came from people who were being ignorant and evil.

Also, to be fair, I do acknowledge that a lot of this may come from the fact that she is white, but it's no secret that many black women offer hair advice, or ask questions like "Why don't you fix your hair or who does your hair?" to even OTHER black women. Naturals do it and relaxed haired women do it too. Natural hair hate? Quite possibly...but kinky?.....
Love.

I have told many people about NC. I have even written down or emailed a bunch of hair links to people. But in every single case it was someone who APPROACHED me about my hair or who ASKED for information. I don't initate discussions on their hair and that includes family and friends without them broaching the topic first. To me a stranger asking "who does your hair?" versus "Why don't you fix your hair?" is apples and oranges. "who does your hair?" is a curiosity question. I actually get that question from strangers and mostly from men. "why don't you fix your hair?" is contempt no matter the race or hairstyle of the person saying it.
To be perfectly honest I don't like discussing natural hair care with anyone who is not natural or transitioning. I am purposely vague if someone with a relaxer, texturizer ect asks me questions about how I care for my hair or the cringing question "how do you make your hair curly?" I just say "conditioner" and leave it at that. Maybe that's mean but I generally find an explanation to be a waste of my time.
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"A life without fame can be a good life, but fame without a life is no life at all." - Clive Davis
that's what I do too, because its usually a waste of time.
Love.

I have told many people about NC. I have even written down or emailed a bunch of hair links to people. But in every single case it was someone who APPROACHED me about my hair or who ASKED for information. I don't initate discussions on their hair and that includes family and friends without them broaching the topic first. To me a stranger asking "who does your hair?" versus "Why don't you fix your hair?" is apples and oranges. "who does your hair?" is a curiosity question. I actually get that question from strangers and mostly from men. "why don't you fix your hair?" is contempt no matter the race or hairstyle of the person saying it.
To be perfectly honest I don't like discussing natural hair care with anyone who is not natural or transitioning. I am purposely vague if someone with a relaxer, texturizer ect asks me questions about how I care for my hair or the cringing question "how do you make your hair curly?" I just say "conditioner" and leave it at that. Maybe that's mean but I generally find an explanation to be a waste of my time.
Originally Posted by adthomas
ITA

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