So if I am not "natural" what I can I call my hair routine?

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Huge blow up on Curly Nikki because she interviewed Waterlily716. Twitter i worse than the comments on the article. So, OK, I do get what is being said to a degree, and I guess I can understand some of the territoriality but that said, what do you call it when you embrace your natural hair instead of cutting it off (like I did for 15 or so years) or perming it (like I did before the short hair phase) if you are white? What is "ok" to say and not offend someone? This kind of reminds me of when the gal here told me I have to work too hard on my hair. But the thing is, I have to do *something*. I have to either do the wavy/curly thing or do the flat iron or chop thing. The fact is *I* have called my hair natural but I get that I do not have the *same* issues.

"There’s something very freeing about accepting your natural hair"- Sarah Naturally Glam | Curly Nikki | Natural Hair Styles and Natural Hair Care
When people ask me about my waves/curls, I say, "my hair is naturally curly/wavy" or sometime I say, "it grows out of my head this way." My hair is natural, down to the streaks of white that are slowly overtaking the black.

I do a fair amount of manipulation to enhance curl and minimize frizz, but it shouldn't matter to anyone else what I do or how long it takes. I'm slowly trying to free the perfect size four body I have lovingly covered with a layer of fat (I wanted to keep it from getting messed up lol) and the time I devote to uncovering that perfect body takes WAY longer than the time it takes me to do my hair. :-)
I may be wrong, but it occurs to me that a basic phrase has taken on cultural significance. There are misunderstandings now because it has at least two meanings, and each meaning is considered valid by the person saying it. I'll have to think of some comparative examples, but other words or phrases have been claimed by communities who become frustrated when the traditional understanding of the term is used. As far as I'm concerned, a fixed notion of whose hair is natural and whose isn't is not particularly helpful, what with hair type, properties, and environmental and cultural conditions being so fluid. I think I'll have a look in the academic databases to see if or how this has been addressed.
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And for the record, I am neither black or white, but a lovely yellow/brown mix. My paternal grandmother had Troy Polamalu type hair and as MY brown blood line thinned out with the yellow influence, so did the curly/kinky hair.

It is what it is and as a child I accepted the fact that I would never naturally have the stick straight, jet black hair that so many of my full blooded Asian friends had.
I may be wrong, but it occurs to me that a basic phrase has taken on cultural significance. There are misunderstandings now because it has at least two meanings, and each meaning is considered valid by the person saying it. I'll have to think of some comparative examples, but other words or phrases have been claimed by communities who become frustrated when the traditional understanding of the term is used. As far as I'm concerned, a fixed notion of whose hair is natural and whose isn't is not particularly helpful, what with hair type, properties, and environmental and cultural conditions being so fluid. I think I'll have a look in the academic databases to see if or how this has been addressed.
Originally Posted by SereneCurls
Am off topic but example from my brown heritage: The Big Kahuna which has come to mean The Big Boss or The Main Person. Guess what? Kahuna = Priest or medicine man/woman. In Hawaiian, Luna = Boss
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I think the reactions are ridiculous. Why is it wrong to call yourself natural when you are, in fact, natural? So I can't say I'm embracing my natural hair unless my hair is a certain texture? What a load of crap.

On twitter some of the comments about this seem to have a "oh look, another poor little white curl 'embracing' her perfect hair", which I feel is so unfair and WRONG.

I don't get all these bad attitudes and all this backlash. Racism works both ways and I feel like a lot of the comments toward Sarah's feature are laden with it
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I see natural as you wearing your hair the way it comes out of your scalp (if that makes sense) I'm sorry but I think the reactions to that article are so ignorant. There are so many white people with coarse, kinky hair, and black people with fine curly/wavy hair. I don't think hair texture has a lot to do with the color of your skin. In addition, I think if you keep bringing people down because they have a looser curl pattern instead of yours, you still have not really accepted your own hair.


I understand that she must have been upset about the comments below the article, nevertheless, I think she should have given it more thought how she was gonna tweet about it. Her tweet probably made it worse.
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I think the reactions are ridiculous. Why is it wrong to call yourself natural when you are, in fact, natural? So I can't say I'm embracing my natural hair unless my hair is a certain texture? What a load of crap.

On twitter some of the comments about this seem to have a "oh look, another poor little white curl 'embracing' her perfect hair", which I feel is so unfair and WRONG.

I don't get all these bad attitudes and all this backlash. Racism works both ways and I feel like a lot of the comments toward Sarah's feature are laden with it
Originally Posted by BotticelliBrit
I see your point, but as a longtime member (2 0 0 8 ), I wish I'd followed others' advice and stayed away from the subject entirely.

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Last edited by claudine191; 06-30-2014 at 09:10 AM.
I understand that people with a tighter curl pattern may have different challenges, but I think that everyone with curly hair has some similarities in their struggles, and instead of creating even more distinctions between hair types, why not all support each other? My hair looks a lot like Waterlilly716's, and I still have had a lot of negative comments even though it is a looser curl pattern and am just now starting to leave my hair down more often.To me, "natural hair" is hair which has the curl pattern (or straight hair) as it naturally grew out of your head. Whether you're hair pattern is 1a or 4c, if you leave it that way, it's natural hair. Also, white people can sometimes have very tight curls as well. My aunt has pale skin and is blonde, yet has 3c/4a curls.
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I may be wrong, but it occurs to me that a basic phrase has taken on cultural significance. There are misunderstandings now because it has at least two meanings, and each meaning is considered valid by the person saying it. I'll have to think of some comparative examples, but other words or phrases have been claimed by communities who become frustrated when the traditional understanding of the term is used. As far as I'm concerned, a fixed notion of whose hair is natural and whose isn't is not particularly helpful, what with hair type, properties, and environmental and cultural conditions being so fluid. I think I'll have a look in the academic databases to see if or how this has been addressed.
Originally Posted by SereneCurls
Am off topic but example from my brown heritage: The Big Kahuna which has come to mean The Big Boss or The Main Person. Guess what? Kahuna = Priest or medicine man/woman. In Hawaiian, Luna = Boss
Originally Posted by KauaiMareCurl
Yes, English in general has borrowed a lot from other languages, with evolving definitions. What is frustrating is when one group seeks to dismiss the experiences of another by claiming ownership of a term.
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@BotticelliBrit Part of the issue is that some people think that CurlyNikki is only for people with African American heritage.

So they have an issue if you aren't Black first and aren't American second. This was really apparent in their old forum where they tolerated posts which would get you banned here.
@BotticelliBrit Part of the issue is that some people think that CurlyNikki is only for people with African American heritage.

So they have an issue if you aren't Black first and aren't American second. This was really apparent in their old forum where they tolerated posts which would get you banned here.
Originally Posted by Blueblood
That's so ridiculous and hurtful, really. I don't understand attitudes like that because they're so exclusive. Why can't everybody be a part of something? Why does it have to be segregated?

Another thing that really agitated me about this whole thing was the amount of women outright saying 'why is it every time WE have something, white women have to jump on it and make it theirs?'. I mean that is just so freaking offensive to me. I can't enjoy something, or embrace my natural hair, because that would mean I'm trying to steal something from black women? It's just plain silly.

Then again, a lot of the arguments were silly. A few people who were accused of being racist responded with 'black people can't be racist', which I LOLd at (though I don't think it was meant to be a joke :P)

(I know what you mean about the forums. I only visited over there a couple of times, and haven't felt the desire to log back on.)
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Huge blow up on Curly Nikki because she interviewed Waterlily716. Twitter i worse than the comments on the article. So, OK, I do get what is being said to a degree, and I guess I can understand some of the territoriality but that said, what do you call it when you embrace your natural hair instead of cutting it off (like I did for 15 or so years) or perming it (like I did before the short hair phase) if you are white? What is "ok" to say and not offend someone? This kind of reminds me of when the gal here told me I have to work too hard on my hair. But the thing is, I have to do *something*. I have to either do the wavy/curly thing or do the flat iron or chop thing. The fact is *I* have called my hair natural but I get that I do not have the *same* issues.

"There’s something very freeing about accepting your natural hair"- Sarah Naturally Glam | Curly Nikki | Natural Hair Styles and Natural Hair Care
Originally Posted by chupie
You know what? I was thinking about this, and who cares if you put effort into getting more curl? Some people with a tighter curl pattern put a ton of effort into loosening their curl, what with braidouts and twistouts and that sort of thing. Locs, braids, all these are styling options that take time. Do these somehow not count as well? I guess what I'm saying is that you should never feel excluded because you style your hair after washing it. It's healthy and looks awesome, and that's what matters.
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I'm wondering if there would've been less backlash if Sarah had transitioned at some point. A lot of the comments seem to also be attacking the fact that all she did to embrace her hair was 'take it out of a bun'.

It's almost as though you can't say you're natural now if you haven't transitioned from chemical treatments in order to be natural. I'd be really curious to see the reaction differed if there was a post about a white person who did actually transition.

Do you guys think it'd be met with less negativity? Or the same?
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@BotticelliBrit there is a view in academic circles that people who aren't White can't be racist as race is used as a power construct with White people on the top and Black people on the bottom. This view ignores the cr*p that happens between the same and different ethnic groups of colour.
@BotticelliBrit there is a view in academic circles that people who aren't White can't be racist as race is used as a power construct with White people on the top and Black people on the bottom. This view ignores the cr*p that happens between the same and different ethnic groups of colour.
Originally Posted by Blueblood
How odd! Isn't that basically re-defining the term 'racism'? Because I've always seen it described as simply being discriminatory against someone of a different race / applying certain characteristics to all people of a race / believing people of a different race should be treated differently / believing certain races are superior etc.

I think it's pretty ridiculous to believe only white people can be racist because they 'hold the power' or whatever :/ That basically belittles any victims of racism / racist acts, where the perpetrators weren't white
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Racism, sexism, etc are based on the distribution of power. However, this does not preclude any individual, regardless of race, from being prejudiced against another race. The difference is that individual prejudice doesn't negate the unfair balance of power. For example, I can decide that I hate men and in my role as a manager I can do everything in my power to avoid hiring a man in my department. But my individual feelings do not negate the power structure that still has women making only an average of 80 cents for every dollar a man makes, or where there is only a small number of female CEOs in Fortune 500 companies.
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I think the comments are 100% completely ridiculous. Anything negative to be said reflects on the negativity one holds in their heart. It angers me when someone gets attacked for absolutely no reason. You can call it whatever you want, doesn't change the fact that in the end it doesn't matter what ethnicity any of us are... we are all people. And in this instance, with curly hair.
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I'm wondering if there would've been less backlash if Sarah had transitioned at some point. A lot of the comments seem to also be attacking the fact that all she did to embrace her hair was 'take it out of a bun'.

It's almost as though you can't say you're natural now if you haven't transitioned from chemical treatments in order to be natural. I'd be really curious to see the reaction differed if there was a post about a white person who did actually transition.

Do you guys think it'd be met with less negativity? Or the same?
Originally Posted by BotticelliBrit
Highly doubt it would have made a difference in this backlash. The main beef seems to be that she was featured on Nikki's site at all. But instead of being mad at Nikki they are mad at Sarah.
sixelamy likes this.
I find this ridiculously annoying...I am tired of hearing African American women complain (like the commenters on the article) about white women taking over whatever. It's very unfair to claim the whole movement is about them when it obviously includes women worldwide from different backgrounds. Like someone else said here there are white women with kinky hair and there are black women with looser curls. I had friends in high school who mistreated their kinks for years (not black, all Latin Americans). I myself didn't accept my Latin 3a hair, I didn't feel beautiful while watching the lucky girls with straight hair. The natural hair movement is for anyone who ever felt dissatisfied with their hair and wanted a change foe the better. And that includes us, whatever ethnicity we belong to.
Sorry for the long rant...I feel very passionate about this, I can totally relate to Sarah's story.

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