hurtful comments people've made about your hair

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I dated a guy who one day, seemingly fed up started telling me that I need to brush my hair. I told him what happens when I do, but he wouldn't listen. So one day I brushed it, took a picture of the ridiculous afro that resulted, sent it to him, and he finally let it go. It gets so huge, it's actually laughable.
Originally Posted by crazycurlyhair
Hi crazycurlyhair, I would like to explain why I (as well as others) don't find this funny, because the issue you raise here is, I believe, really important.

This website is dedicated to the support, health, and gorgeousness of naturallly curly hair, and an afro is one of the most natural ways to wear some kinds of curly hair. This is why many of us don't think an afro should ever be described using the adjectives "ridiculous" or "laughable."

At the same time, I think your post makes an important point. It is so prevalent in much of mainstream American culture to see afros as "extreme" that some of us who have them think of our own hair as being "weird." When I was growing up, for example, I thought that there was something wrong with my hair. It wasn't until my mid-twenties that I realized that my hair had its own kind of amazing beauty.

Anyway, my point here is to say that, if you choose to style your curls that way, then your Afro should be cherished, not laughed at. If your boyfriend doesn't understand that, then that is his loss. Your hair is amazing, however you choose to wear it. I, for one, would love to see pics of you rockin your gorgeous fro!!
Originally Posted by Hootenanny
You are way too sensitive. She was saying it looks funny on HER. C'mon now. Lighten up
Originally Posted by sKorpio1190
there is nothing sensitive about it. Try to post it on 4a forum and see how the girls there react to it.



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Well, I edited out the post I left about three minutes ago because it was too snide.

I'm just glad people jumped in and responded to the "afro remark". You know, that frenemy of yours (the guy who disses curly haired women to your face), has caused you pain - pain that you talked about here, with us. In a twist of irony, the remark you made about afros is capable of causing others pain too, even just strangers. No one with any curl type likes their natural look being demeaned.

Luckily, many of us at NC.com understand that all curl types, including hair that can be styled into an afro, are wonderful and beautiful. And we're all in this thing together as curlies, cause, like you're learning: while you're busy making a joke out of an afro (even on your own head), someone somewhere is willing and ready to make a joke out of your curls in their natural state. ... Which reminds me: you may want to rethink time spent around that judgmental frenemy of yours. He sounds like a spiritual vampire.
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Last edited by Korkscrew; 01-16-2013 at 03:50 PM.
Skorpio, please read the earlier posts from today, i.e. the posts by kilajo and dee-nature. You'll see why I thought it might be helpful to post what I did.
Originally Posted by Hootenanny
Ok
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Afro was a bad choice of word. I mean...I'd be a little offended if someone said something made their hair look ridiculous and curly. Afro is a texture of hair. Beautiful at that. Although, when my hair is brushed out it DOES indeed look ridiculous...it looks nothing like an afro. Just a case of bad word choice here guys.

But on another note...i straightened my hair a couple weeks ago...and my coworkers commented how pretty it was and how i should leave it like that and kept petting it...and when i was back curly, nada. Kind of hurts my feelings that they don't like my natural hair. BUT i LOVE it. So i move on ya know.

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I think the problem with what she said is that she was equating afro with something bad, which is a common theme by western standards. I mean afro wigs used not as a wig for a hairstyle but something costume-y. It's almost like saying "yeah afros are awesome for costume parties/dress up/whatever but I'd never wear one for real for real."
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My parents, meaning well, would always say " would you please go brush that mess!?" I'd come back saying that you don't brush curly hair, unless you want a frizzy mess. Or my mom saying, "your hair looks so much better short....not so witch-like".
Originally Posted by Julesonline
I dated a guy who one day, seemingly fed up started telling me that I need to brush my hair. I told him what happens when I do, but he wouldn't listen. So one day I brushed it, took a picture of the ridiculous afro that resulted, sent it to him, and he finally let it go. It gets so huge, it's actually laughable.
Originally Posted by crazycurlyhair
I read your other posts, I know you didnt mean to come off this way, and in the post right before this one you referred to 4a hair as beautiful. that being said, next time you tell this story say you made your hair into a big frizz ball. clearly thats what you were getting at, but afro does not equal frizz. im wearing a afro right now made up of beautiful 4a perfectly formed curls and coils with very little frizz. it is a afro because my hair when left to its own devices after drying, sticks up, no matter how well defined. this is how most afros are. so as you can see you used the wrong word to describe your hair when brushed.

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Afro was a bad choice of word. I mean...I'd be a little offended if someone said something made their hair look ridiculous and curly. Afro is a texture of hair. Beautiful at that. Although, when my hair is brushed out it DOES indeed look ridiculous...it looks nothing like an afro. Just a case of bad word choice here guys.

But on another note...i straightened my hair a couple weeks ago...and my coworkers commented how pretty it was and how i should leave it like that and kept petting it...and when i was back curly, nada. Kind of hurts my feelings that they don't like my natural hair. BUT i LOVE it. So i move on ya know.

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Originally Posted by DepressedCurls
I like that you're obviously sensitive to the pain that this name calling generally causes, from a personal standpoint and otherwise But I agree with what Anna just said, and what others are getting at:

A disparaging remark based on a physical feature associated with a particular ethnic group warrants attention and correction, because that type of remark is a step beyond a general curl-bashing remark. I've had people disparage the "Jewish" nature of my curls. To me that's as racially tinged as someone slamming hair for looking like an afro. Sorry, those type of comments go beyond a generic curly-bashing comment and I'm grateful that people here spoke up about it.
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It may not seem insulting, but in context and with the people involved it was.
"You have Janis Joplin hair. Why don't you make it nicer, you aren't 6 anymore."

Now, my mother and I have the same hair type. Poofy/ratty when hair dried, and stringy/greasy with product (all before discovering CG that is!)
My mom and I are musical people, (shes played guitar for 40-something years, sings, writes music) and in all honesty, she looks almost EXACTLY like Janis Joplin. Its always been a endearing joke in our immediate family.

One day we were visiting my maternal grandmother, who is to put it nicely a piece of work that we tend to avoid. She said that in regard to both of us that day, and it hit home for my mom more than me because the janis joplin joke has always been an endearment of her musical side, that for years she actually hid from everyone from shyness.. The fact that it hit on her hair was probably secondary, but that one idiotic comment has stuck with me for 10 years. Janis joplins hair fit her spirit, and my mom has incredible talent and spirit that was muted out from years of living with this critical woman.

I AM happy to say that she now plays in a band at the house of blues on a regular basis, "janis joplin" hair and all, and doesn't give a damn either!
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I was around 14 years old, quite liked my curls but bullies started to pick on me, they called me Wacko Jacko because my hair was very tight curls and at the time so was Michael Jackson's. I was called "fozzy bear", "frizz bomb", "Bush baby", "pubic head"...... the list goes on.
I can't remember what people said when I was younger. I actually didn't like it back then either, because I didn't knw what to do with it.
I have had two comments in my recent history.
From a bald man, "your hair would look better straight." I said, "well, at least I have hair."
From someone noticing my gray roots. "Your gray roots are showing." My response: "yes, it is."
From my husband aboujt my unkempt hair on a Saturday (actually, I looked in the mirror and it wasn't THAT bad...I had just played with my little boy..."Your hair looks horrible." To which I replied "So! I love playing with our boy!"
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I luckily landed myself in a most curly/wavy haired group (I'm in year 10..) but one of my best friends who has stick straight hair (she's asian) always called me and my 3b friend hagrid! I know shes just joking but it does hurt :/
She also likes to rub it in out noses that she doesnt have to do anything to her hair, but she also can only wear her hair in a pony tail for school! No braids, or even buns! (Our school doesn't let us wear out hair out.. )
Originally Posted by CurlyAussie
Let's see how she'll wear her hair for prom, or any other event.
Most ppl with straight hair wish for curls as they can't do anything new to their hair.
Originally Posted by Sayoon
Well, that's kind of rude :/ yes, they can do new stuff to their hair and you can't assume 'most' straight haired people wish for curls anymore than you can assume 'most' curl haired people wish for straight.






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Whenever I straighten my hair, people are so excited and I get multiple comments like "your straight hair is so beautiful!" "You should straighten it more!". Even when it's curly, people in high school used to tell me all the time if I ever thought about relaxing it.

Just last week, a guy "friend" saw me when I straightened my hair for the first time in a year and exclaimed "finally you permed it, it looks so much better!" He tried to call it a joke, but def wasn't.

Sad that our society equates beauty to straight hair. No wonder there are so many girls afraid to go natural and embrace the hair they were given.
It is sad and I'm sorry for your experience. I think you are a leader for embracing your natural hair in the face of all that pressure

Right now there are more women than ever - mothers - who are learning to properly and pridefully treat their own curly hair AND their kids' curly hair. I expect a significant portion of the younger generation to have a healthier view of their curls than some of us did when we were young. Well, that's my hope anyway.
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WRT afros, I thought I’d post this here since it is kind of related and I think it is interesting…….I was doing some general research on curly hair because I was looking for a missing hair property – I think we are missing one but obviously that is J my quirky O.

While I was reading, I found a theory on the adaptive development of afro textured hair. The theory goes that the afro is adapted to 1) block out the sun from hitting the scalp while 2) allowing for evaporation of sweat – the turns and twists of the hair, which also cause it to grow out, leave the hair very airy, so it allows for evaporation. But the twists also create a dense canopy and are effective at protecting the scalp. IOW, a natural “sun block air conditioning system”. Straight hair keeps the sweat on scalp if it is thick, and, if it is thin, would allow the elements to hit the skin of the scalp.

Anyway, I thought that was cool, and I thought it brought some meaning to hair beyond aesthetics, and shows it can have adaptive survival advantages.

I had noticed prior to my reading that I was cooler with my hair curly than straight on hot summer days. I thought that was strange in a way, but now it makes sense. I get more circulation through the curls.
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Last edited by tricello; 02-18-2013 at 11:22 AM.
Yeah, this theory has been floated for a while and on the surface it makes sense. The problem with it is there are other ethnic groups located in or around areas of intense sun and extreme heat (equatorial areas, esp.), who don't have hair like Africans do, and in fact have very straight hair.
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Are they in they in heavy tree'd areas though? I thought of that and other equatorial areas often have tree canopies, so human heads aren't necessarily getting bombarded with sunrays as often or as direct.

I think there is something to the combination of dry climates (resulting in less vegetation), lots of sun, and kinky / curly hair.
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Are they in they in heavy tree'd areas though? I thought of that and other equatorial areas often have tree canopies, so human heads aren't necessarily getting bombarded with sunrays as often or as direct.

I think there is something to the combination of dry climates (resulting in less vegetation), lots of sun, and kinky / curly hair.
Originally Posted by tricello
No, there are desert regions outside of Africa - treeless and with no cover - that exist in the Middle and South East (and beyond), whose populations generally don't have hair seen in most of Africa.
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Just about today someone told me my curly hair looks like weaves -__-
I have 2c/3a curls that I work very hard at maintaining. The other day at work (where I normally get complimented on my hair) one of coworkers remarked that she would love to see me with straight hair. I get that A LOT and I understand peoples curiosity. I just told her it takes me at least an hour to straighten it, my arms get tired and I don't like damaging my hair like that. She then remarked that she has the exact same type of hair as me and it takes her only a 15 minutes to straighten her hair, however her hair is about half the length of mine, at least. Then she goes on about how much she hates curly hair and starts recommending me different products to try to straighten it! I just sat there with my mouth open until she took the hint and stopped talking!!!! THEN my other coworker who overheard this says I should get a brazilian blow out because "then your hair would be straight for four months and it would look good!" and at this point I just said "Haha, excuse me," and got up and left.
I have 2c/3a curls that I work very hard at maintaining. The other day at work (where I normally get complimented on my hair) one of coworkers remarked that she would love to see me with straight hair. I get that A LOT and I understand peoples curiosity. I just told her it takes me at least an hour to straighten it, my arms get tired and I don't like damaging my hair like that. She then remarked that she has the exact same type of hair as me and it takes her only a 15 minutes to straighten her hair, however her hair is about half the length of mine, at least. Then she goes on about how much she hates curly hair and starts recommending me different products to try to straighten it! I just sat there with my mouth open until she took the hint and stopped talking!!!! THEN my other coworker who overheard this says I should get a brazilian blow out because "then your hair would be straight for four months and it would look good!" and at this point I just said "Haha, excuse me," and got up and left.
Originally Posted by robynmp
Horrible! Ugh. And I call BS on the co-worker who said she has the same hair as you and can straighten it in 15 minutes. People LOVE saying "oooooh, my hair is so curly, just like yours!" when they have maybe the faintest wave, like 1c. Anyway, sorry you had to go through that!
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