Straight hair is prettier..white people are prettier??

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I do mostly see it as a trend, as the 80's it was cool to have curly hair.
However, I do think curly hair is seen as exotic and out of the usual...some people like that and some people don't like that.
With that said, black people, as portrayed by the media, are also seen as exotic and out of the usual. Whether for good or bad, they are still seen as "the other."
It might be a correlation, rather than a cause-and-effect. In other words, media portrays trends and what is "usual" or "normal" (that definition changes of course); therefore, curly white gals and black gals (both curly and straight) might be seen as "exotic" or "the other."
People who deal with fashions, trends, and what's "in," are going to be snobby towards those of us that don't fit into their mold.


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to add:
Isn't the root of -isms the fear of the other?
So, I think it's more of an overall -ism than specifically racism...if that makes sense.
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3a/3b
"A simple statement of fact: In America, straight hair is considered more beautiful than curly hair. Why? The short answer is that straight hair, like light-colored skin and eyes, is a typically Caucasian trait. And in America, Caucasian traits are considered more beautiful than non-Caucasian traits. Since an explanation for this phenomenon would require 100 doctoral dissertations on the interplay of race, power and beauty- or at least a “baby doll” test like the one that helped to end school segregation in the United States- I urge you instead to test the accuracy of this statement in the comfort of your own home."

I have to say that I both agree and disagree with you Cali. First of all, I wouldn't go so far as saying that straight hair is considered more beautiful then curly hair in America today. I would put them on equal footing in many ways. Think about this; there are tens of millions of straight haired women in America today who spend plenty of money getting their permed each year. Texturing services at salons are easily a billion dollar plus industry in America today. All those straight haired women getting their hair permed shows me that curly hair is still pretty popular among many women in America today. On the other hand, I will say that in the fashion industry and the media in general, you don't see too many curly haired models. That fact makes me pretty angry in a way being a girl with real wavy hair naturally. My beautiful daughter has pretty wavy/curly blonde hair, and if she ever decided to be model when she gets older, I would be very upset if she was rejected because of her hair being curly. I live in Kentucky where the South meets the Midwest, and I would say that perms are pretty popular around here right now. It's pretty easy most of the time in spotting the difference between a perm and naturally curly hair. After walking around the malls here in Louisville the past few months, I would say perms are pretty popular again. By the way, I have very wavy hair naturally that I perm to make it curlier, and to give my hair a lot more definition. So even though I perm my hair, I would still consider myself a curly girl naturally.

Last edited by Curlyperm12; 03-27-2008 at 09:07 PM.
Something to think about -
In the Curly Hair book, Joy Behar says something about curly hair being more difficult to shoot on TV because of the way the light bounces off it. I'm wondering if that doesn't have something to do with the fact there are more straight-haired people on TV and in magazines.
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A woman at my church once told me that I should "adopt a more Christian hairstyle" (ie she wanted me to striaghten my hair)
I thought that was a really weird way of telling me to straighten my hair but it really got me thinking.
A woman at my church once told me that I should "adopt a more Christian hairstyle" (ie she wanted me to striaghten my hair)
LOL. OK, there are many European paintings of Jesus. Which I am sure are pretty far from what he actually looked like. But even most Western art has him at at least a 2b!
When I think of truly straight hair, I think of Asians. A small percentage of Caucasians actually have pin straight hair. Most of the white "straighties" you see day to day straighten with a blow dryer and/or flat-iron each morning.

As to why it's considered an ideal, I think it's a major trend, like neckties and high heels. Eventually it will change to something else, but not for a while.
Originally Posted by wild~hair
I think a big factor in determining what is pretty is your location. I feel it's interesting that Asians keep being mentioned, because I'm half-Asian myself with curly hair and fairly light skin. I've gone to the Philippines multiple times and experienced the complete opposite trend-wise. They LOVE white skin, and curly hair, since that is what they do not have themselves.

What's interesting about America though, is that we're such a 'melting pot' of ethnicities, the styles that are 'in' change every year, where in other countries, it's may not change as often, at least it hasn't from my experience in the Philippines.
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Originally Posted by jillipoo
A woman at my church once told me that I should "adopt a more Christian hairstyle" (ie she wanted me to striaghten my hair)
I thought that was a really weird way of telling me to straighten my hair but it really got me thinking.
Originally Posted by keikok
Why is straight hair a more 'christian' hairstyle?
Fat does not make you fat. It's actually pretty important.
I can personally say that it might not be that white people are prettier per say, but that straight hair is seen in the media as the in thing, from what i gathered. And most teens, and young adults want to be "in". Me i personally don't care at all, and have a tendancy to let my hair be wild and crazy when it feels like it. One girl asked me in stagecraft a few months ago wether i had ever had my hair permed straight. I have and i told her so to her face, i also got snarky and said i was going for a suesey sue & the banshee's look. Right now my hair is short and permed but im growing it out so that i can get my healthy crazy kinky hair back.

My mom is mixed European,Native american,asian, and middle eastern. And my dad is African american, and native american. I find my kinky hair to be beautiful, if a little annoying at times. Some people in my family say its thick and nappy, but i cant say i really agree. thick yes, but then again my grandma on my moms side had thick wavy hair until the day she died, so my hair is naturally quit thick. I'm firmlyconvinced its genetic!

The whole straight hair craze might just be about wanting more "managable" hair. I'm not completely sure but thats were my thoughts have lead me.
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A woman at my church once told me that I should "adopt a more Christian hairstyle" (ie she wanted me to striaghten my hair)
LOL. OK, there are many European paintings of Jesus. Which I am sure are pretty far from what he actually looked like. But even most Western art has him at at least a 2b!
Originally Posted by Riot Crrl
Yeah Jesus usually has a nice pattern going on, which was why I was so confused when she said that. All I can think of is that she meant that it was "too wild" hence "not Christian"
A woman at my church once told me that I should "adopt a more Christian hairstyle" (ie she wanted me to striaghten my hair)
I thought that was a really weird way of telling me to straighten my hair but it really got me thinking.
Originally Posted by keikok
Having very wavy hair naturally, I've heard rude comments from more then a few people who suggested that I straighten my hair; but that is just about the rudest comment I've ever heard about someone's hair!

Last edited by Curlyperm12; 04-08-2008 at 10:10 PM.
Speckla
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A woman at my church once told me that I should "adopt a more Christian hairstyle" (ie she wanted me to striaghten my hair)
LOL. OK, there are many European paintings of Jesus. Which I am sure are pretty far from what he actually looked like. But even most Western art has him at at least a 2b!
Originally Posted by Riot Crrl
Yeah Jesus usually has a nice pattern going on, which was why I was so confused when she said that. All I can think of is that she meant that it was "too wild" hence "not Christian"
Originally Posted by keikok
Well, He was Jewish so He probably had curly brown hair, brown eyes, and a big nose. *gasp* How dare He look "unchristian".

Speckla
this is a sensitive question and controversial. It is hard to unravel and I can see why it would be harder for white people especially those with curly hair to know where your coming from with this. I am currently taking a class on image and race in latin america and we just covered the topic of aesthetics/beauty and the "myth of the mulatta" and "whiteness in the media" this section was especially hard for me and its hard not to get bummed and depressed when you research and do the readings for this class. A eurocentric standard of beauty is pushed on people of color and you see this most often in media although you can still trace this back in history (ex the exoticization of the venus hotentot and other indigenous people who were taken around and shown off as freak shows in European countries) I spent time in the Dominican Republic and I was often told that my hair was ugly and got called black (like it was a bad thing) by many people even though I am not. People in the Dominican Republic like in Brazil and many other Latin American countries do not accept their blackness. Curly hair like wide noses and puffy lips has been something that has historically been viewed as something that is black and thus "undesirable" Being white on the other hand with straight hair that swings is what is beautiful and is marketed as the image of the nation and what people should strive to be for many countries (ex: Argentina) But you see this in media everywhere and I think it has become so engrained in us as what is "normal" that we don't notice. For example the Millionaires Club matchmaker calling curly hair like "brillo" honestly I don't know how the black women in that room took that and how they didn't turn around and slap her. Their is a brazilian song called "look at her hair" that makes fun of a woman with hair like brillo and makes a point of highlighting her ethnicity. He calls her black dirty with the smell of a skunk. He says at first I was attracted to you but your hair gives you away so now I am repulsed by you (ie, your black!)

Coincidence?? I think not.
Wow, pink that was a serious and informative post. I think that everyone is right or at least there are bits of the truth in what everyone said. We (America) has come along way in terms of race relations although we have a ways to go yet.
There are still lingering traces of European superiority particularly, when it comes to the standards of beauty. I don't think that people actually think "I want to be more like a white person or have European qualities b/c all others are bad/ugly". But as you stated pink, the origin of some of the standards and the fact that they still exist and are effecting us today gives merit to considering this issue and how we can move beyond this point.
Again, I am quite sure no one here would think "I don't want my hair to even vaguely similar to an AA".But let me ask this, if you woke up one morning and your 2b-3b hair all of the sudden was 4a-4b--- after the initial freak out, -- could you get over it, or would you be thinking negative things about it, would your hair be totally unattractive to you? If so, then maybe there's more to this then we all thought. (of course I over simplified this example, any sane person would want to do further research as to why their hair changed, but just humor me and try to see my point).
Can we just be ourselves?? Embrace who you are completely --God doesn't make mistakes
But let me ask this, if you woke up one morning and your 2b-3b hair all of the sudden was 4a-4b--- after the initial freak out, -- could you get over it, or would you be thinking negative things about it, would your hair be totally unattractive to you?
For me? Of course not. At first, I might kind of mourn the versatilities of 3a that I have discovered, and I would definitely be irritated that I spent so much time learning how to care for 3a only to have the tables turned, lol. After that, I'd be excited to learn the versatilities and cravings of my new hair. It wouldn't be the first time. (I mean, it would be the first time I went to 4a or 4b, but it would not be the first time my hair texture just changed on me.)
Wow, pink that was a serious and informative post. I think that everyone is right or at least there are bits of the truth in what everyone said. We (America) has come along way in terms of race relations although we have a ways to go yet.
There are still lingering traces of European superiority particularly, when it comes to the standards of beauty. I don't think that people actually think "I want to be more like a white person or have European qualities b/c all others are bad/ugly". But as you stated pink, the origin of some of the standards and the fact that they still exist and are effecting us today gives merit to considering this issue and how we can move beyond this point.
Again, I am quite sure no one here would think "I don't want my hair to even vaguely similar to an AA".But let me ask this, if you woke up one morning and your 2b-3b hair all of the sudden was 4a-4b--- after the initial freak out, -- could you get over it, or would you be thinking negative things about it, would your hair be totally unattractive to you? If so, then maybe there's more to this then we all thought. (of course I over simplified this example, any sane person would want to do further research as to why their hair changed, but just humor me and try to see my point).
Originally Posted by kurlikinkiklassic

I get what your saying and I can tell you my own personal experience. About three years ago I thermal straightened my hair and it left it in such bad shape. It wasn't until last year that my hair began to grow out but I noticed my curls just didn't look the same, they were looser! and I was so disappointed. I missed my old hair and I think that this experience helped me realize that I am who I am and I should be happy as I am. But growing up no one in the media looked like me and when I wanted to buy make up nothing matched my skin tone. I began to associate these images to what is beautiful and said to myself well I don't look like that I must not be beautiful. Which is why I totally get her question on white being pushed as what is beautiful. In one of the readings I did for class this Afro-Brazilian woman (Brazil is really racist by the way) was reflecting on when she finally came to terms with her racial identity, she said- "I realized that no matter how many times I straightened my hair I will not stop being Black" WOW. That hit home for me. I am brown, latina, mestiza, mulatta, indigenous, and my hair shows a hybridity. Straightening my hair does not change this it only attempts to draw attention away from this. Well guess what? I'm not doing that anymore!
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Your answer (in my humble opinion) says that you are a very secure person. One who is comfortable with herself and isn't defined merely by outward attributes. (you are happy with who you are on the inside primarily). Many women are not.
Can we just be ourselves?? Embrace who you are completely --God doesn't make mistakes
Your answer (in my humble opinion) says that you are a very secure person. One who is comfortable with herself and isn't defined merely by outward attributes. (you are happy with who you are on the inside primarily). Many women are not.
Originally Posted by kurlikinkiklassic
I like that kurlikinkiklassic! Those are very wise words.
Huh.

While this woman, Laura Wexler is promoting curly hair she got me thinking.


A simple statement of fact: In America, straight hair is considered more beautiful than curly hair. Why? The short answer is that straight hair, like light-colored skin and eyes, is a typically Caucasian trait. And in America, Caucasian traits are considered more beautiful than non-Caucasian traits. Since an explanation for this phenomenon would require 100 doctoral dissertations on the interplay of race, power and beauty- or at least a “baby doll” test like the one that helped to end school segregation in the United States- I urge you instead to test the accuracy of this statement in the comfort of your own home.

Page through the magazines on your coffee table and count the models with curly hair. Doesn’t take long, does it? Or watch an episode of “A Makeover Story” on The Learning Channel and observe that one of the first things they do with a curly-headed woman is straighten her hair. Indeed, here in our own (humid) city, the February 2004 issue of a certain crosstown magazine featured a makeover in which a young woman’s “long, curly mop” was blow-dried “smooth” and flat-ironed.

I'm wondering. I know theres a lot of white people here and you all have curly hair. So..straight hair is a typically caucasion trait?? Society thinks white people are the prettiest?? Straight hair is the prettiest??
Originally Posted by Cali
first, there is a danger in looking outside of your own realm for affirmation, and in this day and age, people have the freedom to choose what they want or dont want in their homes, especially in America.
You have the right and freedom to eliminate things in your life that do not reflect that which is best for you.

For example, I stopped watching hair commercials that did not feature women with my hair over a decade ago. I stopped buying magazines that did not represent my brand of beauty. I have never been able to sit through an episode of "Friends". I actively seek out that which supports my needs and represents the goals I have for self.

I am no longer a slave to the perceived society standards. My eyes gloss over the straight hair and hone in on the curly, kinky and coily automatically. Even if I do notice the straight hair I am not compelled to question who I am nor feel deprived because of who they are.

I don't NEED society to validate my existence when I am the one in control of myself.

Society, media, advertisements, entertainment, etc. owe us NOTHNG in the form of self-acceptance. If you need Vogue or a MacDonald's commercial to say that you are okay, you will never be okay.

AND after living and working around almost nothing but white people for over 20 years I can honestly say that not all of them (if any) believe the hype about themselves. Give a white woman a compliment and see how quickly she throws it back in your face by pointing out all of her other flaws. God, don't compliment one on her curly hair (at least not the ones who have not been indoctrinated on NC) and she will get her eyes stuck in her head for rolling them so high! LOL
Tell a straight-haired woman you like her hair and she will lament the lack of curls.
I complimented a Kim Basinger lookalike on how striking she was and I thought she was gonna hit me in the eye!
And don't get me started on the white women who are supposedly jealous of those of us with "natural tans"...oy...
The media may tout that white people are the "best", but when even they don't believe it, then it's time for the rest of us to let that fable die.

hope i didn't offend any white people with this post, after all some of my best friends are white!
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Okay, I hope I can get through this without offending anybody.

I agree that the US tends to objectify straight hair as desirable. But I've also seen a lot more curlies making it in commercials, movies, TV shows, modeling, etc. Maybe I'm just more aware, I don't know.

I myself am a curly. With so much blood in me, you can just call me Heinz 47 or Dr. Pepper (23 flavors, get it?). I'm so white I'm almost transparent (props to whoever posted it first), with hazel green eyes, freckles, blonde, the whole shebang. Never once have I felt attractive. Not once, even when I straightened. So much for straight/white being attractive.

Now, let's take into account the fact that last week I was at training with many diverse people. My guess is 90% of the women there had curly hair, but there were 2 of us natural. Guess who had more fun? Yes, that would be the curlies. We win, big time. We got more attention, put our names on the map with someone pretty high up our food chain. I think standards are totally changing. But it takes time for things to change and even then, old prejudice's stand.

My grandmother, who is probably the most racist person I've met was, surprise, surprise, 1/4 native american! Things will change and people's idea of beauty with them. I wish I was darker, curlier, prettier, thinner...the list goes on and on. My ideal? Multi-racial people. They are some of the most beautiful people I've met.

Someone asked earlier in the postings if we would have a freakout if we suddenly woke up with 4a-4b hair? OMG, I could only wish!

Another said that people pay thousands every year to get hair like we have. Yup, I'm one of them! Products are my life force. You think I wake up and my hair looks this good? Fat chance! I take dang good care of this hair and it shows! Dang straight my curly hair is fab!
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No...going no-poo or CG does not work for me. It leaves me overconditioned and oily in a second no matter what I use, so that's not what's not working.

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