Curl Stigma and Being Jewish

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As an Orthodox Jewish married woman, I cover my hair with a scarf, hat, or wig in the presence of any men other than my father, brother, husband (or theoretically grandfather or sons, I just don't have any!). Most married woman have 1-3 wigs depending on how often they plan to wear "hair" vs. scarves (daily, for the Sabbath, for special occasions, just for work, etc)- and almost every one of my "curly" friends has gone stick-straight!

I actually see a different side of the self-perceived "stigma":
I spent 20 years learning to love my hair, and refused to buy a straight wig- but some friends think the straight wigs are just "easier" to deal with. (Funny, because I care for my own wigs; they all send them to a stylist every few weeks for a $30 wash and set...).
In other circles, curly hair is considered unkempt and immodest- usually because of a cycle in which no one knows how to care for the hair, so they just brush it and yank it into a ponytail or braid, and it frizzes up like the kid stuck their finger in an electrical socket, and round and round we go! Once these kids grow up hearing about how their hair is so "messy" and "inappropriate", they all run at the chance to wear a straight wig!

Just for the record, the photos below are my hair and my wig.
Attached Thumbnails
Curl Stigma and Being Jewish-24529_342903739089_1992297_n.jpg   Curl Stigma and Being Jewish-354_27679159089_2125_n.jpg   Curl Stigma and Being Jewish-223733_10150273229824090_5206792_n.jpg  
Is your real hair the picture in the middle? Very pretty curls.
2/c and some 3A. Modified CG.
Protein sensitive
Highly porous. Color over grey.
Best 1st day method: Super Soaker
Conditioners: Curl Junkie Beauticurls Strengthening Conditioner,
Deep condish: Curl Junkie Curl Rehab
Stylers: Mix Curls in a Bottle into everything for shine. Terrible pj
Sometimes try roller sets - classic glamor but I prefer my curls.
Every day is a gift
As an Orthodox Jewish married woman, I cover my hair with a scarf, hat, or wig in the presence of any men other than my father, brother, husband (or theoretically grandfather or sons, I just don't have any!). Most married woman have 1-3 wigs depending on how often they plan to wear "hair" vs. scarves (daily, for the Sabbath, for special occasions, just for work, etc)- and almost every one of my "curly" friends has gone stick-straight!

I actually see a different side of the self-perceived "stigma":
I spent 20 years learning to love my hair, and refused to buy a straight wig- but some friends think the straight wigs are just "easier" to deal with. (Funny, because I care for my own wigs; they all send them to a stylist every few weeks for a $30 wash and set...).
In other circles, curly hair is considered unkempt and immodest- usually because of a cycle in which no one knows how to care for the hair, so they just brush it and yank it into a ponytail or braid, and it frizzes up like the kid stuck their finger in an electrical socket, and round and round we go! Once these kids grow up hearing about how their hair is so "messy" and "inappropriate", they all run at the chance to wear a straight wig!

Just for the record, the photos below are my hair and my wig.
Originally Posted by SAB5748
Unkept my BUTT! Your hair is prettier than your wig!!
curlypearl likes this.
FroZen
Is your real hair the picture in the middle? Very pretty curls.
Originally Posted by curlypearl
Thanks! I love when people have to ask...
As an Orthodox Jewish married woman, I cover my hair with a scarf, hat, or wig in the presence of any men other than my father, brother, husband (or theoretically grandfather or sons, I just don't have any!). Most married woman have 1-3 wigs depending on how often they plan to wear "hair" vs. scarves (daily, for the Sabbath, for special occasions, just for work, etc)- and almost every one of my "curly" friends has gone stick-straight!

I actually see a different side of the self-perceived "stigma":
I spent 20 years learning to love my hair, and refused to buy a straight wig- but some friends think the straight wigs are just "easier" to deal with. (Funny, because I care for my own wigs; they all send them to a stylist every few weeks for a $30 wash and set...).
In other circles, curly hair is considered unkempt and immodest- usually because of a cycle in which no one knows how to care for the hair, so they just brush it and yank it into a ponytail or braid, and it frizzes up like the kid stuck their finger in an electrical socket, and round and round we go! Once these kids grow up hearing about how their hair is so "messy" and "inappropriate", they all run at the chance to wear a straight wig!

Just for the record, the photos below are my hair and my wig.
Originally Posted by SAB5748
Unkept my BUTT! Your hair is prettier than your wig!!
Originally Posted by BlackAngelPlayah
I've found several good curly wigmakers and keep telling people about them, and I've been "educating" relatives (and random people in the neighborhood) about caring for curly hair for years...hopefully it'll make a bit of an impact and eventually, they'll embrace their curls!
My college boyfriend was quite proud of his Curly Russian Jewish locks and was CG in the sixties!,
Korkscrew and curlypearl like this.
My college boyfriend was quite proud of his Curly Russian Jewish locks and was CG in the sixties!,
Originally Posted by Pookarina
I have visions of Treat Williams as Berger in the movie Hair, with appropriately long, gorgeous curly hair
When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace. - Jimi
2c/3a, BSL, medium, low porosity
Low-poo: Bobeam and CV poo bars; Acure Argan Oil & Stem Cell
Conditioner: Acure Argan Oil & Stem Cell; Desert Essence Shea
Stylers: Sweet Curls Elixir Curl Cream; SM CES
PT: BASK Whiskey Soak
Is your real hair the picture in the middle? Very pretty curls.
Originally Posted by curlypearl
^^ I second that!
"Life is too short to keep your hair short"

Click here to visit - GRO YO FRO!
They are all beautiful but I can see the middle one is clearly your real hair. I can tell the other two are wigs by how the part falls at the top. Mine does the same thing sometmes. I found that brushing my wig before I put it on my head makes the part fall in a more natural looking way
Speaking of being Jewish, I'm going to Israel for Birthright this Saturday : )!! You know what I am going to wear?? GRO YO FRO t-shirts every single day : ) i've already got 10 of them made in different colors... I have to support the movement where ever I go, if you know what I mean!!
curlypearl and belwillcoily like this.
"Life is too short to keep your hair short"

Click here to visit - GRO YO FRO!
While I'm not directly Jewish, I have Jewish roots. I think the stigma about curly hair isn't just in the Jewish community but the African American community as well. My mom does not like that I wear my hair curly. She always says that my hair looks better straight. What she doesn't realize is that my hair is healthier since I've stopped pressing my hair. I think it's because as black people, we have been conditioned to keep out hair straight.
.
Salt & pepper wavy mix 2B/2C
Low to normal porosity, coarse, kinky, normal elasticity
Current favorites:
Low poo: Yes To Cukes Color Protection (the no sulfate one)
Conditioners: Renpure MPHIP, CJ Smoothing Lotion, AB LI, CJ Curl Rehab, CJ Argan/Olive, Darcy's Pumpkin
Style: FSG, BRHG
Pre-poo/DT: Conditioner with honey & coconut oil

iHerb discount code: PNQ285

Last edited by CurlyGrey3; 08-08-2013 at 10:54 AM.
Speaking of being Jewish, I'm going to Israel for Birthright this Saturday : )!!
Originally Posted by GroYoFro
Mazel tov! You will have an awesome experience - savor every moment of it. My son went on Birthright two years ago, and is still in contact with many of the other "campers".

I'll be looking for the GYF attire on their website this summer

Sent from my SPH-D710 using CurlTalk App
curlypearl likes this.
When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace. - Jimi
2c/3a, BSL, medium, low porosity
Low-poo: Bobeam and CV poo bars; Acure Argan Oil & Stem Cell
Conditioner: Acure Argan Oil & Stem Cell; Desert Essence Shea
Stylers: Sweet Curls Elixir Curl Cream; SM CES
PT: BASK Whiskey Soak
Speaking of being Jewish, I'm going to Israel for Birthright this Saturday : )!! You know what I am going to wear?? GRO YO FRO t-shirts every single day : ) i've already got 10 of them made in different colors... I have to support the movement where ever I go, if you know what I mean!!
Originally Posted by GroYoFro
Let us know how it goes I have yet to go to Israel and would love to hear about your Birthright experience.
curlypearl likes this.
3b/c?

Ringlet Fandango! ... Where curly ideas roam free

* 2 blogs this week: Pictures of My (Sorta) Big Chop! AND Turn a Nightmare Product into a Dream* My Albums

Last edited by Korkscrew; 08-12-2013 at 02:03 PM.
I don't think we should judge people for asking about our ethnicity. Some people are legitimately interested in it in a way that is not at all racist. For me, I think that's one of the most fascinating things about living in America--everyone's got an immigrant story. It's an important part of everyone's history. And because so many of us are "blends" of different immigrant cultures, it's interesting to find out that you have a shared cultural history with someone.

It's important to note that everyone on this thread who has criticized others for asking about their ethnicity has then volunteered up information about their ethnicity--suggesting that it IS empirically interesting, and they DO want to share the information. So what is so bad about people asking? Why assume that they do so with dark, ulterior motives?

I am a total "mutt"--I'm half-Jewish, by the way (ethnically speaking; I was raised Unitarian)--and I volunteer my patchwork background willingly when asked. It's fun to find other people who are one-eighth Danish and can tell me more about the Danish immigrant experience than I ever learned from my mom. Or who also have crazy relatives who joined the Mayflower Club. Or whose great-grandparents were also secular Jews in Russia during the revolution. What's not interesting about that? The only thing I really F up on is when I am too quick to explain that, despite my last name (married name), I'm not really French-Canadian. I do it because I don't want to seem like a poser--that's not the culture I grew up with, and I want to be honest about that--but sometimes I think it looks as though I'm disavowing that part of my identity.

As an aside, my looks are very stereotypically Jewish, except for my blue eyes (that would be the Danish genes, I guess). But those same physical attributes also convince people that I'm a full-blooded French Canadian!
curlypearl likes this.
Jessica
Type 2c: coarse, high-density, low porosity (so it would seem)
Avoiding protein and glycerin; going for soft, non-crunchy, frizz-free waves
CO & RO: Tresemme Naturals Moisture
Sealer: Olive oil
Leave-in/Styler: Kinky Curly Knot Today
DT: olive oil and honey
For me, I think that's one of the most fascinating things about living in America--everyone's got an immigrant story.
Originally Posted by JessMess
I'm sure you mean well with this romantic - albeit chiefly Eurocentric - narrative but it just isn't accurate. Native Americans, whose land was stolen from them (by immigrants no less), were never immigrants in this - their own - country. And most African-Americans initially arrived here because they were shackled and shipped over for the purpose of enslavement.

Not trying to paint you as a villain, JM. I just want every one included when we talk about the American story.

Meanwhile, I agree w/you that sometimes (maybe even often) inquiries about "race" are quite innocent.
3b/c?

Ringlet Fandango! ... Where curly ideas roam free

* 2 blogs this week: Pictures of My (Sorta) Big Chop! AND Turn a Nightmare Product into a Dream* My Albums
I did forget about Native Americans, and I apologize about that...though with intermarriage many Native Americans, too, share an immigrant story through one or both parents.

I was including African Americans in the immigrant experience. There's been a lot of really interesting work done on African American geneaology in recent years, enabling many African Americans to trace their own family's story of coming to this country. I can understand that some may not view the African diaspora as a kind of immigrant experience, but please understand that I meant to include African Americans in my statement and meant no offense.

I think that my own perspective--Jewish and French Canadian, by marriage--makes me inclined to view forced emigrations (i.e., immigration not by choice) as a fundamental part of the immigrant experience.
curlypearl likes this.
Jessica
Type 2c: coarse, high-density, low porosity (so it would seem)
Avoiding protein and glycerin; going for soft, non-crunchy, frizz-free waves
CO & RO: Tresemme Naturals Moisture
Sealer: Olive oil
Leave-in/Styler: Kinky Curly Knot Today
DT: olive oil and honey
Again, I see that your will is good. I was correcting misinformation that was exclusive in nature: every American does not have an immigrant story ... especially Natives and many African Americans. That was my point.
3b/c?

Ringlet Fandango! ... Where curly ideas roam free

* 2 blogs this week: Pictures of My (Sorta) Big Chop! AND Turn a Nightmare Product into a Dream* My Albums
I understand--my counterpoint was that while I erred about Native Americans, my perspective is that the African diaspora is indeed an immigrant story, and a very important and compelling one. We can agree to disagree on that--I can see your side of it, certainly--but please take my word for it that my intention by saying "everyone's got an immigrant story" was to include African Americans.

And really, the only observation I meant to make is that ethnicity is fundamentally interesting, and it's too bad that it is sometimes a knee-jerk reaction to vilify people when they ask about it.
curlypearl likes this.
Jessica
Type 2c: coarse, high-density, low porosity (so it would seem)
Avoiding protein and glycerin; going for soft, non-crunchy, frizz-free waves
CO & RO: Tresemme Naturals Moisture
Sealer: Olive oil
Leave-in/Styler: Kinky Curly Knot Today
DT: olive oil and honey

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