Curl Stigma and Being Jewish

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Guess I'll use it to support my own.
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
American, of Irish descent. I was also born a Catholic.
I'm fair-skinned, freckled and all my life people have either thought me to be either a. Jewish, b. Italian, c. Spanish. I'm the Anthony Quinn of the female gender!
It's funny though, because I have two neices who are Jewish and they both have straight hair.
After years of being in curly denial, I have finally embraced my wavy curls and am very happy. The waves and curls are my poor girl botox--they make me look much younger
curlypearl likes this.
I'm an American of (in descending order) English/Scottish/Irish/French Huguenot/Native American ancestry, with dark curly hair, cool brown eyes, and fair ruddy skin, but more people think I'm Jewish than anything else, oddly enough. I spent 8.5 years in Athens, Georgia (1989-1997), where the official hair color would seem to be blonde to light brown, and definitely straight, and the automatic assumption seemed to be that I must be Jewish (because apparently that's how being short and fat w/dark curly hair, dark eyes, a slightly longer nose, and an obvious northeastern US accent reads down there), and trust me, this was NOT seen as a good thing there. Oddly enough, a number of local people who were themselves Jewish also assumed I was as well, and this has continued even after I moved back to the Boston area--in fact, I was almost scolded by an Orthodox man in Coolidge Corner in Brookline (Brookline having a large Jewish population) for being out and about on the Sabbath, until I cut him off and told him I wasn't Jewish at all. Heck, a friend of mine ran into me on Yom Kippur and wanted to know if I was on my way to the synagogue, and was boggled to learn I wasn't Jewish like him! It's becoming a running joke, it really is...

My mom has been known to joke that it's osmosis from having so many Jewish friends & housemates over the years; there's apparently also a school of thought that believes the Celtic peoples are descended from one of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel (hmm, maybe...). Mind you, there are lots of things about Judaism that I like a lot (starting w/the emphasis on education), but hey, I'm still just a lapsed Methodist of mostly generic British Isles extraction, so the whole thing is just very puzzling.
Fine 3a/b/c, depending on the weather, my mood, my overall health, and whatever the hell it feels like doing; chin-length bob; medium/dark cool brown w/the grey roots being touched up every 2-3 weeks, because according to my hairdresser I'm now around 65% "blonde" *sigh*
The "looking Jewish" part definitely makes sense even though it's false. I'm white from european descent and have 0 Jewish blood in me that I know of and have dark curly hair and eyes from the italian side of my family. I have been STOPPED ON THE STREET and asked if I was Jewish. Friends that I've had for years have said to me "wait, you aren't Jewish?" after finding out about my Christmas plans. My very Jewish doctor has replied to me with "spoken like a true Jewish woman" with a straight, serious face during a conversation. No matter what anyone says, curly hair makes you look more Jewish. I think it's silly and untrue, but that's what society thinks. Dark curly hair = Jew. I don't know if that what your families think when they prefer your hair straight, but the stereotype is definitely there.

3a, med strand thickness, high density, low porosity
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Yeah I would definitely say that it's a stereotype that if you have dark curly hair and fair skin that you are jewish. I am German, Irish, Italian, Dutch, Polish, and Russian. I am also half jewish (father jewish, mother catholic, so I consider myself half) now my fathers hair was pin straight and dark brown, my mothers hair was wavy and auburn brown. Me? Dark chocolate and full of voluminous curls. I deal with people always pointing out the jewish part, and other than my hair I wouldn't be labeled that way. I don't let it bother me though, I guess it's just a conversation starter..
I always say I have "Jewish hair", and when people ask me if I'm Jewish I just hold up my hair lol
I half-dodged that bullet. My mum's hair has been straight all her life, but she was known as a Jew because she was dark-haired in Belarus, which is like blonde-land. My dad, on the other hand - well, let's just say he was rocking the disco 'fro when he was young, though it was light. I got his hair, so my hair's ash brown and frizzy enough that I could have an afro too, if I wanted. I don't.

I've had a lot of pressure to straighten my hair, not from my parents, though, because my mum's a skeptic about straightening. It's just people who aren't Jewish, oddly, who give me that hell. Most Jewish people I meet look me from head to toe and declare, very approvingly,

"What a good Jewish beauty!"
curlypearl likes this.
2b-ish, depending on the day. Occasional forays into 3b territory.

Gave up on shampoo a while ago except for the biggest of messes (try cadet buns, those things don't come out if you do them right.)

Conditioner: Matrix Total Results Curl. My mum bought it once on one of her 'we might as well try' trips and I've found it's beautiful.

Canadian Curly. Unfortunately. I swear, there is no good season for curlies here. 1/2 of the year it's winter, then the other half it's humid. Yay.
"You dont look Jewish". https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yAeWyGGTdEE
curlypearl and Curlini like this.
This thread was a very interesting read. I have always associated curls with Celtic, so Irish and Scottish, and most of those ethnicities are Catholic.

I've heard "jew-fro" before but in my mind it was more of a guy thing. I havent seen a female curly and thought "I wonder if she is Jewish"
curlyink3b likes this.
2c/3a mix and very fine, normal porosity
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CoWash Suave Naturals Coconut or VO5 Kiwi Lime Squeeze

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Leave in: More Suave Naturals Coconut or GVPCB Always diluted with water/epsom salt spray

Products: AG Re:coil with EcoStyler Olive Oil gel or HETT gel


I'm Jewish and really never cared what people thought. I embrace who I am. It just takes time, wisdom and self confidence to do that. It does alienate you from others but if a person has a problem with my hair or how I look, it is just that. Their problem and not mine. Hang in there.
Kosher Curls
mostly 3b curls
Low Porosity
fine, medium, coarse
medium to high density
Products: Giovanni direct leave in and olive or argan oil eco styler.

LONG: 10"+ (armpit to waist length)
This thread was a very interesting read. I have always associated curls with Celtic, so Irish and Scottish, and most of those ethnicities are Catholic.

I've heard "jew-fro" before but in my mind it was more of a guy thing. I havent seen a female curly and thought "I wonder if she is Jewish"
Originally Posted by tengoRizos
I would have to agree with this.


3B, fine, normal porosity, high density, medium width and length
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When I was in college, I was really excited to meet my first Jewish classmate. I've never been around many other Jewish people in my life, and I knew the community at my school would be small. So when I found out she was Jewish I said "you are?! Me too!" She replied with "well OBVIOUSLY I am. Just look at my hair." And she grabbed her dark, curly hair with both hands. I had no idea that she was Jewish before she flat out told me.

I've never quite understood this stigma. My mom has brown hair, and many Jewish people do have darker colored hair, but her hair is a straight up 1 (pun slightly intended.) My hair is 3a, and coppery in color. I've actually been asked more often in my life if I'm Irish instead of being asked if I'm Jewish. Plus, I'm the only one in my entire family who is still living who has curly hair, and we're a fully Jewish family on both sides. I guess I just don't quite understand why people make so many blatant assumptions based on a person's looks. But perhaps I'm idealistic, naive, or both.
curlypearl likes this.
There are a lot of ethnic hang-ups with curly hair. What is interesting is the term "ethnic" can be used to describe anyone, but often it's used in the context of "doesn't look Scandinavian with straight blonde hair."

I am an Indian who was born in Guyana, and a lot of women from there have a mix of wavy to curly hair. Unfortunately, a lot of the younger women around my age or younger dislike curly hair because it looks "too ethnic." I know here there is another thread about being Indian and having curly hair, and it looks like despite an ocean apart, Indians typically don't like curly hair. I'm not sure what it is, but having straight hair is associated with "whiteness" (I hope that doesn't offend), and donning the straight hair is more acceptable. Sad too, since curly hair is a dominant genetic trait...

Me, I just wear it curly and let it get big. I don't care if people think I am "too ethnic" because that is their problem they need to sort out. I wished I had told this to my 16 year old self when I was damaging the life out of it and could smell it burning from the iron...

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