Millionaire Matchmaker, Patti Stanger is at it again. The woman consistently insists that men don’t like natural hair – be it wavy, curly or coily. Women walk in to audition for their chance to meet the millionaire of their dreams, and they are presented with a demand to flat iron and get weave.
Here at NaturallyCurly, we have covered this issue nearly every time the woman makes a comment that isn’t “curl” friendly. But, heck, even we have to give her props for at least being consistent. We don’t think it’s true that men, rich or otherwise, don’t like natural hair – we just think Patti doesn’t – and that’s fine. People have preferences, and as for me, I don't wear me hair natural to impress anyone – it’s natural because I like it that way. It’s my body and my hair, so I'm the only one who matters. Done and done.
Yesterday, fellow blogger Fashion T, a loyal follower of “The Millionaire Matchmaker,” alerted us of a new low for Ms. Stanger. Fashion T was first elated to see a thin, beautiful and well educated African American woman walk in and audition for the show – with a TWA.
“I was very excited because this was the first time I had ever seen an African American woman auditioning with natural hair,” Fashion T said. “Brandy had a teeny weenie Afro, or what we call in the natural community a TWA. I was waiting to hear what Patti was going to say. I knew that from Brady’s credentials, she was a shoe in.”
But neither Fashion T nor Brandy were prepared for Patti’s response: “You need to a get a long weave.”
“I was floored,” said Fashion T. “Brandy replied, ‘OK’ and shook her head in agreement with Patti. My heart began to palpitate.”
"People like Patti Stanger aren’t going away. But neither is natural hair. The best way to fight opposition and incorrect assumptions is through education."
Fashion T, a newly natural herself, wasn’t necessarily concerned with Patti’s request. After all, she has seen the woman tear other women apart on the show before. What really surprised her was that Brandy didn’t argue.
“Brandy could have rejected the idea to wear a weave and explained the dynamic and history of African American hair,” she said. “She would have been educating Patti. The truth of the matter is that if we don’t stand up for ourselves and demand respect, we won’t be taken seriously.”
Patti Stanger is just one of many people who sees natural hair as a deterrent. To her, it is unkempt and unruly – not something a millionaire wants to put his money into. We know she thinks this, we have article after article calling the woman out on her words – and even proving her wrong about men not liking natural hair.
People like Patti Stanger aren’t going away. But neither is natural hair. The best way to fight opposition and incorrect assumptions is through education. The old visions of uncontrollable natural hair are worn out – it's time that we make sure that those who are not part of the natural community see that too.
And we don’t need to do this for us. We need to do it for the younger ones, those who are debating between their natural hair and their first perm. Those that we can still influence, those of the next natural hair generation who have an opportunity like never before to transform the world’s take on natural hair.
“The episode really hit home for me," said Fashion T. "I began to think about when I first went natural and all the negative hurdles that I had to endure. I started to wonder if other African American women who might be considering going natural were watching this, and became discouraged. I started to think about the image of African American women that is portrayed on the show, and how detrimental that could be to young women. For me, the episode opened my eyes to just how distasteful and judgmental Patti really is.”
Learn more about Fashion T, founder of "White is The Dress Code," a blog dedicated to helping young professionals in the workplace.
What do you think about Patti's comment and about Brandy's response? Would you have given in so easily?