So some of y'all think I'm here to hate on another woman's hair choices, apparently.
That's very patently not the case, though I suppose I can't blame anyone for being a little cynical regarding celebrity based op-eds. But whether you read, skimmed, or gave the original piece a pass, the main takeaways of last week's Beyoncé coverage should have been A: I do believe her awards ceremony hair is her real hair, B: There's no reason to doubt a black woman's length or texture just because she wears protective styling almost exclusively in a fast-paced career, and C: I will be making Beyoncé™ money in the future.
But this isn't about me, it's about Bey. At least that's what the co-workers in charge of reigning me in have said.
And now that both Neal Farinah, her stylist for the event, and Ms. Tina herself have come forward to discuss the discussion, I have to ask...what exactly does it take for us to acknowledge a black woman's hair as real?
Despite women like Zara and Guinness Record Holder for the biggest Afro, Aevin Dugas, just...being out here EXISTING, there's still a lot of doubt about larger-than-life lengths with black hair that isn't in locs, and I don't understand why.
I mean...I understand why. The darker parts of human nature can push us towards jealousy and disbelief, and in an age of photoshopping assets of both celebrities and the yet-to-be famous online, the incentive to sniff out "fakes" and prove oneself runs high. And while I think a healthy dose of skepticism is an asset in any era, I feel like there's a limit.
After all, we're living in an age where grown-ass people with GEDs legitimately think the planet is flat.
In addition to that, I wonder if there's ever been such speculation about our coily men. Has Mr. Benny Harlem been doubted to such a degree, I wonder? I brought up young Keisha Knight-Pulliam as an example of incredibly long black hair back in the day, but you could apply the same reference and then some to Benny's daughter Jaxyn. The kid has so much hair it looks like a strong wind could blow her away like a dandelion seed. As she grows into a woman, will the admiringly mock-incredulous 'Is that all yours?' questions turn to 'That ain't all yours…' commentary?
"Obviously whatever Beyoncé does with her hair short of deep conditioning with black-market organs is 100% copacetic."
I suppose that just like men don't get raked over the coals for suspected "lying" about a naturally perfect complexion because makeup isn't marketed directly to them, so too do they get a pass on their big hair because weaves aren't aimed at them. The aspects of mandatory masculinity that prevent this are a whole other article, but the bottom line is that once puberty hits, it seems like everything black women are asked to have, 36"-24"-36" measurements, long "good" hair, full lips that aren't TOO big, etc is subject to the assumption that it couldn't be real, regardless of how negatively or positively someone might feel about whether certain assets were purchased or home-grown.
I've said it before, and I'll say it several more times: I'm a fan of the "It's mine, because I BOUGHT IT" talking point, whether the direct object in the scenario is hair, breasts, lips, or anything else. And obviously whatever Beyoncé does with her hair short of deep conditioning with black-market organs is 100% copacetic and 100% not my business, even if public figures can be reasonably expected to be the topic of water cooler gossip.
But maybe when someone comes out and explicitly says 'This length is the result of maintenance and time', we should believe them.
"The myth about black women not having hair...y'all think again."