Here's a first for our platform, we're gonna talk about HAIR.
Shock, right? No, but really, I want us to talk about ALL of our hair. Specifically our body hair. Specifically Cardi B's body hair.
So my cousin is out here performing on the GRAMMY STAGE in a belly-baring outfit with Bruno Mars, and um...some people had a problem with her doing so because her abs weren't waxed.
Comments in response to this Moschino Instagram post
Sure assuming makes a "donkey" out of 'u and me,' but I'm gonna go ahead and presume these dudes are crusty.
First of all, as far as body hair goes...that's not even that much. Like...how is that barely-there little line even an ISSUE for ANYONE. People haven't been this mad about something you can't even see without a microscope since smallpox. It's mind-boggling, so I'm going to not think about it too much.
What I am going to contemplate though is body hair's place in the natural hair movement.
I've said it before because it's true, but black women have to do more as far as feminine presentation to be seen as women. Unfortunately, that includes being 100% hairless below your bottom lashes at all times. And yes, although various cultures did have their own methods of body hair removal over the centuries for reasons ranging from aesthetic standards to lice control, it's also true that just as many people didn't actually care until modern Western beauty standards were introduced and spread worldwide as the model to adhere to. So how does this tie into the rising tide of natural hair acceptance? Well, as we've seen with the arguments over Beyonce's inches, black natural women are also subject to the intersection of being hounded as fakes for having naturally long loose curls and subject to outright hate for having naturally tight coils that look too "militant"/"masculine." However, while it's either enforced or assumed that we're altering our hair no matter what, despite "realness" ostensibly being the best trait to have, our hair in its natural state is still highly policed. And being natural DEFINITELY isn't neutral when it comes to body hair.
Some-crazy-how, although we're supposed to be completely "real" with no weave, wigs, makeup, injections, tucks, etc, the line at this realness gets drawn at things like being naturally hairy, and it gets drawn HARD. It kills me when I hear the same slander (from men AND women mind you) that's thrown at natural head hair get thrown at natural body hair. "It's too wild", "It's too manly", "It's unprofessional", "It's unsanitary", "What kind of statement are you even trying to make" that kind of mess.
I'm gonna go ahead and nip a few specious talking points in the bud right now.
One: Body hair is not in and of itself unsanitary. If you are regularly and thoroughly washing your body, odor and bacteria blooms aren't a problem. We know this specifically because we trust men to do it. No shade gentlemen, but if you're naturally expected to keep virus-filled snot and food from crusting up in your beards when it gets in there, cis women should be naturally expected to be able to wash our sweat and menses from our pubic hair. Because we can. And do. Trust me.
Two: This is not about getting in the way of anyone's personal choice. I'd cut out my tongue and curry it before I'd say another woman had to let her body hair grow out if she wanted to be a truly liberated person, and y'all KNOW I don't know how to make curry. Shave or don't shave as y'all want, the point here is that neither choice makes you more or less beautiful or more or less of a woman.
I dare you to imagine a unibrow and a little baby 'stache on Cardi B and tell me she wouldn't still be a 10.
Y'all have seen me in our videos as it is, I've got my little chest scruff out in a lot of them. I've never had an issue with it, and I have no desire to shave it. Granted, I'm not as visible as cousin Cardi (yet), but the fact remains it's not going anywhere. Just like my natural hair isn't going anywhere.