As much promotion as we do on this site for loving and rocking your waves, curls and kinks, we must admit that out in the sea of the inter-web, it is a whole lot easier to find stories that put down natural hair than it is to find ones that support it.
A quick Google search for today’s top curly hair news stories reads much like this:
“Why do those with curly hair spend so much time trying to tame their tresses? We may never be able to find suitable answers.”
“But having curly hair seems to be in a category all it's own — it's a walking pro and con list atop your head: romantic vs. unruly, full of body vs. out of control.”
“If you have naturally curly hair and you feel like an outcast…”
With popular media supporting such claims, it is no wonder that many natural haired gals feel discouraged when it comes to wearing our curls confidently – in the midst of so much negativity. And, the “curly hair is unruly” attitude doesn’t stop when you X out of that screen.
One CurlTalker shared with us her not-so-happy curly hair story:
“I was at a Playgroup and some other mom noticed my daughters hair and said that she didn't know how I managed her hair and that she would 'just die' if her kids had curly hair like that. There was no mistaking her; it was a definite insult because she looked so proud saying it.
"I'm worried how my little girl will handle hair haters growing up.”
I thought it was really rude of her, not just to me, and she was pretty much insulting a 2 year old girl! Merce gets plenty and plenty of compliments on her hair, so what she said didn't phase me, but I am, however, worried how my little girl will handle hair haters growing up.”
Alas, the real issue emerges. As women who wear our natural hair out and proud, the problem isn’t so much that a large part of our culture doesn’t like our hair. That is adversity we have already overcome. The problem is that for our children, how do we shield them from the comments, which begin all too early, and teach them to love their hair?
As the natural hair revolution takes hold, we are beginning to learn that all of us have so much in common, notwithstanding the fact that, as children and young adults, we straightened, permed, pressed and did whatever it took to make our hair match what society wanted to see. It is a rare curly indeed who doesn’t wish she would have gone natural sooner – or that she had just remained natural all along.
So now, as many of us become natural parents, we want to give our curly headed kids what we didn’t have — confidence in and love for their waves, curls and kinks. But with a culture that has yet to substantially change, how do we protect them from the negativity, or better yet, how do we convince them that their hair is beautiful, despite what others may say?
It is an easy, obvious answer, as most of life’s most difficult tasks seem to be: teach her to love herself for who she is, inside and out. And as parents, our best bet in making sure that she grows up accepting herself, as well as others, is to do so ourselves.
Our curls make us unique, they are a part of who we are, no matter what Google News or that snotty mom at a playgroup may say. But our straight hair sisters aren’t to blame for the negativity. In fact, many would quickly exchange their straight strands for our “curly mess” in a heartbeat. After all, the grass is always greener.
"I don’t get why people have to put down something to praise another."
So here's my proposition to you for our future curly generation. As the natural hair revolution takes hold, and as our culture changes how it addresses curly hair, let’s not become what they are. Putting something down in an effort to compliment something else is not right, and is what this curly believes is actually what is to blame for all of this anti-curly lingo in both the virtual world and reality.
As one CurlTalker put it, “I don’t get why people have to put down something to praise another (e.g. ‘Oh, straight hair is so boring and flat! Curly hair is much better!’). While I am personally partial to curly hair, I think both straight and curly can be beautiful if treated right.”
And that's how you raise a child who will love themselves for who they are — by SHOWING them everyday that you should love everyone for who they are.
Now, in resounding voices, one and all, straight and curly, let’s reiterate: Viva la natural hair revolución!
On the flip side, what's up with all this natural hair fascination - and people not asking before they touch!?