I love Tyra and I watch her show a lot. Today's episode is all about what it means to have "good hair" to an African American woman.

I felt like this issue is relevant here on the boards because no matter a curlygirl's race, there has been so much pressure to look a certain way, whether it be silky straight hair or loose curls.

I know that most of my life I was teased because of the frizz and the poof, constantly asked about my ethnicity, and every day I get asked if I ever straighten my hair.

So I wanted to use this thread to be a sounding board as to what you used to think was "good hair" and if your opinion has changed.

I'll start.

I always thought curly hair was "good hair". I wanted to be Mariah Carey.

So what's your opinion?
Originally Posted by Sarahgrace

That's cool that you always thought curly hair was good hair. And it's always interesting to me that White curlies with tighter curls get the "What are you" question in the same way Black curlies with loose curls get asked if they are mixed.

When I was young what did I consider good hair? That's a complicated question becuase while I did not grow up with the phrase good hair bad hair, my Black mom did not use it I still managed to absorb the idea that my tight curls and kinks were not cute somewhere along the way. I never really thought much about my hair probably becuase I didn't like it but I think if I had had a choice I would have wanted straight hair or loose curls that moved. I can remember putting a towel on my head once pretending my hair brushed my shoulders and moved.

I now realize I was far from the first or last curly to do this. The standard of beauty is a powerful thing. So I'm not going to say I have completely moved past it, even now but I'm getting there. I recognize now that good hair is healthy hair. But my hair idols now have my hair texture and are an achievable goal.

Whereas before in my dreams if I was fantasizing about being pretty and beautiful I always had long straight hair down my back I find myself being able to see myself as beautiful and still have curly hair. Before my hair was to have long flowing hair down my back. Now when I imagine where I want my hair to be in 3 years I only want it to be bigger, I want a huge afro or long locs and that's something my hair type can actually do. Definite progress.

My Fotki