By James C. Frasure III – InnerKwest
I find it fascinating people in upper management want African-American women to culturally appropriate their hair to European texture (straightened). Some are calling this the “One World” look or appeal.
On television and in movies, Black women’s beauty is often measured by the looseness of our curl patterns. It has become cultural and economic praxis to invest in the upkeep of European beauty standards, to maintain straight, long, flowing tresses. By the sting of a hot comb or the burn of a chemical relaxer, Black women are expected to adhere to this precedent to be successful.
And the media is not helping. Employers often ascribe success and professionalism to wearing straight hair, and broadcast television networks often attempt to validate their reasoning with the notion that Black hair in its natural state does not read well with viewers. As a result, natural curls rarely get airtime. However, more Black female journalists are beginning to fight back.
Too bad for those that need to dictate to others how to wear their hair. More and more information pointing to harsh chemicals in and on the body may be another cause of cancer. The time is past due for women of color, in particular African-American women to readdress their vanity quotient.
As a man I have been wearing my hair in its natural texture since I was born. I never had a s-curl or any chemicals on my head, but I have never been overly concerned about my hair other than standard grooming. I will end by noting black women have the option of creating many hair textures and styles. Believe me, not every culture has those options.
Black is indeed beautiful.