Natural Hair Love Affair: Why I LOVE Natural Women. by Guest Blogger Alejandro
Like MLK Jr. & Christopher G. Wallace in ’85,
Madam C.J. Walker German hairdresser Karl Nessler had a dream…that one day, every fancy woman regardless of skin color, hair texture or social class would whippeth their silky-fresh tresses back & forth while smiling unto the heavens.
Combining cow urine & water, Nessler developed the perm prototype—creamius bicrackonate—in 1905 (contrary to widespread negro legend that Madam Walker = Countess of Creamy Crack), that was later perfected and dropped into inner cities by ‘the man’ to create deep-rooted division between the Jiggaboos (who hid pistols in their fros) & Wannabes (who dreamed of cheesin on the Just For Me box).
The year: 1982 (or, 427 days before Oprah’s finest stork delivered me to 2984 NW 199th Terrace in Carol City, Fl.)
And that’s where my story begins (well, a decade later), inside JC Penny’s Great Value beauty-mart where mama got her classic ‘Brenda Jenkins spectacular’ (See: 227 re-runs) did every 5th day…with me sitting there, bored, day dreaming about K-I-S–S-I-N-G ‘Hil-ar-eeeee (Banks)’ under the umbrella tree.
At the time, my fatherless-niglet-in-a-single-parent-household-struggle required that I rot in shoe box-sized beauty shops, filth-smeared flea markets and [Insert unlicensed community beautician HERE]’s kitchen/hair station while mama went from ‘Celie Sarafina’ to ‘Anita Baker-LaBelle’ during early-AM-to-late-PM-styling sessions (where I plotted fake seizures to escape the insanity).
In my mind, nothing hair-related was worth 9-17-hour waits in a shop packed with ‘NeNe Leakesian’-bishes, but you couldn’t tell mama that, or anything, after she got a fresh silky. Nah. Not when she had the ‘Michelle Obama-Huxtable-glow,’ and walked like she had money trees growing in her backyard.
To this day, she denies ever having a creamy-crack-glow but shaped my early concept of beauty, along with my 5 Aunties (who rocked every hairstyle from the ‘Weezy Jefferson’ to the ‘Jackée’) & urban cinema/sitcoms.
For years, ‘soft, silky & free’ hair was the truth & the light (in my eyes)—cleansed with Mermaid tears & Beyonce breath—that always seemed like the reason
Christ died on the cross caged birds sang. But, see, I was socially programmed to believe sistas were their most beautifullest with silky perms/pretty weaves (and frown-upon-able without them).
I mean, ‘Freddie’ (Different World) & ‘Denise’ (Cosby Show: Hippie Years) were dope in their own happily-nappy way, but I just wasn’t bout that ‘kinky-coily-curly’-life…yet, and thirsted over pretty brown sitcom vixens with extravagant silky magnificence.
My Starting Five: ‘Laura Winslow’ (Family Matters), ‘Zaria’ (Parent ’Hood), ‘Tiffany’ (In The House), ‘Hilary’ (Fresh Prince) & ‘Fancy’ (Jamie Foxx Show). Honorable mention: ‘Pam’ (Martin).
At that point, I shunned colored girls with a fist-full of hair snatched into a might-don’t-make-it-ponytail to focus on pretty girls at school with ‘the silky.’ They were my Roni(s). And I wanted my heart to belong to them. Sad, I know, but true, and indicative of the ‘nappy is ugly, n*ggerish & unprofessional’-stigma that’s always existed in the Black community.
But, as I grew older, wiser, quirkier, everything changed. I realized that my concept of beauty was incredibly-superficial, especially after dating insanely-prissy
AKAs creamy crack-fiends who, like bathroom models with Jordan heel collections, were the worse possible love matches FOR. ME. *Steve Harvey shrug*
As much as I hated to admit it, they just weren’t for me. I wasn’t interested in women who: A) hide in Bin Laden’s basement when their hair isn’t done B) force boothangs to compete with their hair for attention or C) ban water-related activities, sweaty-nasty-backseat-windows-up-pannies-to-the-side-slave sex & outings in rain (or any common form of precipitation) to avoid ruining their hair.
Seriously, most creamy crackistas are like vocalists who only believe they sound good with auto-tune, which explains why I quit them for self-loving-poetry-spitting-Tumblr-posting-incense-burning-Whole-Foods-shopping-Jill-Scott-stanning-Soul sistas who, based on MY experiences, are thee most genuine, confident, elegant, hilarious women alive. Yes, #TeamNaturalHair. You mad?
[Note: Every natural woman isn’t ‘down for the cause,’ vegetarian or
a Delta militant. Many are, but several aren’t, and some, well, are hopelessly-ratchet yamps who only grew locs to shake them during Waka Flocka songs.]
Say what you want about natural women—shade their ‘movement,’ waste your life away recording anti-natural youtube vids, accuse them of frolicking around like they’re Queens of the Earf, Moon & Stars—but they live life like it’s goldenish-platinum without ever being enslaved by their own hair.
I know what I like, what I need, and that’s someone who genuinely loves herself, flaws-full lips-thick thighs-n*gga hair-& all. A strong, success-obsessed woman who smiles in a society that frowns upon her hairstyle. That’s the true definition of a woman. The type of woman Ms. Angelou poetically gushed about. A phenomenal woman.
Believe me, I get it. Hair is just…hair, and won’t mean anything at the Pearly Gates’ Will Call, but there’s something sexy about a new-age sista who struggles to scrape together damns to give about what people think about her nappy azz hurr! And, for that, THAT alone, I LOVE natural-haired women.
[Note: You can’t just turn your ‘Natural-swag’ on. It’s an attitude deeper than hair; a healthy lifestyle, not a here-today-gone-later-today-fad for sorority-minded trend chasers. So, to all you recession-crippled chicks ‘goin natural’ because you can’t pay Leticia the Beautician’s rent no’mo, STOP FRONTIN like you, too, are happily-nappy, when you’re really just, well, desperate.]
Now, let me be clear, this blog isn’t an attack on negro women with perms, microbraids, sew-ins, lacefronts or raggedy-6-month-old-regret-scented-quick-weaves (OK, I’m lying about the regret-scented quick weaves) but IT IS my way of paying homage to a unique sub-culture of sistas that’s rarely celebrated in our creamy crack-obsessed society.
At the end of the day—whether you’re a creamy crackista, wig-hat princess or member of #TeamDirtyTennisball—Alejandro still loves & respects you, and
may STILL date and/or marry you Jesus does too. Amen. And, with that said, I’m done. *dives into Esperanza Spalding’s afro & fades to black*
Alejandro is a hopelessly-sarcastic ex-journalist-turnt-innanet humorist with a Masters Degree in Tyler Perry studies (minor: procrastination techniques) from the Real HU, Hampton University. Look for his new blog YOUR
WrongWRITEI’M RightWRONG coming soon. Follow him on Twitter: @AlejandroDaGr8. E-mail him: firstname.lastname@example.org. Call him (if you want him to play in your fro): 555-555-5555.
*Pics courtesy of: http://respectmyqueendom.tumblr.com/