When I wrote the first in this series I didn’t even think of the comments that children with natural hair would receive. How very short-sighted of me.
Two young ladies were made the subject of a social media storm regarding the appropriateness of their hair styles at their secondary school in my country.
These were the some of the comments that were used in the description and assessment of the school -appropriateness of the hair.
1. Even a dog’s hair must be groomed.
2. It looks like a rat’s nest
3. natural hair doesn’t suit everybody (the translation – if your hair is too kinky, and you don’t have the loose defined curls that are a marker of European ancestry, buy some relaxer)
4. It look like nuff bag fuzz
5. You can’t wear your picky head to school
6. They walk around as if they have no owner
7. The hair style in question was compared to the requirement that pubic hair and breasts be covered in schools ( I actually find this one particularly special)
8. Some types of (kinkier) natural hair just don’t look nice when worn loose
9. A number of persons indicating that the girls in question need a hair dresser.
10. The hair style in question makes the young ladies look too grown and adult for school. (I ask you to look at the photos of the young ladies in question again, because I found this one baffling. )
This is not a ‘call out’ post. I’m not interested in the specifics of where any of these comments come from.
This is not even a commentary specific to the actions of the school in question as that has been covered by a number of blog posts and social media commentary at this point.
This is a commentary on how society views loose natural kinky hair. On how our expectations have been shaped by a – euro – centric/straight centric brand of beauty.
If you are a brown body in this world you are not ‘ allowed’ to privilege your ‘nappy, hard’ loose hair. You aren’t allowed to say to the world, I like my hair this way, and I find it appropriate in every way.
Go natural anyway! Prepare yourself mentally for these persons. Prepare your words appropriately for these persons. Teach your self to ignore these persons and seek the counsel of your parents as necessary, if you are in the school system.
And do it anyway!
There is much to be said on the difference with which straight hair/ curly hair in schools is treated in comparison to natural, coarser kinky hair as it related to the interpretation of rules. Other blogs have done so. Check out Red for Gender for more analysis.
Until next time.