User Submitted: Why can't kinky-headed women of all races unite?


Here’s my rant: You think hair bias is ‘racial’? HA! Why do black gals think that “good hair” is just a black thing, when we are ALL judged by the culture on a Womanly Worthiness Scale with Swedish stewardess blonde-silky-curtains at the top and frizzy kinks at the bottom? —and why can’t our black sisters get over it and be brave and welcoming role models for black AND white girls with kinks? When I was in high school and Afros got big (literally), I let my own dirty-blonde fuzz go free. (It wasn’t even a Jew-fro, I’m an Irish-German Catholic with lucky hair genes.) No more torture sessions with irons, hair dryers, sleeping on beer can-sized curlers. I carried an Afro pick and joyously terrified little old white ladies in public bathrooms by using it. But the moment seems to have passed, and now we have a whole body of documentaries and stuff by black women, 30 years later, still trying to figure out why sistahs can’t love the hair God gave them. Hello? You think YOU’re challenged to embrace the kinks? At least YOU have those cool ’70s icons to harken back to—Angela Davis, blah blah—not to mention awesome salons in happening black neighborhoods where I fantasize about how gorgeous black women bond over hours-long sessions with mystical African braiding wizards. Us kinky white girls get nothing but Failed Swedish Stewardess Syndrome. We sneak into Duane Reade and buy Miss Jessie’s Curl Creme (it works great on us, too), and fantasize about having the guts to get locks or cornrows. We treasure our few curly Caucasian role models (Alex Kingston, I’m talking to you, beautiful!) We hate black women who wear straight blonde hair—traitors to a cause that won’t even acknowledge our membership. And you know what really makes us crazy? Black women (like one published author) who think it’s “racist” when white girls toss their long, straight hair around in bars or elevators. We have been HATING those same white girls all our lives, starting in kindergarten parties in our whitey-white neighborhoods. But unlike you, we cannot unleash our Cultural Stereotype of Coolness in our own defense; we’re just the Frizzy-Haired White Girls, the sisters you won’t own. HAIR, ladies—it’s NOT just a black thing!