Such a controversial phrase with ugly roots that stem from the oppressive times which still manifest and bloom in the mouths of our off spring - “Good hair.” I’m thankful for my blog as I can express my own battle, my journey and my growth with the phrase “good hair”. There is passionate hatred and disgust for those who invented this standard of poor taste.
When you think of “good hair”, what exactly comes to mind? Certainly not a Caucasian person, because they are born with the ability to grow long, shiny silky hair. No, you picture a person of color with an appearance of a mixed cultural background that shows not necessarily through the shade of their skin but through the texture of their hair. India Arie was frank in one of her songs – “Good hair makes curls and waves, bad hair means you look like a slave.” – powerful words. The subject stirred such a fire in Chris Rock when his daughter questioned him as to why wasn’t she given “good hair”, that he went forth and made an entire documentary. His message was clear; pay attention to the standards of beauty and status we are teaching our children because these are the seeds that bud into the weeds we know as complexes, low self-esteem and self-hate. Young women being brought up to think they can buy beauty in a box but that’s just a “lye” and young men thinking if they “like a long haired, thick red bone” then their chances of breeding beautiful children with “good hair” just went up a notch. I challenge YOU to pay attention to your own thoughts and ideals regarding “good hair” and how it equates to the quality of a person.
Ever hear of Willie Lynch? A man so demented and evil, he gave the secret behind true enslavement to his peers when he wrote “The Making of a Slave”. It was he that laid claims in order to truly rule a people is break them from the inside, manipulating their psychology and bind them with invisible chains keeping them from banning together in uprise. Separating tribes to instill a language barrier was only to surface of strategy to keep blacks from plotting and scheming, it was the birth statuses of beauty the masters put in place that still bind kings and queens of today from realizing their true potential. House n*****s and field n*****s were often chosen based on physical characteristics that were most like the masters, i.e. texture of hair. We saw a great example in the movie “Antoine Fisher” when his foster mother automatically treated one child above the rest because he had “good hair”. We as a people have got to do better!
This blog is not a bash towards relaxers or weaves! I am quick to slap 26 inches of extensions in but I may have an afro the next day; I simply enjoy the beauty and art that is the versatility of hair itself. Hair is one of the loudest forms of self-expression, in my opinion. By all means, do you! As a women only having been on a natural hair journey for two years, I have a lot of growing in comfortability with my true self to do as spending years with slick edges is hard to come away from. I have had a man make a comparison between me and the woman he cheated on me with regarding her “good hair” and yes, this added to the insecurities I already struggled with having dark skin. Hatred is taught. We must teach our children that all variations of life are beautiful. I am simply trying to empower our generation and be a voice to exercise this demon of negativity. Having become a hairstylist, I have learned that there is no such thing as “good hair” or “bad hair”, there is only healthy and unhealthy- and we ALL could use some healthy hair!!! Till next time, keep that face beat for the Gods and have a happy hair day!