In the black community, it seems very prevalent that we divide ourselves from one another among mundane issues. One day it’s light skin versus dark skin, the educated versus the uneducated and now popular natural versus relaxed hair.
For those unfamiliar with this issue, natural hair is hair that has not been chemically altered by a relaxer or a curly perm. In recent years, many black women have decided to return to their “roots” and stop chemically processing their hair. This has been referred to as the natural hair movement. Thus spawned the relaxed versus natural hair debate that has even sparked the good hair versus bad hair issue again.
From the dust arises the natural hair Nazi. She believes a woman who relaxes her hair is self-hating and complying with “white standards” of beauty by sporting straight hair. This individual also believes only natural hair products can be used in hair.
The relaxed community responds with the woman who turns her nose up at women with natural hair with comments such as, “I could never do that,” or, “Oh no, that is not cute at all.”
Hundreds of articles have been written discussing the movement. However, the arguments number in the hundreds as well.
Personally, I’m over it. Wearing your hair a certain way does not make a person better than another. Sporting natural hair does not make me any less insecure, nor does wearing it straight mean I hate who I am. What happened to judging someone by the content of his or her character?
The unemployment rate for African-Americans is twice that of the national average, black-on-black crime is running rampant in Chicago, funding for HBCUs is still a major problem and we want bicker over whose hair is better?
It shouldn’t matter if Michelle Obama chooses to relax her hair or that Gabby Douglas needs a perm because none of this affects who they are. The hair on their head doesn’t diminish their success or the barriers they have broken. As a community, we must stop trying to divide ourselves so much for futile matters. There is strength in numbers, and until this simple fact is recognized, the fate of the black community joining together as one is bleak.