Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The Never Ending Natural vs Permed Hair Debate

With the popularization of "going natural," I've seen plenty of women speak negatively about women who still choose to perm or weave their hair. This topic is something I constantly see on twitter and has been the subject of many magazine articles. This topic has also made it's way into the discussion of Afro-Latina hair too.

I recently saw this question asked on twitter: "Do Afro-Latina's feel more pressure to achieve a European ideal and reject their African features?"

Someone responded with: "Judging by the amount of Afro-Latinas you see with straight hair, I'd say yes."

Speaking for myself, I do straighten my hair. No, I do not do it to achieve a European look. I do it because my hair is easier to manage on a daily basis when it's straight. All I have to do it unwrap it in the morning, comb through some kind of daily cream, and go. If I ever do decide to let my perm grow out and go natural it will be a decision I make. And it will not be based on anything other than my feelings. I will not make the decision in order to conform to someone else's standards for me as a Black woman, Afro-Latina, or whatever else anyone classifies me as.

And I certainly will not make the decision to show others that I am embracing my "Blackness."
I get that there are Black women who reject their race and want to fit into society's definition of normal. But just because a Black woman has permed hair or a weave doesn't mean she fit's into that generalization. I certainly don't.

The thing I love must about my hair texture is the fact that I can wear it several different ways. Permed, weaved, or wavy when wet. The point is it's my choice. Just as it's every other woman's choice. So I don't get why some women with natural hair chose to judge women who have straight hair. Or vice versa. 

However you wear your hair, it is your personal expression. Natural or not... do you, only for you. 

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