I’m sure many of you read an article I posted a while back in response to a post on Afrobella wherein a “professional” hair stylist was supposedly debunking all the misinformation on hair blogs. I had to respond to that nonsense because most of the erroneous information I’ve heard over the years in regard to our hair came from so-called professionals. Case in point this person, who I’m told is prominently featured on a national television show, actually said, “Natural hair isn’t for everybody.” Now, let that marinate for a moment. This person, whose own personal appearance is questionable at best actually has the audacity to tell black women that there is something defective about the hair that grows out of our heads. Every other group in the world has the right to believe that the hair that grows out of their head is attractive and lovely, but not us. If we don’t pour Drano on our heads and weave in hundred pounds of some peasant’s hair then we are not presentable to the public. I am so glad, ecstatic actually that black women are finally rejecting this bullshit and this person can have several seats. I will never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever return to a beauty salon and it’s because of assholes like this one. People who hate black women and aren’t satisfied until we’re hating ourselves. Sorry old boy, that ship has sailed. We are no longer putting our money in the pockets of those who despise us. Yeah, that’s gonna leave a mark. In other words, Derek J. and every other so-called hair care professional can fuck off. We, and our hair, are enough.
Tag Archive: Black women empowerment
One of my friends posted this picture on Facebook. The headline speaks for itself, and when I look at this young woman I can’t help but think of Lil Kim, who went from being a pretty black girl to looking like a villain from a Batman movie. There are a million blogs covering this issue, but I don’t comment on other blogs these days, plus when I ask this auestion I get accused of being insensitive, even so, I haven’t seen anyone answer my question, What in the hell happened? I graduated high school in 1982 and yes, I had my romantic catastrophes, but never did it occur to me that my skin color was an issue. I’ve had many angst-plagued relationship discussions with friends of all hues and don’t recall one discussion about this. And lest you think I grew up in some progressive bubble, please recall I’m from North Alabama. Was I just totally blind and missed this, or did someone do a Vulcan mind meld on a helluva lot of colorecd folk? I’d especially like to hear from those of you who are closer to ny age. I’m starting to feel like I’ve awakened in Bizarro World.
Black women have a longstanding tradition whereas we say something really awful about someone, then justify doing so by saying, “I was just telling her the truth.” White southern women do something similar, only their amelioration is done with an insincere “bless her heart.” By calling it truth telling we wrap these daggers we throw in self-righteousness. After all, what could possibly be wrong with telling the truth? Essentially, they let us throw a rock and hide our hand. In other words, it is the exact opposite of honesty. Because here’s the thing, I guarantee that nobody needs to be told anything negative about themselves. They. Already. Know. We live in a culture where we are trained nearly from birth to find fault with ourselves. After all, fixing yourself is big business, and America is all about business. Don’t believe me? Then try this experiment with your friends. Ask them to make a list of positive attributes about themselves and a second list of negative attributes. I guarantee the negative list will be significantly longer.
See when it’s all said and done, so-called truth telling is not for the benefit of the tellee. How could it be? You’re essentially taking coals to Newcastle. No, truth telling is about the teller. It’s a put down. How do I know this is true? Simple. How many times have you heard someone claim they’ve just “told the truth” about something positive? I’m nearly fifty years old and I’ve never heard it. Are you telling me that all these so-called “honest” people never have anything positive to say in all their truth telling? Of course they don’t.
As black women we live in a culture that is constantly throwing brickbats our way. We’ve heard all the slams time and again, we certainly don’t need to direct them at each other. We are so rarely treated with kindness and tenderness that it’s hard to find any for one another, but it’s past time that we try. The next time you feel the urge to do some “truth telling” dig deep and decide what your motives are. Are you really trying to benefit the other person? If you are, reconsider. Would it not be better to offer that person loving kindness and support? How about doing some positive truth telling? Certainly it would have a greater effect. The receiver will probably be so shocked she might choose to change the behavior you find so troubling in the first place. Because that’s how we enact change–through love. And, if nothing else, you won’t be contributing to the pile on that so many of us deal with every day. As black women we hear so much harshness and downright hate directed toward us that many of us have grown immune to it. We don’t even hear it anymore, and actually that’s a good thing. But love and support? That’s like the warm sun on a chilly morning. A welcome surprise. Try telling other black women that you love them. Talk to and about them with love, compassion and consideration. I make a point of complimenting all the black women I see, most respond with surprise, and then a warm smile. It’s my hope that they will do the same with other black women they encounter, but even if they don’t, at the very least I’ve added a bit of kindness to another woman’s day. Try it and see if it doesn’t feel better and is far more effective than so-called truth telling.
Black women, contrary to popular belief, YOU ARE ENOUGH. Secretary of State with five degrees, or chicken plant worker with a GED. Short hair. Long hair. Nappy or straight. Weave down to your oh my goodness. YOU ARE ENOUGH. Vestal Virgin or Whore of Babylon. Lesbian. Straight. Somewhere in between. YOU ARE ENOUGH. Married. Unmarried. Or It’s Complicated. You are not your marital status. YOU ARE ENOUGH. Passel of kids. Child free or Child less. YOU ARE ENOUGH. Interracial dater. Monoracial dater. BOB or BOG. With a uterus or without. YOU ARE ENOUGH. Skinny as a rail or comfy to hug. YOU ARE ENOUGH. OOW or SAHM or WAHM or any other acronym they create to divide us. YOU ARE ENOUGH.
You have the right to love and be loved or choose none of the above. You don’t have to make yourself over in ANYONE’s image, especially those who would tell you otherwise. It is they who are lacking. It is they who have such low self esteem that they must demean others in order to uplift themselves. They are to be pitied, but never believed because YOU ARE ENOUGH.
Copyright 2012 Roslyn Hardy Holcomb
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