Let's talk about texture shaming from women outside of the natural hair community...
So a few weeks ago my husband shared an Instagram picture of me on Facebook. My hair was in a natural blow-out and this woman commented that I needed to change the picture because my hair looked dry. They then proceeded to post a picture of a natural hair blogger with a defined twist out to show me what my hair should look like.
My problem with this was, first this woman did not have natural hair and looked to have a weave or a wig making suggestion on how, my natural hair should look. I've noticed how a lot of hair hate is coming from women who don't have natural hair and don't have the courage or the confidence to even try to wear their hair natural. This woman couldn't possibly give me any real opinions or contribute contructive critisim or advice whrn she has never been or attempted to be natural and who doesn't share the same experiences as me. Her comment just simply sounded like she was spewing negativity.
Second, most woman who are not natural only knows what natural hair looks like or how to take care of natural hair from what someone else posts onn YouTube, Instagram or Facebook and are more then likely following a blogger with a looser or mixed curl texture. The way I feel is about it is, unless you are a natural hair woman or attempted to go natural, you are not qualified to tell me how my hair should look, especially if you are comparing my hair to a woman with a different texture. A woman who is not natural doesn't know their curl pattern or may not know the difference between a type -3 curl or a type-4 (A, B & C) curl, and how they feel and look is completely different. Also, women, natural or not, should never compare their hair to someone else's because we are all different and not all curls are the same. Might I add that this was another black woman who posted this comment; It's bad enough that we get pressure to straighten our hair or cut our dreadlocks from corporate America and negative reactions from other races, but it's alway disappointing to get texture shamed from a woman who has the same hair texture as you.
Third, her texture shaming me on the internet if front of other naturals might make someone else feel insecure or unsure about their hair texture and their choice of style. Black women have been experiencing hair hate for years from black and white people and are trying to change that. The natural hair community is enforce positive images and messages to support and encourage each other to love our hair, but our hair is still a touchy subject. For those women who are hesitant to do "the big chop" or for those women who are newly natural and even the women who love their hair and wear it proud have bad days too and hearing negative comments like those can be discouraging and can hurt their self esteem.
Lastly, the woman posted a picture of a popular hair blogger who had long dark natural hair in a defined twist-out. Well, the problem with this comparison was I had a blow out and my hair is a lot lighter. The difference between a twist out and a blow out is you will need to use a product that has a lot of hold where as you don't use a lot of products on a blow out because it could fry your hair. I could certainly make my hair look like the bloggers but, again it was a different style that required less product. That is another reason why women who aren't natural and don't know the difference between styling a twist-out, which is a more defied style, verses a blow out or an afro need to keep their comments to themselves. There are so many natural hair styles and to say that one is better then the other because one looks more refined is just another form of hair hate.
Internalized texture shaming – This is when you don’t love your hair for the way it is and wish it was like someone else’s. There are many voices in your head saying “your hair doesn’t look good”, “you have nappy hair”, “mixed hair is in”, and “you don’t have curl definition like another girl”. Also, questions that you ask yourself such as “should I perm my hair?”, “should I wear a curly wig?”, “should I wear a straight wig?” or “why couldn’t I be mixed?”. These thoughts and sayings are powerful and can hurt a naturals self-esteem, especially a new one. So do me a favor and stop texture shaming yourself! You need positivity in your life! No your hair may never look the same as someone else's but it’s yours. Accept your hair for what it is and love it. Speak positive hair comments to yourself such as “my hair slays” “these edges are laid for the gods”, “my twist out is popping”, and "I love my hair".
Societal texture shaming – This is the shaming of one’s natural hair from society including the internet, your peers and even close family members. They will say stuff like “can’t you relax your hair”, “did you comb your hair today”, “your hair is nappy”, “when are you going back to relaxers”, “are you going to wear your afro out like that”. These are hurtful sayings and if you’re doing it to other people please stop. Speak positive things like “your curls are popping today”, “edges on fleek”, “yes girl wear your afro”.
Texture shaming and hair hate is a real thing and more so in the natural hair community. If this is you, please desist from speading your negativity and start encouraging others to rock their fro however they see fit because we can do without the hate.
Do any type-4 naturals face the same problems? How do you feel about texture shaming from outside of the natural hair community? Should women who are not natural have an opinion on natural hair? Share your thoughts and comments below.
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