Several months ago Last Week Tonight did a segment on black hair, how it is miss understood and how many people and professions view it in negative ways.
None of that was really news to me. I’ve heard similar complaints from friends, especially the parts about random people thinking it is okay to touch a stranger’s hair.
Now, to make it all about me. I’m a white guy. My hairline has long ago begun it’s retreat. The hair that I do have is very fine and curly. It’s also quite long. It should be. I haven’t had a hair cut in over 25 years.
Most of the time I wear it back in a loose bun. Sometimes a tight, neat one. You can bet how happy I was when suddenly there seemed to be massive online hate towards the “man-bun.” I’m still not sure what that was all about.
I used to wear my hair down much more. Why not? I’m a fan of my curls. If shower and let my hair dry it often forms into coils that would look at home on a fancy doll. I often think I should wear it down more.
But I’ve been told that it isn’t professional. That it makes me look like a stoner. Since before graduating university I’ve been told I should cut my hair. And that was before the bald patch set in, which I’m sure just increases reasons I should cut off my curls.
Still, I like my curls. I’m stubborn. And I don’t like that curly hair is so often portrayed as ugly, unmanageable and messy. Some even say that curls are even unprofessional. Anne Hathaway doesn’t know it, but she owes me an apology for the Princess Diaries.
This is why I don’t understand why some don’t believe that stereotypes against black hair is a real issue. I’ve faced similar issues just for having curly hair, right down to strangers randomly touching my hair.
There is no doubt in my mind that whatever flak I have received for my hair is still light compared to what the average black person has to contend with.
So, it seems that I have a choice. Either ignore what I know to be both true and wrong, or I can speak out. So I’m writing this.
Because I love my hair and I want other folk with curly hair to be able to openly wear their hair with pride.
I want all people to be able to wear their natural hair with pride.
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