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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Black Women BEWARE: Your Secrets Are Out

Once upon a time, in a land not so far away, black hair was rarely ever openly discussed. This was a time when weaves, hair dyes, and wigs were just one of women's many little secrets. Secrets that you just don't ask about, discuss, or bring up in a public place. Other "Secrets" that you might be familiar with include waxing your mustache hair, your mother dying the grey on her head, plucking your eyebrows, or even trimming your bikini line.

See we women, especially black women, have worked hard to preserve our secrets. We have walked out of our houses bright and early on Saturday mornings with a pony tail in place, scarf on our heads, and black shades on our faces. All so we can be as incognito as possible as we travel to our haven, our destination of choice, to purchase our drug of choice. The one place where we can be ourselves, show our real selves, and emerge the woman that all of you see on Monday morning.

Some of us tell ourselves that we only want the creamy crack. Who are we fooling? The creamy crack is usually just the gateway drug of choice to the dyes, the weaves, and the lace-fronts that our stylists convince us to try.

And you better believe these shops know what they're doing. You think your stylist is driving that 5-series BMW by flipping burgers at Burger King on the side? If you saw the previews for the new Chris Rock movie, you know that the black hair industry grosses over 9 billion a year.

You see all the stylist has to know how to do is slap on the chemicals, sew in the weaves, and style our hair. They leave the brainwashing up to the media. Some of them are so slick about it all they have to do is leave a few black magazines laying about, and you can instantly pick out something that will make you look like your parents had Indian, Brazilian, hell even Asian in their blood. No one will ever know that it's not yours. I think actress, Ms. Joy Bryant herself, said it best HERE. She rocks her weave according to how she feels that day, not according to how someone else thinks she should look. She did not mind letting people know that she is a proud "weave-aholic."

We live in an ever evolving society. And today that society has decided that my secrets are out.

My hair is the new "IT" topic of discussion in the black community. It is being debated about on the Tyra Banks show, written about in the NY Times, and even documented by comedian Chris Rock. If your reading this blog, chances are they've leaked your secrets out too. We should be appalled and outraged at such shameless, open displays of what we have worked so hard to protect. Who's With Me?

Huh? No takers? Fine, well at least I know one woman agrees with me. I do not know her name or where she is from, but I do know that she stood up on the Oprah show and let Chris Rock have a piece of her mind. She argued that her "secrets" are now all out in the open for the world to see. The same "secrets" that have probably "secretly" held her mind (and hair) in bondage for the past umpteenth years.

So what do you think? Good Hair, Bad Hair, Relaxed Hair, Natural Hair, are all terms used in the black community. Some black women are so scrambled in their own thinking that they don't want "unwanted attention" called to something that they don't fully understand themselves.

Many don't understand the reasoning behind their decision to chemically alter their hair, nor do they understand the social history, nor damage that can occur from having a "Good Hair/Bad Hair" mentality. And for the ones that do understand- for the ones that say using chemicals on their hair, or wearing weaves, is a personal preference and nothing more, they should have no problem discussing their "secrets." In fact, many are down right proud to share and let you in on them. [See Joy Bryant again for proof].

So, if you go to work Monday morning and a woman comes up to you and asks you if your wearing a weave, go ahead, share away. If your not comfortable then go ahead and ask them what brand of facial wax they use. I'm sure they'll get the hint.


Aron Ranen said...

Please take a moment to check out my documentary film BLACK HAIR

It is free at youtube. 6 parts including an update from London, England.

It explores the Korean Take-over of the Black Beauty Supply and Hair biz..

The current situation makes it hard to believe that Madame C.J. Walker once ran the whole thing.

I am not a hater, I am a motivator.

Plus I am a White guy who stumbled upon this, and felt it was so wrong I had to make a film about it.

self-funded film, made from the heart.

Can it be taken back?


Insignificant Wrangler said...

While I'm not sure the exact number, and am too lazy to look it up, I can't believe that what I am guessing is 15 million women spend 9 billion dollars annually. That's 600 per person per year! I would say my wife, who gets her hair colored, spends about half that annually.

MysticalSunset said...

I saw this episode of Oprah... and as a white woman to tell you the truth... I didn't really know there were "secrets". However I found both that episode of Oprah and your blog enlightening. I could never EVER imagines spending that much money on my hair.. It seems crazy. I have colored my hair and at most spent 20 dollars doing that.. but when you really think how much money is spent on hair in general.. its crazy!

Mr.Deznuts said...

My sister was having this conversation just a couple days ago. About what classifies good hair and bad hair. We came to the conclusion that when I an Afro, it was bad hair, but now that my hair is cut, wave game serious, its good hair. I always thought i had a good grade of hair. Never thought it to be bad until the constant jokes of nappy but happy and hair like sheep made me cut it off. I remember a time where my mom never let my sister put colors and weave in her hair. But now my sister does wat ever and constantly complains about it. Girls dont care about sporting a wig or weave anymore, society accepts it and thinks its part of the norm now.

pinolafl said...

I alway knew that wigs were a big part of women in the black community and then I started seeing some of the most beautiful hair styling. On young lady's hair was stunning and when I ask how long it took to braid it, she told me it was a weave. I have talked to many friends and they have admitted they also have weaves. I have always believed it is worth every penny if it makes you happy.

FollowTheBud said...

Ja this post is so true. I once told a black girl that I liked her hair, and then asked if it was real. To be honest I knew it wasn't real, but she was annoying, so I asked anyways. She just looked at me like you don't ask a black girl those questions(I regretted asking the question after that look). I really don't know how I feel about black girls having weave in their hair, but I know that if their like me they like to keep it fresh. After all people do their hair to look good right? but I think the secret your trying to get at is that they are ADDICTED to their weave.I guess it's all just preference but I have seen some very attractive black women with natural hair : )

My imaginary friend thinks your crazy said...

From what Ive heard....The reason why black woman love the shinier, smoother,layed down type of hair is due to the fact that we were once slaves and Black female slaves were always told to look like there master's wife. White woman have the hair that balck woman consiider to be "good hair." The only difference is the color. The afro, nappy hair was looked dwon upon by slave masters because it represented black culture and it was a style that the slave owners wife could not obtain.