When it comes to women there are a few rules all must follow.
Rule #1: Never ever ask a woman her weight. Unless you’re always guessing 95 pounds, whatever number you chose (even if you are dead on) will be too much.
Rule #2: Never ever ask a woman if she’s PMSing. If she isn’t, she just might start because of your stupidity! Besides, it’s not something that we can control anyway.
Rule #3: Never ever ask a woman her age. Except for Mr. Robert Kelly, who should always always ask!
But when it comes to Black women there are a whole extra set of golden rules that addresses our hair.
Rule #1: Don’t ever ask if it’s ours. Of course it is!
Rule #2: Don’t touch it! Hair touching is by invite only!
Rule #3: Don’t get it wet! Unless you want to see us turn into gremlins, keep the water away!
Our hair is a very big deal! There is a billion dollar industry devoted to making us hair happy. Whether relaxed, pressed or natural we are willing to spend a couple hours and dollars to get our hair done just right. And after our do is done, we are even willing to sacrifice comfortable sleep to ensure our style remains intact.
Somewhere in our childhoods we learned the difference between nappy hair and “good” hair. If your braids were long and laid flat you had good hair. If yours were short and sometimes one stood up in the air, well you didn’t have the good stuff. If your hair was shiny and silky thanks to a white great-great-grandfather or some Cherokee relative it was good. But if your hair wasn’t manageable or only shined with the help of blue magic hair grease, a hot comb and a brush, well no one was envious of what you had. And as little girls looking for validation of the beauty we saw in our mothers and grandmothers in the magazines we read or even in the mainstream we saw little to none. And it was hard not to believe that having good hair made you beautiful…
But thankfully times have changed, and so have our standards of beauty.
Currently I’m in pursuit of some good hair. But good hair for me is now something that is strong and healthy. For seven years I have been flirting with the decision to go natural. Second to the notion that my hair will be healthier for it, I’m really curious to see how I am going to look. This has been a very frustrating process ya’ll! And if I wasn’t a patient person before, this journey has made me even less patient!
Knowing that I couldn’t pull off a TWA I opted for braids during this period of growth. As the stylist tugged and pulled every strand of my hair with synthetic I realized that I was going to look totally different. And I began to get nervous because I wondered about my white co-workers reactions to my transformation. Sure I had had braids before, but I was in high school or at a job that wasn’t in a professional setting. The Senegalese Twists I opted for were a compete protest against the conformed Anglo office look and I worried if my actions would be viewed as rebellion. If these coworkers would wonder what happened to their good little Amaretto. And for an entire weekend I began to regret finally making a decision to go natural.
Well Black Woman hair rules 1 and 2 were violated that Monday. Oh, the questions! Lawd, there is such a thing as a stupid question. And I heard them all that Monday. They wanted to know who had done it, how long had it taken, did it hurt. Personal stories about seeing black women with braids on the street and them wondering about them were shared. It was like my hair decision had made it okay for them to ask me what they always wanted to know. Or share that they wish they could do that with their hair (insert eye roll here). The whole ordeal makes me wonder how they’ll react to the actual afro that’s growing beneath.
I forgot black woman hair Rule #4: Never ever criticize it! After all we’re sensitive about our sh*t!
See You in Seven
SO LONG, FAREWELL...
The View From Here will conclude on Friday, October 1, our third year anniversary. We would like to spend this month thanking all of our readers, followers, haters, visitors, family, friends, and fans for your continued support, encouragement, and comments over these past few years. Thanks y'all!
-The Five Spot