Relaxed vs Natural

found on Pinterest of all places

I have a lot of problems with this.

Obviously I have a huge bias, so I’m gonna do my best to check it at the door.

I will be as objective as humanly possible starting now:

Who the hell made this?

What was your goal here?

Did you download Photoshop just for this?

Did you purposely choose the silhouette of an oddly shaped afro?

How am I doing – objectively?

I’m sorry, but this is so ignorant it’s just sad. And irritating. But also sad.

I recognize the intensity of the ridiculous but nonetheless real “RELAXED VS NATURAL” debate, and I agree that it needs continuous discussion – but not Photoshopped graphics prohibiting certain hair types into a “zone”.

That’s right – this graphic is wrong. Period.
And that’s a wrap on the graphic itself.

What needs to be discussed further is why this woman (I’m assuming) thought it was okay to create this.
I’m speaking with her now.

By no means am I saying that you cannot be proud of your relaxed hair. That’s your hair on your body and that means you can do whatever you want to it – for yourself. If you don’t want to wear your hair in its natural state, that’s your choice, and I don’t think any less of you because of it.

And yes, I understand every reason for why you prefer your relaxed hair. I’m guessing you’ve had it for years! It’s all your mom knew how to take care of and now it’s all you know how to take care of. After it’s processed, manageability is pretty easy, and the hair flips are everything.

What I don’t understand is why you’ve decided to shut natural hair out? I don’t think you mean you’d shun women with natural hair, but it sounds like you’re rejecting it for yourself. The problem is, that’s the hair growing out your own head as God and your DNA intended. Why is it not allowed?

This is the question I have for every black woman that has ever even thought the words “Natural hair isn’t for everyone.” 

Because natural hair is for everyone – hence the natural.

If it’s growing out of your scalp all on its own, there’s a 100% chance that’s your own natural hair made just for you.

That is you, boo.

Now, you can style it however you want! Relax it – braid it – weave it – twist it – bantu knot it – head wrap it – or fluff it all out into the spherical globe of curls. Because that is your hair on your head and you should do whatever makes you feel best for yourself. That’s the beauty of black hair!

But please don’t try to slide an afro under a forbidden sign as if that changes what’s growing out of your head. You still have natural hair, honey. And for those few last stretch weeks after a touch up is extra necessary – you rock a fro under all that relaxed hair.

Why can’t you accept your roots? On your head and in your blood – which really are one in the same.

I’m not asking for you to embrace natural hair as a style, I’m asking for you to embrace natural hair as you. And me. And women of African descent everywhere.

Love your natural hair, not as a style, but as a reminder that your black is beautiful. As a reminder that the European standard of beauty that women of color are judged upon is a lie. As a reminder that despite the centuries European colonies have spent making black and brown people ashamed of their looks, black and brown people still love themselves.

Because when you spend your hard earned money for that chemical processing it should be for you – not to fit a standard of beauty that never included you in the first place.

This is,
MAB
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