I’m sitting in an airport in Puerto Rico with a few hours to kill. I start working on a different post when two chicks sit in the seats directly behind of me and start babbling over some dude they just saw at Starbucks. “Great”, I thought, “now I have to put up with this crap until my flight leaves.” I opened up a new document and started typing a poem entitled “Will these Bitches Behind Me Please Shut the Fuck UP?!” and was trying to guess how they looked and their back stories based on the way they were talking and what they were talking about.
This “airport guessing game” was a game this chick taught me in when I was waiting on a flight in Quebec once and man was she ever good at it. She could sit there and just by listening to a conversation, tell their age, race, occupation, where they lived/came from, what they looked like, their… EVERYTHING!!! It may sound sort of like a dumb game to play but when you have nothing better to do in an airport it’ll be the most fun you’ve ever had since owning an Etch-A-Sketch (did I just go too old school for some of you? ). This instance of the game was especially fun to play because their accents were really throwing me off which made it even more challenging.
I had it narrowed down to they were between 19-22, fashionistas with designer shades resting on their hairline but not on their faces, probably pretty, wearing short pants and sandals/flip flops, and one of them was wearing a midriff shirt. I couldn’t tell what racial profile they fell under though because they sounded like Americanized West Indians who didn’t live in a city. When I was just about to give up and turn around, the topic changed to “hair” and one of them remarked that a weave was probably the single best thing that ever happened to them to which the other one concurred and they both laughed. CHUPZ!!!
Automatically, I was 99.9% sure they were black and straight out of a Tyler Perry movie but minus some of the “hoodrat” tendencies. I turned around and realized I was right about everything except that only one of them had shades and she wore it on her face (DAMN!). They were both really gorgeous but sadly had given in to the “synthetic river maiden” look that unfortunately a lot of my black sisters of today have gravitated towards.
My disappointment then turned into me thinking about black people in general and some of the matters that I think affect us as a race and are even hindering us from progressing in some areas. Before I knew it, I had a couple points jotted down and a few paragraphs of ranting to go with each. In respect of some of you who complain about the length of some of my posts (Papa Bird really was right) I’m going to list only the top two points in their condensed form.
Weaves, wigs, extensions, synthetic/human braids, etc I hate them! Well I shouldn’t really say that I hate them completely, I just hate them when they are used excessively. I’d also toss in “perms” on this list of things I hate because of its DISTANT association to the above (which I’ll explain later) but I won’t for now. You look around the black community today and if you picked 100 random black women at say a club, 90 of them will be wearing one of the before mentioned fake hair items (feel free to call me out on this). It would appear as if there is some hatred in the black community for our own naturally curly hair or a mindset that perceives it as being “unable to be ‘beautiful’”. Well, that’s exactly what it is.
The “good hair vs. bad hair” debate is where all of this stems from. For a lot of parents (mothers), having someone say their child has “good hair” is a bigger compliment than commending them on teaching their child the alphabet at an early age. Apparently straighter natural hair is considered “good hair” and natural hair with smaller tighter curls is considered “bad hair” or “nigger naps”. When a child has “good hair” they are held in a superior light as if they are of a higher social class than a child with nigger naps and are therefore “better”. This was probably more relevant in the early post slavery days when the rich and more educated persons were white or mulatto and black people then were “fresh off the plantation” broke.
Now to see that black people in this modern day and age where most racial barriers have been broken are still holding to the idea that “white is better” when it comes to their physical appearance bugs the hell out of me. These biases flowed over into the professional world when work places (Cable & Wireless for my personal example) didn’t approve of afros, dreads or braid hair for males but individuals with “nice hair” were allowed to do whatever they want. OK, I’m straying a bit so I’ll get back on topic.
This quest for “good hair” and being socially accepted gave way to black girls getting perms to straighten out their hair (making themselves less black). Each generation pounded into the mind of the generation after it that the pinnacle of true beauty is to have straight hair. I remember seeing girls being made fun of by their peers for not having their hair permed. If an argument ever arose amongst females, the first diss would always be about how dry or nappy her hair was because we as a community had allowed our naturally God given hair type to become an item of ridicule and our main one at that.
So now we have a society of black girls who run to the hair dresser every few weeks when they outgrow their perms and their “roots” (unpermed hair) start showing. Sure this is all fine and dandy for the first few years but what most of them fail to realize is that with each perm they are weakening their hair follicles in order to make them straight. This then leads to their hair’s inability to repair itself and it being more susceptible to split ends, breakage, or just downright failing to grow anymore.
It’s only when they come of age (usually early 20’s) and have a patchy head looking like a football field that hasn’t been watered since Noah was around that they realize what getting perms constantly can do. This is where wigs and other fake hair articles come in and why some black females would make dim-witted comments like the chick in the airport I mentioned earlier did. A weave isn’t the best think to ever happen to a black woman; common sense and the ability to be proud of who you are is. How can you truly feel beautiful if the main defining element of your beauty is the fake mop on your head you possibly spent in excess of US$1000 for? Not only that, you can’t even enjoy yourself after just getting it because you don’t want to ruin it. That includes no going to the beach, no playing sports or physical exertion, no pool parties, no GOOD sex *shout out to the hair pullers*, etc. This is why I don’t phuqs with chicks who don’t rock their own hair; or at least I don’t date them anyway.
I was having this discussion with a homegirl a couple weeks back in NYC and she was trying to convince me that I had no idea how hard it was to upkeep natural “black” hair and that’s why she used to get perms and now wears weave. If she had made it sound any sadder, a random dude with a violin would appear out of nowhere and start to play long notes filled with sorrow as rain started to pour down. I laughed heartily as I told her that I didn’t get a haircut since graduating high school in 2003 until I graduated college in 2009. I probably had (and still have if I allowed it to be) the NAPPIEST of nigger naps on the entire planet. Like Brillo pads had NOTHING on me and it was like this because I was lazy.
Then I clipped off like an inch, started a twice daily regimen of combing it out with an afro pick and applying moisturizer to my scalp and then “BOOM!” …the softest, poofiest, “Angela Davis” afro of life! OK, maybe not as kool as hers since I clipped it from time to time but still…
Sure I’m a guy, but can “natural” hair be attractive on a black female? DUH!!! I could probably take the regular route and point out the few celebrities who rock it only to have it shot down by the “Oh, they’re mixed” argument, but instead I’d just point them in the direction of my homegirl Helyne. She may switch it up from time to time but she mostly rolls with her hair “natural” and looks AMAZING.
The thing with being lazy with natural hair, which can lead to perms, which can lead to fake hair, is that it can lead to an even lazier “lazy”: being lazy with a weave.
EEP!! I’m ranting again, time to speed through.
Skin bleaching & “light skin vs. dark skin”
If you’re not familiar with it, skin bleaching in the black community is the act of using a skin lightening product to alter skin pigmentation in order to achieve a lighter skin tone. This is again fueled by the “white is better” colonial mentality which has sparked the “light skin vs. dark skin” debate. Again the further away the individual is away from actually being black (skin tone), the more socially accepted and “praised” they are. Just as with the hair situation, people have been ridiculed for being “too black” like it was some kind of messed up disease or something that makes them inferior. I can recall actually hearing chicks say that they are only going to have babies with persons outside their race or light skinned so their child will have “good hair and nice color”.
This is probably in some ways worse than “good hair vs. bad hair” because it brings the reason why I say black people are maybe some of the most racist people in the world. What race seriously hates on members of their own race for having more of the characteristics that defines their race? It just blows my mind thinking about it.
It’s because of this that some individuals of the black community have turned towards using these skin lightening products outside of their originally intended purposes. What’s funny is that these people would bleach their skin and they would never look “right”. Without getting into too much of a designer mode, when you use these products, it alters your skin color and makes it lighter while it desaturates the skin tone. In other words it loses its optical vibrance. So you would end up a lighter but more “dull and pasty” person. What makes this even more comical is that the skin around the knuckles and knees are harder to bleach so it makes the individual look more like their skin color is a bad tattoo. Added to that, most of them usually forget to apply the product to their scalp or the back of their ears so you can imagine how they look after having to get a haircut.
Yeah if you’re an “Akon or Wesley Snipes” mofo who hates being black, you can bleach your skin to oblivion but unless you have “MJ or Sammy Sosa” money, you’re not going to get rid of that bell pepper nose and beefed up lips homie. It may be argued that skin bleaching can be compared to a white person tanning but the major difference is that they can always revert to their original skin color. When you’ve already phuqed up your skin you’re screwed for LIFE! That’s like longer than “forever” plus five years.
What about the rest?
The other points includes things like bad makeup, ghetto nails, colored contacts, “stylin’” and “doing it big”, and being a REAL nigga. I would have post them now but I’ve got other plans for those rants. Besides, a lot of you have been complaining about post lengts anyways. The one next week will probably be long one since it’ll be an embarrassing story from my life but err… we’ll see how that goes…
Sidenote: Sorry about the post being made available so late guys. All I can say is: “Blame L.I.M.E.” *sighs*