Nigerian feminist and writer Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie made a really eye-opening statement about Michelle Obama, saying that if Michelle had natural hair back when Barack Obama was running for president, then he wouldn’t have won.
Chimamanda also mentioned that “we’ve decided that mainstream hair is hair that sort of falls down…and hair that stands up isn’t really mainstream”
“…What I would love is to not have it be something remarkable. It would be lovely if it was just normal.”
LOVE. HER. FOR. SAYING. THIS.
I change my hairstyles a lot. For self expression, for special occasions, for a lot of things – things that wouldn’t be considered mainstream at all. I’ve noticed that during this time I get asked the most bizarre questions that I’d like to address:
“What’s going on with your hair?”
Nothing. I’m wearing my own hair just fine thanks. Nothing special to see here. Move along.
“You’re so brave for going natural”
Wait, you mean I’m so brave for wearing my hair that God gave me? The same way I’m happily embracing my own skin colour? Yeah, I deserve a medal for wearing what I was born with.
“Can I touch your hair?”
Now this is a toughy. Depending on your approach and how you say it, don’t be offended by a black woman choosing to say no. Sometimes we don’t like to feel like we’re blatantly being objectified, ya know?
“So how comes you’re doing the natural hair journey?”
Why does it have to be asked in a way as if you would ask a soldier going to war? MY hair is seriously not a big deal.
Any type of hair styling is not always easy to maintain for black women like myself. But the beauty of it is that we are more than happy to embrace it. As Chimamanda said, the natural hair movement is slowly improving and becoming more accepted (even though we do it for ourselves, not for societal standards) – but in order for society to change, we need our people to change first with how they see and judge things.
If you are really keen to know and learn more about black hair and the politics around it, check out some of the links below!
Natural Hair Vs. The Perm: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KQPqzJ88jds
What People With Natural Hair Really Hear: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WMCbhIQrl_0
Learning To Love My Natural Hair: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i8eq-mdOaTE
Before you say something, stop and think how you’d feel if someone said it to you