This morning me and my brother were talking about Black women. (Shout out to my bro/homie Idubz, music producer extraordinaire). We talked about the frequency at which we find Black women doing everything possible to change their appearance. It is not uncommon to find them wearing weaves, fake eye lashes, fake nails, colored contacts, getting or wanting butt injections and in some instances even bleaching their skin.
I came across research some time ago that found Black Women have higher self esteem than white women and other ethnicity’s. Can this truly be the case when so many of us don’t like our hair, our bodies, or our complexions??? Spend some time observing different forms of media and one will notice the european standard of beauty which is promoted as the ideal. Women who grace magazine covers and television programming are typically fair skinned ( or white) with long straight hair…among other things. Seeing these images constantly causes an indelible impression which sinks into the psyche. Once in the psyche one may feel compelled to act out what they see.
Recently a pastor banned the women in his congregation from wearing hair weaves stating that it creates a false self image and is a sign of low self esteem. He was quoted as saying “Our black women are getting weaves trying to be something and someone they are not. Be real with yourself is all I’m saying,”. I know this sounds extreme but maybe he has a point.
As a woman of African descent I understand the yearning (perpetuated by the media) to fit in with the standard of beauty. As a young woman I relaxed my hair because I thought straight hair was beautiful. And now, even though I LOVE to indulge in the occasional fierce wig, I wear them because I enjoy the versatility. My natural hair has been called nappy and looked at with disdain. Yet, I adore my tightly curled crop and look forward to showing it off. Everywhere I go I see beautiful Black girls and women covering up their natural locks with virgin Indian hair extensions. Many of them would NEVER show off their natural unprocessed hair because they are ashamed of it. Where’s the love???
Wearing weaves, wigs and the like are cool unless they are being used to avoid the truth about one’s self. It has taken me years to get to this point of being more comfortable in my light brown skin and kinky mane. When I embraced my African heritage I embraced everything that came with it, even my nappy hair :-p.
Ladies & Gentlemen, what do you think, can we really love ourselves if we spend much of our lives trying to look like someone else???