This morning Andrea sent me the link to an article from the NY Times called InDefense of Curly Hair: Making Waves with No Apology by Judith Newman. By 8:15 a.m., I was ready for a debate with anyone who was going to tell me that my hair was not acceptable in today’s society.
I think this article makes some really good points. There is definitely a racist connotation to curly hair. People who knew Sally Hemings described her as having straight hair (which meant she wasn’t that black). Chris Rock’s movie, Good Hair, explores why black women spend millions of dollars on fake straight hair. Are they trying to look white?
An anonymous relative once told me it was OK for a man to have curly hair, but it was NOT OK for a woman to have curly hair. Because I am a woman, I should straighten my hair so that I can be attractive to a man. Well, unfortunately dear anonymous relative, I was born with curly hair, so I’m going to rock it (aka make it work, to quote Tim Gunn). Straightening my hair would be akin to amputating my arm.
Would the Millionaire Matchmaker say that the reason I have yet to have a successful relationship with a dude is because I don’t straighten my hair? I think this woman has some smart advice on her bizarre show, but telling women with curly hair to straighten it before going on a date with her millionaire client is just rude and stupid. Basically, she wants to present the “perfect” woman sans curls to a man and pray there isn’t humidity and/or any sort of precipitation on their date and potential relationship. I choose to say, daily, with my lack of flat iron, “This is who I am. Take it or leave it.”