when people say they don’t date black girls, what i hear is “i’m not interested in the baddest bitches on the planet. instead, i enjoy mediocrity, green bean casserole during the holidays, milk with my pasta, and keds”
Its not a stupid question at all, I think it’s important to note that the quote stated that’s what the movement has “become” and is not what the entire movement has always been about. From my perspective, I think the movement has been heavily commercialized and is more about glorifying softer textured hair and pushing unnecessary products on women.
A lot of the popular bloggers/vloggers video content focus on the hundreds of different ways you can manipulate your hair texture and curl pattern, while pushing hair products that claim to make your hair more ”manageable.” All those kinds of trigger words, “manageable,” “soft” “conditioned” are all little micro aggressions against “nappy” It’s completely counter productive to what the movement is supposed to be about.
There’s an obvious preference for women with softer textures, they’ve become the forefront of the movement. Our black hair is very diverse, no two textures are alike and ironically there’s an extreme lack of representation within the natural hair movement and these ladies are all — unintentionally —- selling a misconception that if you follow their regimen or use the products they do then you too can get huge soft 3a hair like them! Which is of course fucking ridiculous. It doesn’t matter how much Shea Moisture products you use or how often you do twists outs, your 4c will always be a 4c.
and with any movement that gains mainstream attention, almost every major hair brand/company has jumped on the “natural hair” bandwagon and are now developing “organic” products marketed specifically to the black woman. Which sounds like progress right? But — not even getting into whether or not their products are legitimately “natural” or “organic” — most of the marketing material, from commercials to print ads to even the packaging are all the fucking same. It’s the same racially ambiguous, light caramel skin toned, 3a-3c’d textured hair women and again this lack of proper representation is perpetuated.
Which, to me, is so fucking depressing because here we have a movement made for us by us and its initial mission and intent was to celebrate the various ways we are black and nappy, and the women who are still holding these values true are being drowned out and instead we have this overexposed, slightly whitewashed “natural hair movement” thrown back in our face. Like this isn’t progress and it’s important that we recognize that. Even if we are a fan of the movement, even if the movement has done some amazing things for our personal lives, it’s important that we allow ourselves to step back and critically analyze even the things that mean a lot to us, because we got to be able to call a spade a spade in order to make room for real growth as a people.
I also want to note that this is just my critical observation and it doesn’t represent what the entire movement is about, they’re plenty of amazing women pioneering natural hair and are serving as amazing role models to thousands of women all around the world, This is just me looking at the movement critically with the hope for improvement.