Hair: natural comfort or forced beauty

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Hair: natural comfort or forced beauty

Kyla Harris

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Kyla Harris

Hair: natural comfort or forced beauty

Hair is whatever you want it to be; it can often be a reflection of who you are or even what your personality may be.

It is no wonder why the world is obsessed with hair. There are several times, whereas, it may seem that someone is going to have an opinion on your hairstyle and on what type of hair you have. Especially when it comes to 3a to 4c hair you can crimp it, curl it, relax it or leave it alone.

According to Merriam-webster.com, hairism is defined as a form of prejudice or discrimination against someone because of his/her hair.

Often, girls with curly hair either damage their hair with chemicals (relaxers, perms, etc) or use other methods, like curling irons to make their hair bone straight. Some girls keep the curling iron on their hair for at least 5-10 secs without realizing that they are damaging it with the more heat they apply. As for UACHS student, Jennica Bruny, she is a senior who does her own natural hair she sees many girls damaging their hair everyday in school.

“I believe society betrays straight hair as beautiful, professional and curly hair as unorganized, dirty and ghetto,” said Bruny. “Jobs often discriminate workers with curly hair more than a worker with straight hair. Even more if you’re a person of color with curls, that’s worse. Certain schools do it as well.”

This is a form of “beautifying” yourself that may seem normal due to its wide acceptance. People constantly ignore how race, gender, and religion may also play a role into why hair acceptance is such a big problem.

Tia Sawyer, a uzima dance fitness creator and the director of the Young Women’s Leadership Academy (YWLA), explained why she wore weave for most of her adult life. She thought that conforming to society’s idea of beauty would make her feel more accepted amongst society. Unfortunately, that all changed after she suddenly began to lose her hair.

“Chemically processing, straightening, and weaving my hair damaged it so much that it started to fall out,” said Sawyer.

Since developing alopecia (a condition when a person experiences hair loss from the scalp or elsewhere on the body), she has learned how to embrace her hair.

“I absolutely love rocking my head bald… I have never felt more attractive as I do in my natural state,” said Sawyer.

It took a lot of time and acceptance for Sawyer to value her hair. Growing up, she had a 4C hair texture, which is kinky and coarse. From a young age, she would frequently be taught that her curls were considered nappy and that her hair texture was unattractive and/or unprofessional looking to outside of her race.

“I know that Europeans set the standard for what is beautiful… the blonde, straight hair is what is considered natural while all other textures abnormal…but hair, all textures and lengths are beautiful; it is strong and versatile ,” said Sawyer.

Hair does not only affect girls but it has an impact on boys too.

Daveon Noble, junior at UACHS, claims that having a bad hair day can alter his attitude than compared to when he is having a good hair day.

“On a bad hair day, I feel insecure and incomplete… unlike on a good hair day, I feel confident throughout the day,” said Noble.

Although Noble knows that his hair texture is not like what society labels as “normal,” he still chooses to accept it. He wears his hair in the way which he defines as normal no matter what hairstyle it may be.

“Sometimes I do see other hairstyles that I like, but my hair is not made that way,” saif Noble. “It does not make me feel any different because it is mine and I embrace it.”

Although, the stereotype of black people’s hair is prevalent, Noble is one amongst the many who continues to prove them wrong. Not every black person has knotted and dirty hair and despite what the stereotype says, Noble still tries his best to be comfortable in his own hair.

“It was said that black men and women did not take good care of their hair so it became dirty and so locked that you couldn’t even run your hands through it, however that is not true,” said Noble.

The truth is, hair only matters if people make it matter.

 

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