As a dark skinned woman in America, I’ve been told plenty of times that red lipstick or any lip stick color in general would not be suitable for me because “lipstick wasn’t made for dark skinned women.” It’s shocking to know that this stigma against black women is still alive and well. In America’s eyes, it’s bad enough that I cursed myself by returning to my natural locks, but now I’ve decided to wear lipstick? How tragic! *insert sarcasm*
Even abysmal rapper A$AP Rocky has gone out of his way to share about his disgust of darker women wearing red lipstick. One may think, ‘oh who cares about the opinion of some rapper guy,’ but the truth is that he is only regurgitating what he has been taught all of his life–dark skinned women are ugly.
Well I’m here to prove that this statement is a complete and utter lie. Any shade of the spectrum can wear any color lipstick they want because all shades of brown are beautiful. For far too long, darker women have been oppressed on their choices to do what they want with both their hair and faces and I’m not gonna take it anymore.
It really does not matter how anyone feels about my choice and other dark skinned women’s choice to wear lipstick. If we like it, we’ll wear it with our faces beat for the gawds! And you can continue to be mad…from OUTSIDE of the club 🙂
Whenever you think of a Mexican person, what comes to mind is always a person who has more European features, very light skin and long black hair. What most people don’t know is that a good amount of Mexico’s population is black or Afro-Mexican. The term Afro-Mexican means that they are indeed Mexican but their ancestors hail from Africa.
Now that I’ve explained that black people can also be Mexican, an issue popped into my mind. Being that black people in Mexico are “forgotten” and surely face their own forms of racism, hardships and exclusion, I wonder if natural hair is accepted in Mexico? Has the movement made its way to those communities? Do Afro-Mexicans feel free to wear their hair as it grows out of their scalps or do they conform to match the other races in Mexico?
It almost seems as if natural hair and spoken word go hand in hand, but why is this so? Why does wearing my Afro automatically make me a target for spoken word events, poetry fests and neo-soul concerts?
From the research I’ve done, the stigma of peace, love and Afro’s dates back to the 1960s. During this period in American history, a group of people emerged who were named ‘hippies.’ Because the nature of the hippies was nonconformity, some of the hippies would wear out their Afros and try to spread peace in a time where war was prevalent. Also during this time, because an Afro represented nonconformity, it was a major identifier of the Black Panthers group.
Naturally it makes sense that people connect Afros either with peace and hippies or with nonconformity and the black panthers. However, one would think that with all of the political ‘progress’ that America has made, this stigma would have either disappeared or died down over the years. This is not the case. Now with the natural hair movement on the rise, these same stigmas are now back in action. Will they ever truly go away?
I don’t know about other countries, but I know that in America the idea of a fully black woman having long hair is a myth. There is a stigma that if a black woman has hair that exceeds ear or shoulder length then she must be of mixed heritage. Why do people think black people need to be mixed to have great healthy long hair? When I had a relaxer, very regularly people would ask me what I am mixed with and were saddened when they found out that I am 100% black. And now that I have gone natural, the questions come more frequently. ‘Is it a wig or a weave because it can’t be yours.’ Why is this concept so hard to grasp? Unfortunately a lot of lies are fed to black women about hair care and have been passed down from generation to generation. Because the majority of black women try to achieve a Eurocentric look (having straight hair) to fit in, a lot of black women do not know how to properly take care of their own hair. Black women, put dangerous chemicals in their hair in order to conform but are actually damaging their hair. Kinky hair textures have the same growing ability as straight hair textures but a lot of black women are ignorant as to how to take care of their own hair. If we would take the time to learn about our hair instead of coveting someone else’s we could all have healthier hair.
Under the umbrella of the natural hair ‘movement’ lies many different textures from wavy to curly to kinky. However, I’ve noticed that dreadlocks often get left out of this ‘movement.’ A lot of people have an idea of a puffy Afro and that is all they view as natural hair. Dread locks do fit into the natural hair community because dreads are created by palm rolling your hair (or whatever other methods one can use). I believe that because there is still a large stigma held against people with dread locks, they are often forgotten. Dread locks are a beautiful expressive way of wearing your hair and contrary to popular belief there are a lot of things that you can do with them. Hopefully as we are becoming a more progressive group of people, the stigma against dread locks will cease to exist.
For all of those who are unaware, the natural hair ‘movement’ is the term used to refer to black women who have stopped relaxing their hair and growing out their original textured hair. This is the reason why you may have noticed more women walking around with Afros.
You can Google the term and find hundreds of pages on this topic–but why is it a topic to begin with? I don’t understand why black women changing their hair should be considered a movement. This creates the assumption that women are just cutting off their hair to support some form of cause when in most cases is not even true. Labeling hair changes as a movement just creates an ‘open season’ type of thinking for hair product companies to take advantage and try to sell us things that we don’t need.