"Good Hair" Part 2

I watched the Tyra Banks show today, and the topic was "What is Good Hair?", and I was surprised at how angry I was at some of the guest on the show. This mom decided that she need to start perming her 3 year-old daughters hair, so it wouldn't look nappy. Even though the girl cried during the whole perming process, the mom still wants to do it, so that her daughter will have "good hair".

This mom is teaching her own child that if someone has nappy hair, that they are lower class! She even even admitted that she refused to date a black man, because she did not want to have 'kinky headed babies'...

And the last one, decided that not only did she need to perm her daughters hair, but she also puts a weave in her daughters hair so it's "more manageable" and easier to style. Toward the end, she admitted that she thought her little girls hair looked better with the weave.

I think what really hit a nerve (I got really emotional), is when they had the little girls talking about hair styles. There were a group of about 5 girls, all pretty young. One little African American girl said she only feels pretty when she wears her blond wig and that she wanted to wear it everyday. All of the girls where shown different kinds of wigs with different textures and colors. When they were asked which one of the hair styles they would not want, they all pointed to the kinky hair afro wig. I was just so sadden by that, that I cried.

It hurts a lot to see these 5 beautiful young African American and Multicultural girls, at this day and age, still have the same struggle that we had when we were younger. I grew up hating my hair, my naps and always wishing I could have straight long hair. My mom did her best to teach me and show me how beautiful I was. But the pressure from peers and all the images that I saw daily told me otherwise.

The one part of the show that really stood out to me as being a step in the right direction, was when it was discussed that the term "Good Hair" came from the days when black people were slaves. If you had hair that was smooth, "silky" or straighter than others - you were treated better by your slave owner. You were able to work in the house, eat better food, wear better clothes and possibly receive some education. Those days are over! And so should the use of the term "Good Hair". It is crazy that we still think this way. It hurts us, our children and their children. I hope that our generation can make changes with our own children so that this doesn't continue to repeat itself. So see a video clip from the show, click here.