Natural Hair

By Torshawna Griffin

Natural hair has recently become a growing fad causing many African American women to leave the dark side and embrace their natural tresses. However, not everyone understands the journey. In my experience, not everyone accepts the choice and this is a feminist issue. Natural hair women often get stared at and receive rude comments about our hair being “untamed” or “unprofessional.”

With all the celebrities that claim to be behind the feminist movement, why is natural hair not an issue within feminism? I believe that this is due to a large number of feminist aligning with what modern feminist consider “old White woman” feminism. Individuals that hold “old White woman” feminism ideas are blind to the intersection of racism and sexism and its impact on women of color. Take for instance Nicki Minaj speaking up against sexism and racism at the Video Music Awards. When Nicki spoke up, Taylor did no to help Nicki stand up for Black woman artists. Instead, Taylor told Nicki that she should be ashamed of herself for putting woman artists against each other. If Taylor Swift would understand the impact of the intersection of sexism and racism, she would have stood by Nicki Minaj’s side.

This brings me back to natural hair. Why is it that our lighter counter parts don’t stand with us when it comes to our decision of embracing ourselves? For me, my natural hair makes me unique. No one out there has hair like me and that makes me stand out in a crowd. My natural hair makes me proud to be an African American woman and makes me more AfroCentric. I love being natural and I wish that more feminist would love it too. Celebrating, rather than shaming, natural hair can help us all by unifying us. If we are unified, then we can focus our energy to advance women’s equity.