Black Hair (Part 2): It’s None of Your Business!

I do not mean to cause offence by the title of this post; it is aimed at narrow minded people who judge black women not on the content of their character, but on something as superficial as how they choose to style their hair.


With this post I fall in danger of contradicting part 1, in which I sought to argue that it does matter how black women style their hair, in the sense that those who choose to wear it naturally, (knowingly or unknowingly) send a message to the world that there is nothing wrong the kinky textured hair of people of African descent. However I do think that it is also true that how a woman chooses to style her hair is her own personal choice, and as such should not be open for criticism and debate by others.


Let me explain what I mean. One day I was sitting on a train when I observed a very disturbing and bizarre scene. A black male starting speaking loudly to a young black female sitting across the aisle.


“Excuse me, is that your real hair?”

“No” she replied quietly, head down.

“I didn’t think so. You shouldn’t be wearing weave. It looks fake”.


I felt embarrassed for the young woman. Her hair was obviously a weave, and by the looks of it not “human hair”. Maybe she was not in a position to afford a better quality weave. Maybe she just wanted to cover her natural/relaxed hair with a weave as a protective style. Whatever her reasons for having a, not so great, weave, what right did that man have to question her? Whatever the state of her hair, in what way did it affect him?


Sadly he’s not alone in his condemnation of black women who do not wear their hair natural. If you’ve ever been unfortunate enough to stumble across certain Youtube channels of (black) men, dedicated to spewing venom at black women, you will know exactly what I’m talking about. In fairness, it’s not just black men, and it’s not just men. Women too can be very judgmental about what they perceive to be a bad weave or bad hair day. Remember how much stick Olympic gymnast Gabby Douglass during the

How could simple tied back hair cause such a fuss?

How could simple tied back hair cause such a fuss?

2012 Olympics? She was not criticised for her performance – and rightly so as she won two gold medals – but what was her crime? Not having freshly relaxed hair!


I accept that criticism of women’s looks is not limited to one race. The picking apart of women’s bodies in national magazines is indiscriminate. But when it comes to hair, there does not seem to be such a fierce debate around what it means if Caucasian hair is straightened or left curly, or if extensions are added in. If you listen to those venomous self-hating Youtube cowards (cowards because it’s easy to be foul mouthed and derogatory behind your computer screen), then a black women who straightens her hair, or gets a weave, does so because she wishes she were white. Of course it can’t be because she feels like a change, or likes the way it looks, or wants a protective style. Even if she does wish to be white, surely it’s only a small minority of people who would actually conclude that a woman wishes she were a different race because of her hairstyle? Or should I suppose that when Cheryl Cole wears cornrows she is expressing her inner desire to be black?

Not sure if this was before or after her alleged racial assault on a toilet attendant

Not sure if this was before or after her alleged racial assault on a toilet attendant

For the record, black hair is versatile. It’s probably the most versatile hair type that exists. Many different styles can be achieved with it. So when black women choose to explore the different styles, why not just leave them be? It’s not hurting you. And in my experience, most people of other races do not quite understand black hair, and so do not even realise that. For example, box braids involve fake hair! How many times have I taken out braids and then been asked by classmates/colleagues “have you cut your hair?” Before I would roll my eyes, and think “how ignorant”, but now I find it liberating. Knowing that my colleagues are not scrutinizing my latest hairstyle and scanning the back of my head for visible tracks, puts me at ease. If only all black women could feel that way all of the time.

Marriage isn’t for Men

That’s right Seth, I thought whilst reading his now famous blog post about his (eventual) self sacrificial marriage. That’s right, Seth, it’s not all about you. Why do so many men make that same mistake?

What for me, is perhaps the most fascinating thing about “Marriage isn’t for you”, is that the rate people are sharing it, you would think it was wholly groundbreaking. I mean, is this really news? That marriage should be about putting your spouse first, ensuring their needs are met, being loving and kind, and unselfish? Sadly in our increasingly shallow and self-centred world, where men and women are celebrated for “selfies” and other self indulgent practices, this IS shocking news to most. You mean, being married isn’t all about me? I can imagine some people have been walking around in a confused daze since reading Seth’s post, similar to when they first discovered that Santa, or the Tooth Fairy are not real.

Suffice to say, that no wonder divorce rates are ever on the up. When a man (for the purposes of this post, I am focusing on the men) realises that he’s not getting everything he wants from a relationship, he walks, in the hope that some other woman will better pander to his ego, stomach, sexual needs etc. I want to focus on men, because it’s interesting isn’t, that a man wrote the enlightened piece. He’d clearly had an epiphany. But in my experience, (most) women have had this, doing what pleases the other, attitude for centuries. Maybe I am more exposed to it because of my cultural background. You see it often in West African cultures, and in Asian and middle-eastern cultures too. Even historically speaking, in English culture; women who put aside their own wants and needs to satisfy the wants and needs of their husbands.

Men are the ones, in my opinion, who really need the wake up call. It is hardly a contentious point, that women are objectified by men. More so than ever these days, with it not being possible to go a day without casting your eye over a half naked woman, either on a billboard, TV commercial, or over the shoulder of someone reading The Sun. Men are often referred to as having “trophy wives”, denoting a wife that serves no other purpose than to serve the man’s need to exude power and status. Or sometimes the man just wants a woman to bear him healthy and good looking heirs. (Recent case in point: did you hear about the Chinese man that sued his wife for being ugly?–awarding-120-000.html).

marriage nagging wife

Oh how much more marriages would survive, if men stopped seeing their wives as mere babysitters, cooks, cleaners, punching bags, sexual slaves, doormats, property. It’s amazing how far treating a woman with dignity and respect will get you. It’s disheartening that such simple principles are so seldom seen these days. Is “feminism” (I use the word loosely) to blame? Feminists want women to be treated equally, or in other words the same as men. Well guess what ladies, we are not the same as men. We are designed differently, we are physically not as strong, we have a different hormonal make up, different ways of thinking and so on. Of course women should not be discriminated against, and should have the same rights afforded to men, but the insistence that women should be treated the same as men in every respect, has had the knock on effect that chivalry is now dead. Ladies, if a guy holds a door open for you, do you honestly believe that it’s because he thinks you do not have the strength or intelligence to open the door yourself?

Back to you men as I round up this semi-rant. I know that women can be selfish too, don’t get me wrong (click here for proof, but, if I’m still allowed to say such things in society that is seeking to throw away the concept of gender, man up, and be a man. Take responsibility for the relationship you’re in. Ask yourself the difficult questions, how do you see your wife? Have you become, or have you always been selfish? Why not take a leaf out of Seth’s book, turn the page and begin a new chapter.