Why Are Black Women Punished for Having Natural Hair?

From media images to the language of what is beautiful and right, long and straight is the standard, which is why the first thing some women do when they become radicalized is to cut off their hair to stand away from the pack. Black folks, themselves, don’t quite know where to begin, as social codes that determine what looks good and acceptable change as quickly as the next Black Twitter post. We embrace then agonize over phrases like “good hair” versus “bad hair”. I almost did an intervention on a young Chicago bus driver who insisted my locks are lovely because I have the “right” kind of hair whereas hers was just “useless”. We have internalized a European beauty standard that forces so many of us to feel incomplete unless we have Rapunzel-length locks that likely come from an East Indian woman who left her hair lying on the floor as tribute to her gods.

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See Also:  Can A Sista Get Some Love:  Dark-Skinned Girls in the Media

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