A couple months ago I was strolling through movie trailers section on Youtube. After a few good ones, a handful of shitty ones, and one or two trailers that made me say “WOW, I’m illegalling watching this ASAP!”, I came across a movie that opened up my Asian eyes completely: Good Hair.
Now, in case you didn’t read the banner on top, I’m Asian. I know just as much about black culture as any other Asian: Miles Davis, The Black Panthers, and in eighth grade I could say “YEEEAAAAAHH!” and “OKKAAAY!” like Lil Jon. But for some reason, I never knew about this “black hair industry”.
I mean, I knew that black hair was different, and I knew about weaves, but that’s about it. It just wasn’t a topic people talked about. Sure, 17% of my High School was black, and yes, I did have a few black friends, but no one ever sat me down with a cup of warm tea and said “Ranier, it’s difficult for black people to straighten their hair. We have to use chemicals. I’m sorry you had to hear it from me.”
But after watching that movie, it got me thinking: we live in a society that worships white features. We want their noses, we want their hair color, and we want their skin color. And now we want their hair texture? Holy crap!
But the surprising thing is that I had internalized some of it. After watching the trailer I tested myself: I looked at pictures of various black women with their straightened hair, and then with natural hair. In the end, I found myself preferring the straight hair, and I began to feel a bit troubled: I disliked black hair and I didn’t even have a reason why.
Has America painted the Black Woman as perfectly IMPERFECT? By American standards (as seen on T.V), the ideal woman is light skinned, with colored eyes, and straight hair. However, the typical black women has none of those – she has dark skin, dark eyes, and curly hair. Does that make Black women not beautiful?
And even though I’m Asian and I don’t share this problem with Black people, I can sympathize. I know what it’s like to look in the mirror and see your ethnic features, and ask yourself “am I ugly?” In an effort to reformat my thinking I tried to find the beauty in Black beauty. And I think I found it:
Sure, Black women don’t have natural straight hair, but what they do have is unique. NO one in the world can have that kind of hair. Black women can make their hair look White, or Indian, or Asian, but there are no White people who can make their hair look black. It’s a beauty that can only be seen in one group of people in this world. Doesn’t that make it beautiful?
Doesn’t the fact that it’s so rare and hard to replicate, make it gorgeous? When you realize the amount of work that Black women go through just to make their hair seem “normal” doesn’t that struggle make it beautiful? I mean shit! Their HAIR has a story to it! What do Asians and Whites have to say about their hair?
A message to all Black Women: Don’t change a thing. No matter how full, or curly. It doesn’t matter if the world prefers you light, dark, or darker. Forget what any magazine tells you. Black isn’t beautiful, it’s fucking gorgeous.