So I need to vent.
The other day I posted my current profile picture on Facebook and Instagram. For a picture like this, I was already anticipating a mixture of curious, smart-ass comments, negative and positive comments. It turns out I actually received a lot of positive comments. But like always, I encountered a comment that stood out to me.
Before I begin my reflective writing, I understand that this is the internet and things will be taken out of context. I do have to say, I am not attacking anyone or condemning the commenter. I want to enlighten the world on some issues that are not really discussed.
Don’t get me wrong, this comment and the commenter had no malicious intent. In fact, its very empowering and endearing. To most people, this comment will be viewed as flawless which is why I am going to explain myself. As an African woman who has had to play a game in accordance to the rules of a Caucasian dominated society, I view this comment differently. The person who posted that comment did not say or do anything wrong. In their eyes. Their innocent ignorance on the issue of African hair was almost too novice to critique. And did I do that? No! As you can see I merely liked the comment. Keep in mind, I am not one to usually shy away from confrontation. And why did I do nothing? Because I at that time was tired of trying to explain myself and trying to raise this person and other peoples acceptance of this type of hair.
So I began to ponder. What does crazy mean to her? Could it be something considered unruly and unkempt but still intriguing enough to get them to like the picture? I just couldn’t figure it out hence the birth of this blog. I concluded that controlled, silky and dead straight hair makes people comfortable as it lies within the constraints of society. My long winding journey and experiences in life have led me to choose to NOT conform to societies beauty standards and that is why I have a problem with the person’s choice of wording. Statements such as those are implicitly offensive and belittling in nature because it outlines the Caucasian dominated societies ostracism of differences like the afro hair. No one apart from those with marginalised hair (and to a greater extent: culture, race, religion etc) would understand why I am making such a fuss about two little words. Perception really is everything.
I have grown to understand that people have been programmed to be accepting of stereotyping and degrading comments towards what has been determined as ‘different’. I mean, what is wrong with having frizzy, soft, versatile and untamed hair? Anyway, I’m always open to listening to different opinions.
Like, comment and follow. Lets create a dialogue