If you have been on any Social Media lately, you would see that Google has a problem. The problem is that the search engine portrays black women with natural hair as unprofessional.
I became natural in 2011. More specifically on the last day of 2011. I got home from reading the news at the local radio station on the 31st of December and shaved off my hair. I was 21 at the time and had decided that 22 would be MY year. I was going to grow into who I was and absorb the world around me until I found it. New hair, new start.
What a load of cheese right? I am now 25, and I can still honestly say that 22 was overall my best growth year. It laid the foundations for who I am today as an intersectional feminist and a caller out of bullshit.
I remember sending the picture of my new hair to a few friends and family it was met with shock and disbelief. “Why would you do that?” “What about work and stuff?” “Will you relax it again once it grows out?”
And therein lay the problem. The biggest challenge is that natural hair is seen as unprofessional. It is seen as an abnormality. How is it not the norm for people of a certain melanin count to have hair that is kinky?
It is great that we are idealistic on social media and personal blogs. Some magazines are also even jumping on the bandwagon supporting natural hair. Sales for natural hair products have gone up and this is a great thing.
The standard of beauty is Eurocentric, hence the relaxers, the skin bleaching and the pressure to have a perfect English accent in order to be taken seriously.
On the flip side though. Do you! If you love the weave and you know someone who does great relaxer that doesn’t leave your scalp unhealthy then go for it. It is your hair and your choice.
The only thing that one needs to remember is that conforming to beauty standards just because it is the norm or because there is pressure towards it will leave you unhappy and broke.
Written by Hulisani Khorombi, Staff Writer, #mygirlsquad