AJ's Corner / Parker & Friends / Random / The 'Do

What’s Up, Up There: What Is Natural, Really?

Let’s be honest, you guys know very little about me much less the style of my hair.

Surprise! I rock a ‘fro that I affectionately call Chia or Chi-Chi. She’s outgoing, free-spirited, and gorgeous. Like a person, she has good days and bad, but she’s always there at the end of the day. Oh and she loves to be pampered. My hair is about neck-length, of which I am immensely proud, and a tumultuous mixture of 4a and 4c. And our guilty pleasure is long deep conditioning sessions while watching YouTube videos and tutorials.

I am a proudly, natural girl. For those who may not know, natural means that I do not partake of crack of the creamy variety, i.e. chemical relaxers. If we want to get deeper into the discussion, I do the “modified” Curly Girl Method and only use ingredients that I can pronounce.

There will be more of this on a different day.

Truthfully, I was never really going to elaborate on the overall state of the hair on own my head, but I recently came across a CurlyNikki (the link is here) article where it features a Caucasian woman claiming to be “natural”. Yeah, you guys know what I’m talking about. Initially, I was going to waste my time reading about it–because the site is obviously looking for clicks–until I watched a video on YouTube discussing it. When I finally went to read the article, it left me scratching my head.


The entire thing begs the question: can someone not of color truly be natural?

It’s common knowledge that the natural community was created for women of color by women of color. Then, is it just black women, then? The answer is no. Colored is a term that is broader than most people think. In the olden days, it stemmed from whether or not you had higher levels of melanin in your skin. This means its goes far beyond black women and includes Jamaicans, Haitians, Hispanics, Latinas and etc. If you had a hint of color and even a kink in your hair, you were labeled. It’s sad, but it is what it was.

It’s taken a long time for dark to be considered beautiful, simply because it wasn’t conventional. So, relaxers were manufactured in order to imitate and conform to what others said was pretty. Many women who went natural didn’t even now what their real hair looked like. It wasn’t until recently that cosmetic lines expanded to including darker foundation hues and hair companies are only just now jumping on the bandwagon of  the “natural movment”. For so long, it was assumed that black hair only came one way–and that way was permed–then thrown into that obscure aisle and labeled “Ethnic”. This makes going back to what we are born with that much more meaningful.

In my opinion, I find it a matter of it is or it isn’t. And since I am not the head of the “Natural Police” and can’t go around, patrolling and saying “no, you shall not pass” whenever stuff like this happens, I guess I can’t so much. But, what bothered me the most about this whole situation were the woman’s answers when asked the questions that traditionally go with the an interview about natural hair. It was more along the lines of “how long were you natural”–her answer being her entire life–and whether or not she “transitioned or big chopped”– she said she simply took her hair out of a bun and started wearing it down.

Honey, that doesn’t make you natural…or at least natural in the sense that colored women mean it.

Let’s call a spade a spade and say that living a more holistic and natural life as far as the health of your hair is concerned should be your main concern–if you are a natural. In my mind, if you have never been subject to a chemical relaxer (the sh*t that eats metal) and have neither “big-chopped” or “transitioned”, you can’t be a true natural.

You can, however, be a supporter in the natural community.

And that’s all I can really ask of anybody.

 

What do you guys think? Comment below.

 

image(s): tinalicious.com, glee.wikia.com, dumbledoresarmyroleplay.wikia.com, naturallyhappyhair.blogspot.com

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