Dammit. I should be playing Zumba. My shoes are on and my hair is up – I’m ready to shimmy and shake on the Zumba party yacht (virtually). But instead, I’m sitting here and pondering the thought process several males have when commenting on natural hair. For some reason, I see a lot of strong opinions on our hair, whether it’s love or hate. If you don’t believe me, you can do a simple Google search or check out the #naturalhair hashtag on Twitter. Men (especially black men) seem to love to spit vitriol at us for wearing our hair nappy like neanderthals or call us queens because we have embraced our crowns. The compliments get positive reactions all over the internet, while the negative comments are met with, “Who asked you?!?!” But can we really be upset at the insults when so many women place such a high emphasis on a man’s opinion of our hair?
While I understand the mantra “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all,” the extreme focus that is often placed on men complimenting natural hair forms an obvious alter ego – the “villain,” the man who is going to tell you how it REALLY is. And why not? We go as far as to have conversations with spouses before big chopping and every single time a man posts a blog or video about natural hair, it goes viral. What about the villain? He just wants some attention too. We fed this villain, we made him, and we keep him alive.
A few weeks ago, I was tardy to the party and read a post on Curly Nikki about a woman whose husband threatened to divorce her while she was pregnant – all because of her hair and her lack of consultation with him regarding how she chose to wear her natural locks. To be completely honest, it was one of the most concerning things I have ever read in my life. The fact that it seemed okay for a man to be so hurt about his wife not discussing her hair with him that he would threaten to separate from her (apparently, he wasn’t actually going to “really” do it) while she is carrying his child shows me that the natural hair version of Harvey Dent’s evil counterpart is not going to exit stage left anytime soon.
In a similar sense, there is also the notion that women are blaming black men for more of us not wearing our hair natural. Because we fear the backlash from men, we choose weaves and relaxers to stay appealing to the masses. But of course, this is really our fault, because we blame black men for everything, right? As I stated in the beginning, take the time and look up some of the things that have been said about natural hair. Not everyone can take that kind of criticism, and I don’t blame them. Perhaps, instead of seeing the natural hair controversy as a woman’s excuse to belittle black men’s support of them, look to your fellow-man and ask why his lack of support (or heck, even his support) needs to be so vocal.
Remember, for every hero, there is a villain. If Harvey Dent hadn’t been placed on such a high pedestal, Two Face really wouldn’t have been a huge deal. And now…my appointment with a computerized man shaking his butt and giving me several thumbs up is overdue.
What are your thoughts? Do you think men’s voices are too loud regarding natural hair, whether it’s positive or negative? Please leave your comments below!