Discrimination Against Black Hair Types & Lengths

(Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini – Backstage – Milan Fashion Week/Matteo Valle/Getty Images)

This was brought to my attention by a fellow reader. I’ve noticed this myself in the natural hair community. When the natural hair community first began to gain popularity on YouTube, I was happy because I thought real black hair was finally getting accepted…until I noticed this.

A lot of black women who first start going natural wear weaves at first because they refer to their short natural hair as the “ugly phase”. They will wear weaves until their hair grows to a certain length (Some women say that they do this to get their hair to grow longer easier, but I explained in this post why I believe that is an outright lie and excuse). A lot of people only like natural black hair when it’s a certain length. I feel like some people took the black women with long natural hair the wrong way (probably purposely) in the natural hair community online.

There aren’t as many popular natural hair YouTube channels where the women have short hair. I don’t think people compliment women with short natural hair as much as they compliment women with long natural hair. When I first cut my hair and went natural and it was really short, I didn’t get many compliments for it. I didn’t start getting a lot of compliments until after I grew some length to it.

The women with long natural hair on YouTube was supposed to show that black women’s hair can grow long and how to get it to grow long. For a long time, there was a myth going around the black community that only mixed or nonblack women’s hair could grow long. It wasn’t to send the message that only long natural hair is beautiful.

I noticed the natural hair length discrimination, but what I didn’t notice, which was brought to my attention by this fellow reader I mentioned at the beginning of this post, was texturism. Only a certain type of texture of natural hair is more acceptable in the black community than other textures. To make things more clear, looser textured natural hair or the texture mixed women have when they wear afros are sometimes more acceptable than women who have kinkier textured hair.

I searched natural hair on YouTube and women with looser textured hair popped up first, their videos took up most of the page and, for the most part, had more views than women with kinkier textured hair. The same thing happened when I searched it on Google.

(Photo: Flickr)

We have to learn to accept our hair AT ALL lengths and textures! Cut out the discrimination and “picky-choosiness” between hair textures and lengths! We have to learn how to accept our all of real hair textures and lengths just like we accept straight or loosely curly hair in every length and texture.

Like I believe I’ve said in a different post about natural hair and what you might see me saying a lot more in the future, we won’t accept our hair as our own unless we accept it at all textures and lengths. We will always come up with some excuse to cover it up and be insecure about it if we don’t. We shouldn’t be ashamed and insecure about our own real hair that grows out of our scalps!

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