Is Black Women Wearing Weave Cultural Appropriation?

Whenever black women call out these white women or any other nonblack women who purposely and willingly copy things from black women and act like it’s some new thing, someone always says, “Well, what about black women wearing weave, blue/green eye contacts, and bleaching their skin? Aren’t they cultural appropriating?”

I think this question is stupid and deflecting. Instead of acknowledging that these nonblack women are copying black women and getting put on a pedestal while black women get overlooked or dogged out, they try to flip it on black women. Black women wearing weave, bleaching their skin, or wearing blue or green eye contacts is not cultural appropriation.

I feel like a lot of black women who do those things do it to feel more beautiful in a society that puts down black hair, skin, and features. White and other nonblack women who wear black women’s hairstyles, get surgeries to get black women’s body features, etc. aren’t getting those things to feel more beautiful because their looks are already the standard in this society.

Their looks are celebrated over black women’s in the media all the time. They copy our looks to be trendy and/or replace us in media and not to be more accepted because they will get accepted with or without the surgeries and hairstyles. Black women actually HAVE TO have lighter skin, straight hair, and a certain body shape to be accepted and celebrated in both media and regular society.

At the same time, although I believe black women altering their features is not cultural appropriating, I do believe it is wrong and hypocritical of us to cry and complain about other races of women “trying to look and be like us” when we’re sitting around with a straight blonde wig on or whenever we’re taking a picture online, we have to turn the brightness up to make our skin look lighter. We have a lot of nerve crying because some white woman wore braids when we don’t have our own hair in our heads.

One thing I’ve learned about white people is that they like to use people’s words against them. They know when they are cultural appropriating, but they like acting like they don’t know what it is. So, when they’re called out on it, they like flipping the script to, “Well, what about you?”

If we want to call them out for what they’re doing, we can at least not do the same thing they’re doing. We have to get rid of weaves and hair straightening, skin bleaching/photo lightening, different color eye contacts, or anything that remotely erases our blackness. It may not stop them cultural appropriating altogether, but at least they can’t use us as an excuse to keep doing it. We can call them out and actually hold them accountable for what they’re doing.

If we’re not going to stop with the straight hair and skin bleaching, we can’t say anything about them. They have a point when they say that. And we can’t bring up, “There are black women all over the world that have naturally straight hair and natural blue/green eyes,” when that’s not you. You don’t have naturally straight hair or natural blue or green eyes. That’s why you have to go buy it, so that’s an invalid argument.

We have to start accepting all of our features 100% with no altering. Then, and only then, will we be right in calling out all these nonblack women who are cultural appropriating. Until then, we can’t say anything.

Weave As A Protective Style Is A Lie & An Excuse!

I kind of didn’t want to write about this because it’s such a touchy subject and ruffles quite a few feathers, but I think this had to be said anyway. As of recent years, I’ve been hearing more and more black women say they wear weave as a “protective style” for their natural hair. I hate to say it, but hearing so many black women say this irritates me! It’s a really big, obvious lie, but so many black women cling onto it like they don’t see it.

I went natural a few years ago and I did it with the help of lots of natural hair tutorials on YouTube. Through watching those videos, I saw that no one needs weave to grow hair. I saw so many black women who grew their hair to bra strap length and longer WITHOUT weave.

I think of all the black women who had big, beautiful afros during the ’60s and ’70s and I never saw them use weave to grow it. I think of how long black women have been on this earth. We’ve had this same hair since the dawn of time. Why now, all of a sudden, do we need weave to grow our hair? When I think of it this way, this excuse sounds even more ridiculous. It really sadly proves how brainwashed we are about our own hair in this society. The truth is we’ve been conditioned with straight hair for so long, we literally forgot how to take care of our real hair how it grows out the scalp.

I believe women who wear weave hijacked the protective style term from the natural hair community. While on my journey of learning how to grow and care for my natural hair, I learned that protective styles are styles that you do with YOUR OWN hair to protect the ends, like braids or twists. Not once did I see these women use or mention weave.

I believe these women hijacked this term from the natural hair community because they want to go natural, but they aren’t 100% ready to give up weave completely. They’re so used to wearing weave, they don’t want to give it up just yet. The natural hair community has really shattered a lot of lies and excuses that’s been going around about our hair for many, many years—black people’s hair can’t grow long; only nonblack and mixed people’s hair can grow long; our hair is unmanageable; our hair is ugly—amongst so many others.

Since the natural hair community shattered all of these lies and excuses, there’s literally NO reason to wear weave at all. So the weave wearing women made one up to make it seem like there’s still a use for weaves amongst black women. I’m also thinking that maybe the hair industry made up and is pushing this lie. With more black women going natural, I’m sure it’s threatening the weave business. With more black women going natural, less of them would buy weave. So they needed to push that to keep black women buying weaves.

I know we don’t like to hear this, but we as black women need to give up weave FOR GOOD! Let’s stop following this society’s rules about how straight hair is better. Let’s stop allowing this society to force us into hating our hair. Let’s give up weave 100%. I know you might be afraid, but please don’t be. We need to go back to loving and accepting our true selves. We don’t need to wait until it’s considered “cool” by the rest of society to do it. We have to just do it and forget about anyone who has a negative comment.

When I first cut my hair and went natural, I had to hear negative comments from my own dad and brothers, saying I needed a texturizer to “make my hair easier to manage”; saying I would never get a job with my hair; saying that my hair was going to fall out; all kinds of stupid, ignorant comments. But my want and love for my own hair far outweighed the negative comments from those closest to me. Also, lots of other people outside of my family always complimented my hair, so I knew that they were full of crap for saying what they were saying about my hair. Now that my hair has grown a lot, they’re saying they want their hair to grow and look like mine. Isn’t that something?

I’m sharing a little of my story because I know that many women are mostly afraid to go completely natural and give up weave because they’re afraid of negative comments. I know many of the negative comments will come from people closest to us. I want to encourage other women to not be afraid.

I now realize after being natural for a few years that the people who make negative comments are afraid, too. I believe that when women go natural, it sparks something in other people. I think deep down, they want to do it, too, and your hair inspired them, but they just don’t have the courage. I also think it has to do with them just not being used to your hair not being straight. They’re so used to seeing you and other women around them wear straight hair that when they see one that doesn’t have straight hair, they think it looks weird.

We really need to let go of these lies and excuses. We will never fully accept our hair as our own if we keep using them. Never in history have we ever needed weave to grow our hair! Let that sink in and let’s act accordingly.