Shamed for Hair | Teen Ink

Shamed for Hair

December 11, 2018
By Chrissa-Haygood BRONZE, Sacramento, California
Chrissa-Haygood BRONZE, Sacramento, California
4 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Favorite Quote:
" I know everything happens for a reason, but sometimes I wish I knew what the reason was. " - Anonymous

As black people in America we are not only shamed for our skin but our hair too. Black people, mostly women,  are shamed for their hair because to other races it looks unprofessional and is so unordinary . That in all cases are unfair, there are many textures and kinkyness of Black hair that all should be embraced.

One day in 2017, as a freshman I decided to wear my natural hair with braided extensions in the front. When I walked in class my white male, math teacher had complimented me then after said my hair was “Different, not like them, the other ones…” It got admittedly uncomfortable so I went to my seat. I experience these situations often but don't process them admittedly because I'm used to it. Again in 2018, with no added products I wore a regular top knot. I came to school and some of the white community at my school were asking why haven't I straighten my hair recently I've been “Letting myself go” .

A few years months later awareness about the hatred of natural black hair has been spiking. Videos, Artiles, and Blogs have been ways to tell some women stories. Im almost sure every Afro-American girl has seen the sad video of the black student in Gretna,La., sobbing because her box braids got her removed from school.

This isn't only women getting backlash, men who wear afros, dreadlocks, or braids are judged and pushed to change their hair, just like the new hire at Publix, a supermarket in Tennessee. He was ordered to cut his dreadlocks but he is a Rastafarian, a religion that bans followers from cutting their hair. So he took it to court but why should he have had to… To people are dreads that bad to where he couldn't stay employed or is it discrimination?

Why do only blacks get shamed for their hair, may I ask again? Does it look “unprofessional” as people claim? Society takes our hair as undone or untreated for our natural state. All black women and men, and their textures should be accepted. Our hair is beautiful naturally or not. Hair are roots, they affect our moods, bonds us together, and makes us different. Because black hair is different than all other hair we are too often misunderstood.

In conclusion, there are many answers to my question and only way to explain it. Its dissimilar and unalike, instead of grown down ours grow up with many different types of curls and can be maybe different colors maybe multiple! They say it's unprofessional or out of control just because it’s not familiar, which is untrue. We have all the options when its comes to hair and whatever we decide to do we, as black people, should take pride in and wear fearlessly.

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