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Helena Bonham CarterFinally after a while I reached to the conclusion that it’s not that black women hair is harder to take care of than white women hair. It’s only that the standard is different. Again, white privilege.
If you are white you can do with your hair whatever you want, cut it short, let it hang loose and long, curl it, dye it, etc.
But if you are a black woman… well, that’s a different story.
No matter what you do with your hair it is always wrong, it seems. If you cut it short you are lazy, if you carry a full Afro you are wild and dangerous, and if you straighten it you are just pretending to be white and do not respect your African roots. There’s no way in which you can be socially accepted, it doesn’t matter if “it’s only hair”. They will put a label on you just by looking at your hair.
If you are white and you are in a hurry and go out with your hair looking like the one of Helena Bonham Carter (see picture above) Ellen Banksmaybe you will get some looks, but nobody will care much about it and many will think you are cool, independent and sure of yourself. Hey, you can do whatever you like with your head, right?
But if you are a black woman, you can NEVER go out with your hair looking like that!
And the funny thing is that even after spending time and money on your hair, you’ll be criticized anyway.
I read two articles in the New York Times, one titled Skin Deep - Black Hair, Still Tangled in Politics and the other in Time.com about Piper MillerMichelle Obama’s hair, Why Michelle Obama’s Hair Matters. (If you want to hear some experiences of African American women listen to Tresses of Choice, also part of the first article)
Oh, please, leave the girls alone!!
I have a confession to make too.
I cut my hair short some weeks ago for the first time in my life, and there are days in which I DON’T COMB IT AT ALL. Frankly, with three kids, sometimes I forget.
Even when never looks very messy, it can look a little unkempt, but if I go out like that nobody cares. But I would never go out without doing something to Feven’s hair, I know that if I don’t somebody will probably say something to me. I take special care to dress her properly and do her hair, specially being a white woman (I have some stories to share about me, my kids, and the outside world, but that, on future posts). The problem is that with children you never know and sometimes unpredictable things happen… Children don’t care about your efforts, they are natural and free and they will mess up you work without guilt!
To prove it, I will tell you an anecdote.
Since Feromsa was going to start preschool last Wednesday, I decided to take him to his first hair cut at a barbershop.
I thought it would be a good idea to go to the African American neighborhood in Portland and take him to a real black barbershop for his first hair cut.
It was just Feromsa, Feven and me, and I took special care to make them look good; combed and conditioned hair for Feromsa, conditioned, brushed hair and then piggy tails for Feven. Probably I would have never worried that much with Dylan…
Everything was great, I was driving and we were almost there when I smelled something funny inside the car. I parked and when I opened the door to take Feven out of her car seat, I discovered that she had vomited all over herself!! OMG
I was far from home, there was no way I was driving back to change her, I already had an appointment! So, I cleaned her the best I could with baby wipes and there we went… but boy, she smelled!!
So there we were, entering a black barbershop with a wonderful puke scent all over us! All my perfect plans ruined! I hope they didn’t think I was a bad white mom that didn’t care about my black children…
But going back to the main subject of the post, it’s sad that a black woman is judged for what is outside of her head and not inside. Oh, yeah, but we all women have small empty brains anyway…
I hope that Feven grows up feeling proud of herself no matter how the top of her head looks like.

BTW, Feromsa’s hair cut turned great, and his first day of school too.
Feromsa's hair cut