Colorism: Light Skin, Loose Curls, and Natural Hair

Colorism in the natural hair community is nothing but poison to our society and only encourges Eurocentric beauty standards that should be challenged.

I am a lover of all natural hair and am at a point that I don’t really care too much about this hair typing nonsense (what a great way to divide a community, wouldn’t you say?)

While knowing your hair type can be useful, I believe it does more harm than good to the natural hair community in regards to further separating us, an already broken group.

Before you raise an eyebrow, let me really tell you what I’m talking about.

I read this great article in the Huffington Post; this brought up a valid point:

When people refer to natural hair, the beauty standard is for looser curls (3A-3C) and light complexion is generally represented with this texture.

My experience with this phenomena has elevated the way I view natural hair in the black community. I remember walking into the vet with my puppy, Apollo, and the woman behind the counter was so intrigued by my hair texture. She complained that she could never get her hair to cooperate like mine, then went about saying I was the only dark-skinned girl she ever seen with good hair. You could only imagine the rant that was going through my mind.

The thing is, my hair does as it pleases. Some days my hair is more curly, some days my hair is more frizzy. Other days my hair is kinky and uncooperative. Ultimately, my hair is my hair.

But by no means do I think my hair is good hair; if anything I believe my hair is well-suited for me. It took me years to get aclimated to the fact that my hair is beautiful, each and every kinky and twisted strand. Unfortunately, I did not grow up loving my hair; I grew up criticizing how I could look beautiful enough. With the movement spreading across the nation and overseas, more and more women (young and old) are learning to love on their own terms.

In addition to hair, there is this concept of colorism, another gross and unnecessary argument. I’m unsure of why society believes that only light-skinned women have a certain type of hair texture, length, and color compared to darker complected women. I’ve seen lighter complected women with my hair texture and vice versa. And how beautiful is that to see the differences; all these combinations we have to

What bothers me the most about this new natural hair beauty standard is yet  another divide in the natural hair community that was initially intended to promote self-love and self-awareness. I decided to embrace my natural hair as a means of freedom. Doing so has increased my self-confidence and self-awareness. Not only did I grow as a person, but I created my own standard for beauty:

Beauty (be-yuu-tee) noun: A state of being most natural and uncompromising to society.

There are so many beautiful textures of healthy hair out there, to categorize them only does more harm than good when trying to unify the black and kinky-curly community. What is your definition of beauty?


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