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Hair is political….

10 replies

Maggiethecat · 08/09/2022 23:10

I saw this today and remember Chimimanda’s comment that, had Michelle worn her hair naturally, Barack wouldn’t have become president.

Michelle, and her hair, look lovely but it did make me wonder if she ever wore her hair naturally in the 8 years of presidency or if she felt she had to conform to the stereotype of acceptability.

www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/world-us-canada-62829669

OP posts:
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Starseeking · 09/09/2022 20:59

I can easily believe that. I think I saw her a couple of times while he was president with no weave, but still with pressed hair. I can't recall ever seeing her with a full-on Afro (I have one and love not having to do much with my hair!).

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Maggiethecat · 10/09/2022 01:02

Can’t recall seeing her with braids either while in the WH but she must feel very comfortable wearing her hair that way now and it does suit her.

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KentuckyDerbyandJoan · 10/09/2022 01:33

I wish that more high profile women would allow their beautiful, natural, Afro hair to shine rather than feeling compelled to straighten it.
Surely this would encourage more women to do the same and enjoy their hair.

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Starseeking · 10/09/2022 06:02

KentuckyDerbyandJoan · 10/09/2022 01:33

I wish that more high profile women would allow their beautiful, natural, Afro hair to shine rather than feeling compelled to straighten it.
Surely this would encourage more women to do the same and enjoy their hair.

I agree.

It sounds funny now, but when I first started working corporate 20 years ago, it never occurred to me that I could wear my hair natural. I just assumed it had to be relaxed or in a protective style (for me personally braids only, no weave/wig), as I'd been wearing since the age of 7 years old when I'd first been taken to straighten my hair.

It was only on seeing a friend who also worked in corporate who had a huge Afro, that inspired me to BC. I remember asking her what they said at work about it, and she said "nothing, it's my hair".

This helped me reframe my thinking about Afro hair, which had obviously been conditioned into me thinking that Afro hair was not professional.

I've now had my hair in a short Afro for about 15 years, haven't relaxed my hair during that time, and can say with confidence I won't ever do so again. I doubt I'd wear braided extensions again, although I do occasionally put on an Afro puff.

Now I have DC, I'm teaching my girls to love their hair by only ever styling their hair with their Afro, and teaching my boys that their short Afro's and their sister's larger Afro's are wonderful, and we celebrate them. While my DC won't escape the external messages, I'm aiming to give them that love of self from within the family first.

It baffles me when I still see people relaxing either their own or their small DC hair, given the health risks, or when I see 3 year olds with hair extensions down their back, as the more we normalise Afro hair in all environments, the more it becomes commonplace.

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Etinoxaurus · 10/09/2022 06:32

Thanks OP
You've reminded me to chase up our workplace’s commitment to ‘hair equity’
halocollective.co.uk/halo-workplace/

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phoenixrosehere · 10/09/2022 11:49

It’s unfortunately true in the US.


There were actual laws where Black women had to wear their hair covered, Tignon laws due to white men being mesmerised by Black women’s hair and many white women then did not like that so pushed for laws for Black women to cover their hair. It backfired because Black women came back wearing colourful scarves on their heads to follow the law and had received more attention.

historydaily.org/tignon-laws-facts-trivia-stories/4


When it comes to my own hair I prefer it in braids, weaves, and wigs because it is difficult and time-consuming to manage. It used to take me a a day to do start to finish because my hands cramp, knuckles lock up after too much repetitive motions. It takes me about 3 hours but I have to find uninterrupted time and have the strength in my hands to do it. I have 2 boys with beautiful curly hair that I do as well so it’s not just me. I rather spend those hours it takes me having someone else do my hair into a style that will last me months then me doing three heads three-four times a week.

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GorillaTape · 24/09/2022 22:35

Very few black women have natural hair ….. so bad odds it’s probably a correct statement. But so we think they wouldn’t vote for him because she’s got her natural hair?

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GorillaTape · 24/09/2022 22:36

So by that odd*.

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J0y · 24/09/2022 22:38

Not black but this is an interesting subject in active conversations, so apologies for having an opinion. I think after Barrack got in for the second stint she could have worn her hair naturally. But perhaps it would have been more difficult to style in other ways and there was still going to be a huge amount of eyes on her.

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GorillaTape · 24/09/2022 22:43

It’s a shame some people don’t feel comfortable to do whatever they want to do :(

maybe women need to focus less on looks… make natural hair and less make
up acceptable

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