Friday, November 30, 2012

Tyra Banks and "Good Hair"

Last night, I just came across this for the first time on YouTube. Tyra Banks was talking about 'good hair' on her show. Apparently, this episode aired years ago, but I'm just now seeing it.
Don't laugh at me. I don't really watch TV.
It's a five-part show, so there are four other videos with this. She was talking about hair around the time when Chris Rock created that documentary called "Good Hair" (which I need to watch again, by the way). It was an interesting Tyra episode... very informative, inspiring, and sad at the same time.
How many of you have little girls who have gone to school and gotten teased for their hair? Perhaps their hair isn't long enough, or straight enough, or even short enough. There was one little girl on the show who was teased because she was black and her hair was too long. Really!? Since when are you ridiculed for having long hair? Oh, I know. Because the other girls in her class are ridiculously jealous of her. Poor thing. She has what most people want and yet she gets handfuls of her hair pulled out at school.
Kids are just so mean.
But what's even more sad is that you can't blame the kids. It's not their faults. It's the parents. However your child acts in school or behind closed doors is a product of what you created. If you are telling your little girl that her hair is ugly and nappy, then she will grow up with low self esteem, tease and bully other girls who have long, straight hair, and when she's old enough, perm her hair relentlessly and burn it all out. A lot of women don't realize that because they've grown up and their mothers possibly did the same thing to them, they are damaging their own daughters as well.
One woman on the show had even started to perm her 3-year old daughter's hair. Three!? Ouch! That's how old my daughter is. I wouldn't even dream of putting such a harsh chemical in her hair, especially at that age. Her hair is still growing in delicately!
I feel sorry for these poor little girls. Their mothers have already taught them that there is such a thing as 'good hair' and 'bad hair', and that if you have 'bad hair', you won't get anywhere in life. That's the negative perception that we all have about our hair. Society will not accept us with our knots and coils. There was an author of a particular book about black hair on the show, talking about why we all have this perception and where it came from. She said that it went all the way back to slavery, when the slave masters had sex with a black woman to get a mixed child, and that child was light skinned with long, wavy hair. That child got  opportunities in life that a regular, all black slave child never had. That light skinned child often got a greater chance at life... better food, shelter, clothes, and education. So we've automatically been brainwashed into thinking that if we are lighter and look as much as possible like a white person, we're good. We're on top of the world and we can get the same jobs as a white person. We can fling our hair like a white person. We can be rich like a white person... if only we had good hair.
It's just so sad that a lot of us still have that mentality. It's simply ignorance that we've grown into. We're portraying it to our youth and don't realize it. We have to do better with raising our young girls. I applaud the mothers who have gone natural and allowed their daughters to go natural as well. We should be embracing our culture. I don't mean do anything stupid... run a muck with afros, screaming 'Black Power', bring back the Black Panther party, protest in the streets or anything like that. Just give our youth better self esteem, and that there is no such thing as 'good' or 'bad' hair. If you have some hair at all, you're good. Ask yourself... would you rather be bald instead of having the kinks in your head, and not have the opportunity to wear a wig or a weave over it? I'd rather have something than nothing! Why do you think cancer patients have it so hard in the hair department?
Yes, taking care of our hair is difficult. It is. But that is where we educate ourselves on how to take care of what we were born with so that it becomes easier. This is where some mothers are just plain lazy. Instead of perming the kid's hair, they could braid it or do something less harmful that takes the same amount of time as perming it does. There are so many things to do to a child's hair so that it won't take long to quickly fix in the morning, or even at night. Doing those home perming kits takes about, what... 30 minutes or more for the whole process? In that amount of time, you could have detangled and done a protective style! Oh, and let's not forget the blow drying and the dreaded flat ironing process... that's too much for a little kid to go through. Some mothers are just lazy and lack the knowledge on how to properly care for the child's hair, so they make it as easy as possible... for them, not the child.
This is yet another reason why I am homeschooling my kids, because if either one of my daughters ever come home crying with a chunk of their hair cut off because some jealous brat got trigger-happy with scissors that day, or my son comes home with his rat tail gone, I'm going to go a-wall on somebody's parents.
So parents... let's get our acts together... for the sake of causing more harm to our kids.
(steps off soapbox)

~Epic Realist~