Black women can not grow their hair out very long. Under the torment of relaxers the hair tends to reach eight inches to a foot and a half at most. When the standard for feminine beauty is two feet, a problem arises. Beauty is based on a what is rare in any given ethnicity, therefore long hair is the equivalent of being a blonde in the center culture. The culture of hair is so intense in the black community that to make un of hair in the game of the Dozens is an unspoken taboo. However, this taboo’s lines is periodically crossed regardless.
The Dozens Were Once Called “Crows”. A crow is anyone who discourages someone from advancing in life. However, Disney’s crows repented and turned out to be helpful.
Black families aren’t very large. but the families that do have more than one child often has a member of the Dozens who has a sister. A sister he has seen cry in frustration over her hair texture. it is the valiance of her brother who keeps the Dozens from crossing the line. Single Black children are often raised on a community of cousins and witness the same pain. It may be in the house next door, but competing with her cousins and friends over who has the most Western features and devaluing any feature that is from Sub-Sahara Africa is common place. Long loosely-curled hair and hazel eyes is highly prized by Black men.
Just watch Will fawn over Jada at the 2007 Oscars. He’s absolutely potty over her!
Mixed-race blacks are a beguiling mix of duel ethnicities. They’re like magical faeries in the black community. It is the mixed-race woman who gets married. Whereas the fuller blooded Black woman gets used. Mixed-race blacks are also rare so there is great competition for these faeries. The female sort anyway. I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if there was a contest for Jada and the loser of the match is still smarting over his loss.
If you look at the wives of successful Gen X black men, you’ll notice a pattern: no wife is darker than a brown paper bag. Micheal Jordan and former POTUS Barak Obama are the exceptions. Their choices were the key to both men’s popularity over the masses for it gave darker-skinned women, country-wide, hope that they would be able to marry well. Marriage is still the primary occupation for most women, and to see your best and brightest: your doctors, lawyers and scientists vie for women who look nothing like you is disheartening indeed. Growing up, I noticed my darker friends growl in frustration over the conversation the boys would have over the girls they were interested in. My dark-skinned friend [Quanisha] once day exclaimed: “IT’S ALWAYS A LIGHT-SKINNED GIRL WITH LONG BLACK HAIR!!!” Her rage was palpable and I made sure to stay away from her love interests and black boys in general from then on. I may not look like Lisa Bonet (who I love and have no animosity towards), but I am the same color as Janet Jackson. I had positive representation in popular culture. Quanisha did not. I felt sorry for her and valued my female friendships over increasing my popularity with a boyfriend, so I stayed out of the dating pool. I concentrated on my escape from my mother’s house by cultivating my talent for drawing instead, which paid off in spades.
Quanisha and I later bonded over a comic book graphic novel series that inspired a solution to the colorism we suffered: interracial marriage. In ElfQuest, Cutter of the feral Wolfriders did not mind the settled Sunfolk’s dark tone at all. He fell in love with her one sight. Looking around in pop culture, particularly the music world, we noticed the same pattern. George Micheal had a black girlfriend as well as several other successful artists. White men with dark-skinned black WIVES! The most fabulous and famous being the union being David Bowie and Iman. HOPE! Decades has passed since high school, so I don’t know if Quanisha her married, but, ElfQuest’s union stopped her resentment over selection for that time being. Free from the feeling of inadequacy on our hearts, we went on to succeed in our art work and our careers. Other black girls with a point to prove were not so lucky.
Sex is so clinical in heat-seeking bachelors that any warm body will do. Sating the beast seduced dark-skinned black women everywhere who were looking to be loved in the occupation of marriage. Broken promises led to fatherless children and under-funded parenting. The despair was exasperated by the crack epidemic in the African-American community. What would you do while suffering from postpartum syndrome?
There was insensitive criticism by political leaders who speculated that the problem was partner choices welfare mother made to establish their families. What these clueless statements failed to investigate and realize is Identity Problems within the African-American community led to a variation of the old middle-class Victorian practice: the husband puts his wife, who he sees as passionless on the pedestal and exercises his lust on women of a lower class or a different race. Black men were using their own women as stepping stones to reach the higher spectrum in colorism or marry outside the race. The men left over were the strays and losers (beggars really can’t be choosers). Welfare mothers aren’t sluts, they are dark-skinned girls were reduced to the status of comfort women. Unless a marriage is pre-arranged by family, all women kiss frogs at some point in their lives. Women who are more well to do, go wild kissing frogs in college which often goes well on post graduation. The difference is, due to their privilege. the results are more favorable. Poor, disenfranchised women of all race usually end up with an expensive child they can not afford.
For Chris Rock to make light of Jada Pinket Smith’s baldness is a betrayal of all that black woman of his generation suffered. The taunt was crowing at its lowest. He didn’t have to know that Jada had a scalp condition. He grew up with colorism and hair hate in the Gen X black community, so he KNEW he was wrong! Will reacted like the a big brother, not a next door cousin of a black girl frustrated with her hair that bars her from advancing in life, and slapped some sense into Chris. No, it should not have taken place on stage, but the slap is justified in the wings. If 18th century gentry can slap each other with their gloves to defend their family honor, then it should still be considered chivalry and not assault for Will to defend his lady’s honor. Great insults are harassment which should garner equal outrage as a “assault” slap in front of God and everybody. Chris cultural gaffe insulted Jada on national television, too.
True confessions: A woman’s hair is her life. About two weeks after the Oscar slap, I visited my GP for antibiotics. When my doctor appeared, she was not sporting her usual weave, but a bald head. Thinking it was a break from being a slave to a hair dresser by growing a natural, I said, “Oh, you’ve shave your head! Are you going to——“ My doctor gave me a look that said “Don’t inquire any further.” Instinctively I knew to change the subject and and so without skipping a beat. This is definitely the protocol all women of whatever race. One would think men were taught the same courtesy. I think they are. When a kid showed up with a shaved head at my elementary school in the early 80’s, you know not to ask lest you get one hell of a screaming at by the teacher for a bald head is personal. Very personal. Let the person who is newly bald volunteer the reason why. Don’t comment. Don’t make jokes when your know damn well that everyone is fake laughing on cue to post Oscar ratings with your “roast”. You know better and don’t behind assault and battery laws to justify your gaffe, Chris. Apologize to Jada Pinkett Smith—PUBLICLY.
It pleases me the Gen Alpha’s black girls have such confidence in their beauty and not afraid to show their natural hair between weaves and extensions appointments. However, Gen X and the Baby Boomers who fought for that confidence and respect from outside communities the hard way. So, please be respectful of our sensitivity. The scars are still raw.
Helixed hair with a cross-section prior to recent laws was a barrier to advancing in life.