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Natural Hair vs. Weaves: It’s Time to End this Battle

21 Jul

NAT solangeLast week, The Root published an article criticizing a meme that made fun of black women who wear weaves.

Weave V. Natural

Writer Jenée Desmond-Harris pointed out that this meme makes various assumptions about black women and their hair.

Contrary to what I expected, when I scrolled through the comments, tons of people agreed with the meme. Many of them argued that all black women who do not wear their hair in a natural style are struggling with low self-esteem, internalized racism, and self-hate.

In order to pull some folks out of this shallow, misguided thinking, I immediately felt the need to write this post. Let a buzzed-cut girl (who’s been natural her whole life) break it down.  It’s passed time to end this hair feud.

In defense of weaves and wigs:

Now I won’t sit here and act like internalized racism isn’t an issue in our community. Some people have been taught (at very young ages) that nappy hair is ugly and unkempt. Sometimes weaves, relaxers and other hair trends are an expression of the internalized black hate that has been in our world for centuries.

However, not every girl with a weave has internalized racist views about her hair.

Wearing a weave doesn’t automatically mean you have low self-esteem or self-hate just like wearing natural hair doesn’t automatically mean you’re confident. Michelle Obama wears a weave. So does Janet Mock, Oprah, Shonda Rhimes, Kerry Washington, Beverly Bond (Creator of Black Girls Rock), and many other powerful women. These women have to have a certain level of confidence in order to make it as far as they have.

Oftentimes women wear weaves for protective styling and convenience. Sometimes it’s easier to throw on a cute wig or wear a weave rather than raking through your hair and styling it all the time. Natural styles, including locs, can take quite a bit of time and effort to maintain.

In defense of Naturalistas:

Being natural isn’t always easy. It takes a lot of courage to be natural in a society that has an all-around hate for natural hair.

Natural girls get very little love in the mainstream, as very few of our major pop stars wear their hair natural when they’re in the spotlight. You hardly find natural hair in Hollywood, fashion, or even the White House (Wouldn’t it be cool to see FLOTUS rockin some double-strand twists). Natural hair is still pretty revolutionary, because unfortunately, our world still has an obsession with European standards of beauty Unfortunately, our naturalistas are penalized and attacked for wearing their natural hair in various situations. Locs and afros are often viewed as unprofessional in a work environment, several private schools have banned little black girls from wearing afro puffs, and black women in the military have recently faced stricter regulations on certain natural styles.

NAT hairYet, natural hair has become on-trend lately. Tons of women are having the Big Chop, and there are beauty bloggers, tons of Pintrest, Tumblr, and Instagram accounts dedicated to natural hair.

Yes, we do need to teach that black hair is beautiful in its natural state, but we don’t need to shame others for straighter styles.

There are benefits and drawbacks to both natural hair, weaves, and relaxed hair. People do what works best for them.

At the end of the day, who died and made anybody the hair police? Browsing the internet, you’ll find memes making fun of natural girls and shaming girls with weaves. So whether you wear a weave or your own hair, small-minded people will talk shit either way. If you have a problem with anyone’s hair type or texture, this is all I have to say to you:

Mind ya businessMind ya business, that’s all. Just mind ya business. If it ain’t growing out of your scalp then you have no need to comment or feel any type of way about it.

 

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Makeup 101: Orange is the New Red (Lipstick)

26 Jun

Orange1

As I’ve been transitioning into this whole “grown woman”  thing, or whatever you want to call it, I’ve been playing with a little bit of makeup. I still consider myself a Makeup Minimalist, but I’ll throw on some mascara every now and then–and you know I have a thing for blue lipstick.

Lately though I’ve been feeling orange lips–maybe because it’s the perfect color to begin the summer.

I have 2 orange colors I’m working with now.

  • A Cheap, off-brand MAC that I found while shopping downtown. It doesn’t even have a name, but it does the trick.
  • Another cheapy product that I saw in the beauty supply called Ruby Kisses “Shiny Orange.” I  was instantly drawn to the color.  So I paid the $2 (right after I checked a few online reviews), took it home, tried it on and instantly fell in love.
Orange2

I put both colors on top of a brown lip liner (Otherwise I’d walk out the house looking like I dyed my lips with Kool Aid. That brown lip liner is a life saver).

Anyways, since summer is here I figured I’d give you all a few summer style posts. Check out the Stylish Statements section of A Womyn’s Worth for more.

Oh, and follow me on Instagram: I’m Androshae

My Return to Sneakers: No longer trying to be a grown-up

23 Apr

CHUCKSWhile cleaning out my closet a few weeks ago, I came across a pair of old-school black Converse tennis shoes—shoes I’d sworn off several years ago. I thought I’d outgrown sneakers. They just didn’t match the sophisticated, successful adult persona that I was going for.

Instead of sneakers, I pictured myself in heels and a business-casual wardrobe, walking into my first job out of college. That entry-level position would eventually lead me to my dream editor job, where I could be financially independent, pay my own bills, love my career, and eventually move into my own place.

Yet, despite having celebrated several birthdays, bringing in a few new years, and achieving several milestones (graduating, getting published on my favorite sites, coming really close to having my dream wardrobe), that grown-up, sophisticated Shae has yet to show up. And I think it’ll be awhile before she does.

It’s been a year since I’ve graduated college and my first job out of college required me to ask “how may I help you” while wearing ugly non-slip shoes and seating people to a table. Lately, the only jobs I’ve come close to getting are positions that pay minimum wage or slightly above it, and nothing I’d be proud enough to put on a business card.

Though my career is taking seemingly forever to start up, I sometimes would catch glimpses of my sophisticated adult self when I put on my suit and heels for an interview or when I head out with friends to a comedy club on a Saturday night. But I would quickly realize that she was an imposter when the interview suit is a smidge too big,when the comedians on stage always make fun of my friends and me for being the “youngins” of the crowd, and when I have to call my mother to help cover the cost of my car repairs.

Since my actual life didn’t look anything like the independent “grown-up life” I’d pictured, my attitude changed. The once optimistic girl who believed she would be a successful editor became a miserable, not-so-sophisticated grown up. I became my worst nightmare: a person who hated her job, and I didn’t even have a job. Responses to my applications were few and far between. But when I did get an interview, it was always a low-paying position that had nothing to do with the field I wanted to get into. So I put on my classy-yet-not-so-comfortable interview heels, smiled at each interviewer, and answered questions confidently as if I really wanted the position—but on the inside I was screaming “fuck my life!”

Sitting in all my boredom, the byproduct of unemployment, I began reading my high school and freshman year college journals. Instantly, I was taken back to an unsophisticated, yet happier version of myself. I missed the 4+ years younger version of me, who always wore blue, white, or black Converses and dreamed of being an inspirational writer. This girl, in her plain sneakers, wrote hundreds of pages for novels she wanted to publish. This girl believed that someday she would do great things. Her journals weren’t littered with complains like mine currently are.Instead, they were filled with ideas and possibilities (and of course talk of boys, prom, and friends).

The younger me had more faith in herself than the pretend-adult me.

So I’m taking back the idealist attitude along with my Chuck’s sneakers. I’ve decided to put down my glamorized idea of what adulthood looks like, and repossess that uplifting spirit I had before I became so worried about finding a job, paying off college loans, and becoming the woman that wears fancy heels. I still have faith that I’ll make it to that career path one day (hopefully sooner than later)—and I might have to be underemployed for a little while until I get there. But instead of moping around and hating my life, I’ll do it with an open mind, faith in my future success, and my black Converses.

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