Tuesday, May 12, 2009

"Good Hair" Part 2

I watched the Tyra Banks show today, and the topic was "What is Good Hair?", and I was surprised at how angry I was at some of the guest on the show. This mom decided that she need to start perming her 3 year-old daughters hair, so it wouldn't look nappy. Even though the girl cried during the whole perming process, the mom still wants to do it, so that her daughter will have "good hair".

This mom is teaching her own child that if someone has nappy hair, that they are lower class! She even even admitted that she refused to date a black man, because she did not want to have 'kinky headed babies'...

And the last one, decided that not only did she need to perm her daughters hair, but she also puts a weave in her daughters hair so it's "more manageable" and easier to style. Toward the end, she admitted that she thought her little girls hair looked better with the weave.

I think what really hit a nerve (I got really emotional), is when they had the little girls talking about hair styles. There were a group of about 5 girls, all pretty young. One little African American girl said she only feels pretty when she wears her blond wig and that she wanted to wear it everyday. All of the girls where shown different kinds of wigs with different textures and colors. When they were asked which one of the hair styles they would not want, they all pointed to the kinky hair afro wig. I was just so sadden by that, that I cried.

It hurts a lot to see these 5 beautiful young African American and Multicultural girls, at this day and age, still have the same struggle that we had when we were younger. I grew up hating my hair, my naps and always wishing I could have straight long hair. My mom did her best to teach me and show me how beautiful I was. But the pressure from peers and all the images that I saw daily told me otherwise.

The one part of the show that really stood out to me as being a step in the right direction, was when it was discussed that the term "Good Hair" came from the days when black people were slaves. If you had hair that was smooth, "silky" or straighter than others - you were treated better by your slave owner. You were able to work in the house, eat better food, wear better clothes and possibly receive some education. Those days are over! And so should the use of the term "Good Hair". It is crazy that we still think this way. It hurts us, our children and their children. I hope that our generation can make changes with our own children so that this doesn't continue to repeat itself. So see a video clip from the show, click here.


  1. I thought I was the only one who felt this way...I teared up when these lil girls talked about how nappy hair is lower class, how its ugly. You can't blame noone but the mom, bc their ignorance has seeped into these beautiful lil girls.

  2. I didn't see the whole show just a few clips but I've read a bunch of people's comments on it. Based on those comments it sounds like Tyra didn't do the two things that are necessary for those kinds of topics. She didn't show women with healthy natural hair and she didn't offer up any education. Education really does change people's minds.

  3. Now, I don't even watch shows like this!
    The self-hatred is unbelieveable!!! and for the wht. woman w/bi-racial daughter, if you only want your child to have "YOUR" hair texture, then maybe you should not sleep with black men!

  4. wow! i missed the show but, like u, just hearing about it saddens & upsets me. what i like about tyra's show is that she doesn't shy away from thought provoking & sometimes controversial topics. a while back she had a show that talked about names and how people are discriminated based on them. hair is no different. what's so unfortunate is that some view those with "kinky" hair as bold, brazen, and sometimes even troublemakers...i.e. refer to the angela davis era. it took me a while to get to where i am, but i'm glad that i'm here & glad that i've found support & other like-minded people who believe kinky hair is beautiful.

  5. Thank you all for the great comments. Butterfly73 - I agree that ignorance is contagious. I just hope that with the mothers appearing on the show, that maybe they got an eye opener of their behavior and what it is doing to their girls. Caramel - I do agree that there should have been way more information provided on the show. But there is a little more info on Tyra's website (I plan to check it out today). I just really wish that Tyra would use her fame and publicity to show how beautiful natural can be. Her lace fronts are the not the only way she can rock her hair. She has a whole team of stylist and hairdressers. I am sure they could figure it out if Tyra really wanted to show her natural hair more often. Spiral_Loc - I think the mom just really needed a wake up call. Her putting a weave in her kid’s hair is ridiculous. But I don’t know if any one ever told her how harmful that is to her little girl’s image of who she is as a person. I hope that she also learned something from being on the show. Phette - very well said. It really does break my heart that people view natural hair wearers as troublemakers or as something bad. But with time, hopefully that way of thinking will change. I am happy to hear that you have come to a point were you understand and accept the power of your own natural beauty.

  6. Stupid. This is why I refuse to wear a perm, and my daughters wear their hair natural. I want them to learn how to appreciate themselves the way the Lord made them. When they are older, they will understand that perms and other beauty aids are only meant to ACCENTUATE the beauty that you already have, not DEFINE it.

  7. One question I have is how did that little girl get a blonde wig? Did she watch Hannah Montana and beg for her mom to get her a wig?
    Tyra's hair looks beautiful in cornrows. It shows off her face.
    I thought the slavery thing was very interesting. I wonder why so much attention was focused on hair in those days because really even siblings can come out with different hair textures. I would think that skin and possibly eye color would be the only determinants to noting your lineage since they're the most obvious markers of distinction, but I guess not.

  8. Rosaxe! That is the big question?!? I do not understand why an African American mom would - first buy a blond for their daughter? Knowing how much the world/media mainly only values the "blue-eyed-blond" beauties, probably knowing how much it us unhealthy to support that. But two, to see that your daughter is getting a unhealthy fixation on the wig, and to continue to allow her to wear it. It is just very very confusing to me.

  9. I didn't watch the show, but I've heard enough about the nonsense that was said on the show to have a good idea of what went on. That being said, just because someone has kids with a non-black person doesn't guarantee that the children will have straighter hair than if both parents were black. I've seen plenty of mixed folks with high texture hair and black folks with silky hair.. it's all a genetic roll of the dice, and you get what you get. It's sad that there are still so many people with slave mentalities out there in this day and age..


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