Erotic provocateur, racially-influenced humanist, relentless champion for the oppressed, and facilitator for social change, Scottie Lowe is the brain child, creative genius and the blood, sweat, and tears behind AfroerotiK. Intended to be part academic, part educational, and part sensual, she, yes SHE gave birth to the website to provide people of African descent a place to escape the narrow-mined, stereotypical, limiting and oft-times degrading beliefs that abound about our sexuality. No, not all Black men are driven by lust by white flesh or to create babies and walk away. No, not all Black women are promiscuous welfare queens. And as hard as it may be to believe, no, not all gay Black men are feminine, down low, or HIV positive. Scottie is putting everything on the table to discuss, debate, and dismantle stereotypes in a healthy exchange of ideas. She hopes to provide a more holistic, informed, and enlightened discussion of Black sexuality and dreams of helping couples be more open, honest, and adventurous in their relationships.

Showing posts with label nappy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label nappy. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Slave Hair

I remember when I had slave hair. I call it slave hair because not only is it the hair that slaves where told was more beautiful than their own, natural, nappy hair, but I was also enslaved to it. I couldn't go outside when it was raining, I couldn't go swimming, I couldn't have sex with a man right after I got it done, I couldn't scratch my scalp right before I was going to get my six week reapplication of deadly chemicals, I had to live my life around making sure my naps didn't show.

I had all the arguments against relaxed hair PERFECTED. I would argue with any woman who suggested that my straight hair was anything other than a mere styling option. I convinced myself that I was right and that any woman that even suggested that relaxed hair was some sort of Eurocentric standard of beauty was insane.

I was the same as all the women who rationalize their self-hatred, who condemn me, and who defend their slave hair.

Then, I evolved. I grew. I got strong. I put aside the memories of my grandmother telling me that nappy hair was ugly. I rejected the comments, jokes, and taunts of little boys telling me that my natural hair wasn't pretty like white girls. At the time, I was becoming more spiritually aware, I stopped eating meat, I was becoming healthier all around. I was still holding on to my slave hair. I was terrified that if I let go of my slave hair, that I'd be ugly. I was horrified that if I let go of my slave hair, that I'd never get a job, I'd never get a man, that the world would look at me as something less than human and certainly not beautiful. Then one day, I woke up and I realized that history is prologue. I accepted that my natural, nappy hair was my birthright, that I could be beautiful with the hair that God intended me to have, without chemicals, without the messages that every little Black girl gets beaten into them that tells her to be ashamed of her natural hair. It was only then that I became liberated from my slave hair. It was only then that I became free.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

I AM my hair

If you ever watch that show "Yo Mama" on MTV, every show, they crack on someone for having nappy hair and everyone in the audience rolls with laughter. They aren't anything more than slaves on the plantation. Nothing's changed from 200 years ago. It certainly isn't debatable that any time you tell a child that there is something inherently wrong with them, they are going to compensate for that with low self-esteem. Women with straight hair think that because they think they are beautiful, because society tells them that they are beautiful with straight hair, that means that they don't have issues of self-hatred. If I offered women $50,000 to give up straightening their hair, I wouldn't get two women to take my offer. If I said, I'll buy you a house and you can live there mortgage free for the rest of your life, all you have to do is wear your hair in a natural style, women wouldn't do it. They are terrified of their natural hair, they hate it. They'd rather be in debt and wearing a weave than natural and financially secure.

The hair issue is unique to Black women because we are the only race of women who was kidnapped from our homeland and enslaved by a different race of people who used our color and our physical features to ridicule. Slavery in Africa wasn't based on race. It's impossible to denigrate someone for their nose, their lips, for their hair, if they have the exact same features as you do. White people used their diseased sense of superiority to tell enslaved Africans that everything about them was ugly. There is no other race of women who has had to endure such psychological torture.

Black hair care is a multi billion dollar business. I've always said that if white people wanted to effectively disable the black community, all they would have to do is stockpile all the relaxers, straightening combs, fake hair, etc. Within six weeks, Black women would be selling their souls and selling out the race for their straight hair fix.

Think about who we consider beautiful. Beyonce has a blonde weave. Every time I see her on a magazine cover, I say, "Who is that white woman?" We don't love our Black skin, we don't love our thick full lips, we don't love our wide noses, and we sure as hell don't love our natural nappy hair. That's fucked up we don’t' see ourselves as beautiful. Is there any wonder why the state of Black relationships is so poor? We have Black men trying to get women who look as white as possible and Black women denying that changing their hair to look white has anything to do with jumping through hoops to distance themselves from their natural blackness.

If Black women woke up tomorrow, and they all said, "No more chemicals," I love myself the way God intended me to be, white people would be terrified. They would be terrified that we don't aspire  to be look like them anymore. They would be terrified that we are defining our own standards of beauty. They would try to enslave us again, they would lose their fucking minds. They wouldn't be able to deal with an empowered people that didn't think the world revolved around them. They need to feel superior and they do as long as we are frying our natural hair, trying to mimic them. That gives them their power. If we were to stand up in mass and say, "I don't think long blonde hair and blue eyes are attractive, I think that big thick lips and wide noses and nappy hair is gorgeous white people would start a war against us. (Don't worry.  Black people can't even think like that we've been so brainwashed but it's a nice thought)

I've heard a many a brotha tell me that he refused to have his daughter get her hair cut. Little black girls don't have a chance if their mothers and grandmothers are telling us how nappy and unruly our natural hair is and our fathers (absentee most of the time) are telling us we are only lovable if we have long hair. Is there any wonder we are fucked up? (Damn, I just saw a commercial for the All Star Game and there was a shot of Beyonce and for a split second, I said, "Who is that white woman?") Black men HATE nappy hair more than Black women. That's why they go after the Latina, White, Asian woman. Those women will give them children with "good hair" and light skin. Let's not be naive. Black women have to have straight hair or they are afraid Black men will never look at them. Add to the fact that slavery told us to be submissive to our men and you have women terrified to show their blackness.

The fear of being seen as gay is sooooooo pervasive in Black women. They might not mind being seen as bisexual but they sure as hell don't want to be seen as masculine. And everyone knows that short hair means you are a butch, right? Once again, we are allowing other people to define us. I tell little children who ask me why I don't have any hair that there are a beautiful people in Kenya that all wear their hair like mine and that short hair is a sign of beauty. They look at me like I'm crazy and their mothers usually tell them that I'm gay when they think I can't hear.

I can’t support India Irie and that song. She’s got women with weaved-out, blond, straight hair running around saying, “I am not my hair.” You know what? I AM my hair. I am my naps. I am my African wooly hair. I am every African woman who was beaten and told that she had to cover her hair or lose her life. I AM every slave woman who loved her nappy hair and who had to see white women and mulatto slaves get preferential treatment for having straight hair. I will NEVER as long as I live let straight hair define my beauty.