Blue Ivy, Afros, and No Make Up: Stop Policing Black Women Beauty

My beauty is something that everyone that doesn’t have melanin wants. They would go tan, curl and crimp their hair, and even try every protective style in the book to look like me. Yet when we have children that are in South Africa protesting there right to wear the hair that God gave them and grown women from the black community are talking about Blue Ivy’s hair texture, we have a major problem.

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Alicia Keys decided to stop wearing make up and everyone thinks she weird for doing so and the sad thing is….she looks more natural than half of the women in the industry and younger as well! So whats wrong with the “No Make Up” movement but yet we are okay with the natural hair movement?

Why is it that a black women’s beauty considered a fashion trend? Why can’t we as a collective enjoy what the good Lord gave us? Let little black girls and teens have the chance to understand that their beauty is something that no one can take away from them. Let these young ladies see positive representations of what it really means to have “Black Girl Magic” and use there talents to affect there communities.

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I just want to say thank you to the young black girls that are in South Africa who are protesting for the right to wear there natural hair in school. They are really showcasing “Black Girl Magic”.

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All I can say is let black girls live! Let us live please! We come in all shape and sizes, colors and complexions, along with hair textures. Quit telling us we can’t be black when we are black. Stop saying our Box Braids, Kinky Twist, Afros, Curls, Coils, TWA, Weaves, and any hairstyle that we decide to wear isn’t considered to be beautiful and take that same style and call it a “trend”. Protective styling is not a trend! It’s a way for us to change up our hairstyles and make sure we “protect” out hair from the wear-and-tear of constant styling that our hair goes through. Let us enjoy who we are, let us support us. Empowerment comes from within, and beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

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Representation is always going to matter, Black beauty matters!

 

My favorite products for coily/curly natural hair

Natural hair is literally a lifestyle! and it is not as easy as it looks especially trying to watch videos on YouTube, stalk your favorite naturals on Instagram (and even snapchat), and play mad scientist trying to figure out all the different products that either work or don’t work with your hair type. Then there is more research trying to figure out how to grow your hair down your back while retaining length and keeping it manageable. I feel like I am taking another college class from all the reading,watching, experimentation, and research! Look ain’t nobody got time for that lol. But then again I have learned from being natural for the last five years that everything comes with time and it’s okay to change things up! As human beings it’s in our nature to do so lol.

I know I told myself that I would pace myself with these product reviews but seeing that my Instagram along with Facebook is full of questions so I decided to a guild on how to manage those coils and curls that don’t want to act right lol.

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  • Deep Conditioner: My number one choice is Aussie 3 Minute Miracle “Moist”Deep Conditioner! This is product right her it life and it helps deep condition and detangle my hair. I swear once your in the shower and you washed the shampoo out and put this stuff on your hair, leave it in for about 5 minutes (I get lazy and I never time this deep conditioner so the longer you live it in the better) and watch when you rinse out your hair your hair is soft and hydrated. Your hair is going to feel butter soft and manageable….believe me I could go on about this product but it’s worth it lol. And the one thing that I hate is as you know most naturals are heavy handed with the products so this deep conditioner can be used up quick, so make sure you get at least two of these to last for a while!

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  • Shampoo and Conditioner: I have been using this product for the last 8 months and I must say, I like it! Organix Coconut Milk Shampoo and Conditioner is worth the time and money. Now this can be used on all kinds of hair types and even color treated hair. I use up the conditioner the majority of the time but the shampoo is just as good. Your hair is going to smell like coconuts pretty much the whole day especially if you use coconut oil after lol. I swear your hair will thank you for it.

coconut shampoo and conditioner

  • Leave-In Conditioner: With dark and lovely I was nervous to use at first but with a leap of faith and because I wanted something different I bought these two items. Dark and Lovely Au Naturale Super Softening Hair Butter and Curl Moisturizing Souffle are my go to products for my styling and everyday leave-in conditioner. I use shea butter along with jojoba oil, dark castor oil, and coconut oil. My hair feels hydrated and moisturized all day and it smells great too. Also I use the Au Naturale Curl Moisturizing Souffle for my braid-outs, twist-outs, roller sets, and wash-in-go’s. I use the Au Naturale Super Softening Hair Butter for when my hair is a couple of days old and I put my hair up in buns and puffs for even before I put my box braids in lol. The price is okay but it will last a long time if you save the product to the last drop and I mean the very last drop lol.

I find that having curly and coily hair can be a challenge yet it can be fun at the same time. You just have to find products that work for you and your hair. Being natural is exploring and having fun with what works for you. It can be hard and there are some moments that you might want to cut your hair off because you feel like its too much work to be honest lol. Well I’m here to say that keep the hope alive and keep following my blog for more tips and tricks lol!

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Natural Hair, Incense, and Shea Mositure: The Love/Hate Relationship I have with the state of the natural hair community

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I am writing this post because I am starting to notice some things within the natural hair community that I am starting not to like! I would hate to read some people and some natural hair lines but I feel that the REAL message of natural hair community compared to the MEDIA image of the natural hair movement have some blurred lines. Colorism, Texture Discrimination, and Infatuation of “Natural Curly Hair” are some of the issues that shine a light on the not so natural issues in the natural hair community. Basically I feel like this is the modern argument of the Field Nigga vs. House Nigga…..but with natural hair!

Now don’t get me wrong I love my hair and everything that it has to offer but, I am over SOME parts of the natural hair movement! My blog isn’t about me giving tutorials and bragging on how curly and coily my hair is, (3c/4a mix….which is curly/coily and can be seen as a “good hair combo” or “mixed girl hair”). But it’s about my hair and how embracing my natural beauty has changed my life and how I am now seeing the European beauty standards of mainstream media. I will be giving product reviews with my honest opinion but I’m not going overboard! (Hopefully I would be able to get some coins, but if not then that is fine with me).

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My personal meaning to the “Natural Hair Movement”:

  • Embracing the beauty that God gave us while slaying every white beauty standard that has been placed on us since colonization along the kidnapping,rape,murder, and genocide of African people.
  • Teaching our little girls that they are beautiful no matter how they wear their natural hair, while teaching them how to maintain their hair.
  • Making the Beauty and Hair Industry realize that, as consumers, black hair care matters and we want other alternatives/products to be able to take care of our natural hair.
  • And taking the time to learn about your hair and how to maintain it, at the same time being creative and changing it up.

Somehow it seems that this has been lost because of the chance from natural hair companies to sponsor women with big natural curly hair via social media sites like Instagram,YouTube, or Twitter. (I swear the more likes/follows you get the more coins you get).YouTube channels that have curly women with 100,000+ views compared to the women who have “kinky” hair with less than 30,000 views end up getting more natural hair endorsements, especially if they have a “lighter” complexion. Along with white mainstream media and casting among the beauty and hair industry. Don’t get me wrong, some people do it for the coins, others care about the community by providing content about self-love as well as promoting healthy hair and then eventually get some coins in return. Now don’t get upset with me, this is MY PERSONAL OPINION and I am only giving insight to a community that I am apart of.

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Cultural Appropriation #1: The Box Braids Debate

 

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I was once asked on tumblr a question from a white (or not person of African decent) a question about a topic that I had a strong issue with. Looking in my inbox this person asked, “How do you feel when you see white women, or other women who aren’t black, wearing box braids? Does this make it cultural appropriation?”.  At first, I was stuck on this question, and I thank this person for asking this question. I know people wear Native American, Latino, Middle Easter, and various Asian costumes during Halloween, along with many white fraternities and sororities wearing blackface with “Kanye Western” or “Compton Cookout” party themes. People have spoke out about this issue saying that this is “cultural appropriation”. For some who don’t know this term, this usually means another non ethnic culture, usually the oppressor, taking various different elements of the oppressed culture, and making it usually relate or reinforce negative stereotypes for example,the concept of blackface.

Now as black women, we have this magical gift of changing our hair to whatever we want it to be. And one of the most common is Box Braids, a type of hairstyle statement that has been around since ancient Africa and variations can be seen in different parts. Now that this style is making a comeback, being phased as “Poetic Justice Braids” or “Patra Braids”, every black women has rocked a pair of box braids with little gold or wood beads either shoulder length or all the way down their back. But now this simple hairstyle has became a fashion trend among mainstream media. Once non-women of color put this style in their hair, they may start to feel their attitude changing, including their walk, speech might become different, and then finally they become this “alter ego” of a “black woman”, ready to take on the world with plenty of neck rolling and hair flips. Yet, this can be seen negatively as cultural appropriation and usually can be brushed off by the media and fashion industry as “white girls being cute and on a curve of a fashion trend”.

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My answer to this question was this, yes this is considered cultural appropriation. No matter how you feel about it, mainstream media along with the fashion industry really haven’t been recognizing black women for the many fashion trends that we helped create and make popular. Go ahead and wear box braids if you want to, but don’t be surprised if I laugh at you in the process!