Just read this article on yahoo titled, “Why Michelle Obama’s Hair Matters.”
It made me think about this: what if Michelle Obama decided she wanted to stop relaxing her hair and wore a twa (teeny weeny afro)? How would the country react?
I, personally, think she would look gorgeous. But I know it’s never going to happen. And I mean nevah. Why? Because, sadly, it’s just too…”black” looking for most people. It would be “making a statement” and that statement would be somehow misconstrued as “anti-American” or “militant”. Also, sadly, I think some may think it ugly, too.
And that’s a real shame.
I haven’t straightened my hair for 10 years. I wore dreadlocks for 5 years and just sheared off those bad boys a month ago. To me, at this point, it’s just hair. I also live in a city, Portland, Ore., where a black woman with an afro or dreads is probably the most normal thing you’ll see walking down the street.
But I realize that within our larger society, it’s not just hair. I sit here with my own twa and start to feel resentful that many black women, if they want to be accepted by the mainstream, wants to avoid ruffling feathers and avoid having assumptions made about them, has to apply a chemical roughly every 6-8 weeks with the same active ingredient (sodium hydroxide) as Drano to their heads to keep it straight-looking. Even the “no-lye” relaxers are just as bad. If you’re “lucky”, maybe just applying heat (which is very damaging, too) every few days is enough to keep your hair straight (if you don’t get your hair wet, that is).
So Michelle Obama, in the position that she currently holds, simply does not have the luxury to not straighten her hair, if she wanted to. I say that, because she may not have a desire to wear her hair in its natural state. Which is fine with me. But in my opinion, she pretty has no choice in the matter. And that’s what sucks, to me.