Lately, there’s been quite a bit of chatter about Joulezy’s latest video “Texture Discrimination.” Here at the 4C Hair Chick Network, we wanted to chime in on this controversial, yet much needed, discussion. Personally, I have always recognized this polka dot, sprinkled with glitter, elephant in the room. I just didn’t realize other people saw this very obvious thing hanging around. Glad to know I’m not insane.
In Jouelzy’s video (as well as the NaturallyFashionable video), very good points were raised on how women in the natural hair community (as well as companies) are drawn to the vloggers and bloggers with very loose curl patterns . Before we really try to analyze a community and point fingers, I wanted to look within myself first. Did I support more Type3 or 4A vloggers than 4C? Did I feel like other textures outside of 4C were more desirable than my own? Well, when I started my journey I only subscribed to women who had similar hair textures like myself because I felt it made sense. Although I did find it hard back in 2008 and 2009 to find many with 4C hair, I relied heavily on KimmayTube, AfricanExport, PrettyDimples01, and BlackOnyx.
As far as desiring other hair textures, I have to admit in the beginning I did desire the other textures. *shrugs* Yes, at one point and time, I really wanted 3C Hair because it “looked” so easy to maintain. All the videos I watched “seemed” like it took so much time to do kinky hair and the styles appeared limiting. Plus, natural hair ad campaigns promoting that looser curl pattern didn’t help my psyche either. But I got over it once I fell in love with my hair and how well it looks on my head. I got over it when I stopped pointing the finger at everyone else being the reason why I didn’t like my coily mane.
Back to the videos at hand. I agree that like my early self, the majority of the natural hair community still desires that looser curl pattern. I find it odd that on every social media platform, the majority of the women in pictures who get a ton of thumbs up have curly hair, not kinky hair. I’m not saying there are no pictures of kinky hair. I’m just saying there’s more of the other with positive feedback. But why, though? Why is that we don’t have a gang of popular hair vloggers and bloggers with the coily kinky hair? Doesn’t most of the natural hair community (of course, not all) have this same hair texture? Why is that we have to create a separate space specifically for 4C hair because it is underrepresented in a community that was created for these very same women? Like I asked before, don’t most women of color have kinky hair anyway?? Aren’t we the majority? *kanye shrug*
The natural hair movement was created to help women of color embrace their hair the way it is naturally, and have much pride about it. It was also started so that we could learn from each other. Instead, it seems like the majority is being pushed into the shadows. Who’s to blame? We are, the natural hair community, itself. ( cue “Come to Jesus” song) Sometimes I wish this community went back to its pure state of being. There’s still shame for the coily kinky hair. It’s deep, too. Real deep. The kind of deep where you don’t even realize that you’re buying “natural hair” products to make your hair transform into something that it will never be. Products that use the words “defined curls”, “stretch cream”, and “elongation”. The kind of deep where it seems almost impossible to find 4C hair on Pinterest boards in various hair styles. Do you know how hard it was to find a picture with 4C Hair in a tapered cut last year??!!
I know someone is going to refer to historical facts of how kinky coily hair was viewed but, at what point are we going to take responsibility for our own lives? Seriously. We have to give up this “devil”complex and the pointing the finger at someone else for the reason we are the way we are. It may be true, but at some point we all need to wake up and take control. If you know the history behind all of that, then you are also aware of the change that needs to take place.
Let’s just calm down on blaming the natural hair companies and other companies that are jumping on the natural hair bandwagon. Business is Business, honey. If I see the audience drawn to a certain look, I will continue to push that look to persuade the consumer to purchase my products. So leave the companies out of it. They do what we show them. As Gandhi said, “Be the Change You Want to See in the World.” As much as I sometimes feel the natural hair community is just, SMH describable, I resist the urge to give up on it completely. There’s still a nice group of women who embrace that 4C Hair and I thank God for them. If you want to see more 4C Hair vloggers get more shine, support them, share their content and stop shaming 4C Hair women in real life! That includes shaming yourself, too. 4C Hair is beautiful, especially in its most natural state. But you have to battle your own demons within yourself in order to see it. Until then, women with other textures will continue to get their shine on and I won’t knock their hustle either! *throws up the deuces*