The ladies in the pictures are doing tha’ thing. Their hair is looks health and natural, full and thick. Oh, wait… they are wigs. Hmmm. So, what’s wrong. Am I going to throw shade because they are wearing fabulous wigs? Not really. Just keep reading.
I love to switch up my look as much as the next girl. Wigs and weaves are a great way of wearing different styles without putting my hair through the trauma of excessive styling. Wigs, weaves and braids are also good protective styles when they are worn on occasion. And, yes, they are easy, low manipulation (protective) styles that allow your hair to grow without the damage of combs and brushes while it’s hidden away. My problem is that these unrealistic looks are now becoming a new ideal.
First it was the slim models being pushed aside for the J-lo and Beyonce booty look-alikes. People actually hate on people who are slim… as if they aren’t beautiful in their own right. Being black has also started to be equated to having a big booty. I’m black and I have very few curves to speak of and I AM beautiful (finger snap). LOL So, we moved from one ideal (skinny white girl) to another (bootylicious dark girl). Why can’t we all just get along? The fight for diversity and acceptance has turned into a fight against each other for the prize of being considered ‘more beautiful’. Sadly, the same thing is happening in the natural hair world.
First, we started by saying that natural hair is better and healthier than the chemically relaxed option. But then, someone said something to me the other day when I told her that I was going to get my real hair (that grows out of my hair) done in two strand twists. She said, “Really? Nobody twists their real hair anymore.” I was so shocked! She is another naturalista who has been struggling with the disappointment of not having long, thick hair. She has a perfect, like BOMB perfect twist-out, every time but she wants thick hair – hair that hardly anyone has growing out of their head. I started to look at other women who wear unrealistic ‘natural’ styles and then call them ‘natural hairstyles’ because they ‘look natural’ and are done without chemicals even though it is the furthest thing from what most people have growing on their head.
The style above (created by the talented @donedo) is beautiful in it’s own right. Still, it’s almost theatrical in nature. Nobody’s, even women with the thickest hair, is likely to get those results from twisting their real hair. Still, nothing is wrong with the style. What is wrong, though, is that a lot of women consider this thick, long, natural hair to be the new ideal. We must stop trying to get an idea of perfect hair (which to many looks like thick 3c ringlets) and start looking at achieving our individual perfect looks.
Toni Daley often talks about how thin her hair is. It’s not waist length, but it is beautiful. It’s not super-thick, but it is beautiful. She still plays with wigs and weaves but always defaults to her beautiful natural hair and regularly shows off how she styles her unique strands. I say all this because I think she is one of the people who ‘get it’ – It’s fun to play with wigs, but you don’t need them to be beautiful. All hair was not created identical – for a reason. One size does not fit all. Embrace your own beauty. Stop hiding behind the facade of extensions and do your own hair. I keep myself and my hair ‘ideals’ in check by accepting 3 things:
- A weave, wig or braids style is NOT a natural hairstyle. It’s not natural. It’s artificial… ’cause they can’t see my real hair – only the fake hair.
- My hair is beautiful. OK, fine, it’s not that great when I wake up with it smushed in the morning, but I can style it to show it’s God-given beauty.
- You don’t compare. I try never to compare my strands to those on other women’s heads. It’s the same in life. I live mine – you live yours. I don’t envy you. What God has given to me is good enough so I work towards my best hair the same way I work towards my best life.
Check out a video I made on the topic below.
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