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Racist Hair Terms

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Hipdreams View Drop Down
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Joined: August 26 2008
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    Posted: August 28 2008 at 9:14am
Hi, Hipdreams here, and I wanted to talk about how in today’s world, terms can unconsciously, but still intentionally insult Black women.

I decided to place this here in health because this goes under women’s mental health and confidence and the African-American health section is gathering dust...

(I use these terms in the way people think of them/how they mean to us, because a word can be defined in the dictionary but can mean something completely different in real life.)

 The terms: Fine, Normal and Coarse, refer to women’s hair with different hairtypes. You see them everywhere: Hair sites, Magazines, TV Ads. You never take notice, because these terms are generally accepted and ‘Professionally’ used in the Hair world. I certainly never took notice until recently.

If you look on a few places there are definitions on how to find your hair type: http://homepage.mac.com/annsofie.henriksson/hairtyping/Personal27.html (I merely use this as an example of how these terms are used, I am not calling this site racist.)

My mother is Black and I am half Black and half Moroccan, we have “Normal” and “Fine” hair, respectively. I never noticed because I was always paying attention to “Fine” reading about it, thinking about the word in the sense: “Of thin, very small, fragile” i.e.: Fine Sand which translated into my mind as: “Omg. Don’t touch my hair, it’ll break if you even look at it...*hiss*” Without thinking about the second definition of this word: “Exquisite, High-Quality, Treasurable” i.e. Fine Persian rugs.

The term: Normal, gives the sense, that if you don’t have this type of hair, you have “unnormal” hair, that you need something extra, because something’s possibly wrong, but still, not the worst term in the world to use. i.e Normal size

“Coarse” on the other hand, *sounds* crude, rough, animalistic, i.e. Coarse rope. I even try to use it on something nice, i.e. Coarse silk. Still sounds rough, doesn’t it? This term is wrong because, think about it, and have “Coarse” hair, how does that make you feel? It makes one feel as if something’s wrong with their hair, as if there’s something wrong with them.

I go after this topic because I am Black and it insults all my friends with this type of hair. If I can help get rid of this widely used word system, think about all the women we’ll help unconsciously feel better about their hair.

I’m thinking of terms that can replace this system, and I’d really appreciate it if you’d help me!

Suggestions:
Spiderweb, Thread, Ribbon



Edited by Hipdreams - August 28 2008 at 9:21am
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Sparrowhawk1161 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sparrowhawk1161 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 28 2012 at 3:13am
The terms.  Interesting.  The course hair has a specific design... the hair strands are flat... so as they grow, they curl.  It part of the African descent of your race.  What we are looking at is straight hair and tightly curled hair.  Just like that cute little girl who appears part white and black on the commercials and her hair is tightly curled but long.  The reason why I say this is the girl is cute... in my father feeling sort of way...which governs every girl old enough to be my daughter... the nurturing area goes in and it sticks.  So to me... kinky has negative... but, if it did and she was my daughter... I would fight for her and her hair is a part of her...
 
But as far as beauty is concerned... terms can destroy.  Kinky is not a kink... it's a curl caused by how the strands, being fla,t grow in a pattern in a spiral.  It curled.  In a spiral.
 
But really, the problem is not a name.  It's a view point.  I think kinky stems to blacks, who are African Americans, meaning they have African heritage, but are Americans.  The thing is that "kinky" does not = African Americans.  African Americans are Americans of African descent just as I coulod be called a Europian American... which I am.
 
I don't think that words, specific words will accurately describe hair that has that destinctive type curl that Americans with African desent have.  I don't think that changing the discriptive word for the unique hair type will do justice, at the moment.
 
I think we need to understand how closer we are as people... that we have Europian Americans, African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Asian Americans, Japanese Americans, Indian Americans, Native Americans, Middle Eastern Americans... and so on...
 
Once we discover us as a people, then maybe someone will say..."You have interesting hair, how is it curled like that?"  The African American girl will say, "That is the way my hair is... is has that type of curl..."  WOW!  It's so interesting... can I see?  Wow, your hair is so cool!"
 
That is the right meaning and word.  "I like it!"
Guys like me notice!
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