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Beauty Supply Owners Killed For Weaves. A 4-Month Old Baby With A “Press And Curl”. Has the Hair Obsession Gone Too Far?

August 10, 2012

“I am not my hair

I am not this skin

I am not your expectations no no

I am not my hair

I am not this skin

I am a soul that lives within”

-India Arie “I Am Not My Hair”

            India Arie spoke to many of when she released “I Am Not My Hair” because she expressed the struggles that so many black women have endured in dealing with heat, harsh chemicals, hair breakage and much more as we try to be considered beautiful by peers.  She called on us to redefine the issue, let go of the concepts of good hair being more European and bad hair being more African and focus on what is inside. But despite her wise words in 2006 and the wise words of others before and after her, we find ourselves still struggling in 2012 and I am asking myself if and when we will be able to appreciate the beauty of a wide variety of hairstyles while always recognizing that it is a person’s spirit that truly matters.  Too many of us are being harmed by the preoccupation with hair and the unrealistic standards of European hair beauty that often comes with that preoccupation. 

On the most extreme end we have the case of beauty supply owners who have been shot and killed by hair robbers.  The New York Times reported that there has been a rise in hair theft.  These situations involve cases where thieves walk right past the actual cash register and steal the actual weaving hair which they then sell from trucks or on ebay.

We also have the case of two adult women who were practically sexually molested as beauty supply store shopkeepers pulled down their clothing in efforts to apprehend the two women because those women attempted to steal items from the shop. You can see the whole video below – but I don’t recommend it because it is obscene.  I could not watch the whole video.  It made me physically sick.  But it helps all of us to understand the gravity of the situation. Obviously the behavior of the shopkeepers is extremely questionable.  But also, what could be so important and valuable in a beauty supply shop that you would have to steal it? 

Never Steal From A Korean Beauty Supply Store


Sadly, we also have the story of a 4 month old baby whose mother straightened her hair. We do not know whether a chemical relaxer, blow dryer or pressing comb was used but I would be fearful of any of those methods on the sensitive and still fusing skull of a baby so young.

On the less extreme end, we have the case of Olympic winner Gabby Douglass whose self-esteem, confidence and ability to concentrate may have been negatively affected by all of the media hype surrounding various twitterers who viciously condemned her hair.  I could not even understand what they were seeing. Her hair looked just fine to me.  Additionally, she made Olympic history by winning gold medals for all around gymnastics and winning the team gold.  Her hair should not be a concern.  I could not help but to wonder whether all of the criticism affected her and contributed to her less than stellar performances in later finals for the uneven bars and beam. Gabby Douglass herself admitted both that she had seen the media frenzy about her hair and that she was mentally and physically exhausted.

How can we cultivate the type of consciousness that would prevent these types of sad incidents?  I suggest promoting images like these of beautiful short -haired women and women with stunning natural styles so that we are not only seeing images of long straight haired beauties and we can truly understand that all types of hair are beautiful and that you don’t even need any hair to beautiful.  What are your suggestions?



One Comment
  1. Asantewaaspeaks permalink

    Thank you. I mean my goodness. When will the lunacy end? I love having nice artistic hair like everyone else but when it gets to a point where robbers are stealing hair instead of money and killing owners in the process and mothers are willing to endanger their tiny babies for a straight look- we know that things have gone way too far? Hair does not equal beauty.

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