Family Reactions to the Natural Hair Announcements
by Calynn Lawrence
Unfortunately, not everyone is open to the idea of natural hair. Some may feel that it is definitely something inferior to relaxed or chemically processed hair! This article is going to provide you with some experiences that your fellow naturalistas have had when telling their loved ones that they were going naturals. Please be aware that names have been changed for privacy reasons.
Image Source: Bigstock Photo/Beauty Blow Flow
Natalie, a biracial beauty, says that her family reacted quite unfavorably when she announced that she was going natural. She quotes, “I am biracial, mixed with African American and Puerto Rican. Needless to say, my hair is very kinky and coarse. It's probably about a 3c with maximum frizz! (Insert Laugh here)I was raised getting my relaxer every 8 weeks like clockwork! It was never atime when my hair was not straight. Then, by time I turned 17 I decided that I wanted a change so I told my family that I was going natural at a dinner party and they went ballistic. They told me that my hair was too nappy for the natural look and that I wasn't like the European Latinas with long wavy hair. Apparently, they thought that the Eurocentric look was the only way to be beautiful!”
Yasmine, an aspiring plus sized model, says that her fiance was so enraged that he decided to call off their engagement! She says the following, “I have never had any real issues with finding love. I was always that girl who guys gravitated to. You know, thick thighs and brown eyes, long hair, and a cute smile. You would never catch me lacking without my fresh perm. My relaxer was always laid! I went to the shop every 4-6 weeks to make sure my hair was fried to the gods. But looking back, even though my hair was always long, bra strap length, it was very damaged. When I was 21, I realized that I did not want the long relaxed hair anymore. I wanted healthy hair. So, I went about a year without getting any touch ups to see if I could handle it. I loved my curls so much that I decided to big chop! When I told my fiance, he was outraged. He was disgusted. He said that no bride of his would be walking down the aisle with a nappy, ugly, unkempt afro! When I explained how adamant I was about going natural, he said that he would call off the wedding if I did. I cried and cried for weeks before I realized that if he was that superficial I should not marry him anyway. Now, I'm 24 and newly engaged to a new man who is 5 times better than my ex ever could have been! He adores the natural me.”
Teniyah, a 19 year old competitive cheerleader, says that her mother told her that she couldn't go natural because she would look too much like a negro! She quotes the following, “I grew up in a small southern town as the daughter of two very successful parents. They owned a very lucrative business that everyone in town supported! I am their only daughter and they always treasured me as such. Because the town was majority Caucasian, however, we still experienced a certain amount of racial discrimination. Therefore, my parents were very set on me blending in with the white girls since I was already extremely fair skinned. Think of Tisha Campbell. When I told them that I was going natural, they flipped all the way out! My mother was crying and yelling and she told me that I could not go natural because I would look too much like a negro. Sadly, I was discouraged and did not go natural until a year later!”
Lola, a proud fashion model, says that she lost out on a modeling contract because she refused to continue relaxing her hair! She says, “I have been modeling since the age of 4 years old. When I was 20, I chose to stop relaxing my hair because it had gotten so damaged that it was literally 5 inches long. When I told my agent and director that I would no longer relax my hair for shoots and shows, they were very concerned. Sadly, I lost out on my current modeling contract and they dismissed me for 'difficult behavior.' But, it all worked out because I eventually found a new agency that loved my afrocentric hair!”