About this Blog

The title of this blog, "I'm About to do My Thing," was inspired by Jill Scott's introduction to her poem "The Thickness" from her live album Experience: Jill Scott 826+. In this intro, she warns that the content to follow is "real" and proceeds to deliver a beautiful message about self-esteem in young black girls, what can influence and damage that self-esteem, and the entire village's responsibility--"it takes a village"--to elevate its children.

Friday, January 4, 2013

"Natural Isn't for Everybody"...Er?

My crew and I represent a range of looks and preferences,
and we love and respect those preferences! Here we are in
October 2012.
Look, sisters, I respect the fact that "our hair"--kinky, curly, nappy, kinky-curly, whatever you want to call it--can accommodate a broad range of looks, styles, textures, you name it. It's very cool to witness this spectrum of looks.

When some sisters cry, "Natural isn't for everybody," then, I have to wonder what they mean. I just want to throw these tidbits of agreement out there (but I don't think it's what some of them mean):

  1. Taking care of natural hair is not for everybody--so true. Some sisters have no idea how to comb, moisturize, style, or otherwise maintain kinky, coily hair. They never had to learn, so learning as an adult is overwhelming for some women who'd rather dispense with the drama of learning. Hey, I hear ya.
  2. Certain styles are not for everybody--amen. Maybe a fro-hawk on one lady is not so cute on another. Maybe one woman's texture is perfect for a huge halo of hair to encircle her head, but maybe another woman's hair doesn't kink up enough to achieve the same kind of halo. Everything doesn't work for everybody.
What I really think some of these ladies are suggesting, though, is that sporting the natural texture that grows out of one's head is not for everybody, that some women "need" relaxers. To that, I cry, "Ridiculous!" How can wearing one's hair the way it naturally grows not "be for" that person? That's the way it was growing before relaxers touched it, yes?

To each her own in 2013 and beyond, ladies. You want to loc it up, weave it up, fry it up? Cool. We all have preferences, but let's embrace the diversity we see in each other, a diversity that is just now becoming acceptable in many ways. That is a beautiful thing, so let's respect it and each other.


  1. There is a popular opinion among black people (maybe just black men?) that you need to have a certain level of natural beauty in order to look good with natural hair. Maybe that's what the women you hear say it mean. Also, I find there is a big misconception about what is considered 'natural' hair. When a lot of people hear the term and a picture pops in their head of dry, unhealthy, unstyled, wild hair.

  2. Thanks for joining in, Brandon! I agree about the misconceptions of the term. I've heard the ideas you named, but I also hear another one: natural hair means Cree Summer-like curly hair. If it doesn't look like *that,* looser as opposed to tighter, then some folks think it's not a good "look."

    I'm intrigued by this idea of a certain level of natural beauty. Do you mean looking pretty without makeup? I'm going to ask some more guys about this!

  3. When people say that, I don't really think they are referring to looking good without makeup. But could be. I dunno really. Seems like they mean just very pretty in general. For example, I'm sure they'd say a woman who has a classically beautiful face like YaYa can pull off the natural look. I think what they REALLY mean - and just don't want to or can't articulate - is that they see natural hair as a negative, so in order to pull it off you have to be extremely good-looking to compensate. Which is a problem in and of itself.

    Again, I could be totally wrong. But that's the vibe I get when I hear people say that.

  4. I love learning about these issues through your blog, Mo! :)

  5. whoa... thank you for sharing this!! I cannot believe some of the sound bites i get from some people around my hair or others' hair. I totally agree with you about if it grows like that out your head, how is it not for everyone thing!
    I'd also be interested in the "level of natural beauty" comment as well...
    Great post lady!