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Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Who Taught You To Hate Yourself?

There has been a whole lot of chatter about the Obama girls hair lately and around the subject of natural hair in America (e.g. Good Hair, movie to be released October 9th directed by Chris Rock and the NY times article here ).

I am happy that the Obama girls have natural hair and are allowed to show it. I think it is inspirational and daring. Self-love is always revolutionary especially by those who have been taught generationally to hate themselves and their attributes.

Recently, I shared with one of my co-workers that I have a blog about hair. She looked perplexed and kind of chuckled. She also happens to be White and completely didn't get why I would have a blog about natural hair. She just recently came to the conclusion that my hair is natural. The thing about racism is you don't have to be racist in order to participate. It's systematic and institutionalized, meaning that just by your existence in the system and the institution of America Or England or wherever you might be, you participate either with cognition or not.

A friend sent me this video. It is a mixture of views on natural hair, partially from the Tyra show that aired about brown girls and their hair choices. It's definitely worth viewing and made me think.


Nubian1 said...

Yes Sophia, I have seen a lot of these vids... very sad viewing indeed.

It is up to us parents and especially mothers to instill (as a matter of great urgency) the love of self.

If you dont love yourself, then who is???

~Francesca~ said...

That post & video for me just sad...

Thank the lord above that I am having the biggest affair w/ myself! & my daughter is too!

Keep the posts coming :)

Aron Ranen said...

Please take a moment to check out my documentary film BLACK HAIR

It is free at youtube. 6 parts including an update from London, England.

It explores the Korean Take-over of the Black Beauty Supply and Hair biz..

The current situation makes it hard to believe that Madame C.J. Walker once ran the whole thing.

I am not a hater, I am a motivator.

Plus I am a White guy who stumbled upon this, and felt it was so wrong I had to make a film about it.

self-funded film, made from the heart.

Can it be taken back?


Naturally Sophia said...

Francesca- Thanks for commenting so diligently. When I write on the blog, I try to focus on content. It helps me get better when people comment.

Aron- I will add your video to another post I am working on. I enjoyed part 1. Why did you decide to choose this topic as a documentary?

ayankha said...

Sophia, I am too familiar with that reaction when sharing my "hobby". However, I did this with my boss 2 years ago and now it is to be one of the major aspects of health research there- that I am lead on and would perhaps be publishing on in the coming weeks. Because I shared this about myself in an ice breaker, I've given a few class lectures and hair will be a large focus on my dissertation topic. I will post about it once my final paperwork is in.

Coming from a psych prospective, you are very much on point with the institutional racism. I would also add that the negative scripts about self are inherently institutional- preference given to those with favorable characteristics and the like. This is what we are witnessing in the video.

I think it's important to let people know that these things can be combated with providing alternative messages to others or at the least letting them know the motivation behind seemingly benign behaviors/attitudes. This is why I think these blogs are so important and worthwile. Thanks for sharing this Sophia.

Maxizone said...

So sad when people learn how to hate themselves from childhood.

It's not an easy belief to break if it's all you've ever been taught, but with education and enlightenment, people can learn to love themselves and extend that love to others.

We can all do our bit to initiate the change, starting with our own families.

Love is the key.

Menina said...

Check this out!

Amina said...


I am so glad you posted this. That reminds me of how my mother wouldn't let my grandma buy me a white Raggedy Ann Doll. My grandma thought they were better and the black one was ugly. Yes, she was an old black woman from Mississippi.

I am thankful for my mother, who taught me to be proud of my looks and my heritage, and when I took the creamy crack detour, she waited patiently until I came back to my