Natural Hair and Stereotypes

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One topic that we discussed yesterday at the Natural Hair Meet-up was the stereotyping of people with natural hair.  Have you encountered the whole “Oh, she probably has incense and listens only to neo-soul and is vegetarian” kind of stereotyping?   What is most amusing is when people assume that type of thing when everything about what is in front of them contradicts it!  I love my ex-stepmom but then when i chopped my hair, she was all “You’ll look so pretty with gold and natural face makeup.  Very earthy tones and stuff now!”  *side eye*  If you’ve seen my blog for any amount of time, even the past 4 posts or so, natural face makeup and earth tones do NOT meet very often on my face!  Lol!  I’m all about bright fun blues, greens, purple, pinks, etc.

Exhibit A:

Exhibit B:

So I was like, um, I am not completely transforming into a new person just because I decided to not get a chemical perm anymore!  I just thought it was amusing that even though I am almost NEVER seen with that type of look, it was assumed that because I had natural hair that I would suddenly change into that person.

Then there’s the thing with the music.  They were saying that people assume it’s all neo-soul or maybe indie music, that type of thing.  And all of us agreed that we like different types of music; of course some really like neo-soul, but the HAIR didn’t dictate that!  Not any less crazy than saying that all black girls with straight hair or weave like rap.  Saying ALL types of anything ALWAYS is a certain way is bound to get you painted with the aura of FAIL.  While I do have India Arie’s “Ready for Love” on my iPod, that is probably about it for her!  Trying to figure out my iPod by my hair would be an impossible mission, because it is the most random thing ever with Gucci Mane next to Britney Spears next to Sugarland next to Fall Out Boy next to Michael Jackson next to Luther Vandross next to the Beatles.  Can you tell all of that by seeing my hair in a curly chunky fro?  Me thinks not 😉

natural hair music???

What stereotypes have you encountered?  About having natural hair? About being Black?  About being White?  About having Blonde hair?  about being human??  Share some stories and how you’ve been stereotyped and which ones fit and which ones were WAY off base 😀

Remember, get to KNOW people or stfu instead of painting them with a broad brush!  It usually just ends up with you being the funny butt of their stories that they recount with their friends as they engage in non-stereotypical behavior.  You’ve been warned

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12 Responses to “Natural Hair and Stereotypes”

  1. TheNappyGirl Says:

    Since beginning to wear my hair natural (almost 3 years ago), I’ve definitely encountered the “Oh you’re probably a radical, anti-government, vegan that loves poetry and listening to neo-soul” view and, as a black person, in general, I find it even more amusing that most people naturally assume that I can dance better than anybody (NOT)! So fascinating yet frustrating!

    Great post, looking forward to more from you!

  2. naturallyalise1 Says:

    I get hit with the makeup thing at times… I also get weird looks when dressing sexy that I didn’t get with a relaxer. Am I supposed to be wrapped in Kinte cloth and wear huge flowing dresses and cowrie shells at all times? It is annoying… I also get hit with the assumption that I have some sort of grudge against my relaxed sisters, which is completely false. I just made what I thought was the right decision for my hair and health, and relaxers don’t fit into my plan, but by no means do I begrudge another sister because of her decision.

  3. camille714 Says:

    I am so happy I came across your blog. I just talked about stereotypes in my blog as well. You are right about the music and the earthly tone. I am not natural, but I have friends who are. None of my natural friends listen to neo-soul music or are vegetarians. When my sister went natural, people told her she looked like an african princess and start a radical look. So stereotypical. I say keep up the natural look cause some sistas wish they could!!!

  4. Natural Hair and its Stereotypes « Serenity Daily Says:

    […] 22, 2010 Filed under: Uncategorized — camille714 @ 9:55 am I recently just came across, a blog about Natural hair. In this blog the most recent post was about natural hair […]

  5. Earth Angel Says:

    “Get to KNOW people or stfu” – love it! Great post. Been there, feel the same way, though I am an earthy chick. :-> Love the neo-soul, but alternative rock has always been my favorite. Have been accustomed to people being surprised by that all my adult life. But truthfully, we all make assumptions b4 we get to know people. I try to remind myself that I’m guilty of it too. And other black folk are so often the guilty parties in making assumptions, jokes, or dated comparisons – you look like Angela Davis! – about natural haired black folk…

  6. nishland Says:

    All I can say is, the more I come across blogs like yours, the more ammunition I have to take the dive. I say I want to go natural, but I am nervous as to what will come of my look. Years ago I tried, and I wasn’t feeling the ultra short boy top. Now I see so many options and so many beautiful sistas that I feel this is a must do for me. I want to learn my hair. I want to feel more of me. It’s like singing “I am not my hair” over and over.
    Thanks for the inspiration!!

  7. JenellyBean Says:

    This was great!

    I’m only 5 days into my natural hair journey and I haven’t faced any of these things yet, but I’m sure my time shall come too.

    Thanks for staying bold for me!

  8. The Black Bot Says:

    I know what you mean. When I used to wear very long kinky twist that most people thought were locks, this guy asked me out specifically of the stereotypes he had about people with locks. He walked up to me and just started to tell me what kind of girl he thought I was because of my hair although I don’t fit into the stereotypes people have about natural hair at all.

  9. Sunny Dee Says:

    I am just at the beginning of my hair journey. I got my TWA cut a few months ago and then just about a month ago went back and got it trimmed and shaped and colored and have totally fallen in love with it. Every time I see a picture of myself or catch an unexpected glimpse of myself in the mirror I’m surprised all over again at how much I absolutely love my new look and the way it looks on me. For the first time in my life I am just as India.Arie said, “not my hair”.

  10. Kim Says:

    I guess I am actually pretty stereotypical. I’m vegan, prefer earth tone make up on the rare occassion I do wear make up, and I listen to stuff like Anoushka Shankar. However, I went vegan way before I went natural, colorful make up makes me look like a clown, and I also listen to Nine Inch Nails, Lil Wayne, and contemporary symphonic and choral music. I wouldn’t say I hold a grudge against relaxed women, but I do often find myself wishing they all cared enough to try going natural, which is like a part of self discovery to me. (As for the incense thing, I have nothing against a nice-smelling home, though I prefer oil, lol.)

  11. ThatDeborahGirl Says:

    I don’t even know you but I love that picture!

  12. Carmen D. Sosa Mendez Says:

    That is so true, one of the stereotypes of natural curly hair here in dominican republic is> if you have curly hair, you study art or social comunication. when I go to college some people think I am a social comunication student, but I am a psycology student xD

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