But apparently most people who have afros don’t want one!
I have straight, Asian hair. And that pretty much means having a head full of fuss-free hair. I have a bit of curls (more like waves), and I remember being annoyed by them during my adolescent years. Then, I discovered the hair straightener and it was my best friend for awhile.
These days, I still fuss over my hair occasionally, though the most I do daily is use the hairdryer…and that takes up about 10 minutes of my time. Also, I really only spend about $50 on my hair once every 3-4 months to get that hair cut, and *maybe* a couple hundred dollars extra once a year to get my hair colored or protein treated. Still, whilst I do enjoy how my hair smells and feels after a haircut, color, or perm, I dread sitting in that salon chair for more than 30 mins.
I remember being fascinated by other people’s hair when I was younger: blonde, brunette, redheads, and African. I was intrigued: does their hair tangle easily? How do they wash it? Does the color change? I was first exposed to African American or black culture when I did my study abroad in the US about 10 years ago (!!!!!!) and had a black roommate. It was through her that I knew how much pride and care black women people into their hair. But, I didn’t know exactly how much work goes into there until Chris Rock’s documentary “Good Hair.”
That show was fascinating and intriguing. The effort, time, money, and potential risks that are involved in having straight hair is astonishing. (I mean, a few thousand dollars for a hair weave??!!!! Talk about extravagance.) Here I am, telling my Ethiopian friend (who, by the way, also hates her curls) how much I love her afro and how envious I am that she can do fun curls with her hair, and there they are trying to have straight hair!!!
You want what you can’t have.
Now, good ol’Sesame Street has come up with a video with a black puppet triyng to teach little black girls that their au natural hair is beautiful. It’s such a cute video, but I wonder how effective this will be? I think a more effective strategy would be to convince Hollywood that natural curls and afros are “in.” Although it might put a whole lot of people out of work. Or maybe allow families to spend money on other more important things, like, uhm…a disco ball for their car???? Or tickets to catch a sports event. Maybe even a spa session…??
Then again, black women probably don’t spend money trying to get a rhinoplasty (for higher nose bridge) or a blapheroplasty (double eyelid surgery) that so many Asian women get (not me! Tho, maybe I will for my left eye to balance out the right eye double fold).
Maybe Sesame Street should come up with something for the Asians “I love my eyes.”