I talk a lot about hair on this blog. Not so much hair in general, but specifically my hair. How, as symptoms of my PCOS, I have more hair than normal in some places and less hair in others. And we all know about Doris and the key role she plays in my life.
Today though, I want to talk about other people’s hair. Hair in general.
Not only is hair a way to express our own heritage, but also our own personalities. Hair has been in the news this week with protests around a school in South Africa, where students of colour have been forced to straighten their hair. A Canadian news site put out this article on it, but I am sure you can find articles from your own country with a simple google search. This is always the image that I always see associated with this story:
I read one article yesterday which actually included the school’s rules on hair – which were extreme in my mind. Growing up, my school never had any regulations on how our hair looked – aside from possibly shaving a gang symbol into it we were free to do whatever we wanted with our hair.
In Korea, there are some rules around hair as well. When you enter high school, female students need to cut their hair. To around their shoulders or shorter I think. I’m not 100% sure on the exact rules but still it’s a regulation that must be followed.
A new friend that I have on Facebook (coincidentally from South Africa) posted a challenge on his wall. He said to go to google and search for “professional hairstyles” and then “unprofessional hairstyles” and requested that you do so before reading the rest of his post. I’ll save you the trouble and post my findings for you:
Are you seeing the difference here? I honestly was shocked. What type of mind set are we creating for young people when this is the result?
Now I am not a black woman, I am probably almost the furthest thing from one – aside from being albino. But I do know the shame in being told that something about you is wrong, and that you need to change it to fit into society. For me, that was my weight. It’s not the same at all – since weight is something I can change, where skin colour, or hair isn’t, but shame is shame, and let me tell you, it breaks your spirit. I was a broken young girl because of it. I can’t image how these young girls feel over something they can’t change.
There is another part of me affected by this story. I think that their hair is beautiful. I wish I had hair like that. (I wish I had hair that actually grew instead of stopping and making me bald!) But I also have this attraction to men of colour. In all honesty, I find them more attractive than others.
So my thinking is this: if I am lucky enough to find someone that I really love and get married, I’m like 90% sure it would be a man of colour. And if we were to have babies, adorable beautiful babies, how are they going to be affected in their future? I can’t even comprehend that concept. And I know that it’s something that some people have to think about every single day – for themselves, for their loved ones, for their own children. How the colour of their skin and the texture of their hair will put them into the position where they have to protest to go to school.
How is this the world that we live in?!