Yes our site is called DryerBuzz.com and yes we were born from conversations in salons. And, yes we have made many comments about Melissa Harris-Perry’s hair. However, our conversations go well beyond hair.
While engrossed in the segment about Stop and Frisk and the NAACP march to be held in New York on Father’s Day June 17, 2012, we heard Harris-Perry tease an upcoming segment about her hair. We tweeted and waited thinking she was going to answer the question about her chosen style which since day one has been a side topic of discussion.
Must admit, as an avid viewer and tweeter in #nerdland timeline, Harris-Perry’s hair begs the question, why braids? Talk about stereotype. Our main concern over her hair comes only because we have heard how television networks do a sister in about her hair. Frankly, we wanted to know whether the hair choice of braid extensions, which we know to cause hair line issues in some women, was in fact Melissa’s choice or that of the network.
If she chose the style of convenience because of hats worn as a parent, professor, and now talk show host, then so be it. But if network influenced, then truly political and there is a problem with that. Was the question answered?
Like some, I’m going to re-watch videos posted below with a little less emotion than we demonstrated earlier during the show. Couldn’t sit through it the first time. The teachable moment made me question whether or not I was even in the demographic of the segment.
It was during the hair segment that our own timeline filled with more questions than we had ourselves. This included a side conversation about parents of mixed race children and how to do their hair. One was even concerned about admitting they had a lack of understanding even after having a mixed race relationship.
Deep conditioning. In my honest opinion, I really believe we bite off more stereotypes than is actually aimed at us. Where did this conditioning begin? I don’t know. Wait, yes I do. The media.
I need to have more compassion for those not used to changing the narrative and flipping the script when information comes through media. One would think after ten (10) years blogging and engaging this audience, I would get it by now. People believe what they see in media; unknowing that the truth awaits.
The questions women have about their hair makes me wonder if women have the same questions about their history?
Is anybody watching documentaries, reading history books, looking back through family photo albums? Perhaps family photo albums are the root of the problem. All those years captured in photos of generations attempting to be something they are not. History rewritten and retold or not shared at all.
Most women reverting to natural hair have no idea of their texture until they do the chop or become chemical free. This is bigger than natural hair versus chemically treated hair or the corner store braids Harris-Perry is obviously going to rock on her show.
Why do black women feel slighted about their hair when all women (and men) are changing their hair? Go into and drug store and count the aisle of products aimed not just and black women but men and women in general, including hundreds of shampoos and hair colors. Only one small section is for black women?
Yes, beauty supply stores are stocked to the ceiling and making millions from products for black women, but that’s only because black women don’t make conscience decisions about where they spend their money.
When it comes to hair, there is a thin line of similarities between what women (all inclusive) do to their hair. Only difference is products and appliances (and stereotypical conditioning which can be rinsed at anytime with truth). The longest length of weave is not purchased solely by black women. All women are spending money on and changing their hair. Flip the script.
Black women are trend setters on a world stage. Our hair is our history. We should know and love both. I understand the confusion because we still argue about texture of Jesus’ hair. So black women should feel special not slighted.
Slighted, confused, unknowing, or not, the real difference that must be addressed between black hair care and others is that black women are not matching their hair care spending in savings and philanthropy.
Black women keep the scales tilted in the wrong direction and need to find a balance. Which is why we encourage philanthropy each week with #BlackFridayGiving before we tell you where to get your hair done.
Speaking of balance, hoping Melissa Harris-Perry can keep a balance at the Melissa Harris-Perry show. Topics like these have proven that once you attract an audience wanting to be more entertained than informed, it is difficult to balance with true value.
VideoBuzz: Melissa Harris-Perry Show Hair Segments
Bonus Question of the Day: Does anyone ever ask who trained Madam C J Walker?
During the 1904 World’s Fair, Annie Minerva Turnbo Malone opened a retail outlet. By 1910, distribution had expanded nationally. One of Malone’s recruits was Madame C.J. Walker, a former washerwoman who eventually founded her own company with similar beauty products and distribution. | Remember your hair is your history. Learn more
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