Plastic surgery, facelifts, boob jobs, but implants, collagen lip injections, Botox, skin bleaching, extreme tanning, tattooed makeup… All of these things are still kind of taboo for many African-Americans. We criticize people who resort to these methods of beautifying themselves. We condemn them as being shallow and fake. Michael Jackson is called a disgrace to the race for wanting to be white. We shake our heads when Asians complain about their eyes, and we ask, “Why can’t everyone just love themselves.”
But are we any different when we get addicted to hair straightening and extensions? If our natural hair is not good enough, maybe our natural lips, eyes, nose, skin, and breasts aren’t either.
I’ve come to the conclusion that chemically altered hair is no different from other forms of physical alteration. In each case, for whatever reason, people aren’t satisfied with their physical features, so they change them.
We as African-Americans fail to see the connection because the majority of us have been straightening our hair for so long that we’ve normalized it. For decades, the unnatural thing has been the natural thing to do. We believe we’re normal. Those other people? Well, they just need to love themselves the way God made them.
Peace and Love from Sarah L. Webb
What’s in your hand?