Hair in Unrelated Ads



I’ve taken this picture from the website, “The Culture,Lifestyle for Black Women”. If you read it with their title “Nubian Skin is Here to Change the Complexion of Lingerie” you would think it’s great that they’re promoting nude color clothing for everyone. You would also assume they are talking about black women when they say “Nubian”.

What I got from glancing at the photo wasn’t some great relief that nude clothing is finally being made. I looked at the picture. The two girls on the right are clearing the “blacks”. They are laughing and stylish (The one with pressed “bad hair” is making her hair attractive by covering it with a colorful scarf/headband and the other with “good hair” has dyed her hair blonde/and is the “wild and crazy one”).

While the other two on the left don’t look like they want to be there. In fact, they don’t look “black”. Being the blacks that care so much about whether or not their clothing matches their skin tone. They look they they were put in the shot because the photographers needed dark-skinned girls with straight hair. Honestly, the one on the far right looks South Asian, and the other mixed/South American. There is no reason they shouldn’t be in the picture. Even though the title says “Nubian” (because all black Americans use this term to make them feel like they know their African heritage) they don’t say explicitly “black” girls and use the term “dark-skinned”. That’s another thing blacks in America do: they assume that all dark-skinned people share their plight, whatever it may be at the moment.

So, the point of this post is to show how hair on dark-skinned/tan skinned women is portrayed in media. This ad wants people to believe that the common black woman has straight hair. That black “comes in all shapes and sizes”. When they know dog gone well that those girls on the right could care less about the bras. Either that or they’re shy. It is also to express my opinion on why “nude like me” is not a phenomenon. It’s a distraction. Who really cares if your bra matches your chest or not?


But What if You’ve Never had a Relaxer?

One of the reasons I have been reluctant to starting this blog is I’ve never had a chemical relaxer (perm). To many people, especially of African ancestry this is highly unusual. However, it usually is justified by “Oh, she’s mixed and has that good hair so that’s why”. It I find may be the same reason that people give when a person that has never had constant texture-alternating treatment.

I’m always looking at blogs, YouTube videos, websites, ads conventions etc. asking about “How long have you been natural?” In fact, I was asked that very question at the event I attended. Many of these women have psychological/cultural issues that effect how they see their hair. I don’t have the same restrictions.

I haven’t found anywhere where there are girls that have never had relaxed tresses. However, I did find out that Maya Angelou never had a relaxer until age 70. Do I belong in the natural hair movement if I’ve always been natural? Or is it offending to people who are ‘going natural’?