To Us, The Frizzy Hair Women
I have frizzy hair, unruly hair and I spend a lot of time each morning straightening my hair… why? May be this Beyonce line sums up everything,’ Becky with the good hair’ which is supposed to refer to a woman with straight hair…. If you are a woman, there is this easy equation, straight = good, frizzy = bad. I have been teased and mocked for my hair since I was little, so I know about this, society wants us to have straight hair for some reason and you want to conform… It’s not socially acceptable to have kinky frizzy hair
So I was feeling rather good about Beyonce wearing her long frizzy mane with pride in all these videos and concerts, at last, a frizzy hair woman and not any woman, isn’t she at the top of the world right now? Did you see her at the Superbowl and in this Lemonade video? Her blonde mane is all over the place in the wildest way ever! Sure mine has never looked like that, whatever I do, but mine is closer to that than to the boring straight hair on the head of most famous women, from singers to fashion models.
However, did you notice? Beyonce often straightens her hair when she has an important and serious event to attend,… a gala, a presidential inauguration, a Stevie Wonder Tribute? Straight hair, a video when she wants to kill her man with a baseball bat? Wild curly hair,… Once again, we go back to this, good and disciplined = straight hair, uncivilized and mad = frizzy. What is so offensive about curly-frizzy hair?
Lemonade celebrated all types of afro hairdos and that’s very good for us frizzy-hair women, I didn’t want to make a race issue of all this, but of course our disdain for the unruly, frizzy hair has its roots in slavery, it is all about our fear of the afro, it’s a sort of slave-master leftover. There was even a law for this: ‘A “law” of sorts that demanded women of color in Louisiana to cover their hair with a fabric cloth starting in 1789 as a part of what was called the Bando du buen gobierno’. These laws were made ‘to curtail the growing influence of the free black population and keep the social order of the time’. Here we go again, unruly hair, which represented blackness, was considered as a threat to society at so many levels, and even a sinful temptation for white men.
Good hair, bad hair, this is ridiculous there can’t be a moral judgment attached to hair, and even though it has this race-division meaning in Beyonce’s song, these times are over, or should be over. I would like to see more confidence from curly-hair women, I would like to see more of this frizzy-hair look on Beyonce, she could just stop straighten her hair once for all, and wear her hair with pride as she does in this video. And every time I see a St Vincent, a Esperanza Spalding, a young Bette Midler or Diana Ross wearing their hair big and fuzzy, I feel a bit more reassured and empowered.