Dear Fashion Industry
I’ve recently read some articles lately ’bout “fashion” and I’d like to lay out a couple things for you. The first is this article about not dissing a woman’s short ‘do. First, why should anyone have a thing to say about someone else’s choice to keep their hair short? That’s just spiteful. Second, this article is ridiculous and exclusionary to a Black woman like me who opts to keep her hair natural. It’s not short, per se, but it’s really really curly and stays close to my head, like a natural little hat in these chilly winter months. There’s some confusion in Caucasian America I think, much perpetuated by Black America I admit, and maybe it just needs to be cleared up. When you see most dark, Black women on TV with long, mostly straight hair, that’s not growing from her scalp. It takes a lot of time and money to get that hair on her head and styled correctly. As a result of the Beyonce’s of this world, with all the stylists and money to blow on hair and glamour, there are a lot of Black women covering their heads in shame with something that is all affectation. Now some women rock the weave, wig or extensions proudly and I support that all the way; more power to them. But for those of us who choose to let the natural nappiness out, we don’t need shitty articles/segments telling us our natural way is the wrong way. Go watch Good Hair and then get back at me.
Another article I recently read was about what styles women love on their men. Where are the zip-hoodies and jeans? The plastic-framed glasses and sneakers? The sweater-vests and jaunty caps? Anything except that which is earth-shatteringly dull?? Considering how completely off base this article was in determining my favorite look, I’m feeling a bit more forgiving about the hair articles above. Obviously none of this fashion stuff is meant to be fired at girls like me. The kind of dude that wants my hair as Caucasoid as possible is probably not the kind of dude that turns my natural little head, either. Obviously these articles are going to be broad-brush, akin to a horoscope perhaps, encompassing the self- and partner-conscious women who usually read Cosmo and watch Sex and the City. Broad generalization of course. Not meant to offend anyone. But it certainly doesn’t include me.
So, fashion gurus, I understand that Black hair and style has its own niche, and has its own publications, but to ignore it is to further marginalize a group of people who are fucking over being in the margins. Inclusivity is the way of the future, especially since minorities in America will be a majority come 2024. Wise up or prepare to be overtaken.
The Black Girl in the Room