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Archive for the ‘Venting’ Category

You Wanna Be White?

Hey World.  Sorry for the period where the exclamation mark usually is, but this post is kinda heavy…

…like, Gucci heavy (and that’s real heavy)…

So here’s where the story starts:

I wake up on this wonderful Wednesday morning ready to stretch my mind as well as my body and grabbed my computer straight away, ready to read my favorite online magazines for the first time this week, when instantly my cheesy grin becomes a frown.

Because there’s yet another article about white rappers who exploit black culture, and although this particular publication is geared towards black women, I already know exactly which direction the comments went in:

“Well look at Beyonce’ and Keri Hilson trying to be white!  They just get whiter and whiter everyday!”

To which I respond,
“Bish, that’s not what the article was about!  And furthermore, what exactly is ‘white’ and what is ‘black’”?

This same issue has pissed me off since I was in grade school in Charleston, SC and the kids there teased me because I didn’t talk with the customary “Charleston accent”.  “You tryin’ to be white,” they’d say.  No, my parents just aren’t from here and they don’t like the way it sounds, so they don’t let me talk like that.  My bad.

But then when the other black kids find out that you’re smart, or see you wearing your hair down and it just so happens to grow past your shoulders, or that you turn your music down when you are in neighborhoods or near the school, or that you don’t get into wearing brand name clothing, you hear the same old rhetoric:

“You wanna be white or something?”

So forgive me if it sickens me when I see grown folks doing it over a star’s chosen style of dress, or how they choose to wear their hair, or the color of said hair, or how toned they want their body to be.  Why is it that we’ll criticize a sister for doing her own thing instead of fitting in to the same old bullshit stereotypes that our parents were fighting against?  Telling someone how they should wear their hair, how they should look, how they should act, or sound, or think – I’m sorry, but I call bullshit on the whole premise of it all.  Since when is anyone on this earth so “black” or so “white” that they can tell someone else of that race exactly who they are and who they’re trying to be.

Beyonce’ and Keri’ parents (and even Be and Keri) were still called “niggers”.  They still suffered under the burden of discrimination and oppression.  They are still icons in a community that looks just like them, and best of all, they make positive music for a community traditionally lacking in that area.  So you’ll just have to forgive me if I still consider them to be black, regardless of their hair and make-up choices.

And to all those black kids out there who still switch their CDs out when they get close to their schools so that they won’t be judged, who sit in AP classes all day, and who may not have that customary accent that all those around you have: do you, and fuck your judgmental classmates.  The courage you show when you refuse to change just because someone doesn’t like who you are makes you “blacker” than anyone who would try to mold you into some stereotypical “black person”.

Finally, to all those who assume that hair, skin, nails, and accent (among other superficial things) are what determine a person’s race: that’s just a stereotype, the box that those who don’t understand you need you to fit into so that they can feel better about your existence.  Don’t just light-heartedly hop into that box!  Be you instead, or else you risk being the “white person” in reality.

 

Peace, Love, and Race (an oxymoron, I know),

SuperCoils

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… during New Cadet Orientation in my Army ROTC unit this past weekend.

The Story:

My Army ROTC unit decided to have new cadet orientation this past weekend from 9-5, Saturday and Sunday, to introduce our freshmen (yay freshmen) to the Army way of life and teach them the basics of being a cadet.  We taught them how to wear the uniform, where to go for physical training, the standards they must uphold as a cadet, et cetera, et cetera…

So I’m sitting down, minding my own business, trying my best to be a good example to the freshmen and sophomores of how to act while in uniform… when we begin to talk about hair and the hair standards while in the army combat uniform.

And as 1 of 2 OBVIOUSLY natural-haired black women in the room, I began to feel the heat.  Of the 15 or so cadre that we have, about 8 of them are black, therefore, myself and the other natural, Stef (also my roommate, bestie, and the person I always sit by in class), sat enduring the goring stares of 16 skeptical eyes.  Fantastic.  All I wanted to do was start the year off right and I could already tell there was gonna be a problem.

… then the unthinkable happened: I was called upon to answer a question, before the entire class, about hair.  FML.

“How many headbands can you wear in uniform, Cadet [SuperCoils]?”

“Ummmm…. one.”

“Yes.  Earlier today you were wearing two but I see that you have corrected yourself.  Good job.”

“But… what if one headband doesn’t do the job?  What if you need more than one?”

As soon as I saw the look that came over the cadre’s face, I knew I’d made a mistake.  I just knew that I should have asked this question in private.  Why had I opened my big mouth???

“Well then, cadet,” the cadre says, smirking, eyes on my uncovered head, “looks like someone needs a perm, huh?”

A few cadets in the back snickered, but all I could hear in my mind were his words, echoing…

*tire screech* Oh HHHEEEELLLLLLLLLL NO!

Next thing I know, another cadre is whispering in the first one’s ear, Stef is tapping me on my leg to sit down, and the first cadre (let’s call him “Sergeant DA”… and we all know what the “DA” stands for)  is rushing to rephrase his prior statement, starting with, “for all of you ladies out there who choose to go natural…”.

From what Stef says, I stood there for a full minute giving him the strangest look with my fist balled up.  The guy next to me, SuperFast (because he runs super fast) looked over at me after I sat down and said, “Damn, [SuperCoils]; you looked at that guy like you wanted to kill him.”

I didn’t… well, let me not lie: I kinda did.  I didn’t realize I’d stood there for so long.  I was just so shocked by what had just come out of his mouth that I couldn’t think of anything else to say.  I didn’t even realize I’d allowed my emotions to show on my face until Stef and SuperFast told me so.

The whole incident got me thinking about my natural hair journey in relation to the Army.  I knew that my cadre did not care that I was going natural.  As a matter of fact, as long as your hair is within regulations, they really don’t care about it at all.  I was just shocked that Sergeant DA thought that was funny, or even appropriate, in front of 90 other cadets.  It was embarrassing, and it caught me way off guard.  I mean, any other normal person and I would’ve almost seen it coming… but an NCO in the United States Army?  I mean damn, the first sentence of the NCO’s Creed is “No one is more professional than I.”  I’m just saying… really? We’re there now?

This occurred on Saturday, and by Sunday, I’d decided that transitioning in ROTC would just be too difficult.  I’d more than likely sweat my styles out during PT and I wouldn’t have the time to worry about my hair before class.  Furthermore, the next time I saw Sergeant DA, I really wanted to tell him what I thought of him and his ignorant comments without even saying a word.

So I went back to my dorm, washed my hair, picked up my 12 dollar shears, and ended my almost 17 month transition.

In other words, I BC’ed last night.

Peace, Love, and Shears,

SuperCoils

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Hey Peoples,

This week has been VERY trying for me emotionally, physically, and… hair-ally?  We’ve almost completed the moving process, which involved A LOT of sweating, lifting, and losing stuff…

Like losing my beloved spray bottle.

I don’t know how this happened.  I honestly do not know.  I mean, my elderly aunts, grandma, mom, and I were all sitting around, packing things in boxes, shoving them in car trunks, and complaining about the heat.  It was your typical midsummer night’s NIGHTMARE here in Georgia and we were none to happy to be living it.  We take everything over to the new house, unpack, and put EVERYTHING in it’s rightful place; the food is in the kitchen, the TV is in the living room, my bed is in my room, et cetera, et cetera…

But somehow, my spray bottle just didn’t make it.  And I didn’t find this out at a decent time of day, oh no, because that would make life all too simple, now wouldn’t it?

I figured it out at 11:15 PM, after I’d already taken my hair down and broken out my Bee Mine Bee Hold Curly Butter in hopes of having extra sexy hair for once this week.  #failure  I looked like Buckwheat and was tearing my new place UP trying to find something that, in my mom’s words, “is less than a dollar at Wal-Mart”.  Then she proceeded to make a 10-10-3-2-1 reference that I refuse to repeat.

So, three headbands and a pair of orange “Jesus Sandals” later, I took the hint and went down to Wal-Mart with two dollars in my pocket and a dream between my ears: a dream that one day (preferably tomorrow), I would have a big, sexy, luxurious braid-n-curl of doom.  But alas, this is but the beginning of the journey.

So I walk into Wal-Mart in jeans, a t-shirt, and a fairly juicy-tabulous puff accented with two silver headbands, and all I want is a spray bottle.  I’m ignoring every guy I see (and I saw some cuties) in hot pursuit of my saving grace: a neon colored, barely functioning spray bottle.  Y’all, when I say I had that bottle in my hand in seconds, please know that I am NOT exaggerating.

The problem came when I got to the check-out line… the ONLY one that was open in the entire store.

The creepy man in front of me had a buggy FULL of groceries and felt the need to smile at me repeatedly; the creepy man behind me was far too close for my comfort and I’m absolutely positive that he forgot to brush that morning… and several mornings before that.

FML

So I’m in line, with a bit of an attitude, waiting on Mr. Smiley in front of me to pay for his $199.81 (I kid you not) worth of midnight groceries when Sir-Stinks-A-Lot behind me does the unthinkable:

*in the most condescending voice ever* “Aye girl, when’s the last time you’ve seen a salon?”

Mr. Smiley froze, awkward smile in full effect, while the teenage dream (not) behind Sir-Stinks-A-Lot nearly chokes on his gum and I turn around after deciding, in that moment, that I had had just about enough that day.

“Gee, I don’t know… perhaps it was around the same time that you saw a toothbrush… NOW BACK UP.  You are too stinky to be standing so close to civilized people!”

Yeah, I said it.  Am I tall enough to be talking to random people like that?  Maybe not… but all 132 pounds, 5 feet, and 2 inches of me meant it.  F his whole stinky life.

Teen Dream nearly pisses himself laughing, Mr. Smiley’s jaw hits the floor, and Sir-Stinks-A-Lot shuts his mouth (thank God).  I know this is wrong, but it felt sssoooo incredibly good to take out my frustrations on a perfectly deserving person.  I mean, seriously, that junk is better than sex.  You guys should try it.

The best part of the situation came 3 minutes later when I left Wal-Mart with my spray bottle, a small bag of Reece’s Pieces, and lot of stress off my back.

Peace, Love, and Spray Bottle Drama,

SuperCoils

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I gotta admit… I’m kind of annoyed right now.

You got somethin' to say?

You know, since beginning my transition to natural hair, the most comments I’ve gotten against natural hair in general were from my mom, and she was only pissed because she didn’t think I’d be able to manage it.  Once I began to do natural styles and she saw that I knew what I was doing, she loved it and is actually enjoying my transition just as much as I am.  Her words: “they didn’t have this many resources for natural hair 26 years ago!” (when she was natural).

Most people compliment my hair in general and have a lot of questions about it, which I’m more than happy to answer.

The thing that bothers me the most is when other naturals pressure me to BC.  I’m just not ready for that yet, but some people just don’t seem to understand that.

And it’s not the vast majority of them… just a select few who seem to think their opinions actually matter.

I’d much rather cut it off slowly as it grows out, and this is why:

  1. In my opinion, with my facial structure, very short afro hair would NOT look good on me.  I personally like my hair to at least hit my chin bone with a braid-out, although my hair has been longer than that my whole life.
  2. As fly as some new naturals are with their short, sassy, cropped do’s… the BC look just ain’t for everybody.  While I will always support anybody who goes natural no matter their method… it just isn’t cute on some faces.
  3. I don’t know how to maintain short hair!  Short hair is more difficult (in my opinion, of course) to do than long hair just because of the boredom factor.  I get bored very easily and want to be able to style my hair in more than just a TWA plus something.
  4. I’m in ROTC, and need to be able to pull my hair back in order to conform to regulations.
  5. I really want my first style to be a set of long, thick twists.
  6. I want to be sure that I know how to manage natural hair before my hair is all natural.  Right now, when I mess up, it’s mostly my relaxed ends that suffer the most.  They are something like a permanent protective style of sorts in that my natural hair is less likely to break off with the relaxed ends on it.  The relaxed ends just break instead.  It’s the lesser of two evils, in my opinion.
  7. I’m just not ready.  I don’t feel comfortable with having hair that short.

What bothers me most is when other naturals counter with, “Well, are you just insecure about yourself and having short hair?”

Ummm… no.

And this is the part where I vent:

No, I am not insecure with myself.  I know what I want and this is what I have chosen to do.  I also know that I am blessed with beauty, a wonderful, supportive family, and, most of all, the ability to make my own choices.  Why you hatin’?  Why is it your business how I choose to manage my transition?  Why do you insult the fact that I have chosen to transition this long, then ask me for styling tips and help managing your hair in the same sentence?

This is something I just don’t get, and probably never will, but hey, maybe I’m just tripping.  I mean, I know people may be curious to see it, but we’re grown, and that high school peer pressure isht is just downright annoying.  Sorry, but I can’t sugar-coat it any more than that.

Personally, I think one of my friends, Joyce, whom I’m always admired for her positive attitude and great wisdom, said it best when she said, “I think someone should only BC when they are ready.”

You rock, Joyce!

All that aside, the purpose of this post is to a.) vent and b.) encourage people to do just as Joyce said, and BC when you are ready!  I’ve come ttthhiiss close to BCing a couple of times and chickened out, only to be glad I did.  Don’t let anyone pressure you into making that big of a decision when you aren’t ready.  After all, it’s you who has to deal with your hair, not them.

Personally, it’s not a fear of natural hair, but the knowledge that I am not yet skilled enough to manage it as well as I would like to be that’s keeping me from cutting off my relaxed ends.  Besides, the whole transitioning period gives you time to adjust slowly, find what works for you, and be sure that natural hair is truly what you want.

That’s all I got for now, but I’ll probably post again in a few hours.  Been feeling kind of restless today, and I have to make up for yesterday, when I didn’t have internet and couldn’t post 😦

Peace, Love, and Naturals like Joyce!

SuperCoils

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