I Don’t Get What’s Wrong with Curly Hair

Me and my beloved “clown ‘fro,”
as my brother calls it even when I’m not in clown make-up.

A while ago I made small mention of my curly hair and my vow never to straighten it again. I made the decision this past October after I had gone “bar hopping” in the city (which I love) with straight hair, and someone I’d met before but had never really spoken to commented on how “good” I looked with it. The look of shock and awe on his face revealed to me how invisible I must be generally, but instead of being glad, I felt sick. There are so many images out there to compare me against as a female, and here I was giving everyone a different version of myself to do it with. It wasn’t the first time someone stated a preference for straight-haired me, but I knew it had to be the last.

Yesterday I read a post on Jezebel about an open letter from the people at NaturallyCurly.com to Oprah about a makeover show she did in which every curly-haired woman got a straightening. This is nothing new. Every makeover show you watch on TV will straighten a woman’s hair to make her more “polished.” But if over 50% of the world has curly hair, why isn’t it considered normal? I remember that when my hair was long, people would come up to me and pull on the curls to look on in amazement at how they would bounce back. Why would they not bounce back? They’re like springs, literally. But the amazement wasn’t because they’d never witnessed spring action before, it was because their idea of natural hair was straight, and thus it was crazy for hair not to straighten out – fix itself – when pulled straight.

My little sister has mostly straight, somewhat wavy hair. I always feel bad for her because she’ll have to blow dry it all the time, while all I have to do is put mousse in my hair and go. Why is straight hair the norm when it requires more work? I, by choice, spend over $50 on my shampoo, conditioner, and mousse because I love Redken product and I love my hair, but I can’t even conceive of taking the time to brush and blow dry. The people whose hair I’m jealous of are those who have tighter curls than mine even with short hair, as the shorter mine has gotten the looser it has become. Straight hair is dull, a lot of work, and is what everyone expects. People always assume that I grew up desperate for straight hair, but I grew up just desperate to find a good product and cut for my curly hair because no one ever really knew what to do with it. My mom always avoided her curls, and my dad had super-kinky hair before he went bald. I finally found the products that work, and I also have a stylist who always compliments my curls instead of fearing them. She’s the first to never give me a haircut that made me cry, and for that reason I now go to an unfashionable salon because she left the cool one I went to previously. Hello, sacrifice.

People need to disregard the notion that curly hair is a wild beast that needs a taming. The fashion world wanting from women the hair that requires the most work is just part and parcel of their whole woman-hating deal. The writer at Jezebel notes that she goes straight sometimes, and I know it’s tempting to change it up a bit, but it is harmful to give everyone the image of you succumbing to the supposed “ideal.” Until curly hair isn’t thought of as Other, it needs to be rocked full force, all the damn time. So, my curly friends, stay strong and away from the flat iron! Curly is beautiful and fuck being “polished”!

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3 Responses to “I Don’t Get What’s Wrong with Curly Hair”


  1. 1 Colleen May 30, 2008 at 2:15 am

    well said!! people have so little appreciation for curly hair! I love it though! it’s so versatile and loaded with personality. straight hair isn’t all people think it’s cut out to be! I just wish more people would stop hating their textures because they have this idea that straight hair is the only way to go…if only they realized some of the things straight-haired people go through to give their hair some shape, moreover some VOLUME! i don’t know what else to say, but great entry!

  2. 2 kleri September 19, 2008 at 1:10 pm

    THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NOTHING WRONG WITH CURLY HAIR!!!! I JUST DONT UNDERSTAND WHY PEOPLE PREFER STRAIGHT HAIR!!!! HONESTLY! THE MOST BEATIFUL GIRLS IN THE WORLD HAVE CURLY HAIR!!! all you curly girls out there, dont be jealous of straight hair just cause most people like it. its nothing!!!! straight hair doesnt make u any better!! if a guy likes straight hair better than curly hair, BIG DEAL!!!! there are guys out there that would kill to have a curly-haired girl with them. what is the big deal with straight hair?!?! keep wot u have all u gurls out there!! just because straight hair is easier to handle doesnt mean u cant live without it!! my best friend at school has straight hair and GUESS WOT? I DONT LOVE HER BECAUSE OF HER HAIR!!!!!!!!!! even though it looks nice on her, thats not why i like her!! i like her cause shes her!! straight hair is not what makes a person!!theres no point in straightening ur hair!!!!!

    THIS FOR ALL U GURLS LOOKING FOR A GUY
    if a guy is truly smart, he’ll come to you. not because of ur hair: because of who u are. if, in any case, a guy wants u to straighten ur hair, D.O.N.T. tell him that u like it just the way it is and that ur not willing to change it just for him. if he ditches you or something, good luck with the next one. the last guy was a total moron.

    lol to all u curly-haired gurls out there

    kleri

  3. 3 kleri September 19, 2008 at 1:12 pm

    NOTHING IS WRONG!!!!!!!!!!

    WOTS WITH STRAIGHT HAIR?!?!

    lol


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