[Cross-posted from 17 March 2009 on Charcoal Ink, my personal blog]

One of Charcoal’s regular readers, lifeisannoying, left a fascinating comment on a previous post that I’d like to share. Please do not judge her and I hope this can start conversation that’s healthy.

Ok, let me just get up on my soapbox!( shuffles, stumbles finds feet) i was natural from 2001 all the way up to 2006. it was long and very wavy, i loved it, BUT i found that i could not find a man. men thought it symbolised that i was worthy and a bit pious and not down a damn good time (this girl loves a good time!) they would always adress me like they would adress their grandmother. having my beneath the shoulder length natural hair was a turn off for them. so despite loving the look myself and feeling ashamed of compromising myself and my ideals i texturised it bone straight……. you know what happened almost immeadiately??? Guys who knew me on sight before were asking me if i was new in town, or if i only just started going out in the area. it’s sick to admit it and it’s shameful for me, since i loved my natural and miss it, but i like male attention and want male attention and that is what they want………… Trust me i am only alone because i want to be these days. It is sick, that some black men and women feel like this and maybe we all need to politicise our hair again so people can wake up. but me i am just human, principles are fine things……. loneliness is another. Please don’t judge me, if you have ever been truely lonely and hungry for love you will understand why i compromised myself.

lifeisannoying has raised a very important question with comment. I think that (some) black men (overarchingly referring to black men in the UK) here are attracted to girls with ’straight’ hair. And there is nothing with wanting to appeal to men. Women like to look physically attractive to men, it’s natural (and vice versa). I think what is different here is that to me, natural hair should be *enough* for black men who run for straight hair.

It should be *enough* because it is how our hair naturally grows. Any man who cannot see the beauty of natural hair is dunce in my opinion. I don’t apportion blame onto women per se because so much of female identity is still wrapped up in the patriarchy that controls the majority of societies in the world (RE burkhas etc). I think afro hair is beautiful because to me, it is blackness personified before manipulation. It is a shame some black men could not see the beauty of lifeisannoying’s natural hair. Hopefully, natural girls will find black men who accept their beautiful curls for who they are. Because whoever shares my bed needs to accept my Afro for what it is. And trust me, natural girls are freaks* *=not in a bad way, gentlemen!