"What The Eff?" Wednesday: Conks & Curls
I wouldn’t be at all surprised if most you were like “Hunh? Thembi, no one gets Jheri Curls anymore!” But, as evidenced by the recent query above, OH. BUT. THEY. DO. Much like we sit around in denial about the voting power of the racist south, the rate of AIDS in the our community, and the extent to which Bobby Brown is finally “clean,” black folks are in denial when it comes to the Curl and the role it still plays in society. First of all, I still see people with straight-up Jheri Curls roaming our streets. Secondly, the Leisure Curl, Carefree Curl, and almighty r&b flavored S-Curl are still quite prolific, having gotten a semantic pass for the past 20 years. Let’s be real: Jheri Curl is to S-Curl as Crack is to Cocaine. A process is a process and Luster is still doing a brisk business in no-drip Activator. There may be a different stigma attached but the risks are the same. I’ve spoken on this before but enough is enough and there are clearly still questions about the Curl floating around out there. Please consider the four issues presented below!
1. Flammability. Everyone knows that any Curl is as flammable as a hot sausage in hell. The classic tale of woe that should steer all of us clear away is that of Michael Jackson’s tragic Jheri Curl brush fire while he filmed that Pepsi commercial. Just watch:
Ok, that wasn’t exactly the original footage, but you get the idea. Do you want your momma running down a hospital hallway after you like that just because you wanted to be Carl Thomas when you grow up?
2. No Support System. Well, well, well. What have here? It’s our old public access friend Flaccid Ego. What could a turbaned lunatic possibly have to do with this post?
I always did wonder what was under that turban! It’s clear that Flaccid Ego has very little support system for any aspect of his life, but anyone, anywhere, who is letting that Soul Glo is pretty much on his or her own. Credible hair stylists just don’t play that anymore!
3. It is NOT 1985. If you remember this commercial and/or still have a cassette player, you’re officially a super oldhead.
Yet, this commercial is for the very same hair texturizing products that Luster is selling right now in 2008. Therefore, if you look at this screenshot of the S-Curl website as it looks today below, and you see products that can be found in your bathroom, you are a damn fool. No one thinks you’re part Indian or Dominican, and if that’s your charade then please check your blackness. It don’t have to be Jheri to be a Curl! Shoutout to Garfield, my favorite male video ho of the ’90’s who has now been reduced to an S-Curl poster boy.
4. Your Hair Will Fall Out. Ok, I’d like to apologize in advance for this video, because during trying times like these, the last thing any of us need to see is an old lady in court about some Jheri Curl gone awry, especially in dance mix form. But if the classic Negrospeak grammar slip at 1:33 doesn’t make you lament the state of Black America you are a soulless, self-hating wretch.
Conk and Curl Disasters: Never Forget.