Black Hair Talk: White Girls With Black Haircuts
I need for white girls and fellas to stop getting blackgirl haircuts. Cease and desist. Do not pass Go or collect two hundred dollars. In the immortal words of Full House‘s Uncle Joey “Cut. It. Out.”
Kate Gosselin, I see you. I hate that you’ve been abandoned by your man and are now the single mother of eight screaming kids (as much as that sounds like a stereotypical black woman’s dilemma). But you’re not doing yourself any favors with that characteristically complicated blackgirl haircut. Why on earth would a white woman do such a thing? Many other small town women also have blackgirl haircuts and whenever they end up on television and get a makeover the first thing the experts do is take them from Salt N’ Pepa to Katie Couric (see Kristen and Cathy from The Biggest Loser before and after.). There was a woman at my last job with a blackgirl haircut and a car covered in National Rifle Association and Jesus stickers, one of which said “When Judgment Day Comes You’re Going to Wish You Had This Many Jesus Stickers.” So it’s…these bitter people who are clinging to guns and religion and…black girl haircuts? It must be stopped.
I see you, too, Adam Lambert. Kate Minus John Plus Eight isn’t the only offender. A certain type of “black girl haircut” draws its inspiration from a mod/punk/emo look, but fails by taking it one step further into an ironic hipster space until it somehow just looks like it belongs on a black girl (I see you, too Posh Spice). I am so very tired of hipster irony, especially at this point in post-racialism and pop culture, where I could really use a revival of “It’s a Black Thing, You Wouldn’t Understand,” t-shirts and other such black power paraphernalia. But what’s the point? I’ve already seen hipsters wearing Malcolm X hats, and anything we bring back for the sake of unity will just end up in Urban Outfitters. We really can’t have anything to ourselves!
Listen, I know that straight hair is “for” white women and millions of black women endeavor to such every day. But when white women get any of the hundreds of haircuts that American black women have created and cultivated because we’ve had little choice, it just annoys me. When it comes down to it, black women tend to have shorter hair – ours is more prone to breakage thanks to dryness and all of the crazy chemicals we use, and that is why things like stacked curls and pencil curls even exist (not to mention the advances we’ve made with hair weaves, which y’all are free to dabble in if you like). We do a whole lot with a little bit of hair and I believe that many styles work to combat damage we’ve done to our tresses – for example, no one can tell me that the first swoop bang wasn’t meant to hide edges that have been burnt out by too many perms. And these white women born with straightforward wash n’ go hair just chop all of that white privilege off and throw away what black women pay good money for at the hair store? It’s just not right.
We all know the deal: everyone loves long flowing locks. Long hair is feminine, men love it, and it just looks pretty. I didn’t read Wuthering Heights and watch Thorn Birds without learning something – long hair is the stuff of romance. Short hair can be sexy but it’s not for everyone (honestly, I wish I could just shave my head but I’m pretty sure it’s shaped like a Milk Dud under these naps). So white girls, keep your hair long and flip it in people’s faces, tuck it behind your ear, or twirl it between your fingers like a ditz. Use it as a prop and have a blast. Use very little product, throw it into a ponytail, go swimming and hop out of the pool without a care in the world. Get your privilege on and buy any old shampoo and conditioner because its all designed for your hair just as it already is. If you simply must cut your hair get your Mia Farrow/Twiggy on, go bald, or do any of the approved looks above, just make sure to accessorize and take your face shape into consideration – short hair can be really cute and ethnically appropriate! But there is no stop on the road to the right short cut for a white lady that involves spiking gel, curling irons, or a shaved nape. Please leave such hair gymnastics to the black girls.