By TRN Staff Writer,
We’ve been here before. If you’re a Black woman, you’ve heard somebody tell you how to wear your hair. Employers said you could wear braids…other Black women tell you not to use relaxers…and yes, Black men joke about Black women wearing weaves.
Recently, actor Isaiah Washington decided to give his two cents on the long running debate of how Black women should wear their hair. Washington tweeted….
For my Queens that are being “shamed” for wearing weaves. I love you. I really do, but ask yourself. “Is it worth it emotionally?”
— Isaiah Washington (@IWashington) October 15, 2017
Yeah, it didn’t go well for Washington in the comment section….
I wish Black folks were more concerned about misogynoir and how Black women are mistreated, as opposed to how sistas style their hair.
— Jenee Darden (@CocoaFly) October 15, 2017
What do you & other black men get out of constantly going on abt black women & our aesthetic decisions? Emotionally what do y’all get frm it
— Corrisa (@nouvelleevague) October 15, 2017
Started with “For my queens that are being shamed” and ended with a shameful question. You’re making black men look unnecessarily ignorant??
— Eric Okafor (@KneWKeeD) October 17, 2017
You shamed a co-star of yours for being gay and got kicked off one of the best tv shows. Was that worth it emotionally Burke?
— Bute & Thick (@Iamashleyhunter) October 15, 2017
Washington apparently thought his question was thought provoking, but it turns out it just provoked anger over a topic that Black women( and apparently some Black men) are tired of having to explain and defend. Just because he started his question with “My queens” didn’t take away the stinging condescension implied. The toll on Black women is only “emotional” because other people keep making it emotional. No one talks about all the White women wearing weaves, hair extensions and wigs.
Lots of people were ready and willing to answer Washington, including Vanessa Simmons. Reverend Run’s daughter had a sermon of own to preach on the subject. Simmons told ESSENCE Magazine, “if a woman wears a weave it does not mean she doesn’t love herself. It’s just our way of expressing ourselves. And I feel like people need to understand that we aren’t running from who we are or think that we’re another race.”
Simmons pointed out that some women wear weaves as a way to protect their own hair from the daily stress of straightening, ,changing color with harmful dyes or exposure to drying elements. Sometimes a woman wants to change her look or sometimes she wants to try a shorter or longer length. All of the above reasons fall under the umbrella of choice—theirs to make, not everybody else. Simmons adds, “Changing our hairstyle is fun, and that’s what it’s all about — feeling good about yourself and being confident. I think the idea that we hate ourselves based on a hairstyle is the worst hair myth ever,”
It is a myth…but why so many people feel they have a right to weigh in on the issue is the mystery.
What do you think…