#ByeRachel

From Necole Bitchie

From Necole Bitchie

By now I’m sure you’ve heard about Ms. Rachel Dolezal. If you haven’t, you can read the full story here. My favorite part of this saga was the #AskRachel hashtag where Black people (including me) and Black Twitter tweeted things about Black culture like rap lyrics, hair issues and soulfood ingredients wondering if Rachel was abreast of them since she “identifies” as Black. Think pieces followed the hashtags, as we knew they would. 
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Fall Out

Hey Lovers,

As some of you may know, on September 22nd autumn began. While we’re already 1 month in, it has still be unseasonably warm (thank you Climate Change). Thinking about the impending temperature drop and upcoming holidays I began to think about things I’d rather not see anymore. Let’s discuss!

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First on my list are talons/stiletto nails. Everyone from Beyonce, to Lady Gaga and Rihanna have rocked talons this year. While there are infinite numbers of ways to rock this shape of nail I’m over them. Unless you’re using your stiletto nails as actual weapons, I think we can all find another nail trend that doesn’t make people think we want to kill them by poking them in the eye.

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Next on my list are, moccasins. At first glance I thought an insulated slipper would be a thing of the winter or fall however I was wrong. I never really understood the appeal of putting a barefoot into a fuzzy slipper on a warm day but hey, what do I know? Moccasins make great HOUSE slippers; on that, we can all agree. I have an idea, how about we all leave our house slippers, in the house?

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I didn’t think that in 2012 we’d be discussing facial piercings but again, anything’s possible. Recently I saw one of my favorite Youtubers, a grown married mother, post a video about her new Marilyn Monroe piercing. I couldn’t believe my eyes. Facial piercings, really? You really couldn’t find something from early last decade to rehash and make you look immature at your son’s parent-teacher conference?

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Poetic Justice braids were huge throughout the summer. Solange Knowles is responsible for bringing these braids back from the early 1990’s. She may not really be responsible but let’s just agree that for argument’s sake she is. The trend was cute for a second but people are now trying to differentiate their braids by making them bigger, longer and unconventional colors. While braids are great for giving your hair a break, I think we should allow these braids to rest in peace.

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Last but not least, lace closures should leave us with the warm weather and I hope they never return. I don’t know who started this trend but it’s awful. Lace closures give you the look of a lace front with the hassle of a weave; basically, the worst of both worlds. I don’t care how many YouTubers make videos about bleaching the knots and using foundation or concealer to make it match your skin, they look horrible. Again, I know closures are for protection but an awkward fake hair line with naps creeping out from the perimeter are an eye sore. Let’s challenge ourselves to find another way to protect our hair without using closures which just end up looking like hats made of hair.

What would you like to expire with the warm weather? Comment below and let me know! Follow on Twitter @RantRaveRandom

Hair Today, Hair Yesterday

Hey Lovers,

There’s something we need to discuss. . . hair. I’ve really been trying to stay away from this whole hair debate because I’ve been dealing with things of actual importance. However, I can no longer resist. Let’s discuss.

Our players: In 1 corner we have the happy to be nappy, never gonna straighten or weave my $h!^ gang. In the other corner we have the creamy crackheads. In the opposite corner we have the “I don’t leave home without my weave but I call myself natural because I hotcomb my leave out instead of relaxing it.” Finally we have the “whatever works” crew in the remaining corner. FYI I’m in the last corner.

Can someone please explain to me when hair, an inanimate object, became so important and political? At first I thought it was all a fleeting fad when Solange first did her big chop and Chris Rock released “Good Hair,” but that was 3 years ago and this debate seems to have staying power. Why?

I’ll admit I’ve read blog posts and watched Youtube videos about hair, mostly to help me make decisions about what kinds of products I want to purchase or to get ideas about styling. However, recently things have been going way beyond those limits. Lately, people have been tying every hair decision to racial identity, self-esteem and authenticity. That, I do not understand. While I do understand that some people may do (or not do) certain things to their hair out of self-hate or self love I really had no idea that deciding I prefer to relax my hair or being in the mood to rock 16 inches of virgin Malaysian awesomeness means I lack confidence or I’m trying to be White. It doesn’t mean that but some of these Naturalistas think they have figured out my psychology.

I have a request. Can we move on? I’m begging. The hair thing was cute for awhile but like those BBW earrings, it’s now tired. As Black women we have so many more pressing issues. Why is so much time being wasted on discussing hair? I really don’t know (or  care to know) the difference between 4B & 4C nor do I think a hot comb is a good idea but I have not taken a stance against any of these things for people other than myself. This year I’ve had my hair relaxed, natural and weaved. It’s not because I was trying to prove anything. Sometimes I feel like relaxing my hair, sometimes I don’t; it’s actually that simple.

I implore all the people who have made Black hair their crusade to think about a few things. Most new HIV infections occur in women of color. Black women are the least likely to marry. Less than 8% of college degrees are awarded to African-Americans. The median White household has 20 times more wealth the median Black household. Black wealth has dropped 53% while White wealth has only dropped 16%. 73% of Black children are born out of wedlock. Unemployment is as high as 40% in some Black communities. The number of Black women under Criminal Justice supervision is increasing at a rate higher than any other group. I could continue but I think you get the point.

With all the issues facing the world in general and us as Black women specifically, why are we focused on hair? Does the pain of poverty, unequal access to education and the Pampers to Prison Pipeline become more bearable as long as no one is relaxing their hair? I didn’t think so.

I usually don’t go here but. . .I have a conspiracy theory. I’m normally not one for conspiracy theories but I’m pretty confident there has got to be more to this story. Chris Rock told us that White folks are the ones getting paid off of most of our hair product purchases either way and I can only think of 1 Beauty Supply store that I know is Black owned (shout to my girl Regina on Rockaway by the C train). I can’t help but think those who run the institutions of power would prefer that we’re distracted. Could it be that the Powers that Be (read White men) like us wasting time like this? While we’re sitting on CurlyNikki.com and hunting for the best hair milk they’re investing in emerging markets, thinking of the moves they need to make, and making sure their kids have something to inherit.

Think about it. If we banded together against any social issue the way people have banded together against relaxers, we could actually make things happen. With this in mind I’m beyond over this discussion. You’re happy to be nappy; great. You want to let your weave swing; great. A light Cesar is your thing; rock it. Monday-Thursday $10 special Dominican wash & sets are more your speed; that’s cool, you may see me there. Spending 45 minutes detangling and trying to figure out the proper ratio of Aloe, peppermint and Jamaican Black Castor Oil is your idea of a good time; go for it, I’m not judging.

All in all, I’m sure we can agree that no matter what you do (or don’t do) to your hair doesn’t matter as long you stay snatched and have the self esteem to know that you’ll kill everything relaxed or natural, curly or straight, or weave or no weave, short or long.

Is your hair political? Comment below and let me know!