“natural” weaves and protective style propoganda

natural weavei recently had the most shocking experience of my life. scrolling through one of my favorite bloggers’ instagram pictures, i noticed she tagged her hair stylist.  initially, i was surprised that she used a professional hairstylist to maintain her afro since it always looked like a twist out; however, a few swipes revealed something that made my mouth drop open. the blogger whose style i admire and natural hair i’d envied, was wearing a WEAVE!

as a black woman, it’s my duty to spot a weave from no less than 3.72 miles away.  how many times have i rolled my eyes when a white co-worker or classmate was dupped by a sista’s extensions? (no, shanika’s hair didn’t grow 5 inches over night). but now, i’d traded places with these less-cultured-black-hair spectators and failed to notice what was right in front of me. these perfectly coifed crowns skating down my tumblr, facebook and instagram feeds are in fact not natural but fake.

natural hairi’m salty as hell that i’ve lost my weave cred behind what so many black women are calling “protective styles.”  first, let me say, weave, no weave, long hair, bald head, natural, fake, i’m not making a judgment on how sistas are choosing to wear their hair. i have no interest in policing the gates of natural hair heaven (envision streets lined with shea moisture products).  my issue is why so many black women are claiming to be using weaves that look similar to their natural hair in place of their natural hair. some would say protective styles are necessary for natural hair in the winter, and i concur. but natural hair bloggers have lead an entire generation astray if we think that a weave is the only way to protect our hair. hats, twists, buns, beanies, braids, we’ve had options for generations that didn’t include fake afros.

for these reasons, i’m calling bluff on this protective style propaganda and will say what some folks are afraid to admit. it’s not always about protecting our hair, but about the texture and length that natural weaves can create. even us naturals still buy into the “good” hair myth, obsessively searching for products and now weaves that give folks the illusion that our hair is longer with a looser curl pattern.  while it’s not for me, i would respect the “natural” weave hustle so much more if folks didn’t proclaim some higher purpose before sewing in their kinky tracks. let’s keep it one-hundred: whether buying into the “good” hair myth or not, some of y’all just wanna rock a weave. and that’s ok.

solange knowles + alan ferguson tie the knot

solange 1

solange knowles was the perfect bride this weekend, marrying her long-time bae, alan ferguson. her dress, designed by humberto leon for kenzo, was accessorized only by gold bangles. the slayage was royal. solange2 solange3 solange4 this my dear, is how you break the internet.

photos by rog walker

taken from vogue.com

 

weekend wear 11.17.14

circle DSC_0026 DSC_0049 DSC_0070hey good people, i hope you enjoyed your weekend!  it was pretty cold in dc, so i pulled out my winter coat for the first time this season. i’m happy it’s bright blue because my winter wardrobe is packed with black and grey.  also, i love the fact that my gloves and sweater match — it was a total coincidence!

coat, loehmann’s (old, love this one) | sweater, h&m | pants, h&m | gloves, target | necklace, current boutique | hat, forever 21 | pumps, nine west

 

butt why?

photo cred: the grio

photo cred: the grio

in paper magazine’s efforts to “break the internet” this week, kim kardashian graced the magazine’s cover balancing a champagne glass on her behind. while we all know this isn’t kim’s first time flaunting her assets (pun intended), few are aware that the same photographer, jean-paul goude, shot a black woman in similar fashion decades ago. blue telusma writes for black news website the grio that goude was grace jones’ long-time boyfriend and described himself as being fascinated with “ethnic minorities—black girls, prs. i had jungle fever.”  goude’s fascination teeters between interesting, provocative and disturbing — he once photographed grace jones in a cage with raw meat. this history supports the feminist theory that images like those above not only objectify women of color, but also pander to white voyeurism.

for more on mrs. west and the history behind black women’s derrieres being a source of our objectification read blue’s article on the grio.

glamour magazine honors lupita n’yongo and laverne cox

“we plant the seed of possibility.” -lupita n’yongo

lupita coverthe 24th annual glamour magazine women of the year awards were held last night at carnegie hall, and our darlings lupita n’yongo and laverene cox are two of this year’s honorees.   lupita1lupita was STUNNING per usual wearing an all-white dress from chanel. in her interview with glamour, the actress shared these thoughts on standards of beauty:

glamour: you’ve received lots of attention for your looks. did you grow up feeling beautiful?

lupita: european standards of beauty are something that plague the entire world—the idea that darker skin is not beautiful, that light skin is the key to success and love. africa is no exception. when i was in the second grade, one of my teachers said, “where are you going to find a husband? how are you going to find someone darker than you?” i was mortified.

i’m so amazed and impressed by her effortless candor.  lupita disrupts the beauty matrix when she criticizes european standards of beauty directly to a mainstream magazine that upholds such values. her presence threatens the power imbalance and tells women of color “there’s room in this world for beauty to be diverse.”

glamour called emmy-nominated actress laverne cox, “the face of one of the biggest equality stories in 2014.” always armed with statistics and stories of an oppressed community, cox used her spotlight with glamour to cast light on the injustices perpetrated against the trans people. read her interview here and witness an true activist at work.