Have you ever seen Liar Liar? This film happens to be one of Jim Carrey's finest and contains one of the most interesting nuggets of truth imaginable, as Carrey's character is unable to lie for one day (thanks to a wish from his long neglected son). Upon learning this, his son asks the following:
Max Reede: My teacher tells me beauty is on the inside.Was Jim Carrey's character in the film telling the truth, and if so, what does that say about the people who spend vast amounts of money on their hair to change it from its natural state of nappiness (Nappturality) into something that doesn't resemble anything close to what nature intended:
Fletcher: That's just something ugly people say.
"SILKY straight hair has long been considered by many black women to be their crowning glory. So what if getting that look meant enduring the itchy burning that’s a hallmark of many chemical straighteners. Or a pricey dependence on “creamy crack,” as relaxers are sometimes jokingly called.Hold on. Before we continue to, it is vital to point out a glaring paradox that exists between what we are about to discuss (Black hair) and the absolute loathing that Black people have for their own hair, to the point of Acting White and desperately trying to imitate white hair.
Getting “good hair” often means transforming one’s tightly coiled roots; but it is also more freighted, for many African-American women and some men, than simply a choice about grooming. Straightening hair has been perceived as a way to be more acceptable to certain relatives, as well as to the white establishment.
Last year, sales of home relaxers totaled $45.6 million (excluding Wal-Mart), according to Mintel, a market research firm, a figure that has held steady in recent years. So many African-American women use relaxers or a hot comb to get a straight look temporarily that not doing so can require courage."
This earth shattering contradiction must be discussed at length, for Black women find the natural state of their hair too nappy, and thus, engage in ritualistic abuse to straighten their hair and embarking in the incredibly expense hair weave, which can cost between $1,000 - $3,000 a session (some stylists do take lay-a-way).
An interesting description of fighting nature with massive amounts of nurture is described her:
"A hair weave can either be sewn or glued into the existing hair. The sewing process generally takes from 1 to 4 hours depending on how much hair you decide to have sewn in to you existing hair. With the practice of proper application and maintenance, glue in hair weaves can last up to three weeks; while sewn in weaves last up to 6 weeks. No matter what kind of weave style you’re going for, a professional applied hair weave that is applied by a hair stylist can instantly provide the look you’re searching for."Chris Rock, who once had the audacity to verbally assault a large portion of the Black people in an (in)famous comedy bit, has once again decided to assault a large portion of the Black community by pointing out that every Black woman who embarks on the odyssey of nurturing their hair from nappiness to straightness does so to Act White:
Secrets, comedian Chris Rock declares slyly, are bad for the human spirit. That's why he's gleefully talking out of school in his new documentary, Good Hair, which has some people rolling in the aisles and others rolling their eyes.
In Good Hair, Rock sets out to explore the historically fraught concept of "good hair," which for African Americans burdened by the twin legacies of slavery and racism has traditionally been defined as hair more like white people's. Do black women, he wonders, spend countless hours and hundreds of dollars in hair salons to make their hair straighter and silkier because they want to look white?
So he visits hair salons, where women get their heads slathered with toxic goop (known as "creamy crack") to "relax," or straighten, their hair.A movie about Black hair and the desire by Black women to part with up to a $1,000 dollars to Act White - well, to have white hair - kick starting a dialogue about race? Wouldn't that have the adverse effect of showcasing the enormous differences between the races? SBPDL thought we were all equal?:
He watches as they sit for hours getting their hair braided or a "weave" of hair extensions that can cost $1,000. He helps a scientist demonstrate what the relaxer chemicals can do to an aluminum can (it's not pretty), observes a wacky hair show contest and travels to India to see where the hair in extensions comes from. (Indian women shave their heads and donate their hair in a religious ritual; the hair is later sold by Asian-owned companies.)
Jason Griggers, 40, another Atlanta stylist in the movie, who is white, hopes the movie will help break down walls between races.
"More dialogue is better than no dialogue," he says. "When I started (going to Bronner Bros.), there was only a tiny handful of white people there, and now it's much more integrated."
"[Black women's] hair costs more than anything they wear," Rock recently said in a Salon interview. "It's like the No. 2, 3 expense of their whole life." Meanwhile, in a recent discussion on MSNBC, black Princeton prof Melissa Harris-Lacewell agreed with Rachel Maddow that an Obama administration meant white people would be more emboldened to ask black people about previously taboo issues, like how they do their hair (Harris-Lacewell admitted she wasn't looking forward to that)."Even worse than the money spent trying to Act White - or at least have white hair - is the opportunity costs that are lost in this perverse attempt to thwart nature with nurture:
"A government study shows that African American women are 70% more likely to be obese than white women. As intriguing as this statistic seems, the reasons for it are equally as interesting. Factors including time, money and even hair contribute to keeping some black women out of the gym.
Nikki Kimbrough is a celebrity fitness expert who says, "The number one excuse is 'what am I going to do with my hair,' and I can relate because I'm a black woman myself and I have the same issue".
In Nikki's fitness class, the women are of a variety of races and have a range of hair textures. Three black women from her class battle with issues about their hair, but make a consistent effort to get to the gym. Adrienne Lynch, one of Nikki's clients, is a black woman that, in the past, let her hair keep her from going to the gym"
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, four out of five African American women are overweight or obese which increases the risk of diabetes, heart disease, cancer and many other aliments.Sadly, four out of five Black women aren't just passing on seconds, but they are passing thousands of dollars to Act White - err, have white-looking hair (imported from India) - and risking their own health in the process.
In addition to hair and money, a big roadblock to hitting the gym is time. With the economic downturn, many African American women have more responsibilities and finding time to work out is difficult, but as these four African American women have shown, you don't have to put your beauty second to have your health come first."
So how much do Black women spend to have white-looking hair?:
Today, African Americans spend an estimated $9 billion a year on hair-care products in an effort to fry it, dye it, lock it up, weave it, or make it lay flat and smooth, according to industry estimates. Still, black women often debate whether certain hair styles -- cornrows, locks or Afros -- hold them back in professional work settings such as financial and legal firms or in broadcast media.$9 billion dollars, in an all out effort to ensure that Don Imus is wrong. Hey, even in an economic depression, Black women spend the big bucks to Act White (vicariously through Indian-imported hair):
"Every woman wants to be beautiful no matter what color, but Black women have a special pride that includes taking care of their hair," said Adams. "Even if times are hard, a good hairstyle can do a lot for an individual."Yes, it is quite true that every woman wants to be beautiful, but as Jim Carrey taught us in Liar, Liar, nature didn't give everyone equal beauty, nor equal hair.
Sadly, the attempts to Act White by impersonating white peoples hair is nothing new, as women throughout time have been envious of white people and their hair:
"Blonde women, both natural and contrived, are disproportionately represented in film, fashion, advertising, and television. Blonde women are generally thought of as the most beautiful, not only in northern Europe and North America where many natural blondes live, but also in those parts of the world where blondes are rare. Tens of millions of women—and not just in America and Europe—lighten their hair, while only a few darken it.An interesting question indeed. Black women spend $9 billion a year in a desperate bid to foil nature with Indian-imported locks to Act White through having white looking hair. There can only be one explanation for this: Stuff Black People Don't Like includes their own hair, for $9 billion dollars spent on fixing Black hair to look white every year, only leads to that conclusion.
Many would dismiss this almost universal passion for blondeness as a recent fashion, or as a consequence of the ubiquity and power of American culture, but Joanna Pitman’s new book On BlondesShe notes that many whites who are not natural blondes dye their hair in the hope of “passing,” and wonders: “Are those who blonde themselves still subconsciously seeking to distinguish themselves from darker and less powerful ethnic groups?” Mrs. Pitman concedes that non-white women have often turned themselves blonde but never permits herself to wonder whether at some level they may wish they were white."
Might this $9 billion dollar number reflect the ultimate Hate Fact and perhaps the ultimate self-loathing fact?