In some corners, you can’t say the “W-word” without eliciting snickers and eye rolls. Mo Ivory, the Director of Political-Community Outreach for CBS Radio Atlanta and host of “The Mo Ivory Show” on News/Talk 1380 WAOK, joins the chorus of weave detractors with her recent blog post, “Ladies…Who’s Hiding Under Your Weave?”
After her daughter asks for a weave because all her friends have one (despite having “a full head of shoulder-length, unpermed hair” herself), Ivory felt compelled to address black women’s obsession with weave.
She posted the alarming stat that “Black women spend billions of dollars a year on hair products buying 70% of all wigs and extensions purchased in the United States” and interviewed several people about weave, discovering the following:
29-year-old female hair stylist/makeup artist:
“Weaves have become a handicap for women in an effort to validate beauty. Some women need weaves as a badge of honor based on the kind of weave they wear – Indonesian, Brazilian or Malaysian. Women are proud to say what weave hair they wear and how much they paid for it. [It’s] like status symbols, but instead weave tiers. Where do you fall on the weave status ladder? I get a bigger reaction from men when I wear a weave. Hair weaves elevate women’s self esteem.”
34-year-old female lawyer:
“I don’t feel like doing my hair every day, even though my weave does take a lot of time and can be real itchy. I want long thick hair. It makes me feel more confident and like I can compete with other women. I feel like a professional woman with a lot of sex appeal and men really like that.”
30-year-old male living in Atlanta from Chicago:
“Weaves don’t bother me but I like it to be kept up. I prefer a nice girl no matter if she has a weave or not. I like healthy girls, who are into physical fitness but I don’t have a type. My current girlfriend has a shoulder length weave. I can’t tell when she has the weave in or not.”
35-year-old male who makes a lot of money and is well known:
“I’m not a fan of weaves. I think its part laziness that women get weaves, but I also think weaves take a lot of time. I hate when I move a woman’s hair and her whole head moves. I like to feel a woman’s scalp. But I can’t say weaves are a super deterrent, although I would rather a woman wear her own hair. I believe many women hide behind their weaves because they don’t feel beautiful without a weave and that their beauty is attached to their weave. I would never let my teenage daughter get a weave and I feel it’s important that she learn how to do her own hair. I also don’t understand why women feel like they have to have long hair. It’s all vanity. It’s like ‘fake it ’til you make it’; same way with cars, houses and pocket books.”
41-year-old male from Atlanta:
“Women with short hair have more confidence. It’s her hair, she’s more real, she’s more beautiful, and she knows who she is. A lot of women hide under their weave, under their makeup. Some women use a weave to beautify themselves. Others take it to the extreme, and it makes me think ‘You are insecure and that you don’t like who you really are.’ I want a woman who knows herself. I dated a woman who took her weave out and she was not happy with herself. I don’t want to date a woman like that.”
While Ivory admits she embraced “manufactured beauty” by wearing a weave to appeal to men, not every weave wearer is lazy, lacking confidence or in the throes of an identity crisis.
Read the rest of her article here.
What are your thoughts on weave wearers, Clutchettes?