When I wrote about ASAP Rocky’s beauty advice that dark-skinned women should stay away from red lipstick, more than a few readers commented saying he was just stating his opinion and he shouldn’t be attacked for it. Their thinking went: ASAP just happens not to like how red lipstick looks on darker skin tones — what’s so wrong with that?

That logic reminds me of growing up around African-American boys who told me that they only found exotic-looking women with light skin tones and long, flowing hair attractive. They immediately shut down my rebuttals that they were subscribing to a dominant standard of beauty with the claim, “that’s just my preference.”

How can you tell when a preference or opinion is completely objective or when it is informed, even unknowingly, by societal notions of beauty?

I wondered about this when Solange Knowles engaged with yet another critic of natural hair on Twitter. Via

The user tweeted her: “if u would just slap a relaxer on that hair you’d b a dime piece, smh”

And she responded: “How about u put a relaxer on your ignorant mouth:)”

I got a good laugh from Solange’s usual quick wit and sass in shutting down her detractors. Still, criticism of the singer’s response loomed: is it ignorant if the Twitter user just prefers the look of straight hair?

What are your thoughts, Clutchettes? When it comes to beauty, how do you differentiate between someone’s preference and an opinion borne out of ignorance?



  • Please Believe

    A$AP Rocky is, in the words of Evelyn Lozanda, a non-muthaf*ckin factor.

  • Keshia

    Ignorant people always turn their prejudices or hang ups into their preferences. I know that red lipstick looks good on me just like I like my natural hair… The End.

  • J. Nicole

    I actually wrote a similar posts (shameless plug) about this awhile back asking when preference becomes prejudiced. I think ASAP was half right- but by default. There is really no one color of red that suits everyone, which is why there are different shades of red. You just have to find the one that suits you. But I doubt that was his sentiments & he made a dumb statement.

    Everyone has their preference, but it gets prejudiced, in my opinion when they exclude everyone else based on their preference. A guy has every write to have an affinity towards a particular aesthetic, but it’s silly to rule everyone else out who doesn’t look like that.

  • jamesfrmphilly

    why does every stupid statement by some fool get so much attention?
    we got bombings, wars, people losing they homes and we worry boubt fools? why?

  • Kimberly Diei

    It is ignorant. To an extent it may just be preference but considering the ongoing struggle that the average African or African-American faces in today’s society to conform to more European aesthetics and notions of beauty, it is obvious to me that it is not just “preference.” It is the subconscious telling them not to like or find attractive the features of black men/women that further pronounce their own African heritage, because what mainstream society has told them is attractive is straighter hair, smaller noses, lighter skin, etc. It just may be that lighter skinned individuals have not picked up on this as much as darker skinned black people because in the eyes of society they more closely match up with what is attractive. Preference is just stating the things that you find particularly attractive. Ignorance in this situation is stating what you find attractive, and why it is better than other features and that those possessing those other features are not beautiful, pretty, sexy, etc. A$AP Rocky in his earlier statement posed the latter and therefore was ignorant in his “opinion.”

  • cjl

    Everybody can have a preference,but it’s ignorant because he didn’t have to say that crap to her!! I mean I like chocolate ice cream over vanilla, but I don’t go saying vanilla would be so much better with some coco in it….If you don’t have nothing nice to say don’t say anything at all. I loved her response and he should go sit ass down somewhere!

  • gmarie

    as uneccessary as his comment was it was in fact opinion, and given way too much energy than it should have been given. And I don’t see how it can be compared to anyone having racial or skin tone preferences. I am a dark skinned woman, I personally don’t like the look of chalky nude/pastel lipstick on women of color and I hate white eyeliner on ANYone. That doesn’t mean I don’t love being black or that I’m putting black women down. that doesn’t mean you have to stop wearing that look if you like it, it’s your body wear what you like, it just is not to my liking.

    Red lipstick isn’t to his liking on dark skinned women, cool. That does not mean he doesnt like dark skinned women (shouldnt matter either way) I’m still wearing it, as should you if you are a dak skinned woman that likes red lips. Because it’s about what YOU personally feel confident in.

    It’s no different from people who feel that weaves or relaxers look bad on black women. We really have to pick the battles that are more beneficial to us..

  • D

    ASAP Rocky doesn’t like red lipstick on dark chicks. So? He didn’t say dark chicks are not attractive, are less attractive, etc. I happen to love red lipstick on all chicks. I love chicks in all red everything…..anyway….other than dark red (and a couple of other select colors) I don’t like light skinned women in dark-colored nail polishes (black, etc….they look all gothic, which is wack). I also don’t like light skin tones with really bright cartoony colors (again, just looks wack) whereas darker skinned women can get away with the contrast (in some of the colors at least)

    In short, don’t get mad at ASAP for saying the same thing your stylist at the salon would probably tell you.

  • Nothing new here…

    Preference for Ignorance.

  • Moe

    The black dudes on my campus often say they only like white, Latina, Asian, or mixed girls. When black girls complain, they are quick to throw the preference card. There is a beautiful black engineer major who only likes white boys and says it is her preference but those same black guys are quick to say she’s a self hater. My question is; is it preference when you’re not offended, and ignorance when you are?

  • Kimberly Diei

    I feel as though its preference when you are not excluding all of those people outside of what you find attractive and say that they are ugly or would be better looking with the traits that you find beautiful.

  • Moe

    I agree. I prefer taller guys, but I don’t go around calling short guys ugly and I wouldn’t turn down a short guy who had a great personality and who could make me laugh. Some of these black guys need to learn that. You can like non black or non dark skinned black girls, but when you start calling us ugly, you’re ignorant

  • Liz Lemón

    I’d be willing to accept preferences as valid, if the justifications for such preferences weren’t mired in self-hate and/or some straight up bullish*t (for example: my mama always told me I needed to put milk in my coffee, or the guy that told me he doesn’t like filet mignon–> I’ll let you all sit on that one. If a man tells me he has a “preference” for a certain type of woman, whether or not I fit the criteria, he gets the side eye. I like beautiful people; they could be black, white, blue, purple…just beautiful. And if you start to tell me there are more beautiful XYZ people than ABC people, you get dismissed.

  • LemonNLiime

    That’s fine I don’t like ignorant ugly a** rappers with bad hair but, hey, we all have our preferences.

  • MyThoughts

    But they do look bad…

  • BeFree

    And we have a right to our opinion about his opinion.
    Also this is not a case of his business. He made it everybody business when he chose to do a public interview.
    No one broke into his house and read his diary. When you are a public figure and make public statements you are contributing to a public conversation. And public conversations are not one way. We get to respond. He made his business our business. If you don’t want folks to have anything to say about your business, keep your business to yourself and out of interviews for public consumption.
    People do not seem to realize that their opinions are also a confession of character.

  • Greg Dragon

    For me preference is a private thing, like you can prefer women that aren’t loud. It gets offensive when you announce your preference or state it publicly as if it’s going to educate others. I don’t think it’s right to throw out knee-jerk, attack articles at celebs who answer questions candidly (no matter how personal you want to take it), but the clowns who volunteer an opinion are fair game for the world to pick apart… this is why Tyrese deserves the ire he receives but if someone was asked you have to be prepared to hear an answer that you won’t like.

  • Keshia

    Wow the black guys at your school sound something else but I notice a lot black men that prefer the others always snap on black women who don’t prefer black men. It’s quite hilarious watching them explain how the black woman is self hating yet he is just exploring other options.

  • heavenleiblu

    Can we first of all admit that not everyone looks good in it?

    I’m not in the camp that women (dark or not) shouldn’t wear red or bright lipstick, but I have to say that I don’t like the looks of it on LOTS of women that dare rock it. Why? Because they haven’t found the colors that work for them specifically, or with all the other makeup on their face, it looks garish.

    Now with regard to preference, it’s not my favorite look on ME (or dark lipsticks, either). IMO, it’s reasonable to have preferences for temporary cosmetic accouterments regardless of complexion. I think ASAP Rocky’s commentary had more to do with him being a color-struck dumbass ( akin to that other rapper that calls dark skinned women “darkbutts”) rather than someone who has enough knowledge to be fair arbiter of women’s style choices.

  • bluefacedangel

    What I think is ignorant is telling someone else (all dark women) what THEY should do. If he has a dark skinned girlfriend, and prefers that she wears a darker lipstick, and tells her that, fine. But as far as the rest of us dark skinned chicks who rock the hell out of some bright reds, he needs to shut the hell up.

  • The Comment

    It is too much to face reality. Take that excuse away and we are left with the truth:

    1. You have been mentally raped. You claim to be free yet you clearly demonstrate that you are (in many ways) taking orders from the man. The man says his bytch if finer. You comply. Yessuh! Yo’s woman finer. Lemme get me one too!

    2. The white man says acting ignorant is black. You comply. Yessuh! Any nigga that values education, family and preservation of self is a fool. They are not black.

    3. The white man tells Black radio stations that there is no room for black musicians. We are replacing music with rap. No protest! Black men comply. How do you take instruments away and replace a 15-piece band with two turntables? How does that happen and no one protested? There is room for everyone yet the white man convinced the black man that he had to make a choice.

    4. Black men don’t want to face the truth is that they feel emasculated, no longer want to fight and have given up.

    I guess it is easier to hate and kill ur own than stay on the very hard road to progression.

  • Pseudonym

    Woah, this article is making huge leaps in extrapolating from a rapper not liking red lipstick on darker women to boys of your childhood only liking light-skinned girls with flowy hair to someone else wanting Solange to relax her hair on Twitter. ???…

  • bk chick

    I think it’s no longer a “preference” when it’s frequent. If a certain group of people constantly, and in large numbers, state the same preference, then obviously something is guiding that preference other than individual taste. If it were truly an individual preference, then u would have varied, lest frequent, and pretty much random tastes being described. Most people’s preferences are guided by things outside of their immediate control, such as biology, culture, and media. People have a lot less control of their preferences than they think.

  • The Comment

    100% everything what u said!

  • Ooh La La

    I don’t see how you can’t make the connection. It’s about people who can’t have a preference without imposing it on others. It’s one thing to say you like women with a certain type of hair – then, you are free to approach women with that hair type. It’s entirely different and uncalled for to approach a woman with hair you don’t like (as if she should really care what you think) and tell her what she should be doing with it.

  • The Comment

    Very well articulated! Thank you!

    Ignent rapper: “Who me…(wiping Cheetos crumbs from his crusty lips) On the pair of complexion. Just my preference. Just sayin’ tho.”

    Me: “Spell preference!”

    Ignent rapper: Looks dumbfounded

    Me: SLAP! Shut The F*ck Up with yo dumb ASS!

    The End.

  • Nila

    Seriously how many more articles about hair will it take to close this topic for good? Geez! My Lord! I am flabbergasted that black women are literally never exhausted discussing the matter of our hair. Hair is an accessory which means you can wear it however you want to. It’s yours! Do with it what you will! I don’t understand why we keep hyping on the same stuff, over and over and over and over and over and over and over again! It makes me dizzy coming to Clutch sometimes!

  • noir45

    You spoke exactly what I wanted to say. Excellent post!

  • Ads

    Countless studies have shown a similar preference by children of all races, including little black girls, for white, blond haired, blue eyed dolls. Can we actually believe a little girl would objectively ‘prefer’ a doll that looks nothing like her, nothing like her mother (who’s image i’m sure is the face of love and beauty to her)?? I can’t. And neither do the scientists who’ve conducted these studies. What it does demonstrate is that social marginalization and media exclusion of dark skin is unfortunately internalized by our children and all of us. This is a sin against our children, not an expression of some isolated, uniquely derived, objective ‘preference.’

  • Kay

    I love how some people without any sense of makeup artistry or fashion go on about what “looks right,” on whom. For his information there are an abundance of reds out there, and depending on its shade, lots of women, including those with dark skin can wear them (and look fabulous doing it). And here’s a tip: super pale women can actually run the risk of looking like nineteenth century vampires who haven’t seen a sunrise in a millenia while wearing a vibrant lip color like red. Even pale people have undertones that can throw those things off (seasonal color analyses, anyone?). And how about leaving skin color out of any discussion and simply saying that “I like it when people wear what looks good on them,” and keep it at that?

  • The Moon in the Sky

    The word ‘ignorant’ gets misused like crazy.

  • Aunti

    “Fashion” dictators just piss me off.

  • Ty

    I honestly wasn’t offended by ASAP’s statement. He doesn’t like red lipstick on darker women. so the hell what? imma keep wearing it.
    A Lot of black women have no idea what shade of red they should use and end up looking a hot mess. maybe he’s never seen a chocolate woman with the right shade of red and formed his opinion based on that. And anyway he’s a straight male, so we’re really taking his beauty advice that seriously?
    EVERYONE has preferences when it comes to the opposite sex. I’m not a fan of guys with cornrows. I don’t find it cute. am i ignorant? is that wrong? should i be chastized because guys with cornrows do nothing for me? Some girls don’t like tattoos, some love them. its really not that damn serious
    some people might believe that red lipstick doesn’t look good. thats an opinion. whether unknowingly formed by European beauty standards or not he’s allowed to have an opinion. and throwing classless and below the belt insults (as some people did) isn’t gonna sway him to your point of view

  • LadyBee

    PREACH. people put so much energy into things that aren’t that serious. I’m not a fan of pastel colored lips on deeper toned women either but the ladies who like it are probably gonna keep wearing it. and they have a right to do that. and i have a right to feel the way i do

  • Naya

    He didn’t say “dark skinned women are ugly”
    a lot of people (men and women) think darker women don’t look good in red lipstick.
    I really don’t like high top fades. actually all fades. is it the same thing? I hate gold grills in our beautiful black men’s mouths. but they’re going to keep wearing them if they like them. (its an extreme preference though like, if you own a gold grill there is like a 99% chance that i won’t date you)
    i think some people just love being mad about something

  • pinklipstick227

    I agree with you 100%. The low self-esteem level of some of these women is very telling.


    Colorism in not trivial or unimportant. One of the side effects of skin bleaching creams are miscarriages. The use of these creams is caused by COLORISM. Now that you know non-white children are being miscarried is it still trivial BS?


    it’s not a preference it’s menticide

  • Mama Dee

    Esteem has nothing to do with it. Read between the lines. More and more black men are expressing hate for black women. Don’t under estimate what’s real. When ever a black man says dark skin chicks shouldn’t (fill in the bullshit) it is going to get worse. You’ll see. Has nothing to do with self esteem and everything to do with the destruction of black civilization. But keep lying to yourself. when your grand daughter has to fly to Africa to find a black man…you’ll remember this conversation.

  • Muse

    But i thought this article was about Solange and natural hair…..

  • Lady Ngo

    “Preference is just stating the things that you find particularly attractive. Ignorance in this situation is stating what you find attractive, and why it is better than other features and that those possessing those other features are not beautiful, pretty, sexy, etc.”

    ^^^all of this!

  • MommieDearest
  • JS

    I don’t think there is a such thing as an individual’s true objective preference. I think we are all influenced heavily by the communities and environment we grow up in locally and then our society as a country. Things which can be changed dependent on where we move too and different influences of other cultures and communities in our lives.

    I shouldn’t have to state the obvious and say that due to political powers and dominant countries the Anglo-Saxon standard of beauty is something ingrained not just in our country but worldwide as well. This does heavily reflect what a lot of people think of as beauty, because of this is why I think a lot of people, even minorities hold themselves to beauty standards not inherent to them. I don’t think that in itself is ignorance, as even though the Anglo-Saxon standard is overarching on a local scale communities still might have their own non-Anglo standards they would hold others to just as critically. However, I do think the ignorance comes from people who believe that no other differentiation from the norm can be considered beautiful. That is when they go forth and seek to put others down or find themselves hating who they are.

    That being said, I don’t think A$AP meant his comment to be as loaded as people took it. I think his ignorance comes from not knowing the weight of the words he is saying. The author in the previous article mentioned how red is a color anyone can wear because it depends on undertones and there are a million shades of red. I myself in the comments did point out how although there maybe lots of shades of red, in general a lot of generic makeup companies are not checking for us dark skin girls. I am medium dark and up until recently it has been really hard to find suitable shades for my skin. The issue at hand might be A$AP’s comments but I think it speaks to a greater issue of women of color being overlooked or confined to 2 or 3 shades of dark when there are 10 shades of light next to them.

  • Allie

    How much is truly personal preference when there are multiple outside forces that effect the way we see the world, ourselves, and others.

  • binks

    I think having a preference is legit but the thing is I think a lot of people hide their ignorance behind the “preference” badge. Sadly a lot of people, especially in this society, are conditioned when it comes to beauty and what it means to be beautiful. I think if people truly self-reflect on their preference and see that some of their preferences aren’t really preferences but bias and conditioning. The thing about preference is YOU CAN HAVE THEM BUT PRFERENCES AREN’T SUPPOSE TO KEEP YOU BOXED IN. Just because you prefer one thing doesn’t mean I have to disregard another thing as bad or unworthy or never try it and that is where some people catch a lot of flak at. Furthermore, your preference is just that YOUR preference not a fact of life which is why I think ASAP Rocky caught heat from just because he didn’t like it doesn’t mean it is true! I just think we need to watch the preference game because it is another way of boxing some people in and disregarding other groups of people altogether.

  • Tantrum

    I’m prepared to get some heat for this but I’ve noticed that only certain prefernces are ok while others are considered ignorance and self hate. example: man saying “I love dark skinned women” OK “I love light skinned women” self hate. Make a song called “chocolate legs” …crickets, same guy has one called “redbone” fire reign down upon him.Seems like we have our own issues with determining which is which

  • Anthony

    I just love that picture of Solange. She is such a beautiful woman!

  • Shar

    All of this. I thought I was the only one who peeped this.

  • Hiccups

    Why does it feel like things are only NOT a personal preference here, when it doesn’t benefit or speak in favor of Clutch?

    Some women don’t look good in red lipstick, some don’t look good with weaves, or natural hair.

    Some men don’t look good with braids, dreads, fades, lowcuts, or mohawks.

    You can’t make people accept something they don’t find attractive and attack them as self hating when they don’t conform to your ideals.

    I love the sistas, I was raised by a beautiful mother and grandmother who made me really appreciate you all. They also made sure I appreciated everybody else because narrow mindedness helps nobody.

    The comments from both this article and the A$ap article make it seem like we owe yall to like everything you do. We don’t, don’t have to, some will hate it and talk about it… Just keep walking.

  • Necie

    Personally I don’t care what anyone thinks about what I look like. Being happy with yourself must be taught to children at a young age. Noone can change their skin color or the natural texture of their hair. It is what it is. Love yourself people! I’m not at all concerned with the notion that black men prefer more exotic women. What does that mean? I wear my hair short and natural and my skin is a beautiful dark chocolate and I LOVE ME….

  • Nelle

    My personal issue with the twitter comment is that it came from a white girl who thinks that using the N word is ok in her vocabulary because she has black friends. The girl is from South Philly (not too far from me) and this just added to the frustration that I had with her ignorance and racism.

  • rastaman

    If I had the opportunity to advise Solange, I would have told her that by responding to that tweet she legitimized the thinking and by ignoring it she would have been more effective in making her point. Plus was she offended because it is her aspiration to be described as a “dime-piece”?
    “Swag” and “dime-piece” are part of the popular vernacular but are their folks out here whose life aspirations are informed by those labels. If there are, those folks may want to think about re-examining their life’s worth.

    This character ASAP Rockys will probably get more publicity from this innocuous comment than anything else he may do in the rest of his life. Who takes the ramblings of a 24 y-o music artist seriously any way?
    If you do, see above about life’s worth!
    I enjoy Clutch because it avails me the opportunity to mine pop culture as my lifestyle changes as I mature. I am able to stay connected in a way I probably would not have. But too many of these articles have seemingly devolved into self indulgent “navel gazing” and rhetorical overreach.

    I know writing can be a form of therapy but actual therapy I heard is lot more effective.

  • Mahogani Dyan Webber

    I don’t have a problem with natural hair…I have a problem with self-righteous natural-haired women.
    If you make the choice to go natural good for you, but don’t judge someone who still chooses to get a relaxer or wear weave. I find that some natural women are like that. I’ve been judged because I choose to wear a weave….little do folks know I’ve been natural for over 2 years now.

    I’m just saying, no matter how a woman chooses to wear her hair, she shouldn’t make derogatory comments regarding another woman’s hair CHOICE.

  • AB

    “it” being the lipstick thing: I don’t know how the headline got lost on me. Natural hair can always be done in a way that’s flattering to the wearer.

  • jeanettesdaughter

    not helpful. we know this. we know the history of this. let’s move on. we also know the difference between a preference and a prejudice. beauty comes in all sorts of packages. God intended this to be so ( i believe) to test our ability to appreciate ‘his’ work. black women who are branching outside of black communities created by racists and tyrants in the first place are outgrowing all of it. onward. our hair won’t save us from whatever ails us. personally, i am deeply disappointed that this conversation almost always descends into more acrimony between black women and men. seems like we need every possible excuse to deny living 400 years with out a comb (read it!); to crap on our present and to project no sane future for ourselves, our children (who are still failing the doll test) and other people of other ethnicities. where’s the love? where’s the respect?

  • Cocoa Girl Wonder

    Slow clap into a standing ovation…I don’t understand why people don’t get this.

  • nope

    There are very few of those as compared to the number of women who choose to relax and wear weaves who criticize women for being/going natural IN ADDITION to everyone else. Deal with it.

  • au napptural

    This is like saying non-drug users shouldn’t make derogatory comments about those who use. There is nothing derogatory about the truth. Now if we are talking hairstyles, that is preference. But nobody can say relaxers aren’t full of dangerous chemicals. Nobody can say the weave industry is exploitative- both b/c the women who sacrifice their hair don’t get anything (mostly) AND b/c the black people who buy it up like candy don’t even own 10% of the business. People who get mad when they are called on this need to get it together.

    I just want people to be honest, with others and themselves. Look, if you hate your natural texture soooo much that you have to slap soda can-melting chemicals on it and put some Yaki on top, by all means. But please don’t act like you spent alllll that money, time and energy just b/c you had a whim. And don’t act like the history of black people in this country had nothing to do with it either. That’s it.

  • Treece

    I think there is such thing as ignorance under the guise of preference. Ignorance in the sense of “not knowing”. You don’t know what it’s like to have ever seen a dark-skinned Black woman wear red lipstick well, so you say you don’t like it. You have never seen a natural hairstyle that looked good on you (or on another woman), so you say you don’t like natural hair. You don’t know (or haven’t been taught) the beauty of Black culture, skin, hair, so you put all forms of it down. Yes that does exist, and it is unfortunate.

    But, I think that there are people who truly have a preference for things (foods, haristyles, clothes) and we should not be judged on those preferences or made to feel like race traitors or ignorant because of it. I’ll deal with the topic at hand which is hair. I’ve said this before, I wear my hair in a variety of styles. Some straight, some natural. I am in the process of growing my natural hair out, so it’s kind of short right now. I don’t think SHORT hair (not talking about texture, just length) looks good on my face shape (big round pie face) so I choose to wear a weave for length. Sometimes i wear curly kinky weave, sometimes I wear straight weave. Sometimes in between I wear my natural hair or braids. This is not b/c I hate my race or race characteristics.

    I grew up influenced by a rich Black culture, was taught the rich history of my ancestors, and great sense of racial pride was instilled in me from the time I could open my eyes. Some of us have not been so affected by White cultural norms and standards of beauty that we let it affect our preferences. Some may say that its brainwashing or that it has been ingrained in us, but at the end of the day, how do you know?? If that has been YOUR experience, then speak for yourself. Not everyone is a victim of this “white standard of beauty” brainwashing. Yes, I have been exposed to the same magazines, commercials, etc. that other Americans have been exposed to. But I also had parents and influences in my life that taught me otherwise. I have a father that told me and my little dark skinned self that I was gorgeous and beautiful no matter how my hair was styled. I grew up in a region that houses many cultures and a wealth of images of Black beauty and positive examples of Black culture (the DC Metro area, aka “the DMV”). And I AM NOT ALONE.

    Not every Black person who straightens thier hair hates themselves. Point blank, period. And for one to insist such nonsense displays that person’s ignorance, not mine.

  • Mahogani Dyan Webber

    whoa, hostile much?

  • Mahogani Dyan Webber

    So now we’re comparing hair to using drugs?!
    I was just completely honest with myself. Do I perm my hair? NO. Do I choose to wear a weave? YES. Does that make me any less of a woman than one who doesn’t wear weave or gets perms? NO NO NO. This is hair folks, that we all possess on our own individual bodies.

    I’m saying, don’t judge someone based on some d$%m hair. There’s more pressing issues in the world.

  • Really?

    @Mama Dee –

    “when your grand daughter has to fly to Africa to find a black man…you’ll remember this conversation.”

    I really did laugh out loud there.

  • Really?

    Um. I think she was most offended by the idea that he thought she needed straight hair to be attractive. And it’s probably not Solange’s life aspiration to be a “dime-piece,” but most women do want to be seen as attractive.

  • Fantastico

    Let’s be honest for a second, our notion of beauty in the Americas (oh hell in the world, colonialism tends to do that) is heavily influenced by white supremacist notions of feminine beauty. So the closer you are to looking “white” (ex: straight/wavy hair, blond, blue-eyed,thin, etc.) the closer you are to being deemed beautiful.

    In addition beauty is highly tied to the value of a women. Thus, women are pressured to and benefit from being perceived as beautiful.

    Preferences and personal style are not created in a vacuum, they’re born out of this construct.

    Hence many non-blonde white girls are compelled to dye their hair blonde and many black women with tightly coiled hair are compelled to relax their hair because of the societal messages supporting that choice.

    The choices we make about style are not just “fun” “preferences,” all people are influenced by what society deems beautiful and black women are not exempt from said forces. This is not a mandate for us all to make a choice to go get a chemical process or keep our hair in it’s birth state; it is a statement of a reality.

    Too often our conversations on “preferences” ignore this fact.

  • Lida

    extremity. soo if a woman has natural curly hair but sometimes likes to straighten it she hates herself?
    she can’t just like to switch up her hairstyle occasionally
    she can’t find it easier to throw up into a ponytail or she wants a few days without having to wash, detangle and twist because she has things to do.
    nope she must “hate herself” because my hairstyle determines my self esteem 100% of the time.

    i had a perm, and constantly had people preaching to me about the chemicals that are in it, and guess what I DIDN’T GIVE A DAMN. and i didn’t take too kindly to someone trying to tell me what to do with my hair. i had a perm because at that time it was easier for me. i got rid of it because i didn’t feel like having it anymore and i wanted a different look. believe it or not what i do with my hair isn’t directly related to how much i love or hate myself. its on MY head and i figured since i grew it i had the right to wear it however i see fit.
    Judgmental naturals KILL the movement which is supposed to be inclusive.

  • Nakia

    I don’t buy this. I think folks with weaves and relaxers feel some kind of way about the way naturals feel about OURSELVES and OUR brand of beauty, and many take it personal. As a woman who has been natural for over 10 years and rolls with a 99% natural circle of folks, I don’t ever see all this shade people with perms claim and I can guarantee we don’t have time to discuss, comment, stare at or berate every black woman with a perm or weave. We more-so spend that energy celebrating each other (other naturals), biggin’ each other up and living life. We on the other hand get it from family, strangers, rappers, bloggers, etc…and keep it moving with strength and confidence. I think that is what gets the “relaxers” irritated. We ain’t scared to BE.

  • pinklipstick227

    Thank you! I think this article and some of the comments reek of insecurity and low self-esteem.

  • pinklipstick227

    @Mama Dee I have yet to find an attractive dark skinned woman who has a problem attracting men (of all races). If black women choose to be concerned with black men who consistently berate them, that is their issue. Men who appreciate black women do exist.

    Also, what is wrong with the prospect of dating/ marrying an African man? I happen to be Nigerian and have dated Nigerian men in the past. In fact, I am currently dating one. No qualms here honey.

    I have a right to not be offended about one person’s opinion of me. I know for a fact that I am one gorgeous, luscious, chocolate drop who has no issues attracting marriageable men. So what if A$AP doesn’t think that red lipstick looks good on me? There are plenty of men who do.

  • JS

    “That is logically impossible. Having a preference is by definition subjective, therefore it cannot be objective.”

    You are taking what I said out of context. I was referring to the question the author posed at the end: “how do you differentiate between someone’s preference and an opinion borne out of ignorance?” I go on to say how there isn’t really a difference since the thoughts people form are based on their experiences, communities and overall cultural exposure. That in itself is not ignorance however it becomes ignorance when one starts negatively using it to put down others or hate themselves.

    What I said IS logically possible because in no way can someone have an opinion that is not influenced by outside forces and that is organically their own. It is their own based on their upbringing as I explained. You are correct that opinions are subjective however I am going a step deeper than the surface by saying that we are influenced and a biased (mean not objective) based on our environments. What I said is completely valid.

    You are wrong, there is a global standard for beauty and it is the Anglo-Saxon or white standard. Although every culture has their own standard the overarching pinnacle of beauty is still the same for all. We are all globally in this day and age connected. That doesn’t just effect us politically and economically but culturally as well. The most powerful of them are the US, England, Germany, Russia, and all of them Anglo-Saxon, so that standard creeps within other countries. Just look up skin bleaching in other counties, all to fit to this standard.

    Countries who have resisted this imposition of this culture are those that have a tradition of being isolationist or are autarky (self-sufficient) and were able to resist colonialism for the most part. However even anti-Anglo countries are still finding themselves influenced by our media, such as certain countries within the middle east.

    Although we as African Americans are notably at the biggest disadvantage when it comes to this. We have been displaced and because of that forcibly our culture was torn down and built up with remnants of the European culture like none other. We have preserved in a number of areas despite this and creatively thrived, however unlike other countries we cannot stand as one and resist as we are immersed in it. There is a true African standard of beauty however I would argue it would have less to do with the facial features of a woman and more of her shape.

    Your tangent about colorism definitely has merit but a bit unrelated to my original point.

    The ugly-girl argument isn’t true for the non culturally enlighten or in other countries. When I was on study abroad in Japan a white girl I knew who had blonde hair and bright blue eyes was treated by the Japanese men as gods gift to the earth. She would have been plain by our standards. There was nothing special about her, she had dull stringy dirty blonde hair that actually looked like it needed to be washed, her thick black eyeliner always smudged around her eyes making them look hollow and her teeth were crooked. To her credit she was thin however, she just had that “used” Lindsey Lohan look about her. She was ignored by the study abroad guys but the Japanese loved her for her blonde hair and blue eyes over other girls prettier than her with darker hair.

    But its not only us African Americans being victim to this, it is all minorities. Look at any Mexican, Asian, or East Indian model or even popular celebrity in their own country… most of them as well look like they are mixed with European decent and not 100% their race. We ALL fall victim to this.

  • Sylvie

    Thank you Nakia! I’ve been natural for nearly three years and I have NEVER heard another natural say something derogatory about someone with a relaxer/weave. And I have certainly never said something. I frankly do not care what someone else does with their hair.

    Do I think relaxers are unnecessary and caustic? Yup. Do I think weaves are unethical? Heck yeah. If you were in my circle of friends and had a relaxer or weave, would you every hear me say to you, “your burning yourself alive!” or “your weave is unethical!” Heck no. Because I have manners and at the end of the day, I don’t care what you do with your hair or money.

    But I cannot tell you how many times people with weaves and relaxers have asked me one of the following: “When are you straightening it?” “You need to straighten it.” “It would be so long if you straightened it.” “Are you going to lock it?” “When are you getting your hair done.” Plenty of relaxers/weave wearers seem to care about what I do.

    To me, the problem seems to be with the people with relaxers/weaves feeling that they are judged (whether they are or not) by people who are perfectly happy to not do what THEY do.

    And seriously, ya’ll should be grateful to naturals. Box relaxers are now 2.99 cause we aren’t using them. Embrace the natural hair movement! It’s saving you money!

  • Lida

    you never see the shade? you just commented on it. saying that having straight hair means you hate yourself is THE DEFINITION OF SHADE

    THOSE are the kind of naturals who clearly aren’t for empowering anyone and would much rather make women who choose to live differently from them feel like they should be ashamed, that they are traitors, and that they aren’t “real women”
    I choose to live by the words of India ” I AM NOT MY HAIR”
    whether its curly, straight, loc’d, weaved up or cut short i can live breathe laugh and strut with all the beauty i own

  • au napptural

    You mad, Mahogani? Nobody said wearing a weave made anybody less of anything. All I said was the industry was exploitative, which it is. If anyone is mad about that, I can’t help ‘em.

    I agree with Nadia. People with the weaves/perms often times get defensive and then become offensive. Now when I’m not asked I have no comment on anyone’s hair natural or otherwise. But when people come to me and give me grief about natural hair, which happens often(!), I have to give it back to them.

  • Chic Noir

    @au napptural

    Cosign! The exploitative part of the hair weave industry is real.

    What happened to your travel blog?

  • Sylvie


    These are the words of people on the internet. Strangers on the internet. They do not know you or life or your values or why you do what you do.

    If you are upset by the words and “shade” of people who will never know you, be your friend, help you up from the curb, than there are much bigger issues at play here.

    A question for you. Have you met any of these “non empowering naturals” in your every day real life or do they only exist on the internet?

    I can tell you for a fact, the people that dislike/hate natural hair exist. Can you say the same about these “non empowering naturals”?

  • Mahogani Dyan Webber

    Mad for……???? I simply stated my opinion, you felt some kind of way and felt the need to comment on my opinion and tell me my opinion is this is comincal.

  • Mahogani Dyan Webber

    @Sylvie I can definitely say I’ve met individuals like that. To each her own. I don’t care if a person is natural or straight. I just don’t like either judging the other for their personal choice.

  • LorieA

    I am a white woman with stick straight “normal” hair, for me its all about curls and body because thats what white girls do! But you know what, no matter what your creed or hair type natural is beautiful. So why not be bold, throw out the opinions of others, its beautiful, strong women like us that set a trend anyways so lets go for natural ;)

  • kiesh

    This! I’m sorry but why are articles being written in response to tweets of a clown like ASAP and other randoms? We aren’t as confident as we think if the opinions of nobodies can get under our skin so easily!

  • kiesh

    “My question is; is it preference when you’re not offended, and ignorance when you are?” OOP!

  • kiesh

    It’s ALL preference. Preference can be influenced by environment, culture, ignorance, etc.

  • simplyme

    If you travel to certain parts of Africa and ask men to describe their perfect girl it usually doesn’t have much to do with skin tone or hair texture. I remember watching a documentary about teens from Sudan coming to America for college basketball scholarships. They were jocks back home and came to US prep schools full of white kids and they all missed the girls back home. When describing their perfect girl one said he liked “tall serious girls” another said he preferred them “petite and playful”…I would consider those objective preferences. Nothing was said about hair texture or skin tone. When talking about a girl he liked, one said his favorite thing about her was her smile. I found that so refreshing for a couple of guys that were about to be college ballers.

    For any Black person that grew up in the United States (male or female) our views on who and what is beautiful, especially among each other will always be somewhat tainted. It just so happens that as Black people living in a Western culture saturated with Western media, the cultural notions that are perpetuated about what is attractive tend to be in systematic opposition to the features most Black people naturally possess… because the people who created the standards not only look nothing like us, but have a history of disparaging us. It usually takes until after the teenage years…ie college… after taking “that” class, or reading “that” book when a lot of Black people grow out of that ignorance and try to question and redefine beauty for themselves. Unfortunately, some people never have that moment in their lives because they aren’t thinking hard enough.

  • LorieA

    I do not find the “is heavily influenced by white supremacist notions of feminine beauty.” accurate to our modern time. Some of the most fav’d models of our times are Naomi Campbell, Adriana Lima and Tyra Banks! People are obsessed with Bohemian style and hair. I feel that your post was great minus the race factor. I wish the WHOLE world would get the HELL over the color line already. This is why we are not progressive and we are regressive. Everyone has a preference and perspective on beauty. My husband is Native American, Greek and Spanish he likes me, a thin European girl AKA white. My brother is a European male, he likes South American women. My other brother is same and likes African American and Cuban women (any female with big curly hair and dark skin). Everyone sees beauty differently so do what makes you happy and just forget about what other people like. The reason why people with curly dark hair feel pressured by media and ads to straighten and lighten is because the corporations that are pushing these products use survey data on sales to see what YOU the consumer is buying. People are buying relaxers, they produce. People are buying hair lotion, they produce it. Blindly following is what gets us consumers into this self image issues game. If you feel better with straight hair you go girl! If you feel better with au naturel look great, you should cause its YOU its how God made your hair! I personally like Black girls with natural BIG beautiful curly hair, but other people don’t feel comfortable that way SO WHAT wear a piece or get a relaxer if IT MAKE YOU FEEL BEAUTIFUL AND CONFIDENT. To each their own. We all have free will. Amen.

  • cookiechica

    +1,000, especially for your last sentence(that’s a +10,000!). Thank you, @simplyme, for writing this.

  • Ms Write

    SMH People are really missing the point of thisarticle. It is not about ASAP Rocky, he is just used as the example. The point of the article is distinguishing between preference and opinions born out of ignorance. For example men that “prefer” only light skinned women, is this really a preference or an opinion created by the systematic brain-washing of black folks.

  • Ms Write

    This is not that kind of website. CNN is that way—–>

  • Fantastico

    IF you really want to learn something and not simply spout off your opinions, read this excerpt from Gradient Lair then read the rest:

    …Where exactly are White women excluded in the realm of hair and beauty when the entire thing is created and maintained by upholding Eurocentric beauty myths in general? Sure, some will say “I am not thin, with blonde hair or blue eyes” which may be true, but it does NOT mean their experiences with beauty or hair then becomes similar to Black womens’ (just examine the history for this to be revealed), especially ones like me who do not have one of the preferred natural hair types and who can’t make my entire hair experience about curls or length. (Eurocentric beauty norms are not as rigid as blonde hair and blue eyes, though that is hoisted as ideal. It creates a hierarchy where everyone and anyone places above Black women with dark skin or coarse hair, even other “women of colour.”)

  • Lida

    @sylvie Firstly: They don’t effect my life, i’ll still do whatever i want with my hair. I wouldn’t say that i’m “upset” but its really irritating.

    secondly: um, YES i’ve met them in real life. They’re more common than the natural hair community likes to admit. my old roommate was one. we’re no longer friends. And it was funny because she constantly straightened her hair and NEVER wore it in its natural state but constantly nagged me about my perm. if you straighten your “natural” hair to the point that your curl pattern is nonexistant what
    business do you have preaching to me about mine?

    and thirdly: i never said there weren’t people who didn’t like natural hair. I said that there are also people who are natural who let their judgements and self righteousness hurt their own movement. they absolutely exist

  • LorieA

    I agree with natural hair, I think black women are beautiful and empowering except when they are using a hair rating scale to spout off some white supremacy CRAP. Educate yourself, I am closer to a socialist than anything, I love all people all colors all hair types. History is terrible, yes! It has ruined many races. Italians were being lynched in the streets during T.R. presidency and he didn’t stop it and they are from Europe. Its just a scale for hair, the top is straight the bottom is curly. I don’t see what the fuss is about, its just like a perm (curl) the less curly rods are above the more curly, it has nothing to do with the preference of hair type, they had to label them some how. I’m sure its based on the hair cuticle and nothing to do with COLOR. I’m done feeling white bullied so don’t bother commenting back and I will be praying for your mind to expand and colors to blend. Every Black friend I showed this too said its people like you who make them look bad. Their words, not my own.

  • donnadara

    Preference is guided by the media. And I have never heard anyone say to a woman why do have that perm in your hair, you know you would look so much better if your hair was natural. However, I’ve been asked when I am going to perm my hair for years. The answer is never.

  • Vera Dolores Jacques

    I wear my hair loc’d (10 years now and counting), I’ve never felt more attractive. I’ve ignored my detractors and their ignorance by wearing my natural hair MORE proudly. I don’t care if they accept me or not, it is what is important to me that matters.

  • Jen

    Well said, my friend!

  • Fantastico

    You don’t get it and with that attitude you probably never will. Bye.

  • Tila

    So when white people want to develop a tan/ olive complexion & inject their lips so it becomes thicker- are they still following the Eurocentric ideal?

  • A.

    @simplyme Your comment was beautiful!

  • kiesh

    It’s possible to get the point of an article and also make additional observations. This post and the comments are only the tip of the iceberg of reactions to ASAP’s tweets. These kinds of articles are usually born from comments from nobodies like ASAP, Young Berg, etc. Stop placing so much value on these men’s opinions…they don’t define you. Also, I commented on preference in a separate comment. It’s ALL preference – but preferences can be influenced by culture, ignorance, etc.

  • L

    It’s okay to have a preference but when you belittle those that don’t agree with your preference, that’s when it becomes ignorance. In the words of Kenya “Don’t come for me unless I send for you”

  • JS

    @Red Pill

    “. It is only in industrialized countries that white men control that this is the issue.”

    What countries nowadays even the third world ones AREN’T industrialized? If there is significant resources to be had or money to be made you better believe a white man has his hand as well as influence in it somewhere.

    We live in a global economy. Like I said before only those isolationist countries and rural areas are exempt.

    The tricky thing about this global standard of beauty is we internalize it without even realizing it. We think the features we desire are not because we want to be “white” and are inherently “white” features, we think it because that is what is actually “beautiful.”

    Like I keep saying beauty is subjective and based on cultural and society preferences. Yes it is true that the White man promotes white women because she is attached to power and wealth for the reason as it serves to strengthen his position. However that does not mean this doesn’t have an effect on the society they dominate. White beauty becomes the standard then, whether it is because of actual beautiful features or due to wanting to maintain power the result is the same, it becomes the standard of beauty that they project. The reasoning behind the problem is important in order to fix the problem but if the problem is “white standard of beauty” it doesn’t matter what the reason is if its having a negative effect on other cultures and races it is, still a problem all the same.

    Ever seen that one Twilight Zone in the 60s where the woman keeps having plastic surgery to look beautiful? The surgeries keep failing and due to that she is being forced to be sent away to an place for “disfigured” people. During this whole time we never see her face or the face of the doctors. It is finally revealed at the end that the people of this world are the ones that would be considered disfigured by our standards and the woman is actually beautiful. However due to society creating certain standards of beauty she is seen as ugly. This Twilight Zone illustrated how looks are purely subjective and not based on scientific but society.

    If looks weren’t so easily manipulated by society why do you think the fashion media so easily dictates what is “in” and “beautiful” or what is “out” and “ugly”? This is a multibillion doller industry and that kind of money does not lie. It is based on cultural manipulation not scientific facts!

    Going back to your “ugly-girl” argument. We humans are not attracted to each other innately by looks. Looks and attractiveness is purely something cultural as you yourself seem to acknowledge as you said ” that black people have been conditioned to recognize as patterns in the media over the past 20 years.” You yourself even say the media conditions us to recognize beauty.

    “This golden ratio has been used for thousands of years by architects, masons, and sculptors to create some of the most beautiful works in history.”

    Again, I pose to you, who dictates this beauty? Society, my dear! The abstract and impressionist art when first introduced was seen as lazy and unattractive because it violated the rules of academic painting. Since it was new to society it was first met with hostility, however now Renoir is celebrated as one of the greatest artists ever. His paintings sell for well over 50 million now.

    All the studies on the “golden ratio” prove are that people internalize and accept society and cultural preferences of beauty. There can not be a study that can ever be administered that could scientifically remove the bias that culture, environment and society would place on an individual. The only thing scientific in attractiveness is that we give off different pheromones. Doing a blind test based only on smell it was proved regardless of attractiveness of the man, women reacted more positively to men who had a higher concentration of a certain type of pheromone.

    Other than that attractiveness and beauty is purely cultural. You wont find one scientific study that will refute that.

    As far as blacks and culture you are DEAD wrong saying… “Black people abandoned their culture and traditions to assimilate with whites.”

    First of all, our culture was stolen from us. Slaves were beat, abused, or killed if they tried to keep the culture of their homelands in Africa. We were stripped of our identity, placed into servitude and given new names.

    However our people were resilient* we built a new culture for ourselves over the years. “Soul Food”, gospel songs, blues, jazz and folk songs that turned into Country music for whites. However although freed from slavery there has always been a since of entitlement in our culture from whites (particularly US whites). It’s not assimilating if it is stolen from us. Rock and Roll was built of the backs of black blues players like Muddy Waters. Elvis the white proclaimed “King of Rock and Roll” stole one of his most famous songs, Hound Dog, from a black blues singer Big Mama Thorton. Ask people today who wrote the song and I bet most will go, “Big Mama WHO??” Even today there is some who will say Eminem is a better rapper than Tupac.

    It is unfair and ignorant to compare us to the Chinese. The Chinese, although they were historically forced to open ports to Britain in the 1800s, never as a people were systematically torn down to the extent Blacks were.

    “. They integrate only to the extent that is necessary to acquire resources.”

    That’s nice for the Chinese but Blacks didn’t have that choice coming over on slave ships. They were lucky if they survived that journey and were stark naked during. The only resource they acquired was a few scraps of clothing and a dirt shack from Master that they got to enjoy between the hard labor and beatings.

    The difference is Blacks built a big part of what is this culture. Should we disown and give away our significant historical and industrial contributions to American society adopt traditional African culture only because whites are trying to yet again take our culture away!? HELL NO! Adopting a traditional African culture at this point would be letting even more be stolen from us. Also which culture would we take? There isn’t a generic African culture or language, how would we choose between them? Your statement isn’t very thought out.

  • JS

    “But the final beauty standard is dictated by the men of any cultural or ethnic group. We pick you. You can’t say that in one breath, but reject the Western standards of beauty in the culture that we are immersed in only to exempt black women from this”

    No that is incorrect. The men create this standard FIRST and then it is then perpetuated and ingrained in society that is how it becomes a cultural standard and not just an individual one. It’s definitely a cycle though because then what is defined as attractive in society, therefore going forth, influences the way people think. You said before it had nothing to do with attractiveness and more with power. It maintains power for the white man, or any race in power for that matter, to glorify their own race’s features over the ones they have power over. Just another control tactic.

    In no way did I exempt Black women. Male or female, and no matter what race we ALL fall victim to this.

    Certain things like you mentioned, tall and muscular for men, or wide hipped for women, have more to do with features that relate to innate survival mechanisms hardwired into our brains for continuing our species not anything to do with actual physical attractiveness. We like other animals have a drive to keep our species alive. Those features you mentioned have more to do with natural selection as women with child bearing hips, or strong tall men for protection. This has nothing to do with facial features however it does relate to pheromones.

    Pheromones are cut and dry. EVERYONE male and female are attracted to pheromones. The study was done with women but its the same with men. We are all attracted to the scent of our partners and that triggers attraction in our brain even if we are not consciously aware of its influence. It’s actually the bases for science having the thesis that homosexuality stems from having a different mix of pheromones that is more attracted to the same sex then different sex. That would account for why some men are attracted to other men and some women are attracted to other women. Now people who are homosexual can still acknowledge the physical attractiveness of the opposite sex, but it doesn’t mean they are sexually attracted to them. That is why sexual attraction at the most basic level has more to do with pheromones than actual physical attractiveness. But there is a correlation between those features of tall, muscular, or wide-hip ratio in women and giving off a stronger concentration of those pheromones which makes them more attractive.

    “Men are visual first and foremost. There is no getting around that.”

    No one said men weren’t visual but men being attracted to physical looks and then the question of what is the bases for defining physical attractiveness are two different issues. It goes much deeper than that as I have explained.

    “If black men were so brainwashed by the media, they would be chasing pale, androgynous, anorexic, waif-looking white women, which is the image that white men promote”

    Excuse me? What planet have you been on?? They certainly have been! Not every Black man mind you, but a huge stereotype black men have followed is “making it” is hooking up with a white chick. And why wouldn’t it be? You said yourself the white man promotes the white woman as a symbol to maintain power and status, so why wouldn’t some Black men follow that lead? On the flip because you thinking I am excluding Black women, why wouldn’t they want to “become” white if not to be seen as worthy by hair straightening, weaves, plastic surgery, etc. (I mean this on a completely base level as a black woman myself although not immune to cultural standards I hate doing my hair so the ease of a relaxer is beneficial to me).

    “It sounds to me that black women are fighting hard not to be valued on their looks, which ain’t gonna happen.”

    Now I know you are concern trolling and I’m going to need you to exit left and take a seat. WHAT WOMAN Black, White, Asian, Latino, East Indian, etc. wants to be valued solely on looks?! PLEASE tell me because I missed this. Or maybe I didn’t and just happen to realize its not 1950 anymore, this isn’t “Mad Men”, and women are actually allowed to step out of the kitchen. Wow I honestly cannot believe you just said that. THIS black woman DEFINITELY does not want her value as a human to be placed on looks alone, sorry I have more to offer than that.

    “Why are you referring to slavery? That’s a cheap cop-out and excuse. It is not ignorant or unfair to compare the successes of the Chinese to the failures of Blacks. ”

    …..Really? Honestly and truly… SMH at you. I cannot with this statement. It’s too ignorant. If you don’t know why you can’t compare the successes of a people to the failures of people who were enslaved and systematically abused with effects of it still lasting even today then there is ZERO help for you.

    One thing I will say in rebuttal which pretty much addresses your entire cultural argument is Blacks in the US never had complete control of our culture and still don’t. This isn’t our native land and our history here is a tumorous one. We have struggled through slavery, through freedom and civil rights and we are still struggling. The US is seen as a white country with a lot of integrated foreigners, and that includes Blacks. Hence the saying whites still love to throw around of “Go back to Africa.” In fact the identity of being “Black” or “African American” wasn’t a term until the 1980s. How can we control who we are as a people collectively with any kind of authority against cultures like the Arabs, Chinese, Europeans, Jews, East Indians when they have established their cultures and who they are as a people for thousands of years?? Hell African Americans don’t even have a “homeland”, whites do not consider this our land.

    Also although many African Americans have taken identity with actual African cultures, there are just as many African Americans who cannot relate to African cultures. That separation is why I mentioned slavery as our original culture was taken from us by it. Another notable thing as well as Blacks in the US have always had to deal with whites as a part of our culture. We have always felt their effects as a people on our culture unlike many other cultures. So when you ask why Blacks don’t do this or that and blame it all on us being lazy or not being smart enough to claim it all for ourselves be insightful and take notice that it was never truly all of ours to begin with. The cultural playing field for blacks has never been even and we do not have the years of strength and growth as a people in the US like the Arabs or Jews or Whites do to even the playing field. It’s like the minor league and the major leagues, we never had the platform everyone else did. Recognizing that doesn’t mean we fail or give up as a people however it does mean we acknowledge the disadvantages we had from the beginning for what they are.

  • Ashley

    Solange had a relaxer before and she just looked like Beyonce’s sister. With her hair natural she looks like her own person: a beautiful, mature young woman with a unique style. Preference or not, how can someone not see that she is rocking that fro?? I always hated that “preference” argument. Preferences always come from somewhere, whether it’s food, clothes, or women. Maybe you got it from exposure, maybe it’s from your culture, but whatever the case no one develops a preference on their own. People need to understand how their preferences are created and stop being so ignorant.

  • CC

    One word. Wonderful! Thank you for that! You are 110% correct in your assessments

  • JS

    @ Red Pill

    “Don’t you think I know of the lowdown things white people and the government have done to undermine the progress of Black people?”

    No I really don’t. All you are doing is a whole lot of talking without saying much about ANYTHING you claim to be addressing at all. No facts, no dates, no cultural connections (except for the sadly misinformed ones and even those are few). All you are doing is running off at the mouth and making yourself sound foolish.

    So foolish in fact that I cannot believe you claim to be educated and would be really surprised if you claimed to be Black with statements like:

    -”What have black people done to ensure that they would never be enslaved again? Nothing.”

    -”Black women continue to run out on the football field with a basketball. Change the game and make your own rules. Or are you too afraid to do it?”

    -”But can we as a people today say that we’re really any better off than 1865? No. ITS BECAUSE WE DIDN’T LEARN SHIT.”

    -”Are you going to cite slavery as the reason why black people can’t feed themselves?”

    -”Black people don’t have control of their culture because we don’t know how to mind our own business. We haven’t built anything. We don’t produce anything.”

    -”We’re incalculably ignorant and oblivious to the state and degree of our vulnerability.”

    -”We are so dumb that we allowed women and homosexuals to hijack the movement that black people bled to establish for their benefit.”

    These statements are so off the wall crazy and lacking in SO MUCH insight, history, and knowledge of culture that it is actually sad. Someone else from the Clutch community can take it from here because I do not have time to school basics, education isn’t free and neither is my time. I really do hope you can overcome your self hate for your race and apparent superiority complex when it comes to women and from that last statement homosexuality, intolerance isn’t cute.

    I’m out.

  • Nicole Dewitt

    In my opinion, what the guy said was fine, thats his opinion and choice to think a particular thing looks good. However the way he said it was sarcastic and rude. She had every right to say what she did. Thank you Solange!

  • JS

    ” But you chose to ignore that simply for the sake of being disagreeable”

    No I have never ignored anything. I have even agreed on the certain things, excluding your last post of ignorance, on how we Blacks have been taken advantage of in the US.

    It’s also funny you say I can’t stay on topic when my main argument was that attraction isn’t inherently based on looks but rather culture (only thing inherent is pheromones) and you set to trying to prove that wrong before you tried to turn around and claim you never thought that from the beginning.

    The thing we disagree on now however since YOU changed the conversation comes down to responsibility and inaction. You have time and time again in these posts compared Blacks to every other race in the US but not acknowledged that every other race does not have the same history in the US as we do. You think me acknowledging that is giving Black people a crutch so when they do badly they can blame White people. Not at all. In fact that whole “anti-slavery/race card” issue is something Whites created to deflect the effects slavery has still had today on Blacks, so they can pretend like slavery ending ended racism. Not acknowledging slavery does more harm than it does good, similar to those who would deny the holocaust’s effects on Jews or the Hiroshima or Nagasaki bombings on the Japanese.

    If you connect the dots of what your own argument is revealing you could see that systematically no other group in the US has been systematically oppressed like the Black people have.
    So how then could we compare Arabs, Chinese, etc to Blacks and say we have the same level playing field when its clear we don’t?

    (Sidenote #1: Can we please remove Arabs from that comparison because according to the US gov the are included in the definition of being White which is defined as “having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, the Middle East, or North Africa.” Although with recent events of 9/11 they have been targeted as “terrorist” they are primarily considered white by the Gov and in Media as well if they do not take on any of their Arab culture).

    (Sidenote #2 That piece about Planned Parenthood is a myth, never actually been confirmed. BOOM! It also cites the false claims that the majority of PP are in urban Black communities.)

    “Don’t play games and pretend to be ignorant of all of these facts. That just goes to show you how black women are programmed to be contrary for the sake of being contrary when dealing with a black man.”

    What are you even talking about now? “Programmed” wow you sound completely ridiculous. The only thing I have been doing this ENTIRE time is pointing out Blacks disadvantages. You have been saying that we aren’t disadvantaged we just haven’t learned anything and don’t try to do better. YOUR OWN WORDS. Why are you trying to flip the script now?

    “Women and the LGBT community hitched a ride on the Civil Rights Movement to push their own agenda. I didn’t place a value statement on it, but its the truth”

    Don’t play dumb. You place a connotation of value on a statement when you say that Black people “are so dumb that we allowed women and homosexuals to hijack the movement.” So women’s and homosexual rights aren’t important and shouldn’t be addressed? Are their not Black women and Black homosexuals? You then make it sound like everyone else needs to take a back seat to Black straight males. Don’t keep saying I take things out of context when the context you are providing supports my interpretation. Perhaps you should consider what you really mean before you type it out.

    I also do not agree that only Black people should benefit from Civil Rights. Yes we were the founders of the movement but its great that other disenfranchised minorities or groups can also benefit from what we’ve started. I will acknowledge that yes, sometimes Women or Homosexuals do have a louder voice than that of Black rights. HOWEVER, that is simply because there are a lot more Women and Homosexuals as a whole than Blacks. Hell there is more women than men in the US by the millions so why SHOULDN’T women have the biggest voice by population reasoning alone? That isn’t to say women as a whole are more disenfranchised than Blacks but the biggest group will always have the biggest voice.

    “How about you test my theory?”

    Test your theory? Childe, as a Black woman I LIVE your theory. I have the “pleasure” of being discriminated against for being a woman on top of being Black. In my experience people are much more likely to tip toe around the issue of race and apologize for saying something out of line. But in the workplace or on campus gender or homosexuality was treated as a joke and you were “too serious” if you took offense. You hear a lot of cases of students being suspended or expelled for racist remarks but you rarely hear about it for women unless it escalates into rape, a brutal beating, suicide or murder. Also many issues as of late regarding race in the media have not been brushed aside rather the smaller undertones that effect us all is what isn’t getting addressed. While I do think there are definitely those who take the “stop crying racism” approach, when highlighted in the media they are most quickly made the fool of generally.

    You keep on wanting to compare the Black struggle but by comparing it instead of doing what you intend to: showing how Blacks need to improve, you are in fact marginalizing the situation. You are making all the cultural evils that even yourself mention have happened to us seem like a walk in the park to over come. THAT is the problem.

    I think you stereotype the Black community too much with statements like “Wonton promiscuity, violence, degeneracy and a general lack of discipline and accountability has made the average black person indistinguishable from a beast.”

    OPEN YOUR EYES. The fact that there is a community of that is posting intelligent and thought provoking articles like Clutch proves you wrong. In fact like others have mentioned in previous posts, its really RARE in the day to day community and interactions to see the “Stereotypical Black person.” However due to media and Blacks like you who internalize it, we keep on being viewed this way than not. I know more Blacks with an education than not. I know more Blacks who although may be single parents have stable homes and environments without all the “drama.” I refuse to be made a caricature by Whites and Blacks like you. The same people who claim stereotypes like you do are the ones who will then turn around and say a Black person is being “too white.” With people like you Blacks cannot win no matter how they act.

    “The vast majority of black people work for a white corporation or the government.”

    Exactly as the vast majority of Blacks and any minority has since this country’s founding. Hell, the white people steamed rolled the Native Americans out of their own lands. Although Blacks have been around and contributed to this country you are mistaken if you think we will ever have the power to overthrow the Whites or gain significant advantages over them in the US like they have us. Even the more realistic dream of evening the playing field is the best we could hope for and very far off. This is not our country. We have made do, created our own subculture and contributed to this growth but we have no claim on it just as the Native Americans do not. As I have said before we are a displaced people who are being systematically abused.

    You wonder why Blacks don’t own business, buildings, farms etc? Its because through the system they were taken away from us through the legal system, banks cheating us, or we were just run off with pitchforks. My own family was victim to this, back in the early 1900s we owned land in Alabama a huge farm, that actually had oil. Well because of certain wording in the mortage on the farm, a loop hole the crooked bank found, our family lost the farm. This happened to MANY blacks. The only places they could find work or live in peace were in city in urban districts. They made it difficult through laws for blacks to have anything. Do you not think blacks wanted to do better for themselves? In my case in the 1980s after a 30 year legal battle we were finally able to get a settlement and a kick back each year off the land’s profit, however most Blacks do not have those means or that much of a happy ending.

    The American dream of rags to riches is an illusion. It is nothing but an uphill battle that is based on luck, the opportunities available to you and who you know/meet along the way. You say Blacks need to do better but how are we to do this with systems that even you yourself acknowledge are in place to make sure we fail???? REALLY?? What is your answer to that?

    “You started at negative 50 and worked hard only to make it to the starting line of other groups in America. You don’t deserve a medal for that”

    Not everyone has the ambition or wants to be apart of and own a major corporation. Corporate is a dirty business, success shouldn’t be measured by the millions but a personal fulfillment and the ability to sufficiently care for your families needs comfortably. What good is a corporation if you are miserable? That said like you mentioned it is mostly White dominated. Although I would counter and ask what other races (not counting Arab since as I mentioned they are considered white) majority wise have nice houses and make 80k? 80k is pretty damned good in this economy and there are more people of different races making less than that then there are those that are. I do think there are less Blacks making 80k than others but to call 80k the starting line is a huge stretch. Starting line for upper-middle class White Americans but that is about it.

    “Are you going to pick up the shovel or not? If so, good. If not, shut up and get out of the way.”

    Shovel to do what? What is it exactly do you want Black people to do? If acknowledging history (how we have been disadvantaged by white people), trying to change the political climate (as you called Gov begging), an education (you said degrees were essentially useless), or encouraging other Black people, what the hell else is there? Because you have knocked down everything we are trying to do to change things and handed us a proverbial shovel without giving us a solution.

    You want Black people to have control of corporations, Gov, media etc., yet you offer no solutions for us to get there, tear down the ways we are trying to get there and then call us all dumb and ignorant because we aren’t there yet despite our history of systematic oppression. Black people will never be good enough for your or meet your ridiculously high standards that only the handful of rich old white families have reached.

    PS. I know I said I was done but I had to point these things out.

  • Nauio21

    I totally agree with your statements!!!!

  • Mouse

    An opinion borne out of ignorance is usually stated in a rude, demeaning manor. It is a put down. When a person has a preference they will state it in a manor that is well thought out. Most of the time they will start out by saying I myself like…..whatever the topic is. It is to bad that people cannot see and appreciate the beauty in different skin tones.

  • jennifer stewart

    ignorance is bliss both in life and on the net bye

  • thequeenbee

    Black females are the last true iconoclastic symbols of rebellion ergo–”rebels”. unfortunately a significant portion of black males have conformed and succumbed to the “idea” of “white is right” even as white females do everything within their own power to look like,dress like, talk like, sing like, dance like, act like and yes even brag about having black babies like…BLACK Women. It would be sad if the glaring truth for our men was not the fact that many migrate out of our race but that both they and the white females who run after them fail to recognize that there is no black male in existence that is not a result of a black female egg and womb–and if you point to biracial males like Obama–even his white momma could not have made him, had not a black woman’s son indulged her in bed. FACT. Respect and honor the SOURCE and the attributes from that source–natural hair, round bootays, full lips and ALL.

  • thequeenbee

    manner, a manor is a large house. just sayin’

  • mishi

    Wowzers! This is a loaded commentary for a topic as light, though still important, as natural hair! I feel almost like to start both opinions are very much in sync… However, towards the end of the diatribe “Red Pill” (cute, I too like The Matrix) seems to do a sorta devil’s advocate schizo thing and contradicts the very arguments (he) made. How can one honestly believe all of these systematic efforts have taken place in this country in order to place & keep black people at the bottom rung, yet declare that it’s Black complacency that is the cause of a supposed dire existence. Even to compare African immigrants to African-Americans is improper if indeed these American traps built for newly freed slaves and their offspring are true. During days of segregation, African dignitaries were still regularly seen & visited abroad by their counterparts in government and business. Comparing the path of an immigrant of any race or complexion to that of the Black American experience in this country is to ignore every single thing you claim you believe occurred, even things like PP which the other poster already pointed out was a myth.

    I can understand one’s frustration with the fact that Black people don’t rule the world, lol. But it’s kind of dumb to say that because we don’t own fortune 500′s we fail. You must understand the concept of generational wealth, no? Someone is going to have to be the employee who makes 80k in order for his child to go on to make 1/4 mil for their child to be the next CEO. You have to be willing to acknowledge progress even if there is a long way to go. To pretend things are as bad as ever makes you seem quite bitter & somewhat delusional

  • thequeenbee

    Actually BOTH can be true and both appear to have elements of truth in them. What you have highlighted by both posters are aspects of Amrica’s dysfunction, both with blacks, their guilt AND African and black people’s “learned and trained behavior ” that was cultivated, ingrained and reinforced over several hundred and therefore several dozen generations. Blacks are not merely complacent, they often are instrumental in the games played to keep them at the bottom of the heap.

    Blacks are feared due to their ability to create and influence the masses of all races. We are the source–but we do not own our power, instead we are clumsy cultural wielder of our power and in a bid of oneupmanship, whites both copy and embrace our attributes while denigrating and berating us as people.

    When Africans come here, like the good old days when whites allied themselves with certain native people or Africans and those collaborating groups helped to conquer their own race, (seen any superior African Nations or Native American reservations–EVER?)they do the same things with modern African immigrants–often comparing them and claiming they are superior to Black Americans.

    When a minority group needs to gain and keep power they must do several things effectively:

    1. Find a way to get the majority groups to undermine and fight among themselves, thus doing their dirty work for them
    2. Espouse and set in place principles and doctrines that are perceived to be true and correct then arrange a societal structure that REINFORCES that doctrine:

    A. “Blacks are lazy ” (don’t give them jobs–the nonworking will appear to be laziness)

    B. “Blacks are stupid or not as smart as whites or others” (give them inferior schools, sequester them in ghettoes which reinforce inferior ways of speech and behavior, limit resources and watch them scramble to survive

    C. “Blacks are ugly and the darker the skin the more all the negatives are pronounced” this pits lighter skinned and mixed race blacks against the others fomenting distrust and a rush for the darker skinned blacks to figure out ways to have lighter (and therefore more acceptable and advqantaged offspring)

    D. “Black ‘women” OR black men are the better part of their race” this is said and acted upon in cycles–black men were perceived as horrible and bad and evil and lazy and criminal just 10 or more years ago and black women were considered the lynch pin of the family, smarter, more productive and ambitious==when too many got too successful, the pendulum swung the other way with black men being elevated and black females put down. Again was done to divide and conquer and limit offspring.

    What did not work as well with black females (who still often stuck by black men) has worked better when black men are favored. they abandon their black female sisters, their offspring, and neighborhoods in droves embracing the white aesthetic for looks, and impregnating white women which is exactly the goal considering both Europe and the white American population in the US had negative growth in their own race (if white America does no count white Hispanic growth the numbers of whites able to bear white children is almost zero) of the approx. 2.8 million babies born to white females last year, over half were biracial. the fact was/is whites are coming to the end of their fertility and need injections of fresh genetics to remain viable. enter the Black American male, both willing and short sighted and self hating enough to rush to accommodate white females and FAIL to see the big picture.

    Booth white male and female fertility is at an all time low and whites have resorted to adopting African babies–what do we think those babies are being taught? How to hate their own people. when whites divide and conquer, they always tell their lackeys how they are “different” and “better” than the rest of their race. they then pit the groups against each other and when the smoke clears, they get rid of their lackeys too.

    Whites did not just do this to Blacks or Africans, they did it to Native Americans, South americans, people from India (who are also color and hair struck)o a lesser extent they did it in China and everywhere they went.

    The SHAME is not that they did it in the past, but how well this particular “okie doke” works and how blacks still cannot SEE the game almost 600 years later.

    something to ponder: whites have been conducting polls to compare themselves SOLELY to blacks for over hundred years. Not to Hispanics or sians or Native Americns–but black, black, black–for health, wealth, education, crime, manners–you name it–EVRY ocial MORE or idea EXCEPT Fertility. there has never been a fertility study in the US conducted by race. EVER the “rationale” is that the test would be disproportionately weighed against whites since they mostly seek out remedies–but the fact is, in issues where the numbers cannot be maneuvered to make blacks the eternl scapegoat, no studies are done. You will never find studies about mass murders, mass shooters, or educators who molest either–why? because the numbers point to negative behavior trends among WHITES.

    After the Sandy Hook elementary school massacre,, there was national dialog on gun law reform. Was the mass shooting by a white male talked about? Why nooooooooooo. It devolved into David Frum doing an op ed piece on black gang violence the reason to reform gun control—when we all know the knee jerk reaction to the availability of guns was due (once again)to a white male going crazy and shooting up innocents in a public place.

    The thing about conspiracy theories–is that sometimes (in fact lot of times) there is truth to them–they re derided to undermine how prevalent many conspiracies really are. Does anyone really think that the reaction of a white establishment is to lay down and accept the spectre of becoming a minority in a country they perceive as their own (and dominated by them? You do not think they can and will try to hold onto power and that such grasping will include trying to find a scapegoat race while trying to unite the other races UNDER the white race?

    THINK and observe–even if you do not agree. The operative dictate being THINK. please excuse my typos.

  • thequeenbee

    My mom used to say–”if you can’t say something nice, krrp your mouth shut” The “guy’s opinion was IGNORANT” for two reasons:

    1. It presupposed HIS particular beauty aesthetic was relevant to a famous person….(why should Solange care what I saq dime piece to a nobody?)

    AND it is based on encouraging humans to seek damaging ways to alter themselves based on unnatural factors and expectations.

    First and foremost, hair is a protective covering, used to protect certain areas of the body, deflect dirt and wick away moisture from the SKIN underneath

    Humans have made it about beauty and whites have dictated the standard disregarding geologic locations and environments.

    What the guy said was NOT fine but ignorant. If he does not like the way the woman looked he could have not bothered to engage in any comment– We act like everyone’s entitled opinion grants them the right to share their view with others no matter what–Americans need to learn the art of soliloquy–some things re best kept to ourselves. How sad that a man of color who probably also has coiled hair expect females with coiled hair to torture themselves to copy/imitate a white female aesthetic. then black men complain that sisters are not “keeping it real” Creamy crack straightened hair is NOT keeping anything real, either. Nappy roots is as real as it gets==Solange you look amazing–and dimes re not worth much these days anyway–you surpass the “dime piece”

  • thequeenbee

    ” is it ignorant if the Twitter user just prefers the look of straight hair?” The definition of ignorant is not knowing or understanding. so yes, the man is ignorant. On the one hand, many black men want black women to “keep it real” leave the weaves, extensions, fake nails and contacts alone–on the other hand, they want black females to use dangerous and damaging products to copy white women. Relaxed hair is NOT REAL for black women–it is botox for the hair–a chemical injected into the cuticle to change the NATURAL shape of a hair strand–similar to chemicals put in lips or chest to alter the shape of lips and breasts–still fake and manipulated. the man’s ignorance is that his “preference” is not informed. Uninformed people cannot APPRECIATE what they do not understand or take the time to discern. He likes straight hair–who told him to like that? Commercials, movies, media? ..and he is too stupid to know when his tastes are being dictated and manipulated by advertising and a social structure? he is not only ignorant, he is self denigrating (does he relax HIS hair to copy white males?) If not, why not–when the social push was made to make white women the beauty std, it was NOT directed at black men but at white–does the guy commenting understand his own aesthetic place in his argument?

  • thequeenbee

    I have to agree with you….

  • R Charter

    Education is critical to the path of equality for black people. Sitting on a forum and worrying about white Jesus is not going to help. Trying to figure out a conspiracy, not going to help. In a capitalist society money talks. Money talks. An education in some fields will allow you to make more money which means that society will shift to accomodate you because they want your money.

    And what you get your education in counts. No one is paying top dollar to hire another black studies, psychology or sociology major. Those are going to get you a nice job at a starbucks, they are not going to get you jobs where you make money. In our rush to get children into college we have forgotten that the degree you get matters, IMO. You should strive to get a degree where people will be clamoring for your skills, or somehow get a skill that people will be clamoring for, or that you can build on. Because when you have a skill people need, people will pay money for that, and money is power.

    Case in point, for years and years and years, the only black hair products I ever saw advertised were relaxers for black women, and those weren’t sold everywhere. Now so many hair lines have lines for women with natural hair. Do you think thats because white corporations love black women with natural hair so much? Absolutely not, its only because black women now have money to spend because we have jobs where we are making money. Money is power in our society. As black people get more of it, we get more power. Will it make white people like us more, should you care?

    People who eschew the idea that 80k a year and a nice car equal power don’t really understand the structure of a capitalist society. The number of people you have in your community that are making money the more power that community has. Case in point, political power. Much of the political power that people have comes from the amount of money that they are able to donate. Money buys media, media is used to spread a message that can appeal to a voter. The more voters you appeal to, the better chance you have of winning a political seat. This year I donated close to $300 to the Obama campaign, my father donated way more than I did. How were we able to even donate this money? In my case working for a white company where I made good money. Whether or not you work for a “white corporation” money is power and individual accomplishments mean a lot. But from my experience they generally mean much less to the individual who has accomplished nothing.

    I also wonder how all black people have a “shared database of knowledge” do we really all get a newsletter about these things? Was I taken off the mailing list?

    About black people not being the head of corporations, the head of AMEX was a black man Kenneth Chenault, the CEO of Merck is a black man, Ursula Burns, head of Xerox, black woman, McDonalds just named a black CEO i believe as well. Each one proves that it is money that talks, money which is paramount. Even if you were to argue that all of these people were appointed the heads of corporations to assuage black people (which I think is false) that means that black people are important enough, financially important enough to mean that corporations have to think about us when picking a CEO. Now, understand, I don’t think any company appoints a CEO who isn’t going to make them money because the function of a publicly traded company is to make money for shareholders, but I’m sure some would argue that they were only appointed because they were black.

    I get very concerned when people mask their opinions as the truth. Saying that black women won’t listen to black men? I have no idea where that is coming from. Maybe black women just don’t listen to you? Our president is black and frankly I listen to him every chance I get. So does every other black woman I know, so it may just be you.

    And by the bye, a lot of evidence has shown that MLK as a civil rights leader was far more concerned about the plight of poor people than people ever knew – so maybe the civil rights movement wasn’t ONLY about black people. In one of his most famous speeches he referred to his dream of having his children be equal. I don’t think he made any special reference to how his daughter should feel slightly less equal because she was a woman, so maybe to some degree that movement was about equality in its rawest form.

    Masking your opinion as the fact based truth is a classic no no in any debate, and frankly it devalues a persons argument so much that it makes it hard to find any value in what they are saying. I point to the last round of presidential debates, Mitt Romney polled very poorly for using those very tactics in debating Obama. The person who prevails in a debate is generally someone who is cool, calm, collected and can back up their statements with facts or at the very least logical presumptions.

    If someone said in the 1980′s that the stated goal of planned parenthood was to keep down the AA population then I would simply ask if it about AA community or about trying not to have children born into impoverished situations which is likely to lead to them being abused and neglected. Some people speak about white people adopting black babies, but a lot of those black babies are likely coming out of situations where someone couldn’t take care of them, the same way white children are adopted from families who can’t take care of them. Are they being taught to hate black people – I hope not, but I would rather see those children adopted into a situation where they can be successful than to sit on a pedestal and poo poo the entire thing without offering a concrete solution.

    Like it or not, children born into poverty without two parents are generally not going to be well taken care of and aren’t going to fare as well. When a mother is young and unwed there is a greater chance of bad prenatal care and that goes for ANY race. If you want the numbers on this I would be happy to get them for you.

    I literally laugh out loud when someone comes up with a new “back to Africa – lite” theory. Yes, lets all become super duper isolated and see how that works out for us. Lets focus on teaching our children military science away from the majority race in this country because that won’t put anyone on edge.

    For my money – you can go right into that isolationist community, I will happily live in a more blended community and try to work on the problems that we have here. But you should go live in this “black utopia” but I surely hope you don’t need any doctors, I didn’t see medicine or science anywhere on your list of things to teach. Oh wait…military science.

    I’ll be perfectly honest, the only people I ever hear this from are people who come off bitter because they haven’t been successful in the current structure, so they feel like because they haven’t found success the whole structure must change. They seem to feel some sense of unearned superiority like “If I’m not a success, it can’t possibly be me, it must be other black people, it must be white people, it must be the government, it must be the system, it must be women. We must need a think tank to figure out why my way isn’t successful!”

    A key point of the civil rights movement was equality, in Brown v. Board of Education, Chief Justice Warren, in his opinion responding to the briefs written by Thurgood Marshall wrote that “seperate can never be equal” in forcing schools to be desegregated.

    Remember that “seperate can never be equal”

  • thequeenbee

    LOL. I worked for years in the corporate world (Big Pharm)–show me any one at the top and I can almost guarantee they are nasty backstabbing a-h’s and show me a black or minority at the helm and you will see an unscrupulous monster like you cannot believe. corporate America demands a type of soul sucking nastiness and evil that makes shows like “Survivor” and “The Apprentice” seem like incidental walks in a park.

  • Morganrich528

    Why does everything have to come down to race? I thought this was a beauty article.

    Straight hair is considered “fashionable”, but it’s not only african americans that have that issue to deal with. I’m a white female, and I have ridiculously curly/frizzy hair. Plus, many times I think the natural look on an african american female is gorgeous.

  • Marielena

    I think men should keep their “preferences” to themselves cause they sure as hell don’t want to know our preferences.

    And women should quit criticizing other women’s natural beauty and ability to embrace their roots, literally. I think every woman has something that works for them, not everyone will like or understand it, but it’s not their choice to make. We are individual human beings. The way Solange presents herself is her own choice and I believe it empowers women of color and women with gorgeous hair like hers who are too afraid to put down the flat iron. We should congratulate women for being different instead of insulting them.

    I’m Hispanic (but kinda pale) with hair between 3c-4a and I personally started embracing my curls because of women like Solange. People have complemented me everywhere I go. Honestly, if people don’t like it and find I wasn’t able to meet their standards, it doesn’t matter, the world moves on!

    There’s a significant difference between preference and ignorance. I don’t think ASAP was being too ignorant, he was stating his preference. Though don’t take it to heart. Last time I checked he was a rapper, not the fashion editor for Bazaar. So don’t take advice from a man who probably wears t-shirts and jeans every day. It’s actually quite stupid to name your preference, especially if you have a large following of fans who were probably offended by what you just said. DUH.

    That woman who tweeted was ignorant in my opinion. Comments like that are not necessary. She didn’t understand that Solange’s hair means that she’s proud of where she comes from and doesn’t need to blend in with this bland, repetitive society. She needed to keep her mouth shut and accept other people’s ideas of beauty instead.

    Girls who say spiteful things about curly haired girls are just jealous of our unique locks. You really think Solange Knowles, who has made great cultural strides in today’s fashion industry, is going to take advice from a nobody?

  • Lola

    I honestly think people tend to stray away from natural hair, not because they do not think it is beautiful (There are loads of women out there with gorgeous natural locks) BUT they just don’t know how to maintain it. I had been growing my natural hair for a year before I did the big chop two months ago. And I’ll be honest. My hair looked a right mess.. It was horrible and I had to go back to the basics and learn how different natural hair is to relaxed hair. I had to deep condition more regularly, because with relaxed hair, there is already a shine that comes to your hair. But it’s like you have to work for the shine with natural hair.
    I am all for changing society’s perception of beauty, and I would encourage anyone to go natural BUT only do so if you can maintain it. It isnt for the faint of heart.. But your hair grows faster and doesnt break as much.. I can tell you first hand!!

  • Pema

    Red Pill you hit the nail on the head.

    And for the record this black woman does not listen to President Obama. He has his while the black community is quickly crumbling.

  • Shahid Raki

    I love natural hair of any length as long as it’s been properly taken care of. I have never liked the unpicked afro, either back in the 70′s or now. I like a bald head better than that. It takes no effort to let your hair just go. When it’s natural and long letting it go in whatever this style might be call can help it to get really matty and hard to keep clean and neat. I just prefer the picked out afro, period.

  • Carmen

    I believe that societal norms(established by the dominant culture) have created a pattern of self hate that is manifested in many of the comments made about our kinky, curly beautiful hair. If I wake up and finger my pressed hair and keep it moving no one seems to have a problem with it. On the flip side if I wake up and moisturize and finger my kinky hair many people tend to make off the wall comments like, “do something to your hair” or “what happened?” I usually state that I love my kinky hair and I find it beautiful in all of its ways, but I recently found an even better comeback written by Ayn Rand in her book Atlas Shrugged, “It is not advisable…to venture unsolicited opinions. You should spare yourself the embarrassing discovery of their exact value to your listener.” (P.326, ibooks). Many people tend to feel quite comfortable commenting on natural hair choices, yet refrain from commenting on the choices made by those who have naturally straight hair or choose to straighten their hair. Sometimes these comments are more than the result of a lack of knowledge, sometimes they are just plain rude. Just as rude as walking up to someone and saying, “Would you change your outfit, I really don’t like it” Yes we are allowed our preferences, but rudeness is unacceptable sometimes I feel that we forget just where that line of demarcation is drawn. Additionally, it would be interesting to explore why some individuals feel so great a need to comment when they see a sister sporting her natural locks when they would otherwise remain silent.

  • maroundou

    Duke Kahanamoku looks like hawaian, Polynesian man to me. Perhaps he was polynesian and european descent. I see him and i don’t see a black man or african descent.

  • Ugonna Wosu

    If the person just said they prefer relaxed hair, that’s a preference. But she implied natural hair doesn’t look good at all, that is not only rude but ignorant..

  • Kelly

    I agree with almost everything you said. I see nothing wrong with integrating oneself into the mainstream society, but integration alone will not solve our economic and political problems. The only way that it could is if we practiced widespread interracial marriage that turned other’s wealth into our wealth. And that’s not happening. Because the vast majority of black people — by choice or by force — marry or reproduce with other black people, our problems belong to us. Even if we live in all white environments, at the end of the day our daughters will most likely ending up looking for black partners to build a life with. And whose problem is it when she can’t find a suitable one?

    As adults in our community, we really have to take responsibility for these problems and work on solving them.

    That said, I do have one gripe with your response. Your contention that black women don’t listen to black men is really over broad. Can we at least agree that it’s not empirical? You haven’t done any studies on that, right? I mean do you know of any? And I’m wondering whether you feel the listening should all be one way. Should black men also listen to black women? I personally believe we must each listen to each other and our children to lift ourselves.

  • Kelly

    One more thing: you have some good ideas Red Pill, but I fail to see how discounting the intelligence and usefulness of black women will help you achieve your vision for black well-being. How can your ideas lead black people to greatness, if they don’t influence our community’s mothers?

    I love that you keep it real, but when you talk to people like me you’re preaching to the choir. How can you take those ideas and influence and persuade other African-Americans to follow you?

    I’m not trying to confront or embarrass you. I only mention this because we need more people who have a vision for black well-being to show leadership.

    I’m glad that things are working out with you and your African business partners. What you all are doing could be powerful and maybe that’s all you want to do. But the amount of time you spent arguing on this comment thread suggests that you want do more.

    If you do, I strongly suggest that you spend some time refining your ideas about gender and thinking through how to reach the hearts and minds of people who aren’t already believers.

    You might want to look at the British as a model for persuasion and power. Starting in the 1500s, they brutally colonized the entire world, and yet that they are very polite.

    If you look back in the annals of history, into their planning for military and economic dominance, you won’t see ranting demagogues. All you see is clearheaded speech aimed to convince their countrymen to follow their ideas.

    Maybe this doesn’t apply to you. Maybe it does. That’s up to you to decide.


  • Abiba

    I couldn’t have said it better myself. Black people love to live in denial it is better than dealing with the effects of post traumatic slavery disorder head on. We need to address these issues so that we can make some reforms in our communities. What good is education if you are not being empowered to do things that foster change not just for self but for the greater good of your people. We need to self-educate and build practical skills. More social black entrepreneurs that will help to create partnerships with other black people in the community. Education will not save your behinds but strong economics will.

  • Ebony

    It’s a mixed bag. Sometimes our preferences are based on societal stereotypes; systemic prejudices we learn from youth. Therefore our preferences come from our opinions. I always remember my mother telling me my natural hair didn’t look good because it wasn’t “done”, meaning straightened. It took a lot of years for me to love my natural hair.

    As for Solange and hating tweeters of natural hair? A tweet that is an un-offending is something like, “Hey Solange I really like the way you look when your hair is relaxed. I prefer relaxed hair to natural myself”. That is not what happened though. The tweeter implied that Solange didn’t look good because she had natural hair and if she would straighten it, she would be good looking (a dime piece they said, right?). Who wouldn’t be offended by that?

  • oreadeatrueness

    I do not feel that every comment needs a response. However, I think Solange’s response was short and the point. I think that negative comments are not always out of plan ignorance as not to understand natural hair, but hateration. It takes confidence and a change in self expression and self love, because naturals really do seem to carry themselves with a sense of self-assurance. It is not to be self-centered, but, self acceptance. As I transitioned, my texture really changed and as I used henna it thickened, so people really were not use to seeing me with thick hair and curly hair. My hair would be wavy with a perm, but not as wavy or curly. so, I had to embrace every beautiful part of this transformation and I do not concern myself with how others feel. I must admit, I did not really get negative comments, maybe a little, but I am just glad to express who I am. It feels really good.

  • Yesmaam

    Dope reply. Very empowering.

  • Zita Vigier

    You are missing the point about the article; as long as there is a healthy conversation addressing this issue will always be a perfect place to start the conversation. When we have a black male making an ignorant statement out loud and publicly about women of color. As a female this should bother you. Asap rocky has a following of young black man, and the last thing we need is to have one black man telling millions of others that dark skinned women and what we wear or put is not attractive. Frankly he needs to apologize whoever said that statement to, should have called him out.

  • Dee

    The Beauty world is a large one. When someone is telling me what they like better vs. something else is a preference. It could be for wearing nude lips instead of dark lip colors, faux lashes over your very own. It can be as simple as that. I may not agree but I can respect what you prefer. When someone prefers something it’s usually because it’s something they’ve tried or it just appeals to them better. That’s ok. We like what we like. I don’t knock that. It makes for more conversation. I welcome it because what someone else may prefer, you may not have known about it and now you do. We can always learn from others especially when it’s enhancing who you are.

    There are people to me that have opionions and people who are opinionated. Opinions are even welcomed when they are appropriate. I feel exchanging ideas in a healthy way is good for you. Not saying you will like them all the time but that’s ok too. However, if someone is being mean, have no knowledge, are jealous and you can tell they are blowing hot air then it’s not worth listening too. That’s when we must decide how you will react because as we know opinions are not going anywhere anytime soon.

    People who are without knowledge or understanding about something like natural hair is common. When we speak of things that we don’t know about you usually can tell that it’s coming from somewhere else. Society, magazines, TV, how you were raised. Why would anyone want to wear their hair like that? So I’m supposed to do what, deny what God gave me to look the way YOU desire me to look. Yeah, ok. That’s what we did before but times have changed. Now we have choices and are embracing them and there are still opinionated people out there tearing us down. We just have to continue to be who we are, and what we like without tearing each other down. Educate and love yourselves. Be it makeup, hair, fashion, stick to who you are and what you feel is right for you.

    I don’t know this person and if he doesn’t like natural hair at all, or only like straight hair women or just preferred her with a straight look. However his comment was his opinion as rude and obnoxious as it was. He should have said if differently to her simply because he’s a man and she’s a woman. Show respect. We learn better we do better.

  • Zee

    Ebony I totally agree.

    People are entitled to their preferences however ,expressing them in a very condescending, almost disrespectful manner is when it makes an individual appear to be ignorant.

  • Dee Gray

    Love the way you worded your viewpoint! I agree wholeheartedly.

  • Dee Gray

    As a natural lady for over 12 years, I can tell you honestly – natural hair is a lot easier to maintain than relaxed/straight hair! I enjoy standing in the rain; (it moisturizes my hair) the only reason that I may shun it sometimes is to avoid catching a summer cold. Also, me & my teenaged daughter (who is also natural) can go swimming whenever, without the drama or worry about our hair going back or getting totally messed up. Maintaining natural hair is almost a walk in the park, especially with all of the help & advice there is online and in books.

  • Dee Gray

    If you’re natural under the weave, why don’t you let your natural hair shine? Why do you choose to cover it up? I think what you’re doing is FAKE.

  • Angie

    It’s mainly how most women with curly hair have been trained that their hair is “bad.”. Even though it took a long time for my white friends to appreciate their curly hair I feel that dislike of our own hair seems more prominent among Black women. haven’t most of us been taught that the more Caucasian attributes you have the more attractive or acceptable you are? I personally don’t care what other women choose to do but I make a conscious effort not to join into hair debates and to increase my confidence in the style choices I make. I find I’m getting more and more compliments that way and less criticism. Is up to each women to discover her own beauty and live by it.

  • MS Lindy 2ya

    Here’s the thing/deal, don’t worry about what the other person is doing with anything in their life AND when you can DIE in place of anyone out here, I think then and only then will they be alright with your comments. Until then, mind your own business, and by the way, eat dung and enjoy it!

  • shanice

    I love her for that I relaxed my hair in the 10th grade becaause it was too short and needed saving, it grew,fell off, grew and fell off again , now I’m determined to keep it relaxed forthe next 2-3 yrs and whe n it grows back to a certain length and thickness I’m grwoing it out…F WAT PPL SAY ABOUT NATURAL, IT’S NON OF THEIR CONCERN.

  • Farah

    And my response, relaxed or natural, would be- well that may be your preference but the hair on my head is not your business.

  • http://Clutch Dara

    To have someone say that any woman is more or less beautiful based solely on hair texture is ignorant, it shows the person has no idea how their preferences are being manipulated by media and culture.

  • thequeenbee

    Not only that, such gullibility highlights how so called intelligent humans are reduced to being tools easily manipulated by the media and a majority race–next thing you know such “tools” will be proclaiming that any woman is superior to the one that made them–ahhhh the irony.

  • Ashe P. Samuels

    I don’t buy into the nonsense of objectivity when it comes to beauty standards.

    Nobody just HAPPENS to prefer pale skin and straight hair, like nobody just HAPPENS to prefer thinness, big breasts, traditional feminine appearances and round butts.

    Those are ideal beauty standards pushed by the media through film, advertisements, television, even politics. You are fed this garbage from day one all under the flawed idea that beauty can be defined in only a few ways. A lot of people buy into this: shit, a lot of WOMEN do, if only to be accepted and treated better.

    It’s not coincidence that people prefer certain appearances over others: it’s unchallenged social conditioning.

    If it’s not, then why don’t we see more body types besides SUPER THIN represented positively in our media? How come we’re more likely to see celebrities’ skin lightened on magazines and ads than we are to see them made darker? How come shampoo commercials constantly criticize ‘frizzy’ and ‘unkempt’ hair when there’s nothing wrong with those hair types?

    How come it’s not a trend for people to just HAPPEN to prefer plus size bodies, brown skin, curly hair, round faces, dark eyes, small breasts, non-gender conforming fashions?

    I’m not saying people don’t gravitate to those features: I’m saying that it’s not popular. I also don’t see people who like those qualities rushing to their own defense when asked about it.


  • Jasmyn

    Honestly, it’s easy to say someone is ignorant just because they have a certain preferance in terms of physical attractiveness, but really “beauty is in the eyes of the beholder”. Those boys had every right to find those types of women attractive. In some countries, bigger women are considered sexy, dark african women with short coily hair is a trend to some, and natural hair is too afro-centric to others. Bottom line is every person in the world has their own certain preferance; which is good beacuase that means there is always someone out there for you. In my opinion, ignorance isn’t even a factor.

    By the way, most boys who fantasize about the exotic woman with a long flowing mane are unable to get with them anyway. lol

  • rahrahma

    I don’t think it is ever ignorant to express your preference nor is it wrong to have a preference as I see many people waste time trying to challenge people because of their preference. I do think it is ignorant to vilify people who do not fit your preference. To tell someone that they would be a dime piece if they would just slap some relaxer in their hair is vilifying that person for who they are or who they choose to be. Instead of making comments like that, the person needs to stop with the insults and focus their attention on someone who fits their preference and leave the rest alone. If you are attracted to people with a certain skin tone, you are not wrong for that, but if you focus your attention on telling everybody else who is not that skin tone how unattractive you find them, then that is wrong.

  • Shelly

    Complete Ignorance! lack of appreciation and respect of ones culture, but we are speaking of the lost generation , no surprising at all, it will get worst before it get better!

  • LoriC

    Here is truth: There is NO SUCH THING as a completely objective or unbiased opinion or preference.

    Every single human has a basic, God-given personality (nature), which was then shaped and influenced not only by our environment (nurture), but by how we reacted to that environment. That creates our personal bias. That bias causes us to perceive all input in a certain way, and EVERYTHING we believe is filtered through that bias.

    So – it is not possible (in my opinion) to distinguish between a “personal preference” and an opinion born of (presumed) ignorance. Even the writer’s apparent assumption that an opinion is based in ignorance simply because it disagrees with theirs, is evidence of their personal bias.

    It is also true that white women have been held up by western culture as the Rolls Royce of beauty, and all of us raised within western culture were nurtured in that belief. Therefore, we in western culture hold beliefs at varying degrees on a spectrum from either total acceptance of that belief, to total rejection of it, and all points between. Where we are on that spectrum is influenced by 1000 different things, some of which we aren’t even aware of ourselves. Hopefully we can all treat each other with respect even when we don’t agree with each other.

    Whether Solange’s Twitter commenter is guilty of holding an “offensive” opinion, poor manners, or simply responding too quickly behind a knee-jerk reaction of “Ewww!”, he/she does have a God-given right to his/her opinion.

    Let me ask some different questions: Why do you (or Solange) need for others to affirm what you believe? Will you throw out all of your beliefs if you don’t get enough “thumbs up”? Or go skulking off in a corner until your beliefs are more popular?
    In my opinion, if your hold on your beliefs is so weak that a single critic can sway it, then perhaps you don’t really believe what you’re saying.

  • thequeenbee

    Then again, we could also ask why any person thinks their opinion is relevant to another person. Solange has the RIGHT to respond to the poster since his opinion was specifically about her. The presumption on the poster and your part that the bias of an opinionated person somehow trumps or nullifies the reaction of the recipient is bogus

    Everyone is entitled to their opinion but we all must keep things in perspective: the person who essentially attacked the aesthetics of Solange needs to grow up and face this one salient truth. Straight or not–a dime piece or not–neither he or his opinion has a snowballs chance in hell of getting anywhere near that woman let alone letting his personal hang ups about hair or skin or anything else matter.

    As my mother used to say, everyone has an opinion but those who are raised properly learn to keep unsolicited opinions to themselves….and isn’t it a shame that instead of seeing the “game” of nuanced or subliminal manipulation (and falling for the white supremacy okie doke of elevating another race’s women above their own source), so many black males are victims of that advertising and buy into that thereby negating their own source and genetics? So sad–who knew over 400 years of subjugation would win out against descendants who never had to live under slavery but are ruled by a sense of self hatred and envy for all things white? PATHETIC–and btw–YOUR bias is showing.

  • LoriC

    I never said Solange didn’t have a right to respond. Of course she has a right to respond – it’s Twitter.
    My point was, in response to the author’s question of
    “how do you differentiate between someone’s preference and an opinion borne out of ignorance”?
    is that we are ALL biased in some way, so it is unrealistic to expect an unbiased response – from anyone. There is no such thing as pure, objective “preference”.

    But the comment to Solange was not unsolicited. The fact that Solange is on an active Twitter account solicits responses (including ones she disagrees with), just like my commenting on this article solicits responses. So if people don’t want responses, stay off social media.

    And – of course my bias is showing. It is not possible to hide it. Even the ways I might choose to try and hide it tell on me.

  • fantasymeetsreality

    what i don’t understand and please forgive my ignorance, but why does anyone have an opinion regarding someone’s preference? i have my preferences as we are all entitled to, and others’ opinion shouldn’t count.

  • fantasymeetsreality

    now that i think about it more – usually, in most cases, others opinions don’t really matter.

  • fantasymeetsreality

    to be clear…unless an individual’s preference causes personal, physical harm then it would be futile to form an opinion. certainly, we are all inclined to have an opinion, but much like judgment maybe it would be better to just reserve it, or at best to just get over it, instead.

  • Ayisha

    Exactly! Racsist people on the web do that ALL the time. If they don’t like a certain race then go somewhere that race isn’t. But, hey, they’re obsessed so…

  • kiffanik

    I think it’s more about encouraging people to delve into where that “preference” comes from. Like when you hear a grown woman say her hair is “too nappy to be natural” then you find out she’s had a relaxer since she was 5. Well then what she’s repeating as a preference probably came from someone else and she has internalized it. I get asked questions about my natural hair all the time, it is my preference however I have worn my hair natural, relaxed, weaves, braids etc. If you’ve never experienced anything outside of your “preference” then how do you know what you prefer? Being raised in Western culture means being constantly compared to their standard of beauty, and what that means. Too many people internalize things about themselves and then repeat it as an organic opinion they’ve formed without having ever fully explored the reasons behind their thinking. America does not encourage critical thinking or discourse, just regurgitation of widely accepted norms. I was told by a black man as a college fair that I would be “pretty if I had straight hair”. While his opinion was irrelevant to me, I was immediately saddened for his daughter who was with him as, if the first thing you ever learn about your hair from your father is that it is not good enough because it’s not straight like a white girl’s, what impact could that have on your self-image as you mature?

  • thequeenbee

    There speaks a shallow thinker, opinions have sparked or fueled revolutions, rebellion, racial strife, mobs, pogroms and even genocide. Saying “opinions do not matter is a great homily but unfortunately is seldom true. Opinions DO matter–they elect Presidents, bring down regimes and often are the fodder that a lone gunman might use to justify mass murder. Opinions DO matter and just like we all could refrain from having an opinion about what one man said about one woman, that one man could have kept his original opinion about a woman he did not know to himself in the first place.

  • thequeenbee

    fantasymeetsreality said : “to be clear…unless an individual’s preference causes personal, physical harm then it would be futile to form an opinion. certainly, we are all inclined to have an opinion, but much like judgment maybe it would be better to just reserve it, or at best to just get over it, instead.’

    Are we to discern from this comment that you defend the mans right to have an opinion about Solange, but your defense does not extend to others AND Solange reciprocating with an opinion about the man’s opinion? How odd. If you defend this man’s right to say what he thinks about another person, then by extension, you ALSO defend everyone else’s right to say something about this man. Knives ALWAYS cut both ways.

  • thequeenbee

    AMEN to your very insightful observation, and we could extrapolate that moment to the man saying ” your could be pretty if you had lighter or white skin… or if you were a white girl–thereby negating his daughter (and his own origins ) entirely. More so than black females, black males have fallen victim to a level of self hatred and denial that underlines the proof that after several 100 years of white male dominance, one really can emasculate and destroy the racial identity of a man–at least–of black men.

    consider this–taught to be only a stud and denied marriage and fathering their own offspring, many black men still adhere to a Massa says no mentality and make babies with no marriages or true attachment to them or their mothers. Black men are seeking out any women except their own–not understanding or accepting the FACT that had not a black man mated with their mother (and therefore honored the racial connection) there would be no them. That is sad, but consider this also:

    When any country goes to war–part and parcel to that war is rape. It is not for a thrill, it is to negate the offspring of the losing males and implant their own seed thereby destroying genetic continuity of a male–that happens in war…. many black males do more to destroy their racial genetic continuity than the white man ever did to them. They have many rationales for this–but the “sickness” is evident when a black man, views a black woman not through the prism of what she IS naturally but through comparison to the standards of the race who dominated and still dominates him. Now, smile, white folks–your work is done–and you don’t even have to blame yourselves for the latest–just the origin and impetus of it.

    Black men who engage in self hatred could NEVER like their own source because it reminds them of who they are and where they came from–but … black men who adopt the standards of another culture negate the reality that theirs was a brainwashing adoption AND most definitely bring smirks to the faces of every white male/person in every culture- –all wars are not fought or won with guns–some are won with penises and mental emasculation. Many black males have shown just how susceptible they are to product manipulation even if it negates or rejects their own origins.

    “Without me, there could be no you” Jill Scott.

  • thequeenbee

    It comes down to race because race is original. The idea of straight hair is a racial attribute and the idea that a person born with curly or kinky hair should conform to another race’s attribute shows the generational success in the white dominance of black people. “Imitation is the greatest form of flattery but it is also the first indication of one group being perceived, acknowledged and confirmed as “superior” to the other.

    After all, what is underlined when a person copies another or lusts or envies after what another person has? He who follows and copies–LOSES and acknowledges his inferior status because those on top don’t EVER try to copy those beneath them., and those in the front do not ever try to lead by following those who are following them. a simple concept–easily seen, discerned and evaluated, when you see the game.

  • thequeenbee

    LOL–there is NOT an automatic shine that comes to relaxed hair. Allow me to share a little bit of cosmetology science:

    The cuticle of anyone’s hair (that is the outside ) is made up of clear, colorless scales. It is the light hitting those scales which gives hair its shine. When women get their hair straightened or permed, or colored or too much heat or water is infused into the cuticle, it lifts up or even shatters in spots and reveals the CORTEX. Light shining on the cortex does not reflect, so there is no shine–hair appears dull and lifeless.

    so HOW does relaxed hair and color treated hair get shine? After a relaxer has manipulated the S bonds which determines curl pattern, chemicals in conditioners are used to coat the hair strand to HIDE the torn cuticles and to fill in gaps in the cuticle. If the hair is too weak, protein is used to TEMPORARILY fuse with the keratin in the hair strand to help strengthen it for a time.

    Within the conditioners is a product called SILICONE it is also in many products used by girls with relaxers. Hair dressers apply silicones during conditioning or silking hair during flat ironing. The silicones are like a sort of plastic that MIMIC the torn up cuticles and coat the hair–they reflect light–unfortunately they also block moisture and nutrients from getting to the hair if put on too often or too heavily.

    so that’s great, isn’t it? Not really, because neither a protein treatment or the conditioners can truly repair the hair–they buy time. They HIDE damage–but underneath the silicone, the hair strand is still broken and has holes and over time the protein applied leaches out, then more has to applied. Too much protein (which eventually happens) and the hair is SUFFOCATED in a plastic like coating and cannot get moisture or nutrients. then… That relaxed hair breaks.

    of course, it all can be propelled along by overlapping relaxers or using too much heat with flat irons or blow dryers–and the split ends? They also cannot be repaired, just the effects of them delayed. Relaxed hair is NEVER healthy hair–not really. Nor is it strong hair–given that the chemical S bonds which make up the hair pattern matrix has been manipulated and weakened to make the hair straight–and the gist of it is–Imagine bending something back and forth over and over to get it to straighten out–then imagine bending it one time too many–the more brittle the FASTER the bending breaks it.

    In other words, relaxed hair does not shine–the PRODUCTS used in relaxed hair make it appear to shine, but it is not natural and the products themselves also can cause damage over time.

  • thequeenbee

    Technically, it is a lot of work, especially as it gets longer. it requires constant maintenance with moisturizers, sealers, conditioners, braiding or twisting or protective styles–it is fostering an entire industry dedicated to maintaining the hair and catering to the incessant need for moisture. That said, natural hair is empowering. it is about acceptance of who we are. For Red pill: what does it mean? “that the Matrix, can no longer tell us who we are”

    Many blacks do not accept themselves–not their skin color, nose shape or genetics and seek to change that by endulging in other races or manipulating their features to resemble whites more closely–this is a tacit subconscious skcnowledgement on their part that they perceive whites as superior to themselves and therefore seek to EMULATE them.

    Blacks who embrace or redefine their own aesthetics are a threat–they force other blacks to examine their own choices, mores and predilections–rather than engage in introspection about themselves–many decide instead to redirect or deflect scrutiny and attack the people who are not pursuing or investing in the same beauty or superiority paradigm as themselves.

    Don’t like natural black hair? Take it up with God and while you are at it, talk to him about his own “hair like lambs wool and feet like bronze) Maybe tell him to get his hair flat ironed, and lighten his feet and while you are at it, tell Him he made a mistake when he made Black people in His Image.

  • thequeenbee

    Which makes Obama no different than every other politician (including every single past President except perhaps Jimmy Carter)that “gets his” while the rest of the population (there is no black community) is quickly crumbling–did you think equality was just about the good things? Welcome to America.

  • thequeenbee

    Not too many good jobs without education and very little money funneled into an economy without good jobs. They go hand in hand. Or do you imagine people working at minimum wage due to no education or dead in blue collar jobs due to no education can fuel an economy?

  • thequeenbee

    LOL. remember when the retort used to be “who asked you?”

  • thequeenbee

    Think and Dig deeper–of course everyone is entitled to their opinion, but the science of advertising or even domination is based on manipulating, controlling and influencing those opinions–so when we talk about black boys preferring white women and trying to force black women to conform to the white woman standards; then dialogs such as this and the racial ramifications of such has merit. More than a preference is at stake, racial identity, disenfranchisement, scapegoating, ostracization, economics, social viability and genetics are also at stake here.

  • thequeenbee

    I agree with your points for the most part but cannot condone people basing their attraction on such superficial qualities as hair texture and skin tone–how amazingly ignorant and shallow that makes many of us seem.

  • thequeenbee

    If this is the “lost generation” the failure to raise them and help them find tbeir way is the fault of those who came before them. Sheep don’t lead themselves.

  • Ifeoma

    if the twitter user prefers straight hair then he/she should have straight hair but he/she shouldn’t expect everyone else to have straight hair just because that’s what they like…

  • j

    When a preference carries with it negative/malicious thoughts or comments it becomes far more than just a preference. It’s then based in emotion and prejudice. The difference between wanting a fit man and randomly insulting all men with boobs is obvious, imo. Preferences and opinions aren’t ignorant so long as they exist with some level of empathy. The same can be said for interracial dating, income, education, and just about everything under the sun.

  • Patrice

    Preference or Ignorance? I think it’s just people who prefer to be ignorant. We’ve come to a place where we don’t even realize that while African Americans aren’t bound by physical chains our minds are still in a form of slavery. If we look back in history, it was always the black people that were of lighter skin tone, who had thinner noses and straighter hair that were made to work in the masters houses. They were considered to be only slightly better than the black people who worked in the fields because they had these “white” traits.
    That mentality hasn’t changed and when we’re being bombarded with images of mostly light skinned black women with permed hair we’re still subconsciously being told that’s better, so we believe it.
    It’s sad to see African Americans being criticized for wearing their hair the way it grew out of their scalp when white people wear the hair out of their scalp all the time without comment. When we wake up and come to the true understanding of where the straight hair “preference” comes from then maybe it will change. We don’t see white people putting chemicals in their hair to make it “nappy” so why do African Americans have to put chemicals in our head to make our hair straight? (Juss sayin)

  • thequeenbee

    Actually.. white people DO put chemicals in their hair to make it very curly or nappy–they are called “perms” Based on the chemical ammonium thioglycalate, a perm is actually the colloquial term for a permanent curl hair do. Blacks get RELAXERS–relaxers… relax or straighten the hair and each uses Sodium hydroxide, Calcium hydroxide or Guanilone hydroxide. See that hydroxide, any way you cut it, that is an alkaline and damaging product. for decades. blacks have mistakenly referred to relaxers as perms not realizing that a perm is a CURL and yes–whites DO get them–still get them as do the Japanese who lately have been sporty afros so textured they could put many blacks to shame.

    We share a world–yes many fall for a Eurocentric look forever chasing another culture’s ideal but it is not one sided, whites are also pursuing the black ideal of large butts, thicker lips and darker skin… this admiration, copying while dissing each is.. mutual.

  • Yolonda renae

    No one gets a preference for someone else’s hair. We all have a choice in deciding how we wear our hair. It’s exciting to know that I don’t have to like anyone else’s choice for their head. We do however need to respect everyones right to rock whatever style they feel is right and good.

  • Maneka

    I’m just GLAD she has her own hair on her head! EVER brown-skin baby is born with a head full of hair. My follicles were permanently damaged at age 9 by a “relaxer”. Which was probably from “China”. Having been bald 5-6 times over the course of a lifetime trying different methods of “relaxing” my fluffy hair including: kiddie, mild, tex-laxing, professional by professionals, family members and, doing it myself etc. Just to end up buying hair from the same place/people who sold me the “relaxing hair-killer” in the first place. “Conspiracy”? It’s a Billion-dollar industry especially if you want to get paid (job) or laid (being the 1st mate of the so-called cream of the crop)-better get that “creamy crack”! Maybe, but some people wont like me NO matter what I do…so I MIGHT AS WELL KEEP MY OWN HAIR!I MIGHT STILL WEAR A WEAVE BUT I TREASURE MY OWN HAIR! It’s sacred and some people don’t deserve to see it anyway! So you wont. I’m VERY proud of my AFRO! Cause it’s my own hair growing outta my OWN SCALP! That’s what makes it GOOD to me!!!!! Some people not knowing their own worth want to belittle your worth and bring you down to a “dime-piece” when your really a “PRICELESS DIAMOND”! GO NH LADIES!

  • Christi

    For me its all about delivery. You can tell when a person is being critical to be offensive and critical to offer suggestions. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and the way I see it is no one has to like the choices I make, as long as I am comfortable in my skin, thats all that matters to me. Like me or not, I still have to be ok with my choices and answer to myself if I make a mistake. I’d rather it be mine than someone else who doesn’t have to deal with the consequences.

  • Markita

    Why is it that people feel free to comment so negatively on something as personal as another person’s appearance? So what if you have a “preference?” Who the hell asked you? I applaud Solange for taking the Tweeter to task. I get that opinions are like navels and that everybody has one, and yet common courtesy (which has become less and less common) would dictate if you have nothing nice to say, say nothing at all.

  • Jackie

    Personally, as long as a woman doesn’t have her butt cheeks out and her flabby mid-drift hanging out, rock whatever the hell you want to rock !

  • Karyl

    For a long time beauty standards have been borne out of ignorance. Blacks were encouraged to think, by their slave masters and even their own families that lighter was somehow better and that your hair is “better” the less kinky it is. I have found that it is extremely difficult to tell when ignorance or preference is the culprit because ignorance is sometimes masked as “preference”.

  • DeAnna

    Black women and men alike have been brought up to think that their natural hair isn’t beautiful. They think of it as unruly,thick, and wild while lusting after the silkiness of other races hair. I think that we should come to terms that our hair will never be straight and smooth but it is still beautiful just the same. I do think that most people’s preference for long,flowing hair is ignorance in itself. And I can’t help but empathize with them, they were raised to think that way.

  • LaNisham

    Yes, why don’t you just throw something on your head that is possibly linked to Uterine Fibroid Tumors because society thinks it is more attractive. No! I think not. Now if you do chose to relax that’s fine as long as your making the decision for you and not to fit someone else’s standards of beauty.

  • mplo

    As a white woman with very naturally curly hair, I still remember people telling me that I had beautiful hair that wasn’t meant for having long, but I have disregarded their opinions over the years and worn my very naturally curly hair long (and natural) for a number of years….and have no qualms about it. Far too many people, imho, are too hung up about the so-called “lets and shoulds” about how certain types of hair supposedly should or should not be worn. It’s ridiculous, and people stopped hassling me about it long ago, because they know that I won’t give up what I advocate to please them.

  • http://Yahoo Diane

    We should ALL look at one another and appreciate the ‘differences’. We will not always like everything & every ‘preference’, but can we not at least respect others choices. ESPECIALLY appreciate when someone’s hair grows out of their head the way it does without any relaxer or straighteners.. Let people be. We are so judgemental. Relax your own mind and allow me or anyone else NOT to relax our hair.

  • Jade Jefferies

    People shouldn’t try to pawn off their personal preferences as universal truth. If you can’t appreciate a style there are others who do. Style like personality is an uniquely individual thing. People who critique the styles of others because they don’t conform to their standards of good taste should get over themselves. God made everyone different for a reason too bad some can’t appreciate the unique differences in style choices, hair textures, styles & even fashion choices.

  • Kewpie

    For me, ignorance is when you summarily dismiss a style as unattractive without any room for variance. Example, I don’t like weaves ON ME and have had one that cost $600 but I just never felt comfortable in it. I’ve seen some women who truly can rock a weave and that’s great for them. If I were to say I just don’t like weaves, period because they are fake hair and women should wear their own hair then that would make me ignorant. Similarly, if a man prefers to date light skinned women because that’s who he wants to be close to, then that is his choice. However, if he is unable to see beauty in a chocolate woman under any circumstances then he is ignorant.

  • helen Adair

    I don’t like when all black are referred to as African American just because your black doesn’t mean you came from Africa,and hair is hair straight or curly or kinky just make sure it’s combed no matter what texture that’s the main thing. No one is better because their hair is straighter.

  • Jmail

    The reason why blacks r referred to as African- American is because africa is where they descend from. When they brought blacks from africa as slaves they called them african- american. This is a indirect referral of where they originally came from. So you may not have ever been to africa but your ansectors are.

  • Jessa

    If that’s the case then white people should be called European Caucasions? Since their ancestors are from Europe? Right? I don’t claim to be African American. I am actually Jamaican American and my ancestors are from England. Not Africa. Just like that person said before it shouldn’t matter just because your black that you are considered “African”” American. That’s a bit ignorant.

  • Kathy

    I have to comment on this. The critic is an african-american male whose standard of beauty has been informed, shaped and regurgited by the dominant society’s standard of beauty. Case closed and so is his mind. Don’t believe, look at some of the famous african american entertainers and see who they chose as partners.

  • http://[email protected] Ola Dania

    I wrote a post that I hadn’t posted but it was about if I was any less black because I chose to change the texture of my hair.

    Didn’t India Arie song have any effect on anyone. I am not my hair I am the soul that lives within. That’s my belief and I just happen to be one of those people who could texturise, perm or go natural. as long as I know how to take care of my hair am good.

    An opinion usually sounds genuine or offers some form of support and without ignorance. Whilst ignorance is someone who is saying a whole load of nothing. Their statement or opinion would have no back bone, no evidence, no validation just noise.

    I don’t listen to noise, I hear it everyday a lot from the black community but i don’t listen to noise but hear truth loud and clear. Hair is Hair.. Health and well being should always comes first and as for Solange and asap neither of their opinions matter to me because frankly they have done nothing to me and for me they are just people.

    Cool Post

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