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?



  • 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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