I wanted to start by apologizing to the class for missing our meeting this week. I would have especially liked to have been there to hear from Prof. Haley, and all of you, about what hair means. I’ve enjoyed reading some of the posts from this week, in particular, I liked hearing from Sarge about his dreadlocks and about his hair journey. Like Kate, I wasn’t very familiar with the relationship between communities of color and their hair before; although, I started going to More Than Hair last semester and am on the e board now. My initial interest in MTH was from the musical Hair, which is about the cunter culture of the 60’s and focuses largely on the cultural significance of hair. I started thinking more and more about how different hairstyles are perceived and how hair itself can be seen as a sight of resistance, as well as self-expression. After I started going to MTH, I learned about the differences between white and Black relations with their hair. For example, that chemical straighteners are used not only because straight hair is “beautiful” but also because Black daughters weren’t taught how to care for, treat and style their hair precisely because their natural hair wasn’t valued. I would really have liked to attend Prof. Haley’s talk last night, but was driving home to ohio for the weekend.
I also liked what Kate had posted about how nail designs aren’t proper or improper in and of themselves, rather, designs are racialized to one group or another and thus acquire stereotypes. I think the most powerful thing you said was that if white women started wearing these “gaudy” nails, then they would start to be seen as “creative” or something of that sort. I was disturbed by what that 30 something white guy said, I don’t blame you for not confronting him about it, 1) because he’s your superior, but 2) because those types of beliefs are so misled and deeply ingrained that attempting to address the situation in a way that would actually alter his conceptions is almost impossible, at least in one conversation.