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Straight and Nappy

Talkin’ ’bout good and bad hair
Whether you’re dark or fair
Go on and swear
See if I care
Good and bad hair
-“Straight and Nappy” (from School Daze)

I am so tired of this whole good hair/bad hair drama! When are we as a people going to realize that we come in all different flavors, each one unique and beautiful?

My daughter, my Lovegirl, is 17 months old. She has a finer grade of hair than I do. It curls up softly with a little hairdressing cream. It’s straight around the edges. She has “good hair.” I don’t know if her hair will stay like this or if it will change, and really, I don’t care. People are always telling me how cute she is, how good her hair is. I used to to correct them, and say “yes, she is cute – thank you and all hair is good hair.” But, my mother and brother pointed out to me that I cannot change other people’s mindsets. All I can do is raise my daughter to know that every person is, in some way, beautiful and that whatever physical attributes she has are genetic. Period. She didn’t do anything to deserve them – “good” or “bad” and to not get caught up in that stuff.

I know that we live in a culture, a society, a world where physical beauty is important and celebrated, and I know that won’t change. I just don’t want my kid caught up in it. Whether she has an awkward year or two (a decade in my case!) or whether she glides through puberty like a swan, I want her to really, truly know that it is what’s inside, it is your character, it is your attitude, it is your capability to love that matters. Not the color of your skin, not the shade of your skin, not the texture of your hair, not the size of your feet . . .

Is this when having a boy is easier? Do parents of boys worry about physical beauty? I mean, I don’t lie awake at night pondering this stuff, but I do admit that the kinky hairs on the back of my neck stand up every time I hear “good hair.” Aaargh!

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3 thoughts on “Straight and Nappy

  1. Hmmm, not sure if it’s easier w/a boy or not. I think just different. I have a few friends w/little boys that have long or shaggy hair and they are always told how they look like girls and are made to feel bad about it. I haven’t had to deal w/anything yet but my son’s hair has curls and the comments are starting!

    I cringe when people say so many things and it’s usually my family. My sister said to her 1 1/2 yr old son “you screamed like a girl” when he saw my dogs. I thought that was totally inappropriate..that’s what I worry abou w/having a boy. Boys shouldn’t cry or be emotional…that crap gets my blood boiling!

  2. @ Mama — I guess each gender comes with its own set of considerations. It has always pissed me off when people tell little boys not to cry! “Yes son, I know you’ve just severed a limb, but you’re a boy . . . no tears.” Whateva!

    @Rockin — I’ve been missing you. Glad you’re back! (I’ve been lurking around on Nappturality, so I knew you weren’t too far gone!)

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