Daddy how come I don't have good hair?!

This morning I came across something that I’ve had an issue with for a while…the concept of “good hair”…and not just among African-Americans but all Americans as well. I thought about it because I saw this trailer for a movie/documentary that Chris Rock is doing that is called Good Hair. In the trailer Rock mentions that his daughter came in the house and asked him….

Daddy how come I don’t have good hair?!

And now….I am very curious to know why it is that among African-Americans, no matter what our socio-economic status, is there such an obsession with having “good hair.” Quite frankly I want to know what good hair looks like and what the standard for it is because as a black man I’ve always liked my hair especially when I can get my waves right (using a du-rag only, I’m not down for putting all them chemicals in my hair). Whenever I go to the barbershop they tell me I’ve got very healthy hair and it grows faster than most other guys…so does that qualify me to have “good hair?”

I’ll stop the front…because I know exactly what most African-Americans mean when they say “good hair” and it means that the hair on your head is long, straight, flowing, and relaxed; at least that’s how I put it. But, the usual description I hear is “white hair” or “it isn’t nappy and short.” Usually that sort of comment upsets me because from my understanding and perception it comes from the history of patriarchy in this country that produced a perception that the closer one can get to appearing white, Caucasian it means that you are prettier or more handsome. I have a problem with that because what I believe is that you should love who and what you are, including your appearance (and I’m not suggesting anyone become a narcissist). So if you were born with long hair, short hair, frizzy hair, curly hair…appreciate what you have and don’t change your hair to get “good hair” change it because you want to try a new style.

P.S. I know that not everyone thinks that way or believes that their perception of hair has such a deep and troubled meaning but much of the American perceptions of beauty and appearance are rooted in the history of this country. And if you don’t believe me take a few history and sociology classes…AAS 101 & 102 are good places to start.

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4 Responses to Daddy how come I don't have good hair?!

  1. D. Hudson says:

    I really, really can’t wait to see this… and I’m still laughing at Al Sharpton: “The better question is, do I let her touch mine?” LMAO

    As far as the actual debate about what “good hair” is… I really don’t like that term, even though people always tell me that I have good hair. I’ll joke around with people about that, but really, who’s to say what good hair is? It’s all subjective; in my mind, if it’s good in the person’s own opinion, then it’s good hair. But a person shouldn’t change their hair because of what other people want. Personally, as far as my own tastes, I find a lot of hairstyles attractive on girls, whether it’s natural, relaxed, weaved, extended, or whatever the f*ck they decide to do with it.

    But seriously… if you’re comfortable with your hair, that’s all that matters. If it’s good in your eyes, then it’s good to me. (But if my girl ever comes up to me rocking the half-shaved head, it’s over!)

  2. pr0go says:

    I think D was trying to send a subliminal message to his girl LOL!
    Both of y’all are bullshitting right here. Im calling you out because you are both saying do whatever you want with your hair etc as long as it doesn’t have anything to do with you?
    So what about men’s hair? Remember in the Ryan Leslie post from a few days back? How good is your nappy-fied hair?

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