Thursday, August 27, 2009

Quote of the Day: Paul Mooney

“If your hair is relaxed, white people are relaxed. If your hair is nappy, they’re not happy.”
So says comedian Paul Mooney in Chris Rock's new documentary "Good Hair". Mooney was quoted in the New York Times yesterday in an article that explored the politics of black women's hair. Is it selling out to straighten it? Is not straightening it a political statement? Or is it fashion? Or is it convenience?

Michelle Obama straightens her hair. But when her 11-year-old daughter Malia wore her hair in twists for a trip to Rome, the conservative blogosphere reacted bizarrely.

“For black women, you’re damned if you do, damned if you don’t,” said UC Santa Barbara professor of black studies Ingrid Banks, quoted in the Times article. “If you’ve got straight hair, you’re pegged as selling out. If you don’t straighten your hair, you’re seen as not practicing appropriate grooming practices.”

So which is "blacker," straightening or not straightening? And why is highlighting and dyeing not considered unnatural? White women with curly hair straighten, too, and white women get extensions. And yet the fact that the desire to modify one's hair is universal doesn't seem to make the issue less racial for black women.



Blogger Aron Ranen said...

Please take a moment to check out my documentary film BLACK HAIR

It is free at youtube. 6 parts including an update from London, England.

It explores the Korean Take-over of the Black Beauty Supply and Hair biz..

The current situation makes it hard to believe that Madame C.J. Walker once ran the whole thing.

I am not a hater, I am a motivator.

Plus I am a White guy who stumbled upon this, and felt it was so wrong I had to make a film about it.

self-funded film, made from the heart.

Can it be taken back?


12:32 PM  

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