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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Psychology Today Apologizes


Last week I blogged about the recent protest stemming from a racist blog posted on Psychology Today’s website? Find the story here: http://tropie7189.blogspot.com/2011/05/objective-beauty-ladies-embrace-your.html). Well, Psychology Today has now apologized (http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/brainstorm/201105/apology-psychology-today). Here’s the official apology:

Last week, a blog post about race and appearance by Satoshi Kanazawa was published--and promptly removed--from this site. We deeply apologize for the pain and offense that this post caused. Psychology Today's mission is to inform the public, not to provide a platform for inflammatory and offensive material. Psychology Today does not tolerateracism or prejudice of any sort. The post was not approved byPsychology Today, but we take full responsibility for its publication on our site. We have taken measures to ensure that such an incident does not occur again. Again, we are deeply sorry for the hurt that this post caused.

~Kaja Perina, Editor in Chief[1]

I am grateful for the apology. But I’m most grateful for the protest that I believe drove the apology. I seriously wonder if this would have been addressed, if the article would still be on the website had it not been for the protest against the racist article. Why did it take so long to post an apology? Some may think that this is a small issue but to me it is a HUGE deal. Why? Because there are people who honestly believe that science can be used to denigrate entire groups of people. Because some people believe that they are in fact objectively less valuable than others and so they buy into this false science. For those of you who signed the petition or protested in any way, we have to keep up the fight. The way that we wear our hair is just an indicator of who we are and we have a right to be whomever we choose to be. I am thankful that we stood up and made it known that we will not tolerate being attacked. For those who didn’t get involved, may I ask why? Is it that this is an unimportant topic?


[1] It’s also interesting to note that Ms. Perina is not a trained psychologist. Here is a direct quote from her blog bio: I've served as editor in chief of Psychology Today since 2003. Prior to joining PTI was a writer for Brill's Content. I've also worked for Vogue, The Associated Press and Independent Television News of London. My own writing for PT is anthologized in The Best American Science Writing series. The question I'm most frequently asked is whether I have formal training in psychology. My stock reply was once: "Only if you count years of psychotherapy." I now tell people simply, and no less honestly, that my lifelong curiosity about human behavior is ample schooling. As to formal schooling, I hold degrees from Vassar College and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism”. What do you all think are the implications of this given that she’s editor-in-chief at a psychology outlet?

Psychology Today Apologizes


Last week I blogged about the recent protest stemming from a racist blog posted on Psychology Today’s website? Find the story here: http://tropie7189.blogspot.com/2011/05/objective-beauty-ladies-embrace-your.html). Well, Psychology Today has now apologized (http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/brainstorm/201105/apology-psychology-today). Here’s the official apology:

Last week, a blog post about race and appearance by Satoshi Kanazawa was published--and promptly removed--from this site. We deeply apologize for the pain and offense that this post caused. Psychology Today's mission is to inform the public, not to provide a platform for inflammatory and offensive material. Psychology Today does not tolerateracism or prejudice of any sort. The post was not approved byPsychology Today, but we take full responsibility for its publication on our site. We have taken measures to ensure that such an incident does not occur again. Again, we are deeply sorry for the hurt that this post caused.

~Kaja Perina, Editor in Chief[1]

I am grateful for the apology. But I’m most grateful for the protest that I believe drove the apology. I seriously wonder if this would have been addressed, if the article would still be on the website had it not been for the protest against the racist article. Why did it take so long to post an apology? Some may think that this is a small issue but to me it is a HUGE deal. Why? Because there are people who honestly believe that science can be used to denigrate entire groups of people. Because some people believe that they are in fact objectively less valuable than others and so they buy into this false science. For those of you who signed the petition or protested in any way, we have to keep up the fight. The way that we wear our hair is just an indicator of who we are and we have a right to be whomever we choose to be. I am thankful that we stood up and made it known that we will not tolerate being attacked. For those who didn’t get involved, may I ask why? Is it that this is an unimportant topic?


[1] It’s also interesting to note that Ms. Perina is not a trained psychologist. Here is a direct quote from her blog bio: I've served as editor in chief of Psychology Today since 2003. Prior to joining PTI was a writer for Brill's Content. I've also worked for Vogue, The Associated Press and Independent Television News of London. My own writing for PT is anthologized in The Best American Science Writing series. The question I'm most frequently asked is whether I have formal training in psychology. My stock reply was once: "Only if you count years of psychotherapy." I now tell people simply, and no less honestly, that my lifelong curiosity about human behavior is ample schooling. As to formal schooling, I hold degrees from Vassar College and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism”. What do you all think are the implications of this given that she’s editor-in-chief at a psychology outlet?

Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day: Do Not Forget



I am so grateful that today is Memorial Day and I honor the fallen soldiers and those who actively served in the armed forces. Do you know the history of Memorial Day? I found this on Wikipedia:


Memorial Day is a United States federal holiday observed on the last Monday of May. Formerly known as Decoration Day, it commemorates U.S. Service Members who died while in the military service.[1] First enacted by formerly enslaved African-Americans [2] to honor Union soldiers of the American Civil War – it was extended after World War I to honor Americans who have died in all wars. Memorial Day often marks the start of the summer vacation season, and Labor Day its end. Begun as a ritual of remembrance and reconciliation after the Civil War, by the early 20th century, Memorial Day was an occasion for more general expressions of memory, as ordinary people visited the graves of their deceased relatives, whether they had served in the military or not. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Memorial_Day)


I had no idea that African-Americans first enacted Memorial Day; I clearly need to know my history! I will be reading up on this and looking for other sources to validate this claim (an academic through and through!). Both of my parents served in the Armed Forces and my father served in the Vietnam War. I am eternally grateful to the men and women who have or who are serving in the Armed Forces. Thank you for all that you do and all of the sacrifices that you make every day.

Memorial Day: Do Not Forget



I am so grateful that today is Memorial Day and I honor the fallen soldiers and those who actively served in the armed forces. Do you know the history of Memorial Day? I found this on Wikipedia:


Memorial Day is a United States federal holiday observed on the last Monday of May. Formerly known as Decoration Day, it commemorates U.S. Service Members who died while in the military service.[1] First enacted by formerly enslaved African-Americans [2] to honor Union soldiers of the American Civil War – it was extended after World War I to honor Americans who have died in all wars. Memorial Day often marks the start of the summer vacation season, and Labor Day its end. Begun as a ritual of remembrance and reconciliation after the Civil War, by the early 20th century, Memorial Day was an occasion for more general expressions of memory, as ordinary people visited the graves of their deceased relatives, whether they had served in the military or not. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Memorial_Day)


I had no idea that African-Americans first enacted Memorial Day; I clearly need to know my history! I will be reading up on this and looking for other sources to validate this claim (an academic through and through!). Both of my parents served in the Armed Forces and my father served in the Vietnam War. I am eternally grateful to the men and women who have or who are serving in the Armed Forces. Thank you for all that you do and all of the sacrifices that you make every day.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

How do you withstand negative messages about your beauty?

Over the last week or so, I’ve felt compelled to write about the Internet buzz surrounding racist comments about Black women (see http://tropie7189.blogspot.com/2011/05/objective-beauty-ladies-embrace-your.html) and a fantastic movie by Bill Duke (Duke Media) and D Channsin Berry (Urban Winter Entertainment) called Dark Girls which explores colorism (http://vimeo.com/24155797). These conversations have further illuminated the importance of evaluating how we perceive our beauty and recognizing that the value we affix to hair texture, color, etc. are in part determined by how we think (and sometimes know) others perceive us. So what do you do when there are negative perceptions of you? When people invalidate you? Obviously, I don’t have all of the answers. However, I can say for myself that, as a Christian woman my self-concept has to be tied to who Jesus says I am. When I stray from that, I find myself depressed and worried about the opinions of others, constantly chasing external validation and affirmation. You may not believe in Christ but what do you believe in? What anchors your self-concept? What stable source provides you with guidance to withstand the constant barrage of messages that we are not good enough? Please comment on how you withstand negative messages about your beauty, about your self-worth more generally?


Back when I was a consultant, wearing my hair in locs was empowering and challenging at the same time. I remember a time when I was told that I needed to better reflect the appearance of the client executives who’d engaged our consulting team. Thank God for Jesus (both for anchoring me and preventing me from punching homegirl out)! I was able to say, wait a minute, God made my hair like this, my color like this and God doesn’t make junk! This girl is just straight crazy! Yes, it was still hard to accept that some people don’t think I’m beautiful. However, the more important message that I took away was that I wanted to represent who I am not only for me but for the other people I encountered who were strengthened by my willingness to uncover, reveal and CELEBRATE my natural state.


There are many sites that encourage celebration of natural hair, here are a few: http://www.textureplayground.com/blog/, http://newlynatural.com/blog/,

http://naturalhairgenie.com/2011/05/20/miscellaneous/lets-celebrate-our-natural-hair, http://www.naturallycurly.com/curlreading/kinky-hair-type-4a/fro-fashion-week-celebrates-natural-hair.

How do you withstand negative messages about your beauty?

Over the last week or so, I’ve felt compelled to write about the Internet buzz surrounding racist comments about Black women (see http://tropie7189.blogspot.com/2011/05/objective-beauty-ladies-embrace-your.html) and a fantastic movie by Bill Duke (Duke Media) and D Channsin Berry (Urban Winter Entertainment) called Dark Girls which explores colorism (http://vimeo.com/24155797). These conversations have further illuminated the importance of evaluating how we perceive our beauty and recognizing that the value we affix to hair texture, color, etc. are in part determined by how we think (and sometimes know) others perceive us. So what do you do when there are negative perceptions of you? When people invalidate you? Obviously, I don’t have all of the answers. However, I can say for myself that, as a Christian woman my self-concept has to be tied to who Jesus says I am. When I stray from that, I find myself depressed and worried about the opinions of others, constantly chasing external validation and affirmation. You may not believe in Christ but what do you believe in? What anchors your self-concept? What stable source provides you with guidance to withstand the constant barrage of messages that we are not good enough? Please comment on how you withstand negative messages about your beauty, about your self-worth more generally?


Back when I was a consultant, wearing my hair in locs was empowering and challenging at the same time. I remember a time when I was told that I needed to better reflect the appearance of the client executives who’d engaged our consulting team. Thank God for Jesus (both for anchoring me and preventing me from punching homegirl out)! I was able to say, wait a minute, God made my hair like this, my color like this and God doesn’t make junk! This girl is just straight crazy! Yes, it was still hard to accept that some people don’t think I’m beautiful. However, the more important message that I took away was that I wanted to represent who I am not only for me but for the other people I encountered who were strengthened by my willingness to uncover, reveal and CELEBRATE my natural state.


There are many sites that encourage celebration of natural hair, here are a few: http://www.textureplayground.com/blog/, http://newlynatural.com/blog/,

http://naturalhairgenie.com/2011/05/20/miscellaneous/lets-celebrate-our-natural-hair, http://www.naturallycurly.com/curlreading/kinky-hair-type-4a/fro-fashion-week-celebrates-natural-hair.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Colorism

Image found at: http://uppitynegronetwork.files.wordpress.com/2009/08/light-skinned-vs-dark-skinned-2.jpg?w=300&h=293


Based on your comments, it seems that you all agree that Dark Girls (http://vimeo.com/24155797) is bound to make a big contribution to our ongoing discussion about self-acceptance. My blog primarily focuses on hair and identity but skin color is also a strong identity marker. I love the fact that we are discussing these topics! One thing that was also brought to my attention was the fact that light-skinned Black women also encounter colorism (discrimination based on skin color), being treated as “less Black” in some instances, oftentimes by other Black people. A post from Tamara Harris, one of my high school classmates illustrates this point:


“The Color Game is alive and rearing it's ugly head in full force! As a product of a "blended family" my skintone/hair texture/etc was, and IS, an issue for some people. My family never even discussed color/race as we are all shades from white to brown. No one was any more special than the next. Everything I know of racism I learned from the black community once I left the comforts of home/family. Growing up it was made clear to me by others that I was "different" and they never missed an opportunity to point it out...and make their assumptions based on my shell without getting to know me. Sadly, the only people that felt the need to treat me differently were people of color...my own so-called people. Unfortunately, for some, it never goes away; the giving and receiving of "color hate" (my own term). I was at work not too long ago having a conversation with a coworker (who is brownskin) and another lady we work with walked by and said hello to my coworker (by name to make it clear who the intended was). I mentioned that the lady had NEVER said so much as hello to me. The response: "That's cause you aren't really one of "us"...most people aren't sure what you are." (said with laughter and a smile, of course) But, even at my age, it was hurtful because there was more than a little bit of truth in her statement. Perhaps I'll never fully understand the reason behind the color barrier within the race, but I certainly know what it feels like to be treated differently simply because of the color of your skin.


I also had an Indian woman proclaim that colorism is a HUGE issue in Indian society (see my earlier post where I talk about skin bleaching in India: http://tropie7189.blogspot.com/2011/04/why-talk-about-ethnic-hair.html). I’m sure we all have our theories about what led to colorism amongst African-American people: field Negroes versus house Negroes, economic access, social mobility, education, ability to pass versus inability to pass, etc. I love to dig into history to understand the present. However, I am keenly interested in how we can overcome these issues. What do you think? Will we ever be able to overcome colorism and discrimination based on hair texture?

Colorism

Image found at: http://uppitynegronetwork.files.wordpress.com/2009/08/light-skinned-vs-dark-skinned-2.jpg?w=300&h=293


Based on your comments, it seems that you all agree that Dark Girls (http://vimeo.com/24155797) is bound to make a big contribution to our ongoing discussion about self-acceptance. My blog primarily focuses on hair and identity but skin color is also a strong identity marker. I love the fact that we are discussing these topics! One thing that was also brought to my attention was the fact that light-skinned Black women also encounter colorism (discrimination based on skin color), being treated as “less Black” in some instances, oftentimes by other Black people. A post from Tamara Harris, one of my high school classmates illustrates this point:


“The Color Game is alive and rearing it's ugly head in full force! As a product of a "blended family" my skintone/hair texture/etc was, and IS, an issue for some people. My family never even discussed color/race as we are all shades from white to brown. No one was any more special than the next. Everything I know of racism I learned from the black community once I left the comforts of home/family. Growing up it was made clear to me by others that I was "different" and they never missed an opportunity to point it out...and make their assumptions based on my shell without getting to know me. Sadly, the only people that felt the need to treat me differently were people of color...my own so-called people. Unfortunately, for some, it never goes away; the giving and receiving of "color hate" (my own term). I was at work not too long ago having a conversation with a coworker (who is brownskin) and another lady we work with walked by and said hello to my coworker (by name to make it clear who the intended was). I mentioned that the lady had NEVER said so much as hello to me. The response: "That's cause you aren't really one of "us"...most people aren't sure what you are." (said with laughter and a smile, of course) But, even at my age, it was hurtful because there was more than a little bit of truth in her statement. Perhaps I'll never fully understand the reason behind the color barrier within the race, but I certainly know what it feels like to be treated differently simply because of the color of your skin.


I also had an Indian woman proclaim that colorism is a HUGE issue in Indian society (see my earlier post where I talk about skin bleaching in India: http://tropie7189.blogspot.com/2011/04/why-talk-about-ethnic-hair.html). I’m sure we all have our theories about what led to colorism amongst African-American people: field Negroes versus house Negroes, economic access, social mobility, education, ability to pass versus inability to pass, etc. I love to dig into history to understand the present. However, I am keenly interested in how we can overcome these issues. What do you think? Will we ever be able to overcome colorism and discrimination based on hair texture?

Friday, May 27, 2011

Please Watch! DARK GIRLS documentary preview


One of the things I love about technology is that it enables us to learn about amazing things going on in the world. I recently watched a preview of the documentary “Dark Girls” and it looks like a phenomenal film (http://vimeo.com/24155797). The film delves into the pain associated with being a dark-skinned Black woman in the United States and also touches upon other ethnicity markers like hair texture. In addition, the Vimeo site says that the film will explore skin color bias more generally. Bravo to Bill Duke (Duke Media) and D Channsin Berry (Urban Winter Entertainment) for directing and producing what will surely be an important contribution to our ongoing discussion about how we can embrace our full identities as people of color. More broadly, the film may speak to the need for all people to accept their authentic selves. Any ideas on how to get the word out about this film? Also, to the men out there: does skin color bias affect you? How? We often talk about this from a woman's perspective but I bet you all have some stories to share as well. Please chime in. :)


My blog tends to talk about my personal experiences so there has been quite a bit written about how my identity as a Black woman affects me. However, many of you from other ethnic backgrounds have confided in me that you too face challenges when it comes to hair, appearance, acceptance of self and concerns about how others perceive you. Please share your stories, I think they may help others.

Please Watch! DARK GIRLS documentary preview


One of the things I love about technology is that it enables us to learn about amazing things going on in the world. I recently watched a preview of the documentary “Dark Girls” and it looks like a phenomenal film (http://vimeo.com/24155797). The film delves into the pain associated with being a dark-skinned Black woman in the United States and also touches upon other ethnicity markers like hair texture. In addition, the Vimeo site says that the film will explore skin color bias more generally. Bravo to Bill Duke (Duke Media) and D Channsin Berry (Urban Winter Entertainment) for directing and producing what will surely be an important contribution to our ongoing discussion about how we can embrace our full identities as people of color. More broadly, the film may speak to the need for all people to accept their authentic selves. Any ideas on how to get the word out about this film? Also, to the men out there: does skin color bias affect you? How? We often talk about this from a woman's perspective but I bet you all have some stories to share as well. Please chime in. :)


My blog tends to talk about my personal experiences so there has been quite a bit written about how my identity as a Black woman affects me. However, many of you from other ethnic backgrounds have confided in me that you too face challenges when it comes to hair, appearance, acceptance of self and concerns about how others perceive you. Please share your stories, I think they may help others.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

If You're Dead, Hair Doesn't Matter: How Can We Exercise and Still Look Fly?

Image found at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/58555480@N05/5374157219/ by RachelJBenson


Want to know a crazy way that hair has affected my life? How much and what type of exercise I do! This probably sounds all too familiar to some and may sound ridiculous to others. But, I’m not the only one who has faced this. Check out this great news video that explains the issue: http://perfectly-pretty.com/2010/04/22/unique-perspectivehow-womans-hair-effects-womans-health/.[1]


Let’s look a bit deeper. Sweat, comprised of water and salts, causes the hair to get wet and look dull. Further, for people with naturally curly hair, the wetness can cause relaxed hairstyles to droop (ugh, I used to hate it when I sweated out a newly crafted coif) or natural hair to look “nappy around the edges”. This might sound like vanity but it’s also a practical challenge. Many people think that kinky, coily hair is rough; however, the hair is actually quite fragile and must be treated with specific care. For example, washing kinky, coily hair everyday is often a no no because this would strip the hair of natural moistures and potentially lead to breakage. Not to mention, that could take HOURS and I am just too busy to spend hours on my hair every single day.


So, what to do? Keep our hair looking slamming but pack on the pounds? Or, be fitness mavens but have jacked up hair? Thank goodness there are healthy alternatives! I’d definitely say that women need to take exercise seriously. Perhaps we can personally mandate a minimum amount of exercise per week and figure out how to take care of our hair as a secondary thought. We are creative people. If we say, “I am GOING to exercise. Hmm, how can I keep my hair nice?” we will have much more positive outcomes than if we say, “Oh no, I’m not messing up my hair so no exercise for me”. In other words, the way we mentally frame hair and exercise will influence our attitudes about exercise. To put it bluntly, it doesn’t matter how your hair looks if you’re dead.

Here are a few resources to help take care of your hair and exercise (I’ve included information for people with natural and chemically altered hair): http://curlychic.com/excersise-hair-care-tip-how-to-protect-your-curly-hair-while-you-workout/; http://thefitnessgoddess.blogspot.com/2008/08/hair-products-for-black-women-that.html; http://www.curlynikki.com/2011/02/exercise-routines-and-natural-hair.html; http://www.ehow.com/how_5177077_maintain-exercise-african-american-women.html; http://blacknaturalhaircare.net/tag/exercise/; http://chocolateorchid.blogspot.com/2009/12/hair-exercise-sweat.html.


I still haven’t figured out how to manage my hair and go swimming. I’ll talk more about that later. If you have suggestions about hair care and swimming, or exercise in general, please post a comment. Thanks!


[1] The anchor woman got a straw set though she normally wears a straight relaxed style. I love how she asked, “Does one (style) seem professional and acceptable and other not?” It was also interesting that she said, “If you don’t insist that I remove it, I’ll keep it”. I guess anchor people’s appearance is that controlled by the audience?

If You're Dead, Hair Doesn't Matter: How Can We Exercise and Still Look Fly?

Image found at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/58555480@N05/5374157219/ by RachelJBenson


Want to know a crazy way that hair has affected my life? How much and what type of exercise I do! This probably sounds all too familiar to some and may sound ridiculous to others. But, I’m not the only one who has faced this. Check out this great news video that explains the issue: http://perfectly-pretty.com/2010/04/22/unique-perspectivehow-womans-hair-effects-womans-health/.[1]


Let’s look a bit deeper. Sweat, comprised of water and salts, causes the hair to get wet and look dull. Further, for people with naturally curly hair, the wetness can cause relaxed hairstyles to droop (ugh, I used to hate it when I sweated out a newly crafted coif) or natural hair to look “nappy around the edges”. This might sound like vanity but it’s also a practical challenge. Many people think that kinky, coily hair is rough; however, the hair is actually quite fragile and must be treated with specific care. For example, washing kinky, coily hair everyday is often a no no because this would strip the hair of natural moistures and potentially lead to breakage. Not to mention, that could take HOURS and I am just too busy to spend hours on my hair every single day.


So, what to do? Keep our hair looking slamming but pack on the pounds? Or, be fitness mavens but have jacked up hair? Thank goodness there are healthy alternatives! I’d definitely say that women need to take exercise seriously. Perhaps we can personally mandate a minimum amount of exercise per week and figure out how to take care of our hair as a secondary thought. We are creative people. If we say, “I am GOING to exercise. Hmm, how can I keep my hair nice?” we will have much more positive outcomes than if we say, “Oh no, I’m not messing up my hair so no exercise for me”. In other words, the way we mentally frame hair and exercise will influence our attitudes about exercise. To put it bluntly, it doesn’t matter how your hair looks if you’re dead.

Here are a few resources to help take care of your hair and exercise (I’ve included information for people with natural and chemically altered hair): http://curlychic.com/excersise-hair-care-tip-how-to-protect-your-curly-hair-while-you-workout/; http://thefitnessgoddess.blogspot.com/2008/08/hair-products-for-black-women-that.html; http://www.curlynikki.com/2011/02/exercise-routines-and-natural-hair.html; http://www.ehow.com/how_5177077_maintain-exercise-african-american-women.html; http://blacknaturalhaircare.net/tag/exercise/; http://chocolateorchid.blogspot.com/2009/12/hair-exercise-sweat.html.


I still haven’t figured out how to manage my hair and go swimming. I’ll talk more about that later. If you have suggestions about hair care and swimming, or exercise in general, please post a comment. Thanks!


[1] The anchor woman got a straw set though she normally wears a straight relaxed style. I love how she asked, “Does one (style) seem professional and acceptable and other not?” It was also interesting that she said, “If you don’t insist that I remove it, I’ll keep it”. I guess anchor people’s appearance is that controlled by the audience?

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Half a trillion!!! Breaking the bank for hair care.

Piggy bank image by RambergMediaImages


I was perusing FaceBook and went onto the page for Nappturality (if you haven’t already, please check it out: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Nappturality/120615415653). On the page, I came across an article entitled “What spending a half a trillion dollars on hair weaves says about us” (http://atlantapost.com/2011/05/11/what-spending-a-half-a-trillion-dollars-on-hair-care-and-weaves-says-about-us/4/). My mouth fell open. Wait, half a trillion?!! You mean to tell me that the US deficit is around $14 trillion and we spent half a trillion on our HAIR in 2009?! Are you kidding me? Okay, I don’t know about you but I need to do some research because this cannot be right. Can it? I’ve been blogging about hair and identity for just over a month now and I’ve come across many interesting facts and opinions. However, half a trillion dollars on hair care and weaves threw me for a loop. Perhaps it’s because half a trillion dollars is an amount of money that can impact economies. Just to put it into perspective, here are other things valued around half a trillion dollars:


1. The cost of the 10+ year pursuit of Osama Bin Laden (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703859304576306942627633336.html)

2. Potential government cuts to Medicare to help balance the budget (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dave-johnson/half-a-trillion-in-cuts-t_b_809577.html)

3. The amount of pension deficits faced by big US cities (http://www.cnbc.com/id/39626759/US_Cities_Face_Half_a_Trillion_Dollars_of_Pension_Deficits)

4. Revenues generated by Asian-Owned businesses (http://blogs.census.gov/censusblog/2011/04/asian-owned-businesses-bring-in-half-a-trillion-in-revenues-.html)


Imagine if we put a portion of that money towards things like…education, job training. Alright, I need to go think about this. What do you all think? What does this mean? Are we just spending like everyone else or is there something deeper going on here? If you think we’re spending too much, how might we go about reducing our expenditures? Well, glad you asked. Here are a few websites that talk specifically about how to save money on hair care:

http://blackhair.about.com/od/products/tp/savemoneyonhaircare.htm; http://budgetstyle.about.com/od/haircare/tp/save_money_on_hair_care.htm; http://www.naturallycurly.com/curlreading/home/how-to-save-money-on-hair-care-products; http://madamenoire.com/34069/how-to-save-money-on-haircare/; http://www.examiner.com/natural-hair-in-columbus/budget-friendly-hair-care.


What are some of the unique things you’ve done to save money on hair care?


Half a trillion!!! Breaking the bank for hair care.

Piggy bank image by RambergMediaImages


I was perusing FaceBook and went onto the page for Nappturality (if you haven’t already, please check it out: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Nappturality/120615415653). On the page, I came across an article entitled “What spending a half a trillion dollars on hair weaves says about us” (http://atlantapost.com/2011/05/11/what-spending-a-half-a-trillion-dollars-on-hair-care-and-weaves-says-about-us/4/). My mouth fell open. Wait, half a trillion?!! You mean to tell me that the US deficit is around $14 trillion and we spent half a trillion on our HAIR in 2009?! Are you kidding me? Okay, I don’t know about you but I need to do some research because this cannot be right. Can it? I’ve been blogging about hair and identity for just over a month now and I’ve come across many interesting facts and opinions. However, half a trillion dollars on hair care and weaves threw me for a loop. Perhaps it’s because half a trillion dollars is an amount of money that can impact economies. Just to put it into perspective, here are other things valued around half a trillion dollars:


1. The cost of the 10+ year pursuit of Osama Bin Laden (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703859304576306942627633336.html)

2. Potential government cuts to Medicare to help balance the budget (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dave-johnson/half-a-trillion-in-cuts-t_b_809577.html)

3. The amount of pension deficits faced by big US cities (http://www.cnbc.com/id/39626759/US_Cities_Face_Half_a_Trillion_Dollars_of_Pension_Deficits)

4. Revenues generated by Asian-Owned businesses (http://blogs.census.gov/censusblog/2011/04/asian-owned-businesses-bring-in-half-a-trillion-in-revenues-.html)


Imagine if we put a portion of that money towards things like…education, job training. Alright, I need to go think about this. What do you all think? What does this mean? Are we just spending like everyone else or is there something deeper going on here? If you think we’re spending too much, how might we go about reducing our expenditures? Well, glad you asked. Here are a few websites that talk specifically about how to save money on hair care:

http://blackhair.about.com/od/products/tp/savemoneyonhaircare.htm; http://budgetstyle.about.com/od/haircare/tp/save_money_on_hair_care.htm; http://www.naturallycurly.com/curlreading/home/how-to-save-money-on-hair-care-products; http://madamenoire.com/34069/how-to-save-money-on-haircare/; http://www.examiner.com/natural-hair-in-columbus/budget-friendly-hair-care.


What are some of the unique things you’ve done to save money on hair care?


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Solange Knowles: Natural Hair and Beauty

Image found at: http://www1.essence.com/dyn/asset.image/qs_fashion/hair_products/solange-knowles-hair-changes-main.jpg

Once I began to loc my hair, I realized that my sense of personal beauty was changing. Locs are relatively permanent and I was adjusting to the fact that, at the moment, I felt a bit like a porcupine with my coils arrayed around my head like a kinky halo. At the same time, I felt liberated by my new crown. As I watched Solange Knowles pay tribute to her sister, Beyonce, during the 2011 Billboard Awards, I was reminded of my own personal hair transition. For those who don’t know, Solange did the big chop a year or so ago because according to her own words, “I just wanted to be free from the bondage that Black women put on themselves with hair. This phase of my life I want to spend the time, the energy and money on something else, not in the hair salon.” When she was on Oprah in late 2009 (during the Chris Rock “Good Hair” episode ), she added that she spent approximately $40,000 to $50,000 per year and probably half of her life in the salon. She also commented that when she took out her weave she didn’t feel as pretty or as noticeable (see video: http://www.oprah.com/oprahshow/Solange-Knowles-Hair-Video).


During the 2011 Billboard Awards I thought about how it must feel to be an entertainer and have the public comment on something as personal as your hair. I cannot imagine the pressure. I mean, I used to get upset when my family talked about my naps, I can’t imagine my hair being a trending Twitter topic which is what happened when Solange first cut off her hair. I also cannot imagine how it would feel to be constantly compared to Beyonce as Solange, the younger of the two, strives to create her own identity and space in this world. During her Oprah appearance, Solange added that she may very well go back to long hair weaves because, and I agree, women have the right to choose to wear their hair however they would like. However, I felt a strange sense of pride as I watched Solange. At least from the outside, it appears that she is a courageous young woman who dares to walk less charted paths, at least for now. Whether or not we like it, Solange’s presence in the media impacts the public. I’m hoping that when little children (heck grown folks) see her, they realize that beauty is a multi-dimensional, multicultural construct. I think that would be a good thing.

Solange Knowles: Natural Hair and Beauty

Once I began to loc my hair, I realized that my sense of personal beauty was changing. Locs are relatively permanent and I was adjusting to the fact that, at the moment, I felt a bit like a porcupine with my coils arrayed around my head like a kinky halo. At the same time, I felt liberated by my new crown. As I watched Solange Knowles pay tribute to her sister, Beyonce, during the 2011 Billboard Awards, I was reminded of my own personal hair transition. For those who don’t know, Solange did the big chop a year or so ago because according to her own words, “I just wanted to be free from the bondage that Black women put on themselves with hair. This phase of my life I want to spend the time, the energy and money on something else, not in the hair salon.” When she was on Oprah in late 2009 (during the Chris Rock “Good Hair” episode ), she added that she spent approximately $40,000 to $50,000 per year and probably half of her life in the salon. She also commented that when she took out her weave she didn’t feel as pretty or as noticeable (see video: http://www.oprah.com/oprahshow/Solange-Knowles-Hair-Video).


During the 2011 Billboard Awards I thought about how it must feel to be an entertainer and have the public comment on something as personal as your hair. I cannot imagine the pressure. I mean, I used to get upset when my family talked about my naps, I can’t imagine my hair being a trending Twitter topic which is what happened when Solange first cut off her hair. I also cannot imagine how it would feel to be constantly compared to Beyonce as Solange, the younger of the two, strives to create her own identity and space in this world. During her Oprah appearance, Solange added that she may very well go back to long hair weaves because, and I agree, women have the right to choose to wear their hair however they would like. However, I felt a strange sense of pride as I watched Solange. At least from the outside, it appears that she is a courageous young woman who dares to walk less charted paths, at least for now. Whether or not we like it, Solange’s presence in the media impacts the public. I’m hoping that when little children (heck grown folks) see her, they realize that beauty is a multi-dimensional, multicultural construct. I think that would be a good thing.



Image found at: http://www1.essence.com/dyn/asset.image/qs_fashion/hair_products/solange-knowles-hair-changes-main.jpg