Tag Archives: good hair

Dispatches from Nappyville: What is “good hair,” anyway?

By Guest Contributor Tami, originally published at What Tami Said

With the premiere of Chris Rock’s documentary “Good Hair” everyone is talking about black women’s tresses–about our quest for “good hair.” What exactly is “good hair,” anyway? I suspect that, until now, many white Americans have not heard hair described in quite these terms. But blacks folks know all too well.

We live in a society where beauty is governed by Eurocentric standards that say the most attractive tresses for women are straight, long, shiny, fine and preferably light in color. To be sure, many, many women of all races fall short of this standard, but none so much as women of African descent, whose crowning glory tends to be, in many ways, the opposite of what is considered beautiful. It would be easier if, despite living in a majority culture different form our own, the black community as a whole was able to embrace the qualities most often associated with our hair, which tends to be highly-textured. But let’s face it: We do not, thanks in part to the legacy of slavery and continued racism. Continue reading