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  1. #1
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    Default Never knew going natural was so looked down on. Is it geographical?

    I hope this post isn't redundant, but I just wanted to share a few comments and ask a few things that I'm not sure have a place in the other threads.

    I am new to Napturality, and transitioning. I have been for about 7 months, but only relaxed once in 2011 prior to August. Being new to this community means a lot to me. It means being able to communicate and share with people who are going through something I am experiencing. This is special to be because I don't have many black friends. I defnitely don't have any that are close friends. The black women I do know on a social level relax their hair. So this is really the only place I have where I can talk to people about my hair and other hair related/black women experiences. Because, honestly, my white, mexican, etc friends just don't GET IT.

    But anyway, the point of this thread: Until joining Napturality, I didn't realize that going natural was SUCH a big deal. I've read so many horror stories that people have had with doing a BC or just letting their hair grow out. Negative reactions from family, friends, boyfriends, etc. I've always known that going natural was a difficult decision for many, and sometimes even looked down upon, but I never realized it could get as bad as it has for so many of the women on this board.

    I think part of my naivity can be attributed to the fact that my parents are from Zimbabwe. I've had natural hair for most of my life with some relaxing in between, mostly in my late teens to early 20s (I am 25 now). My mom has always had natural hair. She's never relaxed it in her life, so it's always been normal to me. The black women I do know well in my life are also straight from Zimbabwe, and most of them also have natural hair. Not to say that Africans don't relax their hair, because I know some that do. But I think there is probably less pressure to conform to that standard of beauty when you are raised in a culture that accepts and praises the characteristics of African lineage.

    So my question is: do you ladies think that the negative reactions to going natural is a mostly geographical phenomenon? Is it possible to say that the reactions that so many people have to their daughter or girlfriend going natural primarily comes from a domination by American (and sometimes European) culture?

    And lastly, I am genuinely sad (and outraged) that so many of you have been cast down because of your choice to be WHO YOU ARE and accept the things that you were born with. It's a sad world when such a large part of a culture/ethnicity believes that characteristics they were born with are ugly or not good enough. I hope everyone who is struggling finds the strength and inspiration to continue with their journey.

  2. #2
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    i recently moved to the west coast and i see very few non weaved women here in CA, let alone napptural ones.

    i came from the east coast where we rolled 1000 afros deep
    so yeah, i think geography will play a part

  3. #3
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    Yeah its geographical. I did not know going natural was a 'bad thing' for black women until I joined this site. I'm in the UK. After 8 years as a NP member reading the drama that some woman have still makes me sad and angry on their behalf.
    Considering this attitude seems to be the default in the black commnunity in the USA still amazes me (or maybe its only certain parts of the USA?).
    http://public.fotki.com/Lockyladyden

    Join date March 2004
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  4. #4
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    I also grew up in the UK. When I discovered NP, I was stunned at how big a deal it was to 'go natural', for AAs. I only came across relaxed hair once in my childhood. Yes I was fasinated that this could be done with a cream, but that was it.

    DeBe

  5. #5
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    I think it's a mixture of many things. Mainly the culture. In the two years I've been nappy all of the Africans I have met have treated nappy hair with disdain. For me it's not about Africans as a whole. The ones I have dealt with are from Nigeria, Ghana, and Eritria (I believe I spelled that wrong). The small percent I have met pretty much set the standard.
    Last hit of creamy crack: 11/24/09
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    Staples: Shealoe, EVOO, CO, Jojoba oil, HE HH, Avg

  6. #6
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    I think it is geographical in some instances. For example, I grew up in the South and there was always that "good/bad hair thing" that I believe stemmed from slavery. At the same time, I could go to Atlanta, GA,(clearly in the South) and see the most GORGEOUS naturals. I've always felt that the more metropolitan areas embraced diversity more in GENERAL, so it was nothing for people to wear locs, fros, etc in those areas. I currently live in WA, and at first I did not see many naturals in the areas where I lived. There weren't very many Blacks and the few (women) that I DID come into contact with for the most part wore relaxers. However, if I go to Seattle I see locs, dreds, fros, twists, etc. Once again, a more metropolitan area that where I live. So, even in America, I think geography plays a HUGE part.

    I cosign with the OP that it is sad that our natural features have been put down for so long. However, I believe that NP is one site that is helping people get past that and I thank GOD for it!
    Visit my blog: fragilehaircare-gilroygal.blogspot.com
    I share about my natural hair happenings, lessons, and experiences.

  7. #7
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    Since moving back to the states and living down south (Florida) i am surrounded by naturals. Or maybe they are the only ones that draw my attention (lol). I have noticed that a huge number of women in my church are natural now, it is so comforting.

    I think naturals are making a come up all over the united states.

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  9. #8
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    Yes it is geographical, very much so. That is why becoming a natural is a big deal and journey to alot of black women based on life experience.
    Mango Smoothie...try one.

  10. #9
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    I'm from Ghana. Been natural most of my life except a 4 yr stint in high school/college. I've been back n forth to Ghana, vacationed/lived around the world including several other African countries, live in the US currently and no-one has been nasty to me regarding my hair. One time in Ghana I wore these huge fuzzy twists which in my mind were well past their presentable state but I got so many compliments (and questions re: how I did it) from strangers on the street. Now, the elders may not have liked it, but I would be projecting my opinion of their opinion as no-one has said anything negative to me.....except my mom in the very early days who wanted me to look "professional". Even in Ethiopia, I had several women up in my hair (I went to the salon for pampering) talking about how beautiful it was. It's been many years since I went to an African hair braiding salon in the US and though they are a bit "huffy" compared to the braids back home, I assume it's because for them here time = money and my hair takes more time than what their effort is (I request no extensions). Another time in Ghana I wore a threaded hairstyle which is very strange because women my age/my class do not wear threaded hairstyles out and about, but I could see people were surprised but in a "wow, I didn't know that could still look nice" way.

    I honestly cannot say one geographic area vs another or one group of people vs another have been disdainful. The only difference I can note is how many other naturals are around me but it really makes no difference for me. I'm way past thinking of what others think of me or wanting to be similar to others.

  11. #10
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    Welcome Pammie. Yeah, it's hard for people who weren't born with this texture to get it!

    Great question about the location. I think it's both, culture and location. I grew up in Suriname but never realized this either. When I started to go natural living in Holland, this too was an eyeopener for me. Although no one ever made bad remarks about my hair, I could sense it. People would come up with advice on how to relax my hair so it wouldn't break. Unsolicited advice because people felt so embarrassed and bad for me that I had to walk around nappy.

    On the other hand, I have the same experience as MissChelle. Most of the African's I met didn't really care for nappy hair.

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