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  1. #31
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    ^ Agreed, historical cultural norms dictated that kinky hair is braided in twists, braids or cornrows, nothing 'natural' about it.

    If you (masoesa) lived on a dessert island and never saw a braid, twist or cornrow in your life then your cultural aesthetics might be totally different and you would not be arguing braids, twist and cornrows are natural because you would have no idea what they were.
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    Join date March 2004
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  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alecto View Post
    Just because certain kinds of hair take to certain styles more easily, it does not mean that they are not cultural. There is no such thing as a natural hairstyle. That hair even has to be styled is cultural. That you call these styles names at all like braids or cornrows is cultural. Braiding hair is a convenient thing to do and pig tails and three braids on a kid's head look childish, which is also cultural. People do what other people like them do.

    Hair is a neutral tabula rasa and people then decide it must have some kind of collective meaning that is part of tying together a community. The stuff grows outchya head how it will; what you decide to do to it afterwards is biased in some way away from the neutral thing it started as. That this hair grows out differently for different races does not make the styles inherent to the hair. It just means you found something it's good at doing. Kinky hair- easier to cornrow. straight hair- easier to...ponytail I guess?


    Also, I've seen black kids with their hair out before. They exist. There's a leap in logic from "black kids wear braids all the time (supposedly)" to "therefore, braids are natural". Genetically different or not, it does not mean that the styles you pick are natural. Only that you found something for your hair to do.

    Also, there are many, many variations and changes in how black people have worn and do wear their hair all over the world. There's a thread on African women inspirations and there's many photos from pre-colonial West Africa. They are not all braids and many of those styles are ones that people would not think of today anywhere. The hair culture has changed. That these differences exist proves that the styles must be cultural. If they were natural, they'd all be the same from then til now. Culture fluctuates more than genetics. Yes, there were also braids and cornrows, but there are also other styles that look quite different from what you see people doing today in N. America, UK, or current West Africa; and then there are differences among groups of people there, too, like rural and urban women.

    Norms exist in all cultures that have a homogenizing effect, so you see replication of the same hairstyles, foods, clothing, language, art, beliefs. They are all cultural and so are the colonial impositions that change these things. Colonialism can't change genetics, but it can change culture.

    Most black women straightening hair is like the commonality of braiding with black people only in that it is culture that drives people to do these things (whether it's a part of your culture that has survived colonialism or been changed by it).
    I agree 100% with all of this. Definitely cultural.

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by masoesa View Post
    It is impossible to maintain African hairstyles without braids. Braids are natural hairstyles.
    My hair hasn't been braided in any way for about three years and I am maintaining it without difficulty. Where do you get the idea that braids are mandatory for maintenance of Afro-textured hair?

    Quote Originally Posted by masoesa View Post
    When kids grow up white ones wear piggy tails, two or one braid. Black kids wear many but no black kids will wear their hair out.
    I wore my hair out for church and special occasions as a child. My hair ordinarily stayed in two big ponytails (big puffy twists, not braids, by the way) because it was easier, not because my hair was genetically programmed to self-destruct if it wasn't braided. Where do you come by the certainty that "no black kids will wear their hair out"?

    Quote Originally Posted by masoesa View Post
    Here is my problem with the dress code of six flags, privately owned or not: the hair etiquette is based on a norm that doesn't match our strands genetically. You can't expect an employee to straighten their hair. That would be like saying you have to bleach your skin.
    I don't think you can make the case that braids or cornrows are a physical necessity for Black people. But I agree with StraightNoChaser's comment:

    The problem is when the dominant culture feels that expressions of our culture are unacceptable.
    This is a much sounder foundation for opposing the policy, in my opinion.
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  4. #34
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    well shunammite, you're obviously not black neither culturally nor naturally

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by GalaxyGirl2012 View Post
    well shunammite, you're obviously not black neither culturally nor naturally
    See, that's why I need my user name corrected ASAP! Folks revoking my black card and everything!
    Challenge Yourself.
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  6. #36
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    On another note, I get the biblical Shunnamite reference. I thought about naming my child "Shuna."
    la vida es un carnaval.

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