Now, I don't like to get into discussions like this but I just had to add my own 2kobo. I never knew that natural Nigerian women went round putting down relaxed ladies. I've always thought it was the other way round:) I have visited blogs where natural hair ladies were made fun of, but typical to my nature, I moved on and said nothing. Why? Because that is the most pointless discussion to have. Negative energy is a no-no for me. I feel that everyone has a right to make choices and if these choices are good or not, that really is your buisness. After all we ARE the choices that we make.
Abeg excuse me to make excuses for my natural sisters, o! (o, said with an Igbo accent)
If you walk the streets, or if you have ever been in a female hostel in Nigeria, then you might understand why some Naturals beat down the urge to ignore your right to make a choice and voice their opinions. I once knew a lady who had no hair but a little patch in the center of her head. Although I cringed every time I saw her go to the salon with a box of an expensive relaxer kit, I never said a word. Not until the day she asked me what I was doing to grow out my hair. I told her to quit perming and she asked if I wanted her to look like a bush girl ^_^...pehee...hee..hee..girl, you've got nothing already so why not try something new.
Anyways, going natural has created a sort of awareness that most of us never used to have. I think that relaxed ladies who have been attacked by Naturals should please excuse them. But hey, sometimes when we find something new, we like to spread the love. Take for instance you find a new store that sells clothes at an affordable price, you don't keep it to yourself, you call your friends and revisit. Like wise natural hair, we love it, it grows, and we like to share our secrets with friends who have struggled with their manes. The problem, however, is how we share this information. Nothing encourages people more than positive words. (Naturals, please remember that)
Having said this, I'll like to comment on some of the comments I have read or heard. Many say natural ladies think they are all that... it's just hair jare...make dem go rest. Oh well, if you think you are strong, and you really think you have liver; cut off your hair and wear it in its natural state. See if you can stand the negative comments or someone singing a song from the 70's by your side and smiling to see if you'll react. See if you can tolerate strangers advising you to relax your hair or someone asking you to pick a relaxer "don't worry I'll pay" - while you are in a store minding your own business oh. See if you like it when people tell you that you look like a witch (remember Chizor's experience) or that you look like a house help (I get that all the time and I don't want to repeat what my answer to that question is).If you can face all these and still keep your cool, then you are the best!
While I agree with the fact that everyone has a right to their choices and we should try not give free advice, I can't help but worry that beneath the surface, most of us would rather be light skinned, straight haired and rope thin, before we are truly happy. Little do we know that our beliefs go down to our little sisters and children. A girl in my school started bleaching before we graduated and she was almost detergent white before we chopped liver and planned an intervention. But the act of kindness' froze' when a close friend told us that her mother also used bleaching creams....oh boy, we dumped the intervention idea sharp-sharp...that one na higher level. I have heard people say things like: "that girl for fine o...she just too black" "men...that girl resemble midnight" "have you tried toning...your color go fine like ***". And the scariest so far; "I'm going away to a spa where they do acid baths...when I get back you won't recognize me oh....I go fine like *** star on t.v" Yes, you can only imagine what was on my mind when my classmate told me she was going for an acid bath. Seriously, who knowingly goes for an acid bath?!! I was so close to shaking her head to find out if she had a nail in the place of a brain.
I also got worried when a lady I was having a conversation with told me that she would not stop relaxing her hair even if there was proof that the harsh chemicals would affect her unborn baby 0_o...hm!
If you are relaxed, love you and do you and if you are natural, love you and please remember that people can do what they want. In this so called 'hair' discussions, be as friendly and positive as possible. Don't fight, be aggressive, or talk down to people. Like the owner of African women with natural hair said, "let your mane speak for itself". Encourage others and keep on developing yourself but please make allowances for others. (This advice goes to me too *_0)
Finally, I'll like Nigerian women to look for better battles to fight for e.g child and women trafficking (don't tell me that you are sending him/her to school, she is still a child and you are an employer of child labor)or the almajerai wahala in the north. Team relaxed and team natural is the most boring fight to follow up on.
Thanks NITC team for including everyone in your meetups!!
Meanwhile, can someone please explain to me why I so love Waconzy's I celebrate...youtube play button don suffer for my clicks:)
Any Igbo people visiting DBK? Please, give us translations. Thanks!