One thing I try hard not to be, is judgmental. And when I read the story of Asha Mandala — the Trinidadian born woman who had set her sights on becoming the Guinness World Record holder for the World’s Longest Dreadlocks, I saw nothing but judgment. The Orlando Sentinel article provoked 75 comments, many of which were hateful, racist, and disheartening. Don’t click the link if you want to have a happy day.
When I blogged about Asha Mandala’s marvelous hair on Afrobella, she faced judgment from commenters for a different – more valid reason. In the accompanying YouTube video, Asha made a regrettable statement, attributing her hair growth to — quote-unquote — “good hair.”
Quite a few of you took umbrage with Asha’s statement, and she came right on this here website and addressed it herself. Take it away, Asha!
“Greetings my sisters and brothers. I stand humbled at all replies and comments both positive and negative towards my locks from the “Guinness World Record Attempt” story..
I am pleased that so many people like my locks and the story….however i do want to apologize for the comment that was made about (mixed culture) helping me grow good curly hair. I meant no harm or disrespect to anyone’s hair texture and the comment/reference was taken out of context.
All hair types will lock up…some takes longer than some and others grow to a certain length and stops. Based on my own hair experience and observation on hair in general i realized that there is a bit of a difference with extra kinky hair as to softer curly hair within the Afrikan/Afrikan American culture and so the comment was made to explain what i felt contributed to my own personal hair growth. It was never meant to disrespect or upset anyone.
I have won the record and i am very grateful to have made it this far. I pray that my apology is accepted as i continuously stand in support to all my brothers and sisters…all afrobellas..
I was really happy to hear from Asha, and I’m glad she addressed the issue. The truth is, terms like “good” and “bad” hair should be completely done away with. And the people who still say those things should consider – who defines what’s good or bad? Why would anyone label the hair that grows out of your head, that you were meant to have, as “bad?”
To me, the only definition of “good hair,” should be hair that is strong and healthy.
I love the sentiment of this Zazzle teeshirt — I got good hair. I got African in my family.
What say you, bellas?
Asha, thanks again for addressing the issue for Afrobella readers. And congratulations on achieving your goal!