Bellas, I’ve been thinking a lot about health and fitness, my particular issues, and what I need to do to take better care of myself. And I’ve also been thinking a lot about our community of black girls and women around the world. What are we teaching the generation to come? How are we uplifting ourselves and encouraging each other to be the best we can be?
I might not be articulating any of this coherently right now, but I read an amazing article over at Black Girl’s Guide To Weight Loss (one of my fave fitness blogs, dontcha know) that made me think long and hard about myself and my values, and our priorities as a community.
I’ll let Erika tell it like she sees it:
“Somewhere along the line, too many of us have grown to prioritize something as minor league as our hair over the major league issues, like health. It’s considered unnecessary vanity if I take pride in my abs or my legs (I’m showing off, and deserving of the catty conversation behind my back), but my hair better be on point or… I’m deserving of the catty conversation behind my back. You’re clowned for having “bad hair,” and – not saying you should be clowned for a “bad body” – praised for staying on top of your hair and not having a strand out of place. Hour long conversations can be had about hair products that are healthy for our hair.. “but what’s healthy for our bodies?” Silence.
Maybe I’m just hella skeptical… and I can accept that. But there’s a serious problem with the fact that we can figure out a thousand ways to keep our hair in tip top shape – some of us sitting with mayonnaise, avocado, egg, kool-aid and dill pickle mixtures on our heads because we heard it’ll make it “grow” – but no one’s willing to give healthy living a shot, trying different things to keep our bodies in tip top shape. Something is very wrong when it makes sense to allow something like hair to get in the way of our pursuit of health.”
Excerpted from Black Women, Our Bodies & Perceptions of Beauty: Straight Hair | A Black Girl’s Guide To Weight Loss. Click here to read the whole post.
As a natural haired woman, I don’t share the straight hair concerns anymore for myself. But I am still “allergic to sweat.” I’m not as active or as healthy as I’d like to be. I’m working on being better. And I wonder about us as a community.
It was just reported that black women spend half a TRILLION dollars on haircare and weaves. And in my opinion, that’s crazy stupid money that could be going to improve our communities in more meaningful ways. I found myself coming back to the question asked on Black Girl’s Guide to Weight Loss: “What if you swapped your hair with your body in your list of priorities?”
Those are just my thoughts. What are yours?