On Saturday 6/29/13 I attended the “Natural Hair Stars” event. It started off well, with me meeting a high-school friend that I have not seen in years. We greeted each other with smiles and updated each other about life after high-school. I asked her if she wanted to take a picture with me on the red-carpet, she seemed shy of the camera, but said yes. We stood before the red carpet getting a feel for what we needed to do to get a picture. Then a woman in a white summer dress looked at me and then my friend, she pointed to my friend to come up for a picture, and when I followed told me no. Although the initial rejection was enough to make everyone uncomfortable, I have to admit, at the time I understood that the entertainment business can be all about looks.
For “Natural Hair Stars” event hosted by Nickie Robinson of “Good Girl PR,” I guess the “look” included everything and anything besides straight. My semi straight hair is going through a transitional stage that consists of part perm and part new growth, that night I wore tight curls with a swooping straight bang. I doubt that anyone including Nickie Robinson, (the lady in white) or her staff could really tell if I had a perm or if my hair was straighten with a flat-iron. That did not matter, what did matter is that they preferred my friend who sported her natural look in a short twist, similar to other woman who took to the red-carpet wearing twist, braids, and wavy to kinky afros.
After my friend reluctantly posed for a picture, the staff explained their decision not to include me was because the pictures were for “Essence.com.” My friend looked at me and said “I don’t know what they are talking about, you have natural hair!” “Well, I have a perm,” I said. She stared at me, “you don’t have a weave or a wig, that’s your natural hair; if I blow out my hair it would look just like yours,” she said.
That night I went home wondering about natural hair, what does natural hair look like? Let’s talk about it.