Up until this week I was part of a group on Facebook called W.A.N.G (lol) women against unnecessary grooming (obviously the acronym is not quite right but it’s much more hilarious that way)
I support the premise that women should not feel the need to have to remove all of the hair from their bodies to fulfill some sort of modern fashion trend.
I also enjoy all of the pictures of people dyeing their armpit hair bright colours.
I did feel a bit of a fraud being part of the group as I do in fact choose to remove my body hair. I have tried to grow it back but I never get past a week before I am horrified at the vast amount of dark hair that my body is capable of creating and I reach for the razor.
Never the less I wanted to support the idea and show solidarity with the ladies who did want to be hairy if they felt like it.
This week I was incensed by a post on the group. It was saying that people of colour couldn’t be part of the group because quite a few of the wangers (AMAZING, I really hope they call themselves that) had dreadlocks. Which shouldn’t be called dreadlocks because we are perpetuating the fear from slave traders at the strange hair style they discovered in Africa, they should be called locs as there is nothing dreadful abut them. Which I can be supportive of. I don’t go around using the horrible N word coined by those same people.
This was then followed by the fact that white people with locs are being part of cultural appropriation. (this is a term used to describe white people taking an interest in some part of a minority culture and profiting from it.) And in a following post saying that being white and having locs makes you a stinky, stupid looking racist.
Now as you can see from the above picture, I am white. I have locs. I wash my hair more than some of the people I know that don’t have locs and definitely more than friends that have extensions/weaves. My hair is not dirty, it is styled on purpose. My hair is naturally straight so my hair has been crochet to make pretty, tidy locs.
I tried to point out these facts and I was accused of being ignorant and uninformed.
That is a very quick way to piss me off. I am actually very informed, about lots of things.
I have read lots about why people wear their hair in locs, it was mainly something done by highly religious people, they are mentioned in the bible (Samson having his seven locs cut off and losing all of his power) Indian yogis who renounce the world and all possessions (no comb will eventually mean that your hair knots together) Many Pharaohs had locked hair,( there were in tact ones found in Tutankhamen’s mummy) Rastafarians have always considered locs to be holy, a way of making god notice you and an outward sign that you are following the commandments.
It was a symbol of purity to have locs, to indicate they are following the seventy seven commandments which include not getting angry, not gossiping, not hurting another being, human or non human.
Now unless this bile spitting woman who was angrily accusing me of being ignorant and racist was doing it from a place of calm ( she really wasn’t) if she had never played the, “have you heard that so and so cheated on her boyfriend?” (I highly doubt she had managed to avoid being in other people’s business as she was right up in mine) and she was a vegan (she might have been, I have no way of knowing) Then she could just fuck right off.
If a highly religious locked person wanted to take umbrage with my hair based on historical reasons then I might understand where they were coming from. (I have chosen to not follow any of the religions or their magical sky wizards, so I don’t think that hair is going to bring you closer to a scary imaginary figure in the cosmos ) I would hope that they would agree to disagree on that front.
I removed myself from the group quickly as I was not looking for an internet squabble with anyone and it was just a group on Facebook.
Except it has been troubling me since.
I call my hair my princess hair, it goes down to my waist like a disney princess. I love it, it makes me feel attractive and feminine.
I found myself worrying that I may have accidentally offended people in my life with my hair. I started trying to casually drop “do you think I am a racist for having my hair like this?” into conversation with friend of mine who are of colour (there is no casual way to do this by the way) Luckily my question has been met with either amusement or confusion.
So I have decided to let it go. You can’t please everyone all of the time. And actually I don’t want to, that would make me a sycophant. I am going to carry on having awesome hair until my son starts going to nursery school (because my fear of head lice is quite prolific and children are covered in them. Head lice are very hard to get out of locs) and then I will just get a different awesome hair style.