So this is the current representation of the Natural Hair Community on Instagram.
Notice anything? No, well let me point it out. My type of hair is hardly recognised underneath this hashtag and this has been a recurring issue for quite a while. Now before I begin, may I stress that this post is not intended to bash any particular individuals or groups of people – I just feel that if we are really going to showcase a community of natural hair then we should do exactly that and include everyone.
As you can tell I do not have long lustrous curls and would need to apply heat and tie it back in order to achieve the full natural look and to retain the heat and moisture. My relationship with my hair is the epitome of love and hate. I used to hate everything about it at one point. The texture, the length, the lack of hairstyles I could pull off. Now, I appreciate my natural kinks more than ever although it does have its moments. Being a long-standing member of the #NaturalHairCommunity, I love seeing the prevalence of women who have swapped their relaxers/texturizers to go natural and appreciate all the blog posts and YouTubers who upload different quick go-to hairstyles but unfortunately, I relate to very little-to-none of those queens out there.
The move that was pioneered by 4C black women has since been shunted aside in favour of women with more bouncy curls and can cater to a wider audience which I have no problem with but that natural hair look is already socially accepted by the wider community whereas people with my hair type are still discriminated against. I highlighted an example in one of my early posts about how I was nicknamed “Picky” on in school because my hair was “short and nappy” whereas other black girls who mostly relaxed their hair to conform to the Eurocentric standard were exempt from this 5-year tirade.
Thankfully, I have overcome my disdain for my hair and is now comfortable wearing my hair out in public spaces but for the younger generation of short type 4 hair will have to continue to fight this inferiority complex because there is no clear representation of the NATURAL HAIR COMMUNITY! Major hair care brands should be expanding their PR base to embrace the “less attractive” and utilising their platforms to help break the stereotype not perpetuate the notion further. I would love to see more beautiful type 4 women as the face of a hair campaign. I would love for this silent division/competition to end and everyone to freely celebrate our natural kinks and curls regardless of length and race.