I had a close family member make a joke about one of my daughter’s “nappy” hair. She thought I was going to be amused. The conversation quickly changed when I gave her to look of death and told her that under NO circumstances was she to ever say those words in front of my daughter. EVER.
I WAS NOT AMUSED.
I have three beautiful daughters, all with different hair textures. One with straight hair, she has no curl pattern and is always complaining about that. One with the thickest strongest curliest head of hair and she doesn’t like it either. Another with a head full of long wavy curls and she could care less about hair. And I’m guilty too…just yesterday I told my husband that I am sick….SICK of my natural hair and I wanted cut it all off.
I hope I didn’t say that in front of them.
But as their mother, I am constantly telling each of them how beautiful they are…inside and out. So how dare you, black woman that is related to us, come along and try to undermine what I am doing to teach them to love themselves and their natural hair with your careless words.
You don’t think it matters? Well it does. I can still remember one of my uncles, yes my father’s brother, telling me that boys like long hair after making a comment about my short hair. I was young, not even in my teens and I can remember that statement like it was yesterday. And he has probably hasn’t given those words a second thought…ever.
This is why I am so happy to discover the book Bad Hair Does Not Exist/Pelo Malo No Existe!, written by a mother after the babysister said her daughter had “bad hair.”
“”Bad Hair Does Not Exist!” is a new bilingual book that encourages young Black, Afro-Latino, and multi-racial girls to see themselves, and their hair, as beautiful.
Sulma Arzu-Brown, who calls herself a “Garifuna” woman or Afro-Latino from Honduras, was inspired to write the book after her three-year-old daughter’s babysitter commented that little Bella Victoria had “pelo malo,” which is a Spanish term for “bad hair.”
She knew then that she could either be angry or be a part of the solution, so she chose to write a book.’
BMWK: Have you ever had anyone say you or your kids had bad hair? Do you find yourself having to be careful of how you talk about your own hair around your children?
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