What’s Good for the Goose is Good for the Gander… OR IS IT?

Goose Gander

DISCUSSION:

When black women lighten their skin, wear contacts and/or straighten their hair; many assume they do this only to look more like a white woman. In my opinion, this is ignorance at its finest but to others, this is a definite sign that the black woman’s self-esteem & pride in their culture is low. But why does this not come into play when people of European, Asian and Spanish descents tan their skin to achieve a darker complexion or perm their hair? Does this automatically mean that they also have that same assumed self loathing of their ethnicity? And if we blame society, the media and low self-esteem for leading black women to believe light skin and straight hair is the epitome of beauty then who or what is responsible for influencing other races to alter their God-given cultural characteristics? Honest and respectful discussion only please. Sound off…

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About Queen Unique

Involved Parent/PTA Member Connoisseur of SOUL Music Lover of ALL things BLACK Poet/Spoken Word Artist Nostalgic Hip Hop head Graphic Artist/Painter Online Radio Hostess Motivational Speaker Habitual Hair Braider Freelance Journalist Random Twitter-er Selective Blogger Published Author Youth Volunteer Choosey Lover Autism Activist Visual Artist Bookworm See full bio at: www.QueenUnique.com
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8 Responses to What’s Good for the Goose is Good for the Gander… OR IS IT?

  1. HoopTWho says:

    Hm? Where to begin?
    Well, we know, given the history of this country, that there is a great “esteem” problem w/in the African-American community. The Ancient Egyptians, Nubians, even great West African civilizations braided, straightened and put many decorative adornments and colors in their hair. But how many Shaquita ‘n nems know this? I wouldn’t say every Sista is ashamed of her queenly coiff but when Shaquita starts talking “good” and “bad” hair, let’s not be naïve to think that she is alone in her thoughts and there isn’t some degree of self-loathing that we don’t know the origins of. In Corporate America, that like to bar Shaquita entry, they encourage anything that doesn’t look like “natural” hair. Men have been pressured to cut beautiful locks and women have been pressured (1st hand experience) to get perms for fear of losing their job!

  2. Ms Ness says:

    The person above me has definitely made a lot of good points. Being of Dominican descent, I have experienced many negativity from my own folks in the Dominican Republic because I have cut my hair short, do not have it as long as most women do, or that it is red, permed, curly, w/e. Changing the style of my hair, the color, the treatment doesn’t make me any less of a Dominican-American or a woman. Everyone expects the TYPICAL woman for each ethnicity. None of us can live up to EVERY STANDARD.

  3. Abenadiva says:

    Wellll, before I did some reading and moved out West I was inclined to believe that perming and weaving were simply expressions of style and taste. Sisters in the South, North & Midwest weave and perm in to exotic styles that are unmistakably black and beautiful.

    However, black women are fighting 100 years of programming that states in part that black men prefer white women over us and that only the orangutan has a preference for black women. (Man this is true reading…) Then after moving to Cali and seeing that the weaves out here simply look like attempts to escape blackness… (They have no ethnic flair simply strait hair slapped on the scalp looking long and flowing not a trace of ethnicity) I’m wondering is there a truth to this.

    There is a double standard because white women do strive to add brown skin, butt and lip implants. The only difference is that white women seem to be adding touches to aid in their perceived perfection, and we seem to be adding things in order to escape imperfection.

  4. karmakorrupt says:

    Without going into a deep philosophical or political discussion here (damn, Queenunique…you know this could get deep)…No matter the trigger, they are both cases of being insecure and unhappy with the body you are in. It works both ways. For me, I’ve always wanted my hair darker and my skin darker. When I was younger I wished my freckles would all just run together so that my skin could be a beautiful brown. I’ve made peace with my red hair and freckles now, but I certainly believe in recreating oneself `a la Madonna…as long as coming back to the skin, hair and body you were born with is always comfortable and welcomed.
    p.s.
    And for the record I’ve long been secretly jealous of women with thicker and more textured hair who are able to wear beautiful updos and have it actually stay! All the hair wax in the world won’t give me that ability. Sigh.

  5. funkdigital says:

    It’s unfortunate that this type of thinking still goes on but nothing that the black woman does is not going to be picked over (no pun intended). There are many misconceptions about black peoples hair in this society. Others are ignorant to our hair especially.

    When someone comes up and wants to touch your hair, as has happened to me in college, it makes you think.

    It doesn’t end there. It’s our on stigma that we plant in our kids, ie black hair needs to be tamed and if it’s not its nappy and bad. We’re barely getting to a point where black and latino or African descent can do what they want with their hair in particular.

    I faced major derision within my own family when I wore my hair “nappy”/natural. My mom and brothers called a brother Maxwell. LOL

    In particular, I don’t care if your hair is natural or straightened or crimped or whatever. As they say…Do you.

  6. HoopTWho says:

    (pt. 2) As for women of other ethnic backgrounds, it happens w/them too, it’s just not publicized and given as much attention as “African-American” women seem to be given on this topic.
    Now I may be over-simplifying the subject but no matter how “open” a Chinese woman may get her eyes or how much tan an Italian girl sprays on herself or how much perm a British girl puts in her hair, none of them would ever trade places w/a Black woman. However if asked in a super secret poll, of some of the more boisterous of Black women, a lot would trade places w/women of other ethnicities; especially when you start asking the darker complexioned women.
    This is an unfortunate and tragic truth – that “white doll” vs. “black doll” experiment yields the same sad results today in 21st century America.
    An activist once noted that people come to this country from all over the world and can’t speak a lick of English but ALL seem to know one word: nigger. And NONE of them want to be one.
    ‘K, I’m done.

  7. Jla_B says:

    This is such a deep rooted topic we could go on all day. I can remember as a child being the dark skinned nappy headed one who was always looked down upon when I was with my cousin who spent most of her time “passing” for puerto rican cause everything was better than just being black. Her light skin and long hair assisted and she even made sure to learn to speak spanish. That left me with a lot of issues to work out as a young adult. From bleaching my skin, to desperately tryin to make my mannerism, hair, face, speech, etc as white as possible or anything other than black. After that I learned to despise anything remotely black (self hate at its finest) It took a lot of work for me to embrace my blackness but I had to disconnect from what THE WORLD said was beautiful in order to do that. I leaned on a phrase that my grandmother told me in a dream (i’ve never met her she died when my dad was 7). She said “its up to you to determine your beauty. Its not anybody elses job to tell u how beautiful u are, its up to you to SHOW them how beautiful you are and if they dont see it its because they are blind”

    It was after that that I decided to move gradually toward what makes me black. So I began to love my black skin and everything else about me that made me black. I had to also embrace the rest of me “not sure what it is”. Whatever it is its what had one side of my family with light skin and the other side with dark skin but different colored eyes.

    So as I’ve gotten older I have let go of the perm (been almost a year) and I keep my hair in twists. I still feel the pressure to not be to “radically black” so as not to scare off the white folks which is a shame. but I see it like this: Regardless of what I do, I’m black. They are still gonna see me as a “nigga” whether I wear a natural style or a perm or weave. THEY don’t determine my blackness, I do. Black is not something that I just put on like a shirt or a pair of shoes, black is my being, my existence, my history and my future. My job is to nurture it in myself and others so that in the future this issue no longer exists. –JlaB’s take on it.

  8. maplesyrup21 says:

    interesting article.. I agree with you

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