Sometimes my co-workers are so crass…
There was an article in today’s Toronto Star about black women being afraid of the "’fro” (http://www.thestar.com/living/article/298814). My female coworker said that it’s because they don’t want to look like a brillo pad. I usually take her to be a little more intelligent than that comment. I just found that terribly insensitive and judgmental. There are no black people where I work, (not for any “bad” reason, the owners only staff four people, myself and three others); there is no one there capable of growing a natural afro.
I was trying not to contribute to the day’s conflict, so I walked away. (Walking away seems to be something I have to do at the job.) What I wanted to say was that many black women feel compelled to fit into the stereotypes of beauty, which include straight, flowing hair, impressed upon them by a predominantly white media. If my coworker actually read the article before making her careless comment, those ugly words may not have come out of her mouth.
I could go on about the pressures to be beautiful, according to a certain stereotype. I could talk about how this affects the women of different cultures in different ways, from Asia to Africa to South America and the cosmetic/chemical processes these women put themselves through. These comments could turn into an essay on what is considered to be the ideal image. I’m not going to. I hope that the people reading this know what the arguments are. I just wish for a greater acceptance of individualism that looking a certain way, natural or processed doesn’t really matter. I wish a lot of things that I know aren’t true.
Read the Star article. It’s quite good, a little snippet into manufactured beauty from an afro point of view.