Spotlight Series: Blogger Kelley — Whispers of a Womanist

So this post marks the first of my “The Soulz of Black Folk: Re-defining Celebrity” series. This summer, I will feature a few carefully selected members of the black collective that demonstrate an espousal to uplifting the black collective. Everyday, countless bodies across the diaspora contribute to black upliftment in big ways deemed small by […]

Shout out to C.C. for asking me to take part and creating such a series. We need to love on each other more, y’all! Please check out the original post and C.C.’s dope blog via Spotlight Series: Blogger Kelley — Whispers of a Womanist

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26 thoughts on “Spotlight Series: Blogger Kelley — Whispers of a Womanist

  1. kelley, if you don’t mind, tell me more about what you meant with this answer, “Hair holds so much weight for Black women; you can tell a lot about her by the way she chooses to wear hers.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Of course. Please keep in mind that I live in the Atlanta area and I’m speaking from what I see and experience. I’m also kinda judgy:

      I think a nice amount of Black women are going for a look- what’s seemingly acceptable in society- instead of what personally looks and feels best. This could mean going natural when you secretly want to keep your perm …or vice versa. Looks influenced by friends, what’s trendy, what gets you the most compliments/attention, childhood trauma, etc. I’ve been told by sisters that they could never (yes, in 2018) rock their natural. I know a brother who shaved his beautiful locs just to get more call backs for auditions (not actual acting gigs). Even in high school, friends would say they would be marrying white or mixed men so their children wouldn’t have such nappy hair. Who taught us to feel this way? Why is the hate for kinky curls so deep? Does the self-loathing cease when the kids pop out with loose curls?

      Even when you do do what you feel, someone has something discouraging to say. My mom, for example, would tell me my fro looked like popcorn, snow and carpet. (And guess who joined me on the natural path a few years later? Yep!) I had an ex (long after we’d broken up) describe it as a tumbleweed. And a man I dated very briefly years back said it was “too big and out of control.” To who’s standard? I never had any of this pushback with a perm. And if I was easily swayed, one of these reactions could have taken me back into the heat of a salon, slathering on the burning white chemical concoction.

      Then there are the women who are only confident when they have a foreign mane down to their crack, literally swinging like a horse’s tail. Women who at the first sign of new growth schedule a touch up. This used to be me! I know there are also natural women who have bad hair days or twist outs gone wrong that don’t feel their prettiest. I just feel women who rock their natural hair (or natural-looking foreign hair) are more accepting of themselves while our straight weaved, permed and 27-pieced up sisters are trying to fit a mold. (I’m not talking about the ones who rock em for fun every so often, but always.) They don’t put into account that our entire bodies need the sun, that hair strands are antennae with connections to the universe. They are not digging deep into who is looking up to them or who they’re supporting (before their hairstylists) with continuous purchases of foreign hair and poisonous chemicals. And relaxed and bone straight is an unnatural, pretty boring look for Black women. Non-black/non-kinky haired women don’t seem to have many hairstyle options, so why make the conscious choice to weaken it to try to emulate that? What are they perpetuating? There are women holding onto overworked hair that literally looks dead! But they have a little length from the perm, so I guess it’s worth it? I don’t believe they appreciate their natural, unique beauty. Like they’re hiding it.

      Down here, I see a lot more ridiculous wigs and weaves than flattering ones. Folks might just be lazy. On the other hand, naturals just kinda declare “f you, this is me.” And the locs, fros, knots and braids almost always appear healthy, strong, unique and flattering. That’s just me tho..

      Liked by 2 people

      1. That’s what I thought you meant lol but I’m glad you took the time to unpack it for me. I agree with everything here. I do wish we could have a real conversation (like this) amongst ourselves about our hair. I mean a REAL conversation, not a “I wear weave because I like it” conversation. I do wish we could first be real with ourselves and then with one another about why we’ve adopted hairstyles that are not only not for us, but also damaging to us (spiritually, physically, mentally).

        I’ll be thinking about if and how I might bring this to fruition.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Me too! That’s a great idea. I know a person here who would be a great host for such an event, if you don’t mind me borrowing the idea.

          Thank you for asking and letting me unpack.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Borrow away but I wanna be apart of it…planning etc visiting whatever. I was just putting it together in my head right now. Was thinking it has to be recorded or more like a video documentary or soemthing

            Liked by 1 person

          2. Okay. Love her as a host. Email me if there’s anything I can do. I’m envisioning short videos (like her hustle hacks) but as interviews about how we feel about our hair, but again, only authentic answers that delve into it.

            Liked by 1 person

  2. You said, “Of course if our men or kids or outsiders see us calling ourselves and our sisters bitches, thots and hoes, they’re not going to think any better of us.” I agree with you 3,000 percent. I had a real big argument with my lady about this. How am I as a man suppose to respect you if you are willing and able to call your friends and self hoes. It almost ended the relationship.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Right. We need to call it out and check each other. My ex called his best friend, a Black woman, a bitch. And I asked if he’d be ok with her calling his mom or sister a bitch. That ended that behavior.

      Liked by 1 person

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