Wednesday, December 30, 2015

"Grades" of Hair and Absentee Fathers

Two thoughts. Bear with me.


It's been five and a half years since I've gone natural, and on more than one occasion someone has assessed my hair and told me, "You have a good grade of hair." And this is supposed to be a compliment, is always well-meaning. However, it's almost always said with the implication that: natural hair is usually nappy/ugly/doesn't look quite right, most times when girls wear their hair natural it doesn't look that good, personally I couldn't pull it off, and natural hair ain't for everybody, BUT... you have a good grade of hair so it works.

Every time I hear this said about my hair or any other woman's hair, I can't not scrunch my face up. Good "grade" of hair? Like "grade A" beef? Are we cattle? You rating hair like cuts of meat now? Is that the move now? Besides the fact that there are no "good" or "bad" hair types, I think people are doing too much when they say this. Just tell me my hair looks nice, mmmkay? That'll do.


As I write, I'm sitting here watching this show called 'Finding My Father' on Oxygen. I don't happen upon programming that focuses on absentee fathers and abandoned children often, but when I do,  I want to cry for all these people because there are so many of us whose dads weren't around for one reason or another. Even me! My parents were married before they had me, and my dad lived with us (for the most part) until I was 7. But my dad was hardly a present parent, and he certainly wasn't an active one either. He was there when you didn't want him to be there, and then was nowhere to be found when you actually wanted and needed him around. This is how Little Deela remembers her father. And so, knowing my own experience, I talk to people or I watch programs like 'Finding My Father' and I wonder. Mannn... it seems almost every other person has a story about their fathers making themselves scarce. But where the heck do these fathers go? Are they off somewhere together?  Like, on an island or a commune somewhere? Are they celebrating or commiserating? Is there an underground Secret Society for Dads Who Decided to Be Ghost? It just happens so often that it makes me wonder. One can only be angry about it so much until she starts imagining things, drumming up answers.

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