Monday, July 26, 2010

What Natural Celebrity or Characteristic Do People Throw at You???

These are the comments I have gotten since being natural:

"Hey, Erykah" --from my Aunt

"I look at you and I see you have that whole Erykah Badu vibe going on." --a man from my job

It is so funny that when we become natural how people want to put us in a box and link us with some natural celebrity. (What is so funny to me is that people call me Erykah yet, Erykah Badu wears a natural wig.) My sister, Auset, gets Angela Davis all the time. I think this is because of her lighter complexion.

Another thing I've noticed that people do to naturals is attach them to certain characteristics. I've listed a few of these stereotypes below:
1. We are a part of the Neo-Soul movement.
2. We are political activist.
3. We are heavily involved in our community and its issues.
4. We are vegetarian or eat only white meat.
5. We smell like natural oils, burn incense, etc.
6. We smoke marijuana.
7. We only listen to Black artists and certain genres of music--such as jazz, blues, neo-soul, etc.
8. We write poetry.
9. We recite the poetry at Poetry Jams.
10. We refer to everyone as "My brother" or "My sister"

I could go on and on. And I'm not saying that I don't fit some of these stereotypes (because I am vegetarian, love natural oils, and Neo-Soul music) however, this does not define all naturals. I also love some country, pop, and never smoked marijuana in my life. Being natural should be looked at as simply accepting our natural beauty. Yet, I think it's easier for people to define a person in order to try to understand where they are coming from.

Have you been attached to natural celebrities? What assumptions have people made about you simply because of your natural hair?


  1. I have been called Erykah, which I find odd. Like you said, she wears an afro wig and my hair is not a wig. Furthermore, for a large part of her career, she wore a head wrap and I have never worn a headwrap. I also get Jill Scott. I like Jill Scott, but I am not Jill Scott. Should I call every relaxed or weave wearer I know Beyonce. That would seem appropriate. LOL.

  2. Again from a white perspective...white folks totally don't get this. Black hair is black hair...most white people don't even understand the difference between natural hair and relaxed hair. They just see hair. They just don't associate a hair style with a specific way of thinking. (Generally speaking, of course. I think there are a few exceptions like mohawks and dreadlocks, especially when done on a white person.) I just find myself amazed at how little subtle things like hair are interpreted differently by different people. I'm a "take it at face value" person so viewing a hairstyle as having an underlying meaning is hard for me to get my brain around anyway.