The Blonde Taboo

In the words of India Arie, I am not my hair; in my reality, I am. If I choose to straighten my hair or wear a wig, I hate myself. If I rock my natural afro, I am rebellious and unattractive, a woman simply following a trend. The truth is, I am a black woman and I don’t recall asking for your opinion in regards to my or our hair. I don’t want to hear about your daughter or your best friend, if you are not a black woman, mind your own business the same way we mind ours. Although it plays a vital role, this post will not focus on the rampant misogyny black women face so I will end this rant here.

“the worst of it is often aimed at those with the deepest complexion”

Moving on to the rant at the heart of this post: blonde hair, black women and dark skin. It is no secret, black women love to experiment with their hair. Our hair is a reflection of our creativity and we should never feel the need to apologise for it. Our creative approach to hair styling “inspires” the culture vultures that live for mocking then stealing from us. Every black woman has heard the following, “you are too dark for that hair colour”. All black women are prone to such scrutiny but the worst of it is often aimed at those with the deepest complexion. A lot of people seem to have a specific problem with darker skinned black women rocking anything but “black” hair.

I love honey blondes. I also love an almost white platinum blonde fade (on anyone but myself). At the age of 15, I dyed my hair honey blonde and although it looked like a light brown, a few people had an issue with it, as “black women should only have black hair”. I’m sorry, who gave you the false impression that your opinion was wanted? It is my hair and my choice. I don’t do my hair to be liked or complimented by anyone. My hair is a reflection of my personality, my style. I wish all women took this stance as so many avoid much needed change, as they are worried about the pointless opinions of others.

There is no colour black women can’t rock and own. Your hair colour should play no role in how you are perceived. The idea that blonde hair is a symbolism for self-hatred is stupid and ridiculous. It is a natural hair colour for some black women. It is also not a permanent choice; I have gone from blonde to red in the duration of a week. I could rock a blonde wig one day and my natural afro the next. The venomous critique tends to come from the insecure and the bitter, those who are too afraid to experiment or those who simply lack the creativity. The following are a few wonderful black women slaying blonde hair. Don’t let criticism limit your creativity, be inspired!

Photo: Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images

Photo: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

Photo: Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic

Photo: Rachel Murray/Getty Images