Hi folks, two things this time. First and most important: have you read Bikozulu's blog? Because if you haven't, you should. If you are a writer, you definitely should. If you are an African writer who works in English, you have to. I am currently experiencing a crush on his writing that shows all the signs of becoming a full-bloom deep and abiding love.
So this week I wrote about hair. Funny thing is, I am that woman who will never notice a new hairstyle. Absolutely hopeless at it. I don't even know why it is a gendered thing: men notice hairstyles all the time*. I? Do not. It has to be extremely radical to register at all. I do, however, almost always notice bad hair. If your hairstyle is rejecting you like an unhappy transplanted organ, I will totally remember you for it. Apparently I am only sensitive to extremes. So much for gender stereotypes.
"It always amuses me that people toss around that hackneyed notion that a woman's beauty is her hair. So is a man's, for the record, but this is Africa. No stronger case has been made about the riveting beauty of a perfectly shaped, cleanly shaved head than here and it goes for both genders. Aye, the fashion world is not particularly enamored of bald people except when it comes to African models.
I do, of course, have a preference. The personal is political but the personal is also expression and we must all say a little something about ourselves with our hair. I fled the scene of chemical straighteners and hot-combs as soon as I had the chance, but this was driven by an absolute loathing for hair salons and sitting still and the pain of a burned scalp as well as laziness. Imagine my delight when I found out that it was also an effective anti-establishment badge that could strike fear and fury in the hearts of some."
I can understand the logic of someone who is conservative about clothes even if I disagree, but when it comes to hair I just don't get it. Wear whatever. Especially if it is natural :)
*Most men I know won't voice criticism unless asked for a direct opinion. This is a good skill to have.