What made it even more difficult for me to stomach was the fact that it came from a network that promotes black pride in African-American youth, most especially young black girls with their annual award event, ‘Black Girls Rock.’
Let me also state that the executives of Black Entertainment Television (BET) did the right thing by firing those behind the mean jokes about an innocent black girl, as it went totally contrary to the ideals of this prestigious network. It doesn’t matter if the girl in question is the daughter of hip-hop royalty, Beyoncé and Jay Z…let’s not allow that becloud our judgement.
What matters is that we’ve spent years, preaching to generations of little black girls to feel proud of and comfortable with their natural hair. Living in a society where black female beauty is categorized by such terms as ‘good hair’, ‘bad hair’ or ‘nappy hair’, our girls are left feeling less beautiful in the midst of their Caucasian counterparts. It is our duty as watchmen and watchwomen to preserve the richness and pride of our heritage. Blue Ivy, just like any other little black girl is also entitled to this protection.
Beyoncé has been criticized for constantly changing her hair and skin, to look “white.” Then she leaves Blue Ivy’s hair just as natural as the Creator made it and for that, she is blasted as well; making it a fact that we really shouldn’t strive to please everyone but ourselves.
I had the most unique experience while grooming the hair of my youngest daughter, Katriel. She was born with a head full of hair, just like her two older sisters, Nadine and Chavonne. While combing the hair of the two older girls didn’t give me any problems at all, Katriel’s scalp would be filled with unsightly boils whenever it was combed or plaited.
No matter how delicately I handled Katriel’s hair, it always ended up with her having those boils. And don’t get me started on her screams which could break any mother’s heart. Finally, I made do with watching her hair lock itself, while styling it with ribbons, hair bands and bows…just like Beyoncé did to Blue Ivy’s.
Just like Blue Ivy, people asked why I left my daughter’s hair so “unkempt”. “You should relax it”, they’d say. On her second birthday, I somehow found the courage to flat iron the hair to enable me comb it easily. It came out nice, but it left my baby’s hair weak and I vowed never to do it again. A year later, I relaxed my baby hair and I can tell you now that not a day passes by without me regretting it.
My daughter’s hair lost its bounce. It became limp and unhealthy. No matter how much I conditioned it with the best children products in the market, Katriel’s hair was never the same again. Now my little girl is five. She doesn’t cry as much anymore when I comb her hair. I’m also a grown woman who knows better from experience than to listen to the ignorance of others. I’ve explained to Katriel why I never want to put any chemical in her hair and I have her consent. I’ll comb her natural hair, braid it up or plait it while it’s wet to reduce pain and breakage.
I want my baby’s afro back. Her hair is her pride and crowning glory. Blue Ivy, Katriel and every other little black girl should be left in peace to carry their hair the way they want. It is our job as mothers, to protect our little girls’ pride…because truly, they’ll run the world.
Just found this random video of Katriel at age 2 dancing to Beyoncé’s Who Run The World…So apt for this post. Watch…