This is one of the controversial topics that I recently saw debated on social media this year. When it comes to topics like this, I like to take time to express both points of view and then offer my own opinion. I do this so that a healthy dialogue can form in the natural hair community and no one feels unheard. The #hairgoals trend usually pertains to people following and admiring the curls of someone else. The person who gets the most following are women who follow a combination of these criteria:
1) loose curls (3A,3B,3C)
2) super length
3) super definition
The debate is whether following these women is bad for you and the natural hair movement or just simply an overreaction and a means to divide.
Unfollow the #hairgoals trend Perspective:
I noticed that some women with this perspective feel shunned or ignored, a feeling we talk about experiencing while trying to fit the normalized Eurocentric standards of beauty. These #hairgoals naturalistas inherently follow or are closest to Eurocentric standards that are impossible to follow or reach by most of their followers. It completely derails the purpose of the natural hair movement which is self-acceptance for who we are naturally and to create our own attainable beauty standard. This causes little girls and boys to grow up thinking “I can be natural, but it has to look like this to be acceptable.”
This is an overreaction Perspective:
Whether you follow or indulge in the #hairgoals trend is up to you. You are in charge of what you see on your social media feed. If you want more diversity to become #hairgoals then give lesser loved hair types more attention. At the end of the day, your happiness and self-acceptance come from within. You can’t expect the Eurocentric thoughts and ideas to disappear because we decided to go natural. Real change takes time. It also takes introspection to create a new beauty standard. It’s not the #hairgoals naturalistas fault for being popular. Children are seeing more and more representation in media than before. It is the parent’s responsibility to encourage self-love and to give examples of beauty that fit their children, not the media.
I fall somewhere in the middle of these two perspectives. When it comes to the media, while I don’t think it should have a bearing on our confidence, it does. A comparison is death to many things such as confidence, creativity, and inner growth. Feeling left out or unloved by your own community can be painful and the concerns of women in the community should be taken into account.
I would suggest finding YouTubers and Instagrammers with hair closer to yours to rewire your brain to see it as beautiful and unique. Taking time away from social media, in general, might also be what you need in order to come back to fully enjoy it. Social media can be a double-edged sword, but it can also be a blessing. If you look around, you can find naturalistas with your hair type, find those women and surround yourself with things that bring you joy. At the end of the day, I think you should make your decision based on an honest evaluation of where you are when it comes to confidence.
Personal side note:
This year I was really focusing on fighting my childhood fears of not being accepted and about feeling unattractive. I used media to my advantage by following women that had similar attributes to me. For example, I surrounded myself with darker skin girls who are following their dreams and living their best lives. That was a passive way to rewire my old thoughts and what I thought was possible. Through this purposeful media consumption, I saw how much of what we regularly see affects how we see others and ourselves.
I believe it is important to consciously choose what you ingest from the media. We live in a world where so much information is everywhere and easily obtained. We also live in a world where we have the power to control a lot of what we let around us. Some would call this willful ignorance or exclusion, I call this a power to surround yourselves with things, people, and stories, that make you happy. I believe that this applies to this topic completely. Yes, there is a definite Eurocentric influence in the natural hair community. Despite that or because of that, I consciously choose to create my own timelines filled with a variety of hair textures and styles that upholds what I believe the natural hair movement stands for.
Tell me what you think down below!
I will be giving options for various Instagrammers so that we can all flourish this 2019! I will make sure to sort them by hair type.
~note: most naturals are a mixture of types and most of these naturals can be argued into another hair type. Therefore take the labels with a grain of salt.~