It’s not “the same token” though. Going to a surgeon to be put under medication to get cosmetic surgery is not the same as somebody braiding, gluing or pinning hair that can be taken off in a few minutes. No one needs to increase their health insurance or pay out-of-pocket expenses at the pharmacy for weave.

Additionally, with black women historically not being hired (or reprimanded) for wearing locks and other “natural” hair types that were considered by Corporate America to be “not neat,” there’s that. No job is telling non-black women with big butts that they cannot get hired for it. The ACLU and NAACP don’t have to get involved for big cosmetic butts. They did have to get involved for young girls to wear locks though. The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals didn’t have to get involved for someone with fake, new lips; they did have to get involved for black women trying to wear their natural hair types and get a job. And I won’t even get into how Women’s Health magazine historically ignores black fitness instructors on their covers and featured inside while Self made a point of featuring a more diverse group. Then there’s the whole issue with black women’s natural big butts being shamed in the ballet industry.

Third, no black women with weave are going around trying to sell Malaysian/Brazilian hair products and trying to convince people it’s their hair. When someone is trying to sell a product that they do not own, that’s my issue. If black women wearing weave were trying to sell me on “naturally straight, flowing hair,” I’d have an issue with that too — unless it’s really their naturally straight, flowing hair. Same goes for somebody with my hair type selling me hair products for mixed women with curly hair (i.e. Mixed Chicks or Tracee Ellis Ross “Pattern”). If the Mixed Chicks and Tracee Ellis Ross didn’t look the way they looked, I wouldn’t even attempt to take their products seriously.

My issue is people selling and marketing something they neither own nor have, not what somebody does in their off time.

Now that I got that out of the way, I’ve never worn weave in my entire life. I don’t want anyone else’s hair in my head. I’ve had a relaxer forever though. Hair still thick and people usually ask me did I just “press” it, so it pretty much looks the same considering I don’t OD on it (every three to four months). But you’re still missing my larger point. I’m not trying to sell someone on natural hair when I know I have a relaxer. Marketing companies need to stop selling me on stuff from people who simply don’t have it!

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Check out her five Medium publications: Doggone World, Homegrown, I Do See Color, Tickled and We Need to Talk. Visit Shamontiel.com to read about her.

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