Don’t Touch My Hair

Despite my love for Solange’s record ‘Don’t Touch My Hair’ , an angry but peaceful anthem along with her visual artistry of a music video, that’s not what this post is going to be about. Let’s talk about people feeling the need to touch afro hair and the problems the come with it.

Touching my hair for your own pleasure isn’t cool. I hope that this post helps to explain and justify my reasons for why this isn’t just black people overreacting. Personally, I take offence to people who ask to touch my hair (or touch it without my permission). This is not only because it’s annoying, but I also understand why it’s problematic.

Firstly, it’s simply rude, annoying and uncomfortable for me when someone asks to touch my hair. It’s abnormal. However, people seem to think that just because my hair is has a different texture theirs that it’s okay to touch it when it pleases them.

It seems that only a small amount of people seem to understand that touching my afro hair is actually an act of a racial microaggression. A subtle, non verbal action that communicates negative messages. I do understand that it’s rarely ever done with the intention to make us, feel uncomfortable, but it does. When it comes down to the microagression, touching our hair makes us feel ‘different’ and not ‘normal’. This makes sense because people say that our hair is ‘exotic’ and ‘unfamiliar’.

Society has created a phenomenon that wearing natural afro hair comes with labels of unprofessional and deviance. These are negative labels causing black people, especially women, to make the decision not to wear their natural afro hair. They’ll wear weaves etc instead (because of the negative connotation that come along with it) which isn’t fair.

The Eurocentric beauty standards also contribute to the microagression the majority have created an idea that you’re a “beautiful” woman if you have a thin nose, white/tanned skin, a slim body, light coloured eyes and STRAIGHT HAIR. Black people just don’t naturally fit into these categories. This is why it is difficult for us to let you touch out hair because you say it feels ‘different’.

Plus, if i’m honest, there’s nothing special about my hair. It might smell good, but that’s all. So please, don’t touch my hair.

Instagram: what’s behind the smile?

We’re bombarded with images of happiness on social media. But what’s behind the smile?

These days, everyone has an Instagram profile. A place for you to share images and videos with your friends, family and other followers. We all see those Instagram models with 100k+ followers. Their lives look great right? Well, probably not as great as you might think. An Instagram profile is almost like the media industry as a whole. The media (or person in this situation) will only show you what they want you to see. We’re all guilty for it. Just think about your Instagram feed. You’re only showing your followers elements of your life that you want them to see, and that’s perfectly fine. It’s not a bad thing.

However, we have to admit that our Instagram accounts aren’t a ‘fair’ representation of ourselves. Unfortunately that has caused 12 year old’s following these so called ‘Instagram models’ that they look up to. It leads them to staring to compare themselves to them which isn’t great for the good old ‘mental health’. It makes you feel unsuited to the rest, almost not good enough. When you’re young and naive, you have a much more of a narrow minded outlook on the world and this is why it happens.

People will always aspire to be like others without taking into consideration that things are never perfect for anybody. So, the next time you compare yourself to that Instagram model, top athlete or musician, just remember that it wasn’t too simple for Oprah to become a billionaire.

Feel free to follow me on Instagram here and criticise me for my bad representation on Instagram.

(This one was just a short one. Nothing too deep, just a few thoughts that I thought would be good to write about.)

Are you a feminist?

“Feminist. the person who believes in the social, political and economic equality of the sexes.”

You might have heard those words in Beyoncé’s hit song ‘Flawless’. Feminism is a pretty simple concept but for an unclear reason, so many people aren’t able to grasp the importance of it. To make it clear, feminism isn’t the battle between men and women. Nor is it the mission to make women superior to men. To break it down, a feminist is someone who believes that men and women should be able to have equal rights when it comes to everyday life. Political power and equal pay is just a small part of it.

Before, I go into too much detail, you have to be able to accept that men are way more privileged in society compared to women. We have more male leaders and men are constantly getting paid more then women. All you have to do is look at the recent headlines stating that men working for the BBC are getting paid way more than women in most instances. We have to recognise that women aren’t given as many opportunities to excel financially or gain political power too.

The government is the organisation that essentially runs our country. But when you take a step back, you will realise that the government is predominately run by white men. Only 208 women MP’s were elected at the 2017 General Election which only equates to 32% of MP’s overall. But if these people are representing our country then how does this make sense? Is it representative? Should it be 50% men and 50% women? Those are questions that you can only answer for yourself. Similarly, only 8% of MP’s in the House of Common are from an ethnic minority background. But that’s another issue in itself which could have it’s own blog post.

You might argue that Theresa May is the current Prime Minister. You’re right, but let’s not forget that she is only the second female Prime Minister in the history of seventy six UK leaders.

There are many other issues when it comes to women’s equality. All you have to do is google them. Keep an open mind and read explanations for things instead of bashing feminism without any real knowledge of it. You might realise that being a feminist includes being able to believe in the equality for all women. That includes, black women, Muslim women and trans women. They all have the same struggles as well as having the struggles of being a minority in society too. Make sure you keep that in mind.

Feminism has come a long way over the years, from women not being allowed to attend school to women being able to take part in the general election votes. Its crazy to think that the women in our own families weren’t allowed to vote in the early 1900’s. So, are you a feminist? If you’re not a feminist then you need to ask yourself why. Is it because you don’t believe in gender equality or is it because you’re worried about the labels that may come with it.

It’s simple, if you think that women should have the same rights as men, then you’re basically a feminist, pal.

Boys cry too

“Be a man and stop being like a little girl.”

What does that even mean?

The majority of men reading this would have heard these words being directed towards them at some point in their life. This is because society has created the obscure ideology that men simply don't have emotions. We say that men shouldn't cry and that men should be mentally stronger than women. But is there any logic in this?

Not only is language like "don't be such a girl" patronising for men, but it's also derogatory towards women. It communicates the message that it is a negative thing to be a woman. This is highlighted in the well-known Always' #LikeAGirl advert.

“I don't cry, I'm a boy" says the 10 year old boy that has been a target of gender stereotypes all of his life without even knowing it. 

Masculinity is so fragile.

It baffles me as to why men aren't seen as emotional beings like women. To top this, several studies have concluded that men are actually more emotional than women. So, the only reason why men aren't seen as emotional, has to be because society has taught them (us) to hide those emotions. We are fools for making men feel as though their feelings aren't important and that they should be hidden away.

Gender stereotypes aren't beneficial in this case scenario. Anybody who says that men shouldn't cry doesn't make any sense. I bet you didn't know that men are almost 4 times more likely to commit suicide than women. Those masculine, powerful and robust men chose to hide their tears away in fear that they wouldn't be taken seriously. Can you blame them though?

Are we killing our men? Yeah, maybe.

Is self love important?

Throughout my teenage years, I’ve never really thought about what it means to love yourself. We live in a society where the majority of people are seeking for someone to love but nobody legitimately loves themselves. Self love, belief and confidence are all so important for yourself. Yet, are we ever encouraged to take a step back and really think about loving ourselves before anyone else?

Putting yourself first isn’t always a bad thing. In theory, we should be looking after ourselves before worrying about others. Self love is essentially a part of healthy living and it is clear that it is something that we, as a society are lacking with depression rates being higher than ever.

Feeling fearless of embracing yourself for who you are shouldn’t be shunned. Just as feeling content with your appearance shouldn’t be considered narcissistic. If taking a selfie makes you feel good, then take two selfies. Loving yourself will only help you live a much more positive lifestyle that you will be satisfied with. Self love and confidence is now so rare that it is being considered as a skill and that really isn’t the way that it should be.

So, everyday from now on, look at yourself in the mirror and say “you’re doing amazing sweetie” because that’s how we should be feeling about ourselves.

DApOcwAXgAEIGAr