Dumbing Down Blogs

Are You Too Ugly for a TWA?
Curlies vs. Kinks
Why Are You Using Petroleum?
Using Weaves for Protective Style: Fake?
Should You Go Natural for an Interview?
Does Your Man Hate Your Natural?

It’s as if we’re running out of things to write about. As a fellow natural hair blogger, I try not to write about the obvious. All of the topics I’ve listed above are those topics that we fall to just to get out of real writing. They’re easy, they’re opinionated and require little to no research.

I, Charish, am not here to chicken out. When I’m writing to you, I will not act as though you’re the lowest common denominator. The larger “Natural Hair Empires” who left their grassroot beginnings long ago are getting boring and lacking substance.

They were important in the beginning when I was making my transition. I needed information and community to help me feel confident about my choice to go natural. But now it seems those blogs are running on a loop. When you try to break out of the pre-recorded loop, democracy is suddenly scorned.

Evelyn made a comment on a popular hair website disagreeing with the writer’s stance on traditional family roles and was immediately shut down. By shut down, I mean her comment was deleted. Is that really democracy? This blog I speak of, is a woman who started out in one democratic hair journey and has now ended up being preachy, one-sided and terribly off topic.

Do I care about you using petroleum in your hair? No, of course not. But I will tell you the truth about petroleum and let you decide what you want to do with that information. That’s what a journalist does. Anything more is tyranny. Anything less is irresponsible.

Another issue with the natural hair community is that it’s just as exclusive as the straight hair community. Don’t the curlies already know how it feels to be alienated? Yet we write with this closed attitude as if our audience is an incredibly small niche. Aren’t there other common themes that run through our lives that allow us to let people in instead of shutting them out?

Examples of exclusion would include this curl type obsession some of us have. The war between wavy curls and kinky curls is tired and potentially damaging to our collective message. Let’s talk about something more helpful. Some of my favorite blogs are focused on hair but work on other inclusive themes. For example, Retro Natural deals with natural hair and retro style, which is something that a lot of different kinds women can get on board with.

It’s my hope that Evelyn and I do the same with our blog. We cater to a few different audiences and not to the drama that is: “Does your man hate your natural?” I frankly don’t have time to spend on that stuff when I could be researching something better. Something more informative.

So I ask you, the reader, to demand more of your journalists. To ask them to have integrity. I love and appreciate the readers we have and can only assume that the reason you keep coming back, is because you like our substance. It means a lot to have an audience that wants to be well informed. We’re not trying to be the Frontline of the 60 Minutes of all hair blogs but we’re working on elevating ourselves and you to question the information presented to you on a daily basis.

Don’t be afraid to engage us in a democratic dialogue about books, food recipes, labor issues, bantu knots vs. 2 strand twists, and the 2012 Election. We welcome the discussion and the debate because we respect what you have to say. Because we think you’re a pretty smart and diverse audience.

Thank you!

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4 thoughts on “Dumbing Down Blogs

  1. I agree with all that you have written.

    And seek permission to speak plainly.

    It is disheartening that some persons actually disregard that we all have the right to choose how we wish to live, what we eat and yes, how to wear our hair. Some of my dearest friends don't have natural hair, so; does that mean I am to dismiss them? Or preach to them? Indeed not!
    I am more in tuned with blogs and sites that present me with the facts and leave me to make a decision for myself. And that's what I try to do on mine as well. I appreciate you ladies for doing that. And actually it is on your site that I learnt alot about organic products for the home. You present your material bare for everyone to see. Not force it on us.

    But I will also put another spin on it for you. And this is where I may make some waves on your blog. I have read many blogs and listened to many opinions on the natural hair vs permed hair debate, especially from the US voices in the community, the 'Natural Hair Empires' as you called them. And I realize that black women in the US, more than any other nationality of blog that I read, create these divisions and promote them via their blog posts and discussions.

    Why is it that for some American natural hair women, it has to be turned into a whole production? Over-dramatized?

    The true liberation has to come from within, I believe. Today is Bob Marley's birthday and in his immortal words: 'Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery, none but ourselves can free our minds.'

    We have to unfetter our minds. Yes, we deal with the negatives that women might face because they choose to rock a 'fro. But we deal with these occurrences with class and dignity. Who cares about the boyfriend who doesn't want the girl with the curly hair. That is a clear sign she needs to change him not her crown.

    I really don't mean to cause a row on your site, ladies. But Charish, you dealt with some very important issues that trouble me, too, from time to time.

    Generally, people need to be respectful of others and their decisions. Their choices are just as important. The last time I checked, we all bleed red.

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  2. You have no row with us, Tasha. In fact, your opinion is what counts. This post is for opening a dialogue and we're glad that you participate!

    What you said about strife within the black community rings volumes. We have to keep our focus on something more productive. Whatever your passions are, keep to them and don't stray for “bubble gum fluff.”

    I love your zen, girl. You're always level headed in your writing and responses. I am continually refreshed by your words.

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  3. I was reading and reading and all, “yeah!” and then I saw my name *blush!* I'm glad you can understand the need for more than the superficial things that have been discussed over and over again in the natural hair world of blogging. I don't subscribe to that many natural hair blogs at the moment. I'm at a different place now and I need something additional when reading about various hair topics because I've been there and done that and most topics have been covered already. Some topics don't really deserve my attention (like guys who hate natural hair or war of the textures) but perhaps they deserve someone else's so no fuss from me but I won't read it.

    As far as tyrants shutting down anyone who doesn't agree with them..I think those individuals use their blog as a soapbox and not a platform that puts out insightful information that will captivate an audience. Anyone can catch people who like gossip and flame wars but they won't necessarily have a captivated audience. They'll have fans who want to watch a silly debate. I think that's the state of blogging at this moment in time though unfortunately. One of the reasons I enjoy your blog is because of its holistic approach. I think you're spot on about inclusive themes..I think that's why a lot of natural haired gals have been bored with natural blogs lately. I also love what you said about dealing with challenges with class and dignity, if we know how to do this, we don't need to post about it online. We deal with it and we keep things moving along. Thank you for this!

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