Monday, August 27, 2012

False Advertising


*Disclaimer: Just 'cos I know that we are all tired of beating the hair issue to death... everything about this post applies to me as an individual, and not to anyone else. This is not a preachy post about anybody else's hair etc etc etc. 

Okay? Good.

As some people may know, I’ve been a member of this so-called "team natural" since 2002/2003. I’ve also been one of those people who for the most part, has stayed true to the essence of “team natural” as a personal preference. That is to say… I’ve never used a hot comb to press my hair to convert it from kinky coily to straight and shiny, and I’m pretty boring when it comes to diversity (i.e. braids and weaves). I wear braids maybe like 10% of the time…more in winter months than summer months, and the last time I fixed a weave was when I was heading off to Kuwait in 2010, and didn’t want to bother with hair. Prior to Kuwait, the other most recent time that I’d fixed a weave was when I was a 17 year old Jambite in Nigeria. So to summarize this long story, I tend to wear my hair in its most natural state majority of the time.

Recently though (read: July 2012), I’ve been wanting to do more with my hair and embrace more diversity outside of the usual braiding that I do. I’m trying to save my edges and besides, it’s been like a high of 100 degrees every day this summer, so there is no way I was going to battle with some long yarn braids in this heat. My homeskillet for life and hairstylist extraordinaire, Lavvie aka Lavenderchic told me “you should do something different and try a weave” but I didn’t think that I was mentally ready for a weave. So, after much thought I had this Aha! moment where I said to myself “how about a wig?”…and that’s how yours truly scoured some beauty supply shops and is now the proud owner of two wigs. I like my wigs…I only wear them on weekends when I’m being too lazy to deal with my hair. I haven't considered them for weekdays because I prefer to not have to deal with hair in my face on a typical weekday hustle. I like the fact that I can slap ze wiggies on when I feel like, and toss them off my head when I’m not in the mood for hair. And, like most wigs/weaves, they give my looks a certain upgrade. I throw a wig on, and I go from “natural haired girl next door” to “Ohh, you is looking good girl!”

Fast forward to the main reason for this blog post: I have this dear friend who is always trying to hook me up with somebody. I was talking to her the other day, and she was telling me how she has this friend who I might gel with etc etc. Then she’s like “by the way, I saw a picture of you with your new hair and OMG girl, that is the picture that I need to be sending to all the dudes”… “In fact, that is the type of hair that you need to be rocking because it was so fabulous, and you looked amazing” etc etc. I had to laugh abeg. From the way my babe dey yarn, you would think that I look like a housegirl on the regular. I mean, I know that with my naps, I probably don't fall into the "glamorous" category but shiii I know I'm cute at least... LOL. But in all honesty, this was nothing new to me. A lot of people have told me and continue to tell me that they prefer seeing me with “hair” (read: anything other than my naps). Even I will agree that hair (if done right) generally upgrades anyone’s looks. But still, I felt a bit uncomfortable about her trying to use this wigged up picture of me for marketing purposes because in all honesty, that is nothing but false advertising. By false advertising, I mean…that is not me 90% of the time, and I would have preferred that she market me with pictures of nappy ol’me, as opposed to curly wigged up me, because nappy me is generally who anybody is guaranteed to see for the most part. These guys may see that wigged up, glam looking picture as their first point of contact for marketing purposes, then meet me with my naps and it’ll be like “errrr…where is the girl in the picture?” And, in all honesty, I still don’t think that most Nigerian men appreciate women with natural hair, for their own individual reasons. 

The convo with my friend had me thinking about other reactions that I’ve had to this wig of mine (and hair in general). I attended a wedding the other weekend, and some dude who I see at practically every event and he’d never said a word to me, came up to me at this particular wedding and stated that I “looked familiar” and “do we have mutual friends?” He then proceeded to make quite a bit of convo…I mean, I was quite surprised by the sudden friendliness and trust that I attributed it to ze wiggy. Why not? I don see dude countless times, and he never spoken a word…all of a sudden, I look familiar and he trynna kiki it up? 
Another male friend stated that my “hair” was really nice, and why don’t I wear it more often? Not to mention the various compliments that I received from my female friends. I went for another wedding where I ran into a bunch of my ex-feddy girls (who I must note that I had seen quite recently sans wiggies) and I got a lot of “wow, you look great girl”. I appreciated it all, but I kept thinking… “this is all nice, but it’s also very temporary”.

I have even gotten comments from my family members about hair on my head (i.e. braids). I once went to pick my mom up from her friend’s house. Then, I had a head of long yarn braids…and so, on the way home, my mom told me that a lady who she met commented on how “her daughter was so beautiful”. Then my mom turned to look at me and stated that I should consider keeping my hair in braids more often than not, as opposed to wearing it out in its natural form like I’m prone to do. I laughed. Even my sister once commented that braids really look good on me, and added that I should braid my hair more often because according to her, “my individuality is so strong that I need to wean Naija guys small small”. I laughed at that too.

I’m not even mad at anyone’s opinions…I do get their points. They say that a woman’s hair is her crowning glory, and I know that "hair" does add some kind of an upgrade, and dare I say, ups my “level of attractiveness”… but I still generally prefer to wear my own hair in its most natural state. That’s when I feel like my truest self, and in my opinion, everything else that I put on my hair is just false advertising. I prefer for, and feel more comfortable when men approach me with my naps, as opposed to any kind of artificial hair on my head. And, in an ideal world, people would think that I looked equally as amazing as a nappy headed HOttie, as they think that I do with braids or a wig… but we live in a world where packaging is what’s hot on the streets. The better packaged you appear to be, the more attractive you are considered to be. 
I will still continue to wear any of my two wigs when I feel like it. I appreciate the diversity that they bring, especially on days that I do not feel like dealing with and styling my hair…but on the flip, I gotta learn how to process the positive attention and comments that I get as a result of wearing the wiggies.

On that note, Im outtie for now.

Peace and Love, brethren *dutty whines out of this joint with my nappy roots*

22 comments:

bumight said...

fORST!!!! *does the dougie*

Well, it's quite opposite for me, finally went natural in May, (gasps!) and I've been getting mad compliments! Now I'm like "why didn't I do this sooner?"

Now I'm bored! I need new styles

I think it's because they're used to seeing u do the same thing over and over and the weave is a welcome change


Well, lemme post before someone comes and steals my spot!

Nutty J. said...

hmmm... men are attracted first by looks, and then quality. they are quick to notice 'different'...when you go from natural to weaves/braids/wigs the difference is clear, thus noticeable...give it time and it becomes mundane again.

Same way when you go from weaves/braids/wigs to natural again the difference is clear and thus noticeable (bumight)

personally I think wearing just one look year in and year out all the time...gets boring, not to you...but to those looking.

JustDoyin said...

OM, I think you should remain true to who you really are ( a beautiful natural-haired girl)..."He", when he comes, will love you the way you are...lol. Rock your wigs when you want to and your hair when you want to and dont send anybody.

leggy said...

i don't think you should think about it as false advertising. that person is you. it might be you only 10% of the time but that doesn't make it any less you than your natural hair does. i don't think it's about being 'prettier', i think it's probably cos you just look 'different'. i'm sure if you meet someone in your wig and they get to know you, they'd still like you without the wig. just my 2 cents. just think of the wig as a bait.(ha!)
p.s: i spend so long trying to figure out what the verification thing is so biko, remove it.

Toinlicious said...

I totally agree with Nutty J. I think it's probably because people are so used to seeing just your naturals, they've gotten used to it and any kinda change is welcome. Doesnt mean you're less you, it just means people get bored easily (which is not your problem really) but you can just switch it up from time to time and be versatile with your hair #3centsdser

mizchif said...

See this is why i love you. Too honest.

Personally i love switching my look up so i'm all for weaves from time to time, but now that i've discovered wearing my own hair is an option i've definitely cut down on "doing my hair" (whatever that means)
While i dont see it as false advertising i definitely prefer to meet guys when the fro is out so they know the deal, if you're trying to get with one you may wish to know that ones hair ends up in some very unsexy twists at bedtime.

Lol @ your sisters comment tho.


Errr......aunty...this word verification....

Mia Farraday said...

I've had so many similar experiences! My two (Nigerian) besties are both married and are literally chomping at the bit for me to join them. I think my hair, which I keep natural for months at a time, keeps 'falling their hand', poor things. I finally blew it out and straightened it and they almost fainted from relief! To be honest, I think I look my prettiest with a weave in, but I just love my naps too much not to rock them. Boys will simply have to like it or lump it.

Love your post, as always.

'Lara said...

different is good...I guess they were really amazed at the difference.

I also think we Nigerians have gotten so used to weaves that our Natural hair just looks strange to us.

taynement said...

Ah your "trueness" will forever be cherished by me. I can see why you would think of it as false advertising but like leggy said, it is you at that time and hopefully he wants more than whatever's on your head.

You are so right about packaging. I'm with Mia, personally I feel prettiest with my weaves in and for the most part I am in weaves but I have never for once thought of it as false advertising when I have it in.

Geri said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Geri said...

Funny. I often do this too- questioning the "real" me vs the me that people see/like, because a lot of times the two don't always coincide. But, I agree w Leggy too, it's still you. Full stop.

Also, do you think it's your "naps" being the problem (?) as opposed to it really just being the styling limitations you seem to have w your natural hair?

ie, the TWO new wigs which offer TWO new hairstyles right off the bat?

Sabirah said...

Hallo ha!!! I'm so feeling this post! I can totally relate! I've started wearing my hair out (natural) more and more and I really enjoy it that way.
I think perceptions of beauty (as far as I'm concerned) are mostly "eurocentric therefore they will most likely favor long "flowy" hair as opposed to naps.

ah well. Me I love my naps soo yeah

Seun Amusan said...

Appreciate that nappy head first...wigs and weaves are not permanent fixtures. I hate when guys do that.

Myne Whitman said...

Wigs on, or without, it's still you I think. I also have only my naps on most of the time since I cut my hair and decided not to relax anymore. I use wigs sometimes, flatiron and the rest, and it is still me. I agree with you that straight is still more appreciated by others though...

MPB said...

I totally identify. Infact just last weekend i bought a straight lace front wig which I am rocking, and the compliments have been left, right and center. Only one of my friends who is Asian ever tells me that she prefers my natural hair. I definitely feel like a fraud and often want to tell them this is just a wig...but i guess i don't owe it to anyone really.

Etoile Oye said...

I get more compliments with my natural hair too. But I agree with the style limitation. There's only so much you can do. I kept my hair outta braids the whole summer and after week four, I was done.

air-mecca said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
air-mecca said...

I can't tell the difference between a weave and a wig, or brazillian and peruvian hair. Some women rock the natural look pretty well, some don't. I just feel people should rock what they feel comfortable in, life is too short to worry about what people think about my hair, lol. I kinda identify with the false packaging angle. Anyone who can't see past your hair or only notices that you r killin' it when you are rocking a wig is on some Clint Eastwood doping level...high! btw, this robot thingy hard o.

Anonymous said...

I love your natural hair. You're beautiful when it's that way. Never been a fan of weaves. Guess I'm not the average Nigerian brother. Lol. Braids I love. But still on still, great post. As fresh as ever :)

adaku said...

looool. me sha i prefer you with natural hair. but then you know me. i especially loved your red low cut natural hair days.

aeedeeaee said...

You go gurl!

Na personal decision. nappy or flat. Teamnatural was fun and games until some people hijacked it and made it some kind of "haram" to have relaxed hair.

I've been all kindsa nappy since 05 and I don't regret my decision. I don't expect anyone to understand or even accept it. Just like you, I pretty much rock my fro. once in a while I have weaves in or simply weave the hair.

Whatever rocks ur boat nwannem, the man who loves you will love you even if your head is a galloping alopecia...

Nigerian Drama Queen said...

I've been natural for 3 years but to be honest I got bored with it and I got a tex-lax this summer. It allows me to still retain the fullness of natural hair but get a little more softness.

Anyhoo, you know the babes that cake on pounds of make-up, suck everything up in spanks for days, and just look like a completely different human being on chill days? Maybe false advertising applies there lol