Leave Blue Ivy's Hair Alone!
Apparently some women aren't happy about the way Beyoncé is caring for her daughter's hair. Some Twitter posts that have been flying around include:
- “Blue Ivy would be so cute if they just combed her hair.”
- “When will she do Blue Ivy’s hair?”
- “Let me see another damn picture of Blue Ivy without her hair done. She ain’t no damn boy put some hair bows in her damn hair.”
- "Blue Ivy looks like she just got thrown out of the club.”
- “I think Blue Ivy is so cute…they just need to do her hair. All that money but that baby looking like she popped out ShaNaeNae pum not Beys.”
OK, that last one is kind of funny... But...
As a white mother of a black child, I have to say I feel pressured to keep my son's hair short. I'd like to let it grow into a cute baby 'fro, but I know that some black women will look at us and think, "Look at that woman. She doesn't even know how to care for her son's hair."
When my son was an infant, he had very bad stomach issues. He was projectile vomiting all over me several times a day and had diarrhea that no diaper could contain. My washing machine was running from sun up to sun down with the five to seven outfits both he and I had to change into and out of daily. After a particularly hard night with very little sleep for either of us, I spent the morning making breakfast, packing lunches and signing school work for my seven year old twins, and got them on the school bus. Then it was time to wrestle my basset hounds to clip their 40 toenails and clean their cavernous ears. And then came the grocery shopping. I gathered up all my baby gear and headed to Shop Rite. I wheeled my overfull cart to the register and stood waiting my turn with my son on my hip. An older woman came over to me and said, "He's ashy," in a heavy Caribbean accent.
"Excuse me?" I asked, in an exhausted haze.
"Da baby. He's ashy. A-SHY. You have to put lotion on him every day."
"Yes, I know. Thank you," I muttered as I started putting groceries on the belt. What I really wanted to say was, "Lady, you have no idea what my life is like. Do you know how many toenails I have to clip? Ears I have to clean? A little dry skin is the least of my problems." I know she meant well, but at that moment with so little sleep and so much of the day still ahead of me, I could've cried over my Greek yogurt.
Unless a child looks like they are truly neglected, I don't know why someone would feel compelled to comment on their appearance other than to say, "How cute!" And as for Blue Ivy, what's wrong with letting a child's hair grow the way it wants to grow? Black hair is very fragile. The more you mess with it, the more it breaks.
My neighbor's son is three and he has beautiful bouncy curls. I told her I'd like to let my son's hair grow but it's uneven right now and I don't want black moms looking at me like I don't know what I'm doing. She rang my doorbell the other day.
"I hope you don't think I'm being obnoxious, but this is for you," she said and handed me a jar of hair grease. "Our scalp isn't oily like yours is. You have to moisturize your son's hair to help it grow. Don't be mad at me!"
"Not mad at all," I laughed. "Grateful, actually. Thank you."
That's how it should go between moms. Motherhood is hard. If you can help another mom - help. And if you can't - zip it.