When Natural Hair Blog Commenters Get Uppity

lupita-nyongo-oscar-dress-blue-prada-headband

This photo has nothing to do with this post, but I really had to include my 2nd best friend in my head (Chimamanda is the first).

So I recently wrote an article on Bella Naija rounding up some Nigerian natural hair bloggers that people should follow. I was inspired to write the post because my first one, on why the #teamnatural movement is needed in Nigeria, got a whole slew of comments that in short – showed me that many Nigerians need some natural hair inspiration that they can relate to. It’s one thing when Taren can grow her hair in 2 years, but when you’ve had a TWA for 5 years AND you’ve been socialized to think that your hair is the beyond difficult (even Weezy thinks so), your lack of hair progress can swiftly be blamed on your hair type or nationality.

Anyway, I wrote this post and originally wanted to include only 10 bloggers but came across quite a few. What I thought would take me about 2 hours in actuality took me about 12 over the course of a few days. I had to sift through people’s YouTube pages and their blogs to extract information about the amount of time they’d been natural, their regimen, and the styles they typically do. Maybe readers don’t fully understand, but articles of any kind that are researched, take TIME to write. A whole lot of it. I never claim to know everything, which is why I often end my posts with a question that offers you the chance to add to the discussion. That’s the fun part about blogging, having a conversation with the readers!

Back to the specific article: I completed my article by asking if there were any Nigerian natural hair bloggers that I missed. Some people gave me good recommendations, but others had the gall to say things like:

“How could you miss so and so?”

Or for all my readers who sabi pidgin; “ah ah, which kind rubbish be this?”

Um… ma’am?

I’m sorry. The next time you want some information included in an article about natural hair or any other topic, do me and other bloggers a favor and write it by your darn self. Either offer your suggestion without judgment of the blogger’s intentions, abilities, and awareness or have a seat. Or in pidgin: siddon.

In general, it’s not the best idea to disrespect anyone, especially if you won’t do so to their face. But for those of us who – outside of our normal lives – write extensively to help educate people on a specific topic (in my case, natural hair), it is especially trifling to shoot the messenger because they did not give you the message that you wanted to hear.

What do you think? Should readers be able to “go in” on bloggers? What’s the respectful way to comment when you disagree?

Oh, and to make the photo semi-relevant; unless you’re on Lupita’s level, do not come for me in the comments!

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Comments

  1. No, I don’t. They need to be considerate of the blogger time that have to write and research the information. It’s a job for them and they take it with a art of their time. I know that I couldn’t devote the amount of time to write one. We has readers do the easy part and read. I’m thankful for the knowledge the blogger save me in research. I’m very appreciated what yall do. I don’t have any negative comments.

  2. Blogs are essentially discussions held on a web platform. Therefore, the same rules that are followed in civil discourse should be applied to the internet. I think the rudeness in comments manifests itself because physical interactions are eliminated, thus leading people to feel more empowered (or in most cases less polite or just blatantly rude). We’ve all been taught social etiquette to a certain degree. so when there’s no reason to follow these social rules (specifically in the internet environment) people are less inhibited and will behave and write in a less appropriate manner. Another thing to consider is that social etiquette is relative to cultures and if we wanted to get a bit more specific education level and socioeconomic status. I am Nigerian- American. My parents are Nigerian and I was born in the United States. I’ve often complained to my parents that they are loud and a bit harsh with their words. However after more exposure to different Nigerian cultures, I realized that Nigerians are only “loud” and “harsh” from my perspective. They do not describe themselves as such. So maybe, the commentators on Bella Naija (the Nigerians ones) were just writing how they usually speak. However, I’m not condoning rudeness or offensive language. No on should be attacked. We should all learn to separate ideas from individuals. Just because I don’t agree with your opinion or idea doesn’t mean that I have to hate and disparage you. The art of debate is a skill that I really want to perfect. It’s so useful! Anyway, this blog is awesome and so is your YouTube channel.

  3. It doesn’t matter who you are, you should always come correct. Another vencular respectful. What we as naturalista need to recognize is that just like breastfeeding, which should be totally normal isn’t. We are all learning, and some are doing better than others. Some mothers who breastfeed don’t understand those that don’t and think it should be so easy. Thanks for your blog, I read many, and I make sure that I’m never disrespectful even in disagreement to my sisters. We’re all trying to get this right. I was at a meet and greet a few years ago in Atlanta, and one product maker was disrespectful to another. I just stood there and realized that we need to see the vision. If we are going to own this natural space, we have to keep encouraging each other, so others don’t come in and blind-side us while we’re quarelling about foolishness.

  4. My great grandmother’s father was a slave. She would tell me how bad he was treated. Sometimes when I experience people who are cruel, I think, how far are they from real human cruelty.

  5. Sigh. I was a little sad by the time I got to the comments section. People are allowed to be mean all they want, freedom of speech, anonymity and all. Since you’re a regular BM columnist now, I’m sure you’ll develop a thick skin for the comments sections. Ignore them all.

  6. Leave the naysayers who probably couldn’t construct an intelligent paragraph if the truth were known. They don’t even make up 1% of your entire reader base. The lizard wey get bad belle, na im bad belle go kill am. Sweetie, carry go abeg. Nothing do you.

  7. I am Nigerian and find some of people’s comments offensive. You just have to keep it moving. Folks will believe what they want to believe. I never thought I could grow my hair until I saw it at bra strap length.
    I am currently transitioning to natural and already, I can see the difference in healthier hair.
    I just discovered your site and plan on continuing to follow some of the tips you have provided. Thank you!

  8. The comment by thehealthyafrican is the truth!! Especially the Audrey Lorde quote. You inspire more people than you know {including myself}, so keep on, keeping on! Some of those comments on your Bella Naija posts are absolutely disgusting,for real. Internet trolling is a serious disease and some people need to get help! According to this article, internet trollers are really psychopaths.
    http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/climate_desk/2014/02/internet_troll_personality_study_machiavellianism_narcissism_psychopathy.html

    I’ve read some of those comments on BN and some of those people are not right in the head..lol
    No ma’am!!!
    Keep on being GREAT and do you boo *Shameless Maya* voice
    🙂

  9. I have been following you for a while . The time and care you take for each blog is apparent. The anonymity of online discourse has giving licence to people to be rude in a way they would never do live. Because they do not see you and you are not within their reach they simply forget that there is a hardworking person behind what they are reading . People I have noticed release a lot of negative energy on online platforms and the trick becomes finding a way to bypass that energy and continue on your way.

    In the words of one of my favorite writers

    “I Have come to believe over and over again that what is most important to me must be spoken, made verbal and shared, even at the risk of having it bruised or misunderstood.”

    -Audre Lorde

    Keep writing , educating and being an inspiration . Your words certainly reach those who need to hear it.

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