Is It Rude to Say that People Look Better with Natural Hair?

Last week, I shared an article with BGLH.com titled 10 Celebrities Who Look Better With Natural Hair, citing Viola Davis, Solange, Chrisette Michele, Marsha Ambrosius, and others. The opening went like this:

“I’m a firm believer that natural hair IS for everybody… the hair that grows out of your scalp is meant for you! However, there are some people – myself included – whose natural hair looks so much better on them than straight hair that it should have always been, and should always be, their first choice. Sometimes those people happen to be famous, so here are a few celebrities whose looks were revolutionized once they went natural.”

Marsha Ambrosius
Marsha Ambrosius
Kimberly Elise
Kimberly Elise

It was a pretty straight forward article – or so I thought. Some commenters felt that the language of “better” was rude and hypocritical because naturals – including myself – would be tight if someone said they looked better with straight hair. I disagree.

Natural hair is the way our hair grows out of our head. It IS perfect. We need to get over being politically correct and start celebrating natural beauty, from hair to skin to facial features, if we’re going to expect the future generation of little girls to benefit at all from the leaps and bounds we’ve made in this generation around hair acceptance. Yes, everyone has the choice to wear their hair the way they would like, but they are going to look better the way they were made. You can be unhappy with your body, but you’re going to look better without breast implants than with them, because that’s how you were made! Yes, you could gradually bleach your skin to make it lighter over time, but you will look better with your God-given skin tone because that’s how you were supposed to look. These examples all seem the same to me as the hair one – and I think by getting caught up in the runaround of everyone can choose what they want and you can’t say one thing is better or worse is counterproductive to one of the goals of the natural hair movement, which is to normalize and celebrate black beauty. Saying that someone looks better with natural hair does not have the same derogatory insinuations as saying that someone looks better with relaxed hair or a straight weave, because the latter implies that they look better according to European standards of beauty, which were forced upon us through slavery, colonization, and globalization.

What do you think? Is it rude to say that someone looks better with natural hair? Have you ever been told that, or have you told someone else?

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Comments

  1. We are not born perfect, we are born human. How is it edifying to tell a woman that she looks better this way or the next? If a woman believes that she looks beautiful while wearing her hair relaxed/natural, do you think that breaking her confidence – by telling her that she looks better another way – is awesome? Doesn’t her beauty run deeper than her hair? We are called to love and encourage each other through our journeys regardless of the paths taken. I have worn my hair naturally for many years but am confident that my “better” look has nothing to do with my hair.

    “10 Celebrities Who Look Fabulous with Natural or Relaxed Hair.”

    Now that’s uplifting.

  2. Okay, so it’s rude to say that your hair looks better the way God intended it to be. NO WAY. No it’s fine. I just think that we’ve been so accustom to thinking that we aren’t enough, including our hair, that some people get defensive when you are loving the original you. And if you speak about it, then you’re saying that they don’t look good were they are, and that’s not so.

  3. Chile please. I don’t find it rude at all. It’s the ultimate compliment. You hit every nail on the head. I’d love if someone told me that I was beautiful as is, w/o a ton of makeup and processed hair. Oh, wait. That happened! Thanks hubster! 😉 Ha! It IS rude, however, if someone says “you looked better with relaxed hair” because they’re telling me something is wrong with my hair the way it naturally grows out of my head. Ugh! People.

  4. No, it’s definitely not rude to say someone looks better with natural hair! Because it is SO true.
    Natural hair is US, and it really is better. I’d love for someone to bring their own pictures to prove otherwise.

  5. Ohh I didn’t notice that you wrote the article on BGLH 😛 But I reallyyy liked it! I also think that natural hair is for everybody. I would like to say to those people: “If natural hair wasn’t for everybody, then why were you born with it?” Saying that you look better with your natural hair implies that you are beautiful just the way you are (*needed to sing the last part :P) I think that’s THE perfect compliment. I would feel insecure and self conscious of myself if someone would say I would look better with relaxed hair 🙁 Anyways, people can have their preference. I like straight hair also, but just on someone with naturally straight hair.

  6. Yasss Ije! Right on! For one, the article was YOUR opinion. Anyone can have an opinion about something but I don’t understand how when a Black woman favors someone’s natural beauty, others chastise her for it. This backwards thinking has to stop and it’s unfortunate that years of slave mentality has caused us to cringe when someone prefers our natural Black ascetics.

  7. I didn’t think your article was rude when I first read it, and I still don’t. People have the right to do whatever they want to their hair and bodies, and other people have the right to have a preference for a certain aesthetic. Saying that people look better with the hair, skin, eyes, etc. they were born with is actually a compliment in my eyes.

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