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Why I have white girl hair envy

07 February 2014, 10:37Thembakuye Madlala and Bono M

Abuja - Don’t get me wrong, I like my ethnic hair. I get to look like Beyonce one month and Halle Berry the next, it’s exciting and can literally transform my image.

But sometimes when I’m broke or just feeling lazy to get a new hairstyle I find myself wishing I had straight, silky locks. Thus, I have termed my desire, White girl envy.

This is a psychological condition that Freud failed to analyse. He mastered the notion of the Oedipus complex and penis envy but fell short of mentioning anything about white girl envy.

Here is a list of some of the reasons behind the psychological condition I like to call white girl envy:

- You can leave the house without doing anything to your hair. That whole “I rolled out of bed look” does not work for us darkies.

- Also, if you wanted to comb your hair the comb would effortlessly go through your hair.  This is not the case for us. Even after my hair has been relaxed, sometimes the comb still hustles to get through it.

-You look good after swimming. Except for sisters with a shaved head, our hair never looks good after swimming. It minces if it was relaxed and braids float on the pool’s surface.

-Your trip to the hair salon will probably never reach more than a few thousand. If black girls want a good weave sometimes the weave alone can cost a lot!

My brief hair timeline:

Anyways. For me, the hairstyle that I choose to have depends on a multiple of factors. As a student, best believe I did not have the money to have and maintain a good weave.

I attended university in Cape Town, South Africa and boy is the wind real out here. I was not going to be involved in my weave tracks showing in the wind while I climbed the notorious UCT steps for the whole of campus to see.  Weaves also tend to shed quite badly when they start to get old. I was not about that life.

My university days consisted mainly of braids and a short do. I used to relax my own hair for financial reasons, only to have to deal with consequential burns on my scalp for weeks after. I then decided to cut most of it off and braid in between.

The worst thing about having braids though, is whenever there is a braid on the floor that looks like yours, everyone thinks it is yours.

I remember this one time on UCT choir camp, we went to the beach for fun. Then, while strolling on the beach there was a dreaded braid on the shore.

Everyone assumed it was mine even though that braid was a colour two (brown) and mine were a colour one (black). #BlackGirlProblems

At the end of the day, I agree with India Arie when she says “I am not my hair.”

- Women24


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