The whole world is in shock!
This petition came out on Change.org recently:
As a woman who understands the importance of hair care. It's disturbing to watch a child suffering from the lack of hair moisture. The parents of Blue Ivy. Sean Carter A.K.A Jay-Z and Beyoncé has failed at numerous attempts of doing Blue Ivy Hair. This matter has escalated to the child developing matted dreads and lint balls. Please let's get the word out to properly care for Blue Ivy hair.
She claims it was a joke. Well no one is laughing.
A woman from Brooklyn, started this petition and I don't even want to mention her name as I don't approve of getting fame for doing stupid things; it gives rise to more stupidity. The woman in question still stands by what she did and even tries to belittle her actions as humorous, which has unfortunately has led over 4600 followers signing the same apparently 'hilarious' petition on Change.org:
Is it that Blue Ivy is the daughter of mega famous parents, Beyonce and Jay-Z, and that gives the public the right to raise her as if she is their own? Is it that she is a little girl and according to history her hair should be perfectly in place at all times to be respectable? Or lastly, is it that black, natural, uncombed hair is a sore sight and is of great offence to the general public, especially to the black woman in Brooklyn who started the petition.
I have been to Brooklyn and sat in their hair shops, and the most beautiful thing about Brooklyn is seeing the diversity of expression through unique textures weaved into colourful hairstyles. Although, the impression I got was that the emphasis was maybe too much on getting your hair 'done', as opposed to just letting it be. The same could be said for London also, where at one time a few years ago as a student, I was in Peckham and counted that I was the only female in Primark with my own hair on my head!
Choice is admirable. We can choose who we want to be by changing our hairstyles, but judgement on natural hair is self-hatred and this petition is plain shocking, so don't pass this off as a joke as most truth is revealed through jest. The woman in question has actually admitted to having natural hair herself, yet she continues to describe Blue Ivy's hair as, "developing matted dreads and lint balls."
As a mixed race female who loves to wear an afro, I have endured ridicule by certain individuals within the black community, who make comments in the local Caribbean shop like, "How do you comb that hair!?" To which my reply, very tongue in cheek, is, "With a comb!" In truth, due to the texture of my hair I choose to condition my hair several times a week but comb my hair only once a week, as detangling it eradicates all the beautiful spirals I so much enjoy. But, I won't let them know that down the Caribbean shop.
It seems ignorance is in our own race, regarding our own hair, which is inexcusable. There are black and mixed race women who have never even see the texture of their own hair due to continuous perming so no wonder seeing Blue Ivy's hair is such a shock. She is an education for many; maybe we need to bring along a woman with an afro into schools, just for the youth to touch and comb through so they are not victim to this same ignorance?
At the same time, I understand why some women chose to perm or use a weave as it can save a lot of time and frustration. The real, hard facts are it takes a lot of time to care for natural hair, afro or not. So, when we do go natural, we should be supporting each other with high fives, really cool YouTube communities and Facebook groups like Contemporary Natural Hair because it is time-consuming to maintain.
Obviously, there are many of us who support each other. Yet, there are some who despise their heritage so much that they make jokes at our hair's expense. I wonder if the petitioners in question would ever target some of our legendary greats such as Bob Marley and accuse him of having, "matted dreads and lint balls". How offensive to my family who come from Trinidad and Tobago, the home of dreadlocks alongside many other neighbouring Caribbean islands.
It hurts. When I see such hatred for a part of my heritage that has already endured so much pain. Now, we are reliving slavery and oppression by calling each other by the N-word and separating good hair from and bad hair, which all stems from white supremacy. As sad as it is, if Blue Ivy's hair formed perfect ringlets which fell around her face, I am sure there would be no petition and Beyonce and Jay-Z would not be implied to be bad parents.
One woman wrote on the petition,
Because no child whose mom spends thousands on her hair (monthly) should live life looking like a sheep!
I don't see Blue Ivy on stage singing, 'Crazy in Love' shaking her little bum. Blue Ivy's only job is to be a two year old. She should be allowed to be that two year old, because at that age she does not care what her hair looks like. And, what Beyonce does with her hair is her business, literally, but personally I have respect for her not putting a perm into a two year old's hair.
Women, like this need to think carefully what they are actually trying to imply when they disapprove of a toddler's hair the way it grows out of their scalp. What message are you sending to all the little girls who look like Blue Ivy? What are you saying to their fragile self-esteem about their innate beauty?
We should not as a community be so judgemental towards each other about how we choose to wear our glorious hair. It is the most versatile hair in the world and it should be celebrated with twists, pressing it, plaiting it, dreading it and leaving it to puff into an afro, with acceptance and joy. We should be celebrating what our hair represents and that is our versatility as a culture with so may stunning shades of skin and strengthening strands of roots that knit us into one.