Beyonce’s Hair Cut and Why it Matters for Naturals

So as you may have heard—because when ish like this happens it damn near shuts down social media for like a week— Beyonce got a new haircut!

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I’m usually pretty hands-off when it comes to celebs and their various styles, but this one reeled me right on in and here’s why….

Awhile back, someone asked me what I thought the largest barrier was for women going natural. Without flinching, my response:

“They’re afraid of short hair.”

When I was first considering going natural back in 2008, one of the main reasons I was nervous was because I didn’t want to have short hair and look like a dude. Put simply, my hair was my physical representation of my own femininity.

Fast forward almost five years:  I have clearly gotten over this fear of the crop.  However, I still hear it constantly in various forms from women all over the world:

  • “I want to transition for 2-3 years because I want to have some length.”
  • “You cut 10″ off your hair?  I would have cried to lose all that work.
  • “Do you still feel like a woman?” – a male fried of mine
  • “Long hair don’t care!  I’m going for BSL!”

Whether women of color are natural or not, there exists this obsession with length.  But where does this come from? Is it sort of a “the grass is always greener” idea, that we want what we can’t have?  News flash: your hair will never tumble in silken golden billows from a tower like Rapunzel.  But hey, at least you don’t have to worry about getting kidnapped and forced to do manual labor with your own hair!  Or is it because we’ve been drilled with this idea that our hair, especially when it’s long, defines us as women and is what makes us feminine.

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Celebrities and the media have huge amounts of power when it comes to creating these idealistic images of women and how they should look, act, and dress.  So for the woman who has never, and I mean never, once appeared in the public spotlight without extensions or a weave is a pretty big deal.  The fact that Beyonce wearing her own hair, her own SHORT hair,  I believe has the ability to encourage and empower women of color to break away from this preoccupation with length.

Texture aside, I think this is a pretty powerful statement of embracing one’s own natural beauty!  Go ‘head, Bey!

 

 

 

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13 Comments

  1. I am not so sure it means that much to me. I no longer pay attention to the media’s idealistic standards of beauty anymore because I know that I will NEVER match up to them. I just try to put the best “me” out to the world as possible. Now I am sure it means something to HER. I am sure she felt empowered by her cut. She may have realized that she can still be feminine and sexy without all the long hair. If so, I am happy for her. I been through that already… that is why I am keeping my fade with the crisp lineup!! :-)

    • Hey Atiya! EXACTLY—perhaps shes going through her own realization…I’d like to give her the benefit of the doubt!

      And yes, keep that cut lined up! :)

      Cb

  2. I agree that this is a great thing for naturals,and women of all colors alike. I compare Beyonce to Tina Turner when you have to be the front man of the band you gotta have the hair to whip back and forth it’s the wildness long hair presents in entertainment it’s the show hair! I do find this look on Beyonce refreshing but I do not think it will last long..her image is sex and beauty and for decades long hair and a makeup face in a short skirt is the poster child for this. I think women need to realize hair long or short dose not make the woman ..beauty fades but a great mind will always be there. When I have a daughter I will teach her to idolize God first not 24 inches of Mongolian blond tresses in a mini skirt.

    • Hi Roshawn! No, no need for an alter to 2-feet of Mongolian blonde! (You made me laugh with that one)

      And great point: “a great mind will always be there”…

      Cb

  3. people forgot that Halle set the bar and Angela Basset’s look in Teri McMillan’s movie. Short hair and beauty isn’t new: I think some folks are suffering from natural hair that is short and old stereotypes about gender. The same thing happened for sister with locs. We have let the establishment define what femininity is for us. Thank you for blogging.

    Another topic: on your blog is the comment section just for others or do you plan to comment?

    • Hi Sandy!

      I totally agree with you! It’s all lingering, embedded beliefs.

      Now about the comments, I usually let people comment and talk with one and other, but I can start getting in here too! I just didn’t want to seem overbearing considering the previous 400 words were all my own! :)

      • ok.. cool
        Thanks for responding. Personally I don’t mind your responses. But I agree that writing posts express your opinion as well.

    • I agree…I’m not sure why it’s a big deal b/c we saw a lot of women who rocked and/or continue to rock short and sexy do’s. There was a pic many years ago of what was obviously a lot less hair than the Simba wig pulled into a simple bun of relaxed hair.

      Tjada Pinkett Smith had one for a while, Malinda Williams, Nia Long, the entire group Blackgirl…people were rocking those pixie cuts in the 90′s and a lot of my friends had that look (and some still do, either with natural or relaxed hair).

      What probably bothers me more is the need to pretend that the 2 feet of weave/wig coming off is a hair cut. We see enough variations in texture and length to know that Beyonce probably has a warehouse the size of Buckinham Palace to hold her hair (nad I’m sure it is insured with Lloyd’s of London, the way many celebrities in the past have insured their “assets”.) She must have purchased 70% of the hair imported from Indian on her own.

      At any rate, I don’t expect her to keep the look and in a few months the Yaki will be back and they’ll be saying she grew it out. I have known women who will NEVER cop to wearing a weave and like Beyonce, wear them in all kinds of settings (b/c one reason many white people and probably a lot of black people think her hair is real is b/c she has pool wigs, vacation wigs, and probably had a birthing wig when she had Blue Ivy).

      But again, too many inconsistent colors, textures, and lengths for anyone who isn’t mesmerized by her to be fooled.

      • I have straight ass white lady hair & have always kept it long. Grew up as a tomboy, so didn’t want to cut my hair long for fear of looking like a dude! Its totally a crazy feminine thing & I love women who rock short do’s. I am also enjoying Rihanna’s natural curls these days (@badgirlriri on instagram!) haha. …and the grass is always greener, I have wanted curls and volume my WHOLE life!!! But I’m workin what my mama gave me. Keep spreading the love!!! Great writing!!!

        • Well maybe it’s time to take the plunge and CHOP!!! I didn’t think I could until I did :)

          Thanks for reading! Hope all is well!! XOXO

  4. We as strong powerful black women need to get back to our natral hair and stop trying to emulate the white sstereotype we have shoved down our throats everyday. Its rasicm pure and simple!! Its the white markatplace trying to bleed us dry and destroy our coumanitys from the inside out with there trendy retoric!! Unfortonatly rasicm is rampant and we need to pull together and keep vigalent aganst white conform! Living in Detroit I can’t find gainfull enployment to feed my children because ? RASICM!! The same jobs arnt there for black people there are for whites. i

    • Er…I strongly suspect you can’t get a job because you cannot spell. I hate to see what your job applications look like sans auto-spellcheck. GOOHWTBS!

  5. I have a strong feeling the postpartum shedding finally got to Ms. B, so she decided to be proactive. If you notice, a LOT of female celebrities cut their hair within a year or two of giving birth. lol I don’t really think a statement is being made here other than the public’s continued obsession with celebrities…as much as they want to deny it.

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