Monday, August 22, 2011
Naturals Mad for Nivea Re-Civilize Yourself!
Nivea gave the African-American population the biggest compliment corporate has ever placed upon us and we lost it. The displaced African Diaspora has always longed to be part of the main stream. We finally made it and couldn't handle the pressure. Main stream is not handled with kid gloves, and main stream has no secrets. The natural movement has given us a perception of confident self aware African people, but this is simply not the truth.
The truth is most of us are a bunch of insecure self hating racist. The out pour of pain at seeing what is the most truthful depiction of modern African culture demonstrates self destruction. Must all African models have hair weaves, boob jobs, and be anorexic? Look in the mirror, do we feel that we are not good enough. The ad was pinned by a African executive who was ready to tell the truth. I have been in corporate America and international for over a decade. I put on the image for work, and take it off at the close of the day. That does not mean my coworker only see the fake me, quite the contrary, in corporate we work night and day. During the day, they see corporate Afro puff/bun me, after hours, they see and appreciate the fro. Corporate has been seeing various Afro's on professional women for decades, whereas non professionals are just coming into the natural movement.
Professional women like myself gave up the perm because we had to travel for work. While traveling at a moments notice, and staying up late nights to advance our careers we went natural, buns, Afros, and puffs. Corporate thinks of the short to medium Afro puff as a conservative bun. One employer told me after she hired me with my short afro, that she picked me because of my conservative hairstyle. The hairstyle was the result of a bad perm. The front of my hair fell out, so I wore a short afro in the front, and had a neck length bob in the back. My boss loved this short professional non-weave and thus the afro acquired my first corporate job from a white women that was concerned about corporate image long before the natural movement.
As a professional at this point in my career, I command my own definition. I look inside of myself to determine my look. At my level everyone is using racism, ageism, sexism, lying, cheating, and stealing in order to make it to the top. If someone challenges my look instead of my work product, I know that means they simply can't compete my me, and I crush 'em. Try that from the bottom of my shoe. Of course I have been a professional for ten years, we all have to learn.
When I first went natural I was very proud that my hair was growing. I wore this monster Afro to my graduation, and I was so proud. Some laughed at me, others encouraged me. At the time I didn't have a boyfriend so I tried online dating, when I sent the guy a picture of my Afro, he never called me again. Many lucky men have loved my afro since then.
In addition to being a blogger, I own a club for Naturals. One of the prominent topics is self loathing. Feeling unattractive when looking at the hair texture as it grows out of the head. Shame at realizing that this hair means that we are African. For some reason, as long as we are wearing straight hair, we can pretend to be something less than our dark selves. Looking in the mirror seeing a head of cottony nappy coils, that often looks just like a human poodle is something most of us haven't come to terms with. Nivea unwittingly walked into our self hate and we needed a vehicle to unleash our pain upon. Pity we didn't choose counseling.
How come every time a black person takes their weave off, let's go of the perm, process, texlax and just shows natural in it's wildest sense... Some fresh relaxer, gelled up, weave wearing, fake breast enhanced, Botox, lip injected county check person gets in an uproar? Because we are like the woman that has allowed herself to be abused by a thousand no good men, and finally marries a good. All the pain is released upon the good one in a safe place, and he is wondering what happened. Nivea did a good thing, we just need to be ready for random acts of kindness the next time. We are beautiful natural.
I was proud to see a broth-a getting a national commercial and sporting an afro in his heritage. I was happy that some corporate entity was willing to recognize that black people were here in the past, and have natural beautiful hair. We exsisted before the pressing comb. Of course all of you closet naturals with self identity issues couldn't take the truth. Get off the witch hunt and let black actors get their residual checks.
In order to get there we need to figure out where we want to go. It is unrealistic to expect advertisers to show 1950's style Beaver cleaver post because no one wants to watch that crap. We would all get quickly bored and tune them out for something more interesting. Black people you just insulted you way out of a job. Fact, a black male executive created that ad campaign, his job is at risk. Fact a black man had a lucrative ad campaign job with residuals, he is now out of a job. Fact other corporations are going to be leary of using black people for controversial campaigns because it could be a fiasco. The only campaigns worth doing are controversial ones, so that means, if you are a model, actor, or professional, you just insulted your way out of job. Fact, after you lost a chance at a good corporate job, or acting contract, your hair is still nappy, and yes you are still of the same national origin that you have been trying to hide.
Why is the natural community in an uproar because of a natural shown without gel? Are we really natural? Do we really love ourselves or do we have a long way to go. Are we finding another way to hide that we are a bunch of nappy headed Africans? This natural applauds Nivea, as to the rest, re-civilize yourself!
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Labels: 're-civilize yourself' self-esteem nivea apology afro-mask racist natural identity corporate therapy therapist