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Nicholes curlychroniclesmultimediagenreresearchproject


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Nichole's Multi Genre research project for Public Relations Theory Class

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Nicholes curlychroniclesmultimediagenreresearchproject

  1. 1. gggg CURLY CHRONICLES Black Women’s Identity Crisis Are we relaxing our natural roots to belong to the “good” hair society? A Tale Of Two Sisters Beyonce&Solange Ever wondered what a debate would actually sound like between a woman with relaxed hair and a woman with natural hair about their chosen hairstyle?
  2. 2. VISIT CURLYCHRONICLES.COM OCTOBER 2012Two Words… got milk? October 2012/Curly Chronicles 2
  3. 3. CurlyContents October 2012 Volume I Issue I 5 Letter from the Editor 7 Defining “good” hair vs. “bad” hair: According to Tyra Banks, Chris Rock, and Spike Lee 8 What is “creamy crack?” Studies show hair relaxers linked to Fibroids in Black Women 9 Curly Chronicles go 1-on-1 with Professor Thomas Mickey and his concepts on Sociodrama and how it ties in with Black Women wanting to be part of the “good” hair society 13 The Girl Who Cried Relaxer 14 A Tale of Two Sisters: Beyonce&Solange’s Great Hair Debate 18 What’s Your Hair Type? Knowing your curl pattern 19 Can we call a truce?Curlies vs. Relaxers: Is there a solution within Professor Mickey’s theory? 20 Bibliography October 2012/Curly Chronicles 3
  4. 4. I’m TangledBy: RumiKolliyaat-e Shams-e Tabriz Im tangled,like the curls of my loves hair,like a snake encharmed, I turn and twist. What is this knot, this dizzy maze, this snareAll I know: if Im not tangled here, I dont exist. October 2012/Curly Chronicles 4
  5. 5. Editor’s Letter Whether Black women want to accept it or not, we are going through a majoridentity crisis when it comes to our hair. The questions constantly catapulting through ourminds are, “Should I accept my naturally kinky coils?” or “Should I relax my coils intosubmission?” This ongoing debate has transpired for decades, and the battle has sparked a never-ending feud we’ve waged within our community and ourselves. I want to fill you in on the generational anecdotes that have been passed on from ourgreat-grandmothers, to our grandmothers, to our mothers, and to us regarding Black hair.Imagine hearing that sleek, pressed out straight (i.e. Hispanic, Asian, Indian, Caucasian) hair isprettier (because its easier to get a comb through) than our kinky, coily, wiry hair. Listening tothis every time your mother does your hair or to flinch in pain as your hair is being brushed andcombed because it isn’t straight wears and tears on you mentally and emotionally. I hope the picture I’ve just painted is giving you a snapshot of why Black women opt torelax their hair because they want to belong and identify with the “good” hair society. Speakingfrom my own personal experience I didn’t believe my coiled hair was beautiful – until three yearsago. As a child I was natural until I was about eight and begged my mother for a relaxer becauseI wanted “pretty” manageable hair. Time though brings about a change, now that I’ve “re-embraced my natural roots” I have to say it’s been a freeing and liberating experience because ofthe versatility that comes with having natural hair. The ongoing argument of natural hair being “ugly” and not acceptable is the basis of myclaim with the Multi Genre Research project. In my opinion Black women are desperate. We’refacing a serious identity crisis when it comes to our hair. We want to belong and identify withthe “good” hair society so much that we’ll chemically alter our hair with a relaxer just to fit in sowe won’t have to deal with our wild wiry hair. My line of reasoning ties in with ProfessorThomas Mickey’s theory of sociodrama. Mickey made a claim, “as members of an audience wewant to identify with others. We want to be part of something. If we can identify ourselves withan organization, we become a part of it. They no longer communicate to us; we communicatewith one another.” Mickey’s claim on the concepts of sociodrama helped me birth the idea of CurlyChronicles magazine for the research project. I’m in love with magazines. They are informative,and accomplish an awesome task of keeping the public engaged and entertained without boggingthem down with loads of information. The first article in the magazine is where I give readers a quick lesson in defining “good”hair and “bad” hair. The first page will be dedicated to “good” hair and there will be a picture of aBlack woman with silky straight hair. I will then define “good” and “bad” hair from the UrbanDictionary. On the following page will be a Black woman with “bad” hair. These examples willgive readers who aren’t familiar with “good” and “bad” hair a better understanding of what itmeans in the Black community. The “good” and “bad” hair perspectives will be coming fromTyra Banks, Chris Rock, and Spike Lee. The trio has all spoken out about the debate with bothSpike Lee and Chris Rock having made films in regards to “good” and “bad” hair. October 2012/Curly Chronicles 5
  6. 6. The second article will explain what “creamy crack” or relaxer is. I will give abrief synopsis on its origin, how it was accidentally created its uses, and how the sodium hydroxidein it is being connected to Black women getting Fibroids. In my third article I will introduce Professor Thomas Mickey. I will also give an analysis onhis theory on the concept of sociodrama and how it relates to my identity crisis claim regardingBlack women in the “good” vs. “bad” hair debate. Following my analysis, is an interview (mock) thatI conducted with Professor Mickey on sociodrama and how the Black woman want to be a part of the“good” hair society. The third piece in my project is entitled “The Girl who Cried Relaxer.” This is myinterpretation of conversation I had with a friend of mine, and you’ll never believe the reason whyshe’s given up her natural hair. Woo Hoo! I was very fortunate about being able to get some free time out of these twosuperstars busy schedules. The forever- glamorous Beyonce and her naturalista singer little sisterSolange! Their piece is entitled A Tale of Two Sisters: Beyonce and Solange’s Great Hair Debate. Ifyou’ve ever wondered what a debate would sound like between a woman with natural hair and awoman with relaxed hair about why their chosen style? Well, look no further because Beyonce andSolange are bringing the “T” (truth). Following the great debate, have you ever wondered what hairtype you have? We’ve got the answers. I end the issue with can we call a truce? Is there a solutionwithin Professor Mickey’s sociodrama theory when it comes to the Black women’s identity crisiswhen dealing with their hair? I really hope you enjoy what you read here, and that you will see how the Black hairidentity crises ties in with Thomas Mickey’s theory regarding sociodrama and how we as individualsalways want to identify and belong to a group because it gives us a sense of belonging and security.Remember all hair no matter how kinky, coily, straight or oily it is, love your hair because itsbeautiful. Don’t believe the hype nor fall for the stereotypes… Live, Love, and always Laugh.Nichole L. Wiggins October 2012/Curly Chronicles 6
  7. 7. Tyra Banks, Chris Rock, and Spike Lee Interpretations of “Good” Hair vs. “Bad” Hairood Hair: A term used for black people’s hair. If the hair is long, soft, and smooth. This type of hair is considered attractive because soft and smooth hair is the healthiest, or at least looks that Hair: A popular term used in the Black community. The typical hair of those of African descent. It is extremelyurly/wavy and described as “nappy”, “kinky”, or “coily.” It is unmanageable Tyra Banks on “Good” Hair Tyra Banks jumped in on the “Good” Hair vs. “Bad” hair debate after years of wearing weaves. Chris Rock on “Good” Hair Chris Rock’sHis movie Good Hairwas inspired by his four-year-old daughter Lola. She had become obsessed with a friend’s hair. She said, “My friend has some pretty hair. Daddy, why isn’t my hair pretty?” Her question, inspired his movie. Spike Lee’s Movie School Daze Scene of “Good and Bad” Hair O Of the three, Spike Lee was the first to get involved in the “good” hair vs. “bad” hair debate. H His movie School Daze focuses on many issues within the Black community. This example is a dance number featuring Black women with “good” hair versus Black women with “bad” hair. October 2012/Curly Chronicles 7
  8. 8. What is Creamy Crack?Studies show relaxer linked to Fibroids in Black Women Relaxer or “creamy crack” as its called in the Black community is a creamy lotion thatmakes hair less curly and easier to straighten by chemically “relaxing” the natural curls. GarrettAugustus Morgan is credited with accidentally creating the relaxer when he observed that it ispossible to change the basic structure of the hair shaft when chemicals penetrate the corticallayer. The woman you see in the picture is getting what is called a “touch” up. She has relaxedhair however, because her roots have started curling, kinking, coiling up again, she’s sitting inher stylist’s chair to re-straighten her hair. According to A new study in the American Journal of Epidemiology haslinked hair relaxers to uterine fibroids, as well as early puberty in young girls.Scientists followed more than 23,000 pre-menopausal Black American women from 1997 to 2009 andfound that the two- to three-times higher rate of fibroids among black women may be linked to chemicalexposure through scalp lesions and burns resulting from relaxers. Women who got their first menstrual period before the age of 10 were also morelikely to have uterine fibroids, and early menstruation may result from hair productsblack girls are using, according to a separate study published in the Annals ofEpidemiology last summer. Three hundred African American, African Caribbean, Hispanic, and White women in New YorkCity were studied. The women’s first menstrual period varied anywhere from age 8 to age 19, but AfricanAmericans, who were more likely to use straightening and relaxers hair oils, also reached menarche earlierthan other racial/ethnic groups. While so far, there is only an association rather than a cause and effectrelationship between relaxers, fibroid tumors, and puberty, many experts have been quickto point out that the hair care industry isn’t regulated by the FDA, meaning that there’sno definite way to fully know just how harmful standard Black hair care products reallyare. This right here should really make Black women think twice before being so desperateto join the “good” hair society. October 2012/Curly Chronicles 8
  9. 9. One-on-one with Professor Thomas Mickey His Concepts of Sociodrama Theory How it ties in with Black Women desperatelywanting to be part of the “good” hair society Professor Emeritus Dr. Thomas J. Mickey is a real jack-of-all trades. Not only is a he amaster gardener from Quincy Massachusetts, but he’s also an author and teaches at BridgewaterState University. Curly Chronicles Editor-in-Chief Nichole Wiggins had the wonderful opportunity tospeak with Dr. Mickey who birthedthe sociodrama theorywhere we learn about how people“make meaning” with language, movements, and symbols, and what those words, actions, andsymbols mean to them. His concepts of sociodrama theory is what piqued my interest. There was a particularstatement that Dr. Mickey said that resonated within me. His claim: “as members of an audiencewe want to identify with others. We want to be part of something. If we can identify ourselveswith an organization, we become part of it. They no longer communicate to us; we communicatewith one another.”(Hansen-Horn and Neff, p. 127). His statement reignited an ongoingargument I see within Black women. We’re facing a serious identity crisis when it comes toaccepting our natural hair. Like Professor Mickey said we want to belong and identify. In thiscase we want to identify with the “good” hair society so much that we’ll chemically alter our hairwith a relaxer just to fit in. What does the good professor have to say in regards to my analysis? October 2012/Curly Chronicles 9
  10. 10. One-on-one with Professor Thomas MickeyCC: Dr. Mickey, thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule and sitting down for this interview.PTM: (smiles) No problem Nichole. Thank you for having me.CC: The pleasure is all mine. I have to tell you how honored I feel to be in your presence. This firstgraduate class has been pretty intense, we’ve been analyzing different theorists and theories and out ofall of them, your theory on sociodrama is one that has resonated with me.PTM: Why thank you. I am humbled by your kind words.CC: Professor Mickey, being a Black woman, I have the knowledge and wisdom regarding the identitycrisis troubling Black women when it comes to dealing with our natural hair. The stigma has beensomething that we’ve had trouble accepting for decades. Through analysis and interviewing variousfamily members and friends, I believe it started with our great-grandmothers and their dislike for theirnatural hair passing the negativity on to our grandmothers, who passed it on to our mothers, and nowhere we are – hating our hair.PTM: That’s terrible. I can’t imagine what that’s like. Why do you hate your hair? How do you copewith the negativity?CC: We hate our hair because it’s basically untamable and unruly. It’s thick, wiry, coily, and kinky. Ournatural hair has a mind of its own, and at times it can really be hard to get a comb through. As far ascoping with the negativity in regards to our natural hair, we find ourselves turning to hair magazines,television, movies, and music videos for hair inspiration.PTM: Hair inspiration? Please elaborate.CC: Okay. (laughs) Whenever I feel like trying a new hairstyle, I typically search various Black hairmagazines for some sort of inspiration. If I see a style that I have to have which nine times out of ten is apicture of a woman with some sort of silky straight hair, I will take it to my stylist and tell her thatthat’s the style I’m going for.PTM: I noticed you said you typically go for the pictures of a woman with silky straight hair. Why isthat?CC: Let me reiterate a bit further. The dislike of our natural hair has been ingrained within us that ournatural hair is ugly, and although I don’t believe that anymore seeing that I’ve been without a relaxer forthree years, subconsciously I think I still believe that my hair would probably be prettier some days if itwere relaxed because the straighter the hair, the more manageable it is to maintain.PTM: That’s very interesting. October 2012/Curly Chronicles 10
  11. 11. On CC: Interesting, but sad that we don’t accept our hair. It’s funny that we’ve embraced society’s standards of beauty that is “straight” silky hair is better and that we’ll probably get further in (i.e. career, dating, and the like) life if we conform. In order for us to feel like we’ll be accepted by our peers and in society is if we emulate what we see in magazines, videos, and television is of women with silky, straight, manageable hair. We look at it and think it’s beautiful so therefore we want to emulate the “cookie cutter” image. PTM: I never realized how deep this situation is for Black women. CC: I don’t think anyone has ever taken time to think about how we feel in regards to our hair. I know it’s made me think a lot though. I have to say the more research I’ve done on this issue brings me to your theory on sociodrama and how it relates to the ongoing identity crisis I see within us. Can you please give me more of an in-depth definition of what sociodrama is first before I begin? PTM: I’d be glad to. Sociodrama is a language based approach to public relations and as much is interactional, interpretative, and cultural perspective. Looking into sociodrama one (whether it be an individual or a public relations practitioner) learn about how people “make meaning” with language, movements, and symbols and what those words, actions and symbols mean to them. CC: Speaking of words you said some words in your sociodrama theory that I found to be very profound, and it’s actually the main reason why I wanted to set up this interview with you. PTM: Really? What exactly did I say that piqued your interest? CC: Your claim: “as members of an audience we want to identify with others. We want to be part of something. If we can identify ourselves with an organization, we become part of it. They no longer communicate to us; we communicate with one another.”(Hansen-Horn and Neff, p. 127). I totally agree with your claim. Let me start by saying that as a Black woman and analyzing us, this is what I see. For decades, we’ve always wanted to be part of the “good” hair society. For example, as I’ve stated before, the stigma of our natural hair has been something that we’ve had trouble accepting since coming to America from Africa. I’ve seen pictures of our African descendants and the closely cropped Afros and braids they wore. I honestly believe the love/hate relationship we’ve had with our hair truly began when we stepped foot onto American soil and got a chance to see how different our hair was in comparison to other women. However I believe the strong dislike for our natural hair started with our great-grandmothers hearing their mothers groan and complain while trying to think of a “quick” fix in regards to doing their hair. The dislike and negativity was then passed on generationally to our grandmothers, who passed it on to our mothers, and now here we are – hating our hair. Case in point, as little girls, we’ve always looked at our friends (the ones with the good hair) with longing, and envy wondering why our hair is coarse and coily and not silky and straight like theirs? Here’s how Dr. Mickey’s sociodrama ties in with another example. Take Chris Rock’s four-year-old daughter Lola. He tells the story about how after a dance class she was obsessing about how pretty one of her friend’s hair was. Lola made the comment, “Daddy my friend has pretty hair. Why don’t I have good hair?” Lola’s question catapulted Chris Rock into making the movie Good Hair. It’s situations like these that we as young girls experience that no one will ever be fully to understand, and that’s why we have this strong hatred for our hair. Why is it that we have to go through hours of maintenance to keep our hair up, when it seems like what our counterparts go through seems effortless? The separation of the “good” hair versus “bad” hair has left us feeling resentful, angry and we’ve also experienced bouts of low self-esteem feeling like we’re not good enough because our hair doesn’t match up with society’s standards of beauty. So, if we can identify ourselves with an organization, we become part of it. For instance the only way we as Black women can identify ourselves with the “good” hair organization is if we relax our natural roots in favor of getting the silky, straight tresses we see in the movies, magazines, music videos, and countless television commercials. Getting rid of our natural roots in a sense is like us burying who we are in favor of being accepted and welcomed into the “good” hair society. Now instead of society and our counterparts throwing us questioning looks in regards to our wild curly afros, they welcome us with open arms, because we’re no longer different, we look just like them in regards to the silky straight hair flowing down our backs. Our counterparts and society no longer communicate to us because now we’re on the same level playing field. We now speak the same language and share a common ground and likeness now that our hair is no longer kinky and coily. October 2012/Curly Chronicles 11
  12. 12. Once our hair is no longer kinky or coily, we’re instantly seen in a much favorable light. Ihate I’m admitting this but hear me out. It’s as if the organization we’re desperately seekingmembership into opens its doors and says, “You are now accepted in our great society.” We hearthese words and we smile. The words infuse us with the confidence we were lacking giving usreasons to exhale in relief because we’re now able to speak the same language boldly. We can holdour heads high and lift our shoulders proudly. We say to ourselves, “I’m beautiful”, and that’s sad tome. How come we didn’t see ourselves as beautiful before? Why does altering who we are alwayshave to be an option? Why must we go to the point of no return? Following our hopping off of noreturn boulevard, we are no longer timid in our actions and movements because we hold a key andhave access into the once forbidden world, the world that once rejected us and made us feel inferior. We all speak the same language in a sense, therefore making it easier for us all tocommunicate with one another and live harmoniously. We are no longer the odd man out, but myquestion remains, are Black women really living harmoniously seeing that our hair only stays silkyand straight for about three weeks, and then it starts to revert back to its coily wiry roots? Whymust we rely so much on the unhealthy “creamy crack” quick fix? that only lasts for a short period oftime before we’re off touching up our roots once again in order to belong. Why can’t we just acceptour hair in its natural glory? The sociodrama theory in regards to identification really made me think. It’s true. We allwant to identify and be part of something, but does one really have to try and hide ones uniquenessin order to be accepted and welcomed by the majority? Why must we conform? Why is it soimportant to want to belong to an organization? Are we winning some type of grand prize bybelonging? Does it make us more popular? Will we make more friends? Get more men to date us?Will it make us a better person? Is identifying with own self that bad that we have to resort to theopinions of others to make up our minds about who we really are? What happened to the mantra“To thine own self be true?”PTM: Nichole, you are right on target in regards to tying in my thoughts on sociodrama in regardsto the identity crisis plaguing Black women when it comes to their hair. Your analysis was used in aperfect way. It’s true we all want to be part of some organization, some group all of the time. Ourdecisions often happen because of that need to identify.Black women for example, and their desperateneed to be part of the “good” hair society. They want to be part of this group so bad that theirdecision to relax their hair often happens because of their need to identify with the “good” hairsociety.CC: I totally agree Professor Mickey. My hope is that one day that we as Black women can just beproud of the hair God has given us, and not feel so pressured that we have to jump on the “relaxer”bandwagon just to feel as if we belong. October 2012/Curly Chronicles 12
  13. 13. The Girl Who Cried RelaxerMeet Christen Smith. She’s an acquaintance of mine, and we’ve been friendly forabout three years since I’ve been working in the daycare. She and I have bondedthrough our love of natural hair. We swap natural hair secrets and discuss ourregimens as far as the dos and don’ts and what works and what doesn’t work when itcomes to our natural hair. Well a couple of weeks ago, Christen and I got togetherfor dinner, and I was blown away that she had gotten a relaxer. She looked at mewearing a sheepish demeanor, and said, “Yes, Nikki, I know. I know.” I asked herwhat made her want a relaxer and she said, “I’m so used to having men at my beckand call, but I feel like since I’ve been wearing my hair natural, they haven’t beengiving me that much attention.” Her words shocked and disappointed me. I wasShocked that she would actually blame her hair-style being the reason why she feelsmen aren’t doting on her. Christen’s revelation made me think about ProfessorMickey’s sociodrama theory. Christen so desperately wants to identify with the“good” hair society that she altered herself just so she could fit in to get a man’sattention. In my opinion a real man, would love Christen in all her naturalness, butagain, this is just my little old interpretation. October 2012/Curly Chronicles 13
  14. 14. A Tale of Two Sisters Beyonce&Solange’s Great Hair Debate When you look at this picture, what do you see? What I seebesides two sisters who obviously love one another is one who loves hersilky straight hair, and one who has totally embraced her fierce naturallook. Beyonce, and little sister Solange are more than sisters, they’retwo beautiful Black women who have come to terms in accepting howthey choose to wear their hair. It made me think, do you wonder what adebate would actually sound like between a woman with relaxed hairand a woman with natural hair about their chosen hair style? October 2012/Curly Chronicles 14
  15. 15. The Debaters: Beyonce: The Relaxed DivaBeyonce: The Relaxed Diva prefers getting a relaxer. She has considered goingnatural but has chosen to stick with a relaxer for now as well as the near future. Therelaxed diva loves wearing her hair straight and indulges in any and all literatureabout keeping her tresses as healthy as possible Solange: The Natural DivaSolange: The Natural Diva loves wearing her hair natural. She used to relax herhair and chose to grow her relaxer out and embrace her natural roots. She hasno plans to apply a relaxer to her tresses again and believes that her hair ismuch healthier in its natural state. October 2012/Curly Chronicles 15
  16. 16. The Debate:Beyonce: Solange, I love your hair - its gorgeous! I love the style.Solange: Bey, you know your hair is gorgeous too.Beyonce: Sis, you never did tell me why you like wearing your hair natural?Solange: I love wearing my hair natural. You know I used to relax my hair for years but I got tired of itbreaking off all the time. I also like the styling options that are available to me now, and it feels and looks alot healthier in its natural state, but you never really told me why you continue to relax your hair?Beyonce: Solange, you know mom has been relaxing our hair since we were little girls, and I guess I’ve justgrown used to wearing my hair like this. I have considered going natural, you know that but Im so used torelaxing my hair and prefer taking care of it in this state.Solange: I can understand your hesitation about going natural. It is a major decision for anyone who has beenused to wearing their hair relaxed for a long time. However, once you make your mind up and go through theemotional transition as your hair changes, it is easier to get used to your natural tresses and embrace them.Beyonce: I understand because I watched your emotional transition as the relaxer grew out of your hair, butfor me I just dont feel the need to go natural. I just hate that I have been accused by some of being "addictedto the creamy crack," and I find that a bit harsh just because I love wearing my hair relaxed. Is it wrong that Iprefer styles that I can achieve if it is relaxed?Think about it, when all is said and done, it is my choice.Solange: To each his own I guess. I’m not going to lie though I think there is a part of you that wears arelaxer to please the media,your fans and assimilate into Eurocentric environments. Think about it, Bey - Thewhole point of creating relaxers was to help blacks assimilate to the status quo/white environment. Inaddition, many of us have been brainwashed to believe that we look prettier when our hair is straight andflowing.Beyonce: We work in the entertainment industry. What do you expect me to do Solange? I know my hairbeing relaxed has played a role in my success with fans and the media accepting me, and I’m not going toapologize about it. So what if my hair helped me get ahead? Why are black women judged so differently whenthey straighten their hair, when there are plenty of non-black women out there with naturally curly hair thatlike to wear their hair straight as well. There are a lot of non-black women who treat their hair with harshchemicals for various purposes, like bleaching to get blond hair, etc. We all do things to alter our beauty to fitwhat we want. So why am I "brainwashed" because I straighten my hair?Solange: Im not trying to make you feel bad about relaxing your hair. In my opinion, its the mental statethat goes behind doing the beauty-altering process. Non-black women who straighten their hair or bleachtheir hair do not necessarily believe that they will be more generally accepted in a Eurocentric climate if theydo such a process. Black women are more likely to believe that their hair will help them assimilate in aEurocentric environment just like with Professor Mickey’s sociodrama theory. Non-black women don’t wantor need to identify with society’s set standards of beauty because THEY set the standard by alreadybelonging to that environment. In essence, the chemical straightening for a black woman is more likelyexecuted to please others and be accepted more-so than for beauty purposes. Some women refuse to believethat we blur those two purposes quite often.Beyonce: Please acknowledge that is an assumption that we are relaxing our hair to please others. Dosome women relax their hair to please others? Sure. But there are also women out there that simplychoose to relax their hair because they like the styles it allows, and thats all. I can easily assume thatsome women go natural for people-pleasing purposes too, you know. That some women only go naturalbecause they want to please other women who prefer natural hair and criticize and sometimes even bullyother women who stay relaxed. But I am not going to assume that, because everyones case is different.Plain and simple. Judging someone based on the outward manifestation of their choice is different thanjudging someone for the actual reasons behind their choice. Assuming the actual reason is flawedanalysis from the outset. October 2012/Curly Chronicles 16
  17. 17. Solange: Understood. You’ve made your case clear, but hear me out. You know I dont bully anyone intogoing natural, but you know that your hair would be a lot healthier if you go natural though, right? I canhonestly say that it is definitely mentally freeing process. In addition, my hair is a lot stronger in its naturalstate.Beyonce: Think about this. Do you your hair is healthier in a natural state because you didnt know how totake care of your hair while it was relaxed?Solange:{Shaking head} I dont think so. Come on Bey, you know I tried different relaxers and I tookexcellent care of my hair. I found that my hair simply had an adverse reaction to relaxer. My hair stopped atshoulder-length and would break pretty easily. Not everyones hair can take a relaxer. Plus, even if my hairdid do well with relaxers, I probably would have gone natural anyway. I didnt like the idea of having to getsuch harsh chemicals applied to my hair so often. Remember when we went to go see Chris Rocks movie,"Good Hair"? That sodium hydroxide chemical can burn through metal. Something like that should not beapplied to a human scalp, or any part of the skin for that matter. It seems pretty dangerous for any personshealth.Beyonce: I agree that some hair simply doesnt react well to relaxers, so I understand, and yes I know youtook excellent care of your hair. I agree that the chemicals can be harsh if not applied correctly. You know Idon’t obsess over having "bone straight" hair while getting a relaxer treatment, and thats why I dont likethe relaxer being applied directly to scalp during the application process. I also dont have the chemicalapplied to already relaxed hair. You know I also stretch my relaxers and I dont mind taking care of mynatural roots for a while before I get my next touch up. Overprocessing hair is one of the top reasons whyrelaxed hair breaks so easily. I can go on and on about what I do to keep my relaxed hair healthy, but that isanother conversation all together.Solange: Yes it is, and you know, that all sounds good. But that sodium hydroxide chemical still getsabsorbed somehow into your body whether you like it or not.Beyonce: True. But I believe proper technique negates the deleterious effect of the chemical application. Justask some older black women who have taken good care of their relaxed tresses over decades and still have ahealthy scalp and healthy hair. Plus, dont believe the hype about the "green chemical" that gathers under thescalp of women who relax their hair over time. There is no legit study to even prove that rumor.Solange: Well, I will say that you fair a lot better with your hair compared to women who are obsessed withgetting bone straight hair and relaxers every 3-4 weeks.Beyonce: I agree. Thats really disturbing.Solange: [Laughs]Beyonce: [Laughs]Solange: You know, I love my natural hair and wont change how I feel about it for the world. However, Iappreciate talking with you and respect your decision to take care of your hair in a way that works for you.Beyonce: Thanks Solange. I feel the same. I love your hair, and respect your decision to go natural and rockthe styles that you do. October 2012/Curly Chronicles 17
  18. 18. What’s Your Hair Type? Type 2 Wavy Hair Type 3 Curly Hair October 2012/Curly Chronicles 18
  19. 19. Type 4 CoilyHair Can we call a truce? Curlies vs. Relaxers:Does Professor Mickey’s Theory provide a solution? October 2012/Curly Chronicles 19
  20. 20. The more I analyze Dr. Mickey’s claim regarding sociodrama and how we as an audience wedesperately want to identify with others. It’s true. In our society, and how we make meaningthrough words and symbols, ties in with how we want to identify and be a part of something. Forinstance me being a Black woman and how I’ve always had issues with my hair all of my life until Idecided to go natural three years ago. The first thoughts always entering my head were, “Man I wish I had good hair.” I’m notgoing to lie I hated my hair. I thought it was too nappy and crinkly and too unmanageable, so I gotrelaxers. The relaxers though (I got them for twenty-three years) were just a temporary fix. I wouldget a relaxer, but my hair only remained straight for a couple of weeks, and guess what? My nappyroots would make their strong presence known again. Now? Oh I’m in LOVE with my natural hairand have accepted it in all it’s wiry, coily, coarseness because I’ve learned how to care for it. Through Dr. Mickey’s thoughts on sociodrama I thought about how I wanted to identifyand be a part of something. The something I was so wanted to be a part of was the “good” hairsociety. I wanted to measure up to society’s standards of beauty by getting rid of my wiry hair inexchange for something more acceptable. For the twenty three years I was a part of the “good” hairsociety I have to say, I really don’t know what the fuss was all about. Yes even though I was able toidentify with the majority and was able to communicate on the “inside” there was still somethingmissing. I don’t feel like I was ever myself or fully accepted all of me because I was so obsessed withhaving “ good” hair.“Good” hair as I’ve defined throughout this magazine is means that it’s similar to“Caucasian, Asian, Hispanic, and Indian” (i.e. manageable hair). So is there a solution within Mickey’s theory? Yes. I believe there is. I believe in order forBlack women to want to identify with others, they first need to identify with self. If you want to be apart of something, then why not start something in which you can be proud of. I believe it should beabout self-acceptance. Identify is such a huge word. According to Merriam-Webster’s dictionaryidentify means to conceive as united as in outlook, spirit, or principle. That’s huge. The thing with Black women is that we don’t know how to identify with self because inactuality we don’t know who we are. Instead of accepting our hair the way that it is we immediatelywant to run from it because it’s different instead of embracing our beautiful hair. Know that I knowthis and have actually come to grips with loving my hair, I no longer want to identify with themajority (silky, straight, hair). I love that my natural hair is versatile, and that I can wear it wild andcurly, or straight. See here, I’m setting my own standards of identity in what makes Nichole,Nichole. Good hair whether its kinky, coily, wiry, silky, or straight is acquirable for all of us. If wewant “good” hair, we as Black women have to make it look good. Bibliography October 2012/Curly Chronicles 20
  21. 21. "Good Hair vs. Bad Hair." The Black Hair Diaries (blog), July 16, 2012. 11568272.html?cat=69 (accessed October 6, 2012). Hansen-Horn, Tricia, and Bonita Dostal Neff.Public Relations From Theory to Practice. Boston: Pearson Education Inc., 2008. "I am Tangled." Hair Poetry!!! (blog), (accessed October 6, 2012). Mickey, Thomas. "A Postmodern View of Public Relations: Sign and Reality." Public Relations Review. 23. no. 3 (1997): 271-284. Mickey, Thomas. “Sociodrama: An interpretive theory for the practice of public relations.” Lanham, MD: University Press of America., 1996. Rippa, "Hair Relaxers linked to Fibroids in African American Women." The Intersection of Madness & Reality (blog), February 22, 2012. in-african-american-women/ (accessed October 7, 2012). October 2012/Curly Chronicles 21