|Weave extensions worn by (photo courtesy of Flickr: adamp1988 under the CC BY-SA 2.0)
It is no secret that many African-American women are particular about their hair. Back in 2009, CNN reported that during Chris Rock's movie "Good Hair", the comedian discovered that the Black women, hair industry was a 9-million dollar industry. This number includes weaves, hairstyles, and products. Not only do many African-American woman love their hair, but they are not afraid to talk about it. Twitter user, ImaniColeman said," The struggles a black woman goes through for a good weave. 😔😂 (2014)." The existence of this blog magazine is also evidence of the discussion.
In addition, sports newscaster Pam Oliver received a lot of backlash from many people in the Black community via social media because they didn't feel like her wig was camera-ready. Twitter user, goldietaylor said, "While I'm talking about it, let me get up and tighten this weave ... I will not be your Pam Oliver... (2014)" Similarly, Olympia gold medalist, Gabrielle Douglas also endured negative comments about her hair not being straight enough during an Olympic performance. At one point, her hair became the focal point instead of her history making performance. I believe the fact that many African-American women openly discuss their hair and that of other people's is often understood as they are the only ones who wear weaves.
Also, I believe the old misconception that Black women cannot grow long hair lead many people (including other Blacks) to believe that weaves were worn by Blacks only, to achieve length. When I was growing up, this was a popular misconception in the Black community. The Black girls who had long hair were often viewed as having "good hair." My grandmother had long hair that was down her back, but she still wore wigs to achieve different looks. She would always tell me to watch some of the infomercials where white models were installing weaves and clip-ons, because she was also aware of the stereotype that only Blacks wore weaves. Although weaves were worn by women and girls with both long and short hair, it was discussed more when it was a person with short hair wearing a weave.. Now, more African-American woman have learned that their hair can grow long if they take care of it properly
|Twitter users expressing their opinions about weaves (photo courtesy of Twitter: 1/21/2014)
Furthermore, I cannot count the number of times I have seen the weave and hair clip-on carts at the malls that showcase weave ponytails geared towards Caucasian and other naturally straight-haired individuals. I've never been asked by a sales representative, even when my hair was permed) to try a hair piece. Twitter user Leonie Field said, "Can't wait until this time tomorrow I will no longer have short hair yayyyy #hair extenstions #weave" ( 2014). In Field's profile picture (shown above), she appears to be Caucasian.
Similarly, shows like "America's Next Top Model" have showcased makeovers where women of different races have gotten sewn-in weaves. Black, whites, Asians and other races wear weaves. The truth is that anyone who wants a different look may wear one. There are some people who use it as a protective style. There are some women who have short hair like Ms. Fields, and get a weave to achieve longer hair and vice versa. But, weave is not exclusive to one race of people.
|Kim Kardasian wearing a sewn-in weave (photo courtesy of Twitter: @PrismG0D)
Where do you think the stereotype that only black women wear weaves originated from?
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