In the wake of the infamous Imus statement about the "nappy headed hos," new reasons for black women to become discontent with themselves and their body images were awakened. I'm a black woman, and my first question was, what exactly are they mad about? The fact that he called them nappy, or that this total stranger, who knew absolutely no more about their character than they knew about his before his statement, was calling them "hos?"
For the sake of humor, people - white and black alike - sometime use name-calling as their first device to color a story funnier than it would otherwise be. Now I'm not saying it's always appropriate, or always nice, but it does happen.
The most ironic part to me is that Imus is probably going to leave the whole ordeal bigger and better than ever. That is the American way isn't it? To be able to make the most out of and possibly even profit from a negative situation. Sure he may have lost his job, but believe me, we have not heard the last of him. Let's not let Imus have the victory all to himself.
I didn't leave that experience thinking that either of these wonderful, beautiful, and talented young women were in fact a whore. Imus didn't personally know any of them. But the truth is, the world does consider our hair to be nappy.
There is a royal and majestic aura in our naps and locks. So why not embrace it?
Hi. My name is Vee and I'm nappy and I'm proud!
But let me tell you, I found a sister who is not only educating others on appreciating the naturalness of black hair, but is also capitalizing on the beauty of her nappiness. She is Ms. Mireille Liong-A-Kong, author, speaker, host of GoingNatural.com, and founder of The Miss Nappturality Beauty Competition.
The website http://going-natural.com/, created by Liong, celebrates the journey of women going back to their nappy roots. She is also the author of the book, Going Natural - How to fall in Love with Nappy Hair.
Mireille grew up in Suriname and studied in the Netherlands. She left the city of Amsterdam for Brooklyn, New York in 2002. Holding a Master's Degree in Computer Science, she worked as an Implementation Manager in the Department of Prof. Services at an Internet Company before the big boom. An active player in corporate America, she too subscribed to the idea that she had to look the part in order to fit in and belong. And that meant straightening her hair. However, bad experiences with hair straightening chemicals motivated her to gather all the information she could on African Hair. What she learned not only freed her from herself, but liberated her forever. She then decided to teach others.
In 2003, Liong rewrote history by successfully debuting with the first Dutch book about African hair care. The first edition was sold out within two months. Today the website http://kroeshaar.com/, which was launched along with the book, is the most popular site on the topic of African hair in Dutch speaking countries like Holland and Suriname.
In 2004, Mireille self-published her second book, Going Natural - How to fall in Love with Nappy Hair and launched the site, going-natural.com. When she realized natural women didn't have a magazine of their own, she decided to turn the website into an Interactive I-magazine.
Personal word from Vee to Mireille:
Now that's what I'm talking about.
You go girl!
I'm lovin' it.
Peace, Love, & Light everyone,