Theory & Essay

hair, hair, hair

i’ve had the exact same haircut for thirteen years.

real eggheads do real things

see, egghead

since allen iverson influenced me to upgrade from a close fade to a ceaser some time in the winter of 1995, i’ve stayed loyal (heh) to the cut. sure, i occasionally change the length and thickness of my beard and mustache, but my hair has basically remained the same.

at the base level, professing to having the exact same cut for over a decade seems somewhat odd until you remember that for a professional black male, there really aren’t that many variations. this is a stark contrast to the 80’s, a decade which saw the virtual wild wild west of acceptable adult black male hair. nowadays, our choices have basically been narrowed down to ceaser, short fro, locks, or bald. sure, if my head wasnt shaped exactly like an easter egg i could conceivably grow cornrows or rock mini’s with watermelon jolly ranchers at the tips, but i know that doing such could, no, wait, would stifle my professional and social growth as well as insure many nights of dry penis.

although we’ve commonly and willfully accepted that a change in hairstyle can drastically alter a persons job prospects, we seem to be a bit hesitant to admit how much it affects our dating selves as well. in a perfect world, i wouldn’t be lactose intolerant, jim jones would be dead be managing a bodega in new rochelle, and your hair wouldnt really matter that much to anyone else. bald or perm, braids or process, in a perfect world you’d still get the same type of attention from the opposite sex regardless of what’s happening on your scalp. its the person inside that matters, right? your hair should have sh*t to do with that.

yet, as i hear “come home with me” obnoxiously blasting from some car outside my bedroom window, i’m reminded that jim jones is still alive, cookies and cream shakes give me impressive gas, and hair matters.

hair matters in the sense that a particular hairstyle can give strangers immediate synopsizes of your personality. adjectives such as “afro-centric“, “high-maintenance“, “free spirited”, “hood rat-ish“, and “gotdamn foolish” could be immediately assigned to you, and this same immediate synopsis affects what type of person might be drawn to you. as i jokingly mentioned before, i know that if i had cornrows instead of the simple ceaser, i wouldnt have been able to bag some of the women ive bagged before, their decisions solely based off of my implied maturity level and income potential. regardless of whether or not this is right or wrong, you can’t deny that its true

hair matters because with many black women, merely suggesting to them that changing their hair might possibly result in increased attention from the opposite sex could induce eyerolls, dialated eyeballs, eye-poking, and eventually eye-gouging.

hair matters because, well, none of us would have ever heard of kelis if it didnt, and, well, we all know how much the idea of kelis has influenced the direction of each of our lives

hair matters because, well, i’m not even gonna attempt to discuss the long and nuanced history regarding african-american women and their hair, so i’m just use this clip as my cheat sheet:

so, coarsely maned fine people of vsb.com, how does hair matter to you?

—the champ

Filed Under: ,

Free Drivers software download this link download for free.

Damon Young

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB. He is also a contributing editor for EBONY.com. He resides in Pittsburgh, and he really likes pancakes.

  • Wise Diva

    It’s an accessory at best, but I am hardcore about accessories. It can take away or add to your image/persona. The choice is yours.

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

      the choice was also Black Sheep’s and you see what they did. Mr. Lawnge had a step and Dres had a part AND a faux processed wavy almot scurl.

      they shoulda never gave you ninjas choices.

      • Jeandra

        Kelis influenced me to grow my hair natural. lol!
        i love that you said that.

      • Jeandra

        I love that you said Kelis influenced your thinking. she actually influenced me to grow my hair out naturally.

        the defining moment in my life that changed my hair was working at of all things, a white hair salon. I just got tired of hearing the “but your hair is so soft” comments. so i had the multi-pierced, uber-tattoo’d, 6 foot lesbian to cut it off super short. it’s been natural ever since.

  • http://lizburr.com Liz

    Coarsly maned?? They shoulda never gave you the strikethrough option.

    Regretfully I agree, hair does matter. Everytime I wear my hair straight, I pretty much double the looks I usually get when it’s down and straight. I will say I also feel prettier but this may be the chicken and the egg argument.

    But along the same lines, clothes matter, hygiene matters, etc.

    • V.E.G.

      Liz,

      Hygiene matters, definitely. Lol. But I think in the other cases – hair, clothes – it is confidence, presentation, that matters.

      Men (and employers) respond to confidence. Yeah, some guys will always all their preference for whatever (straight hair, big butts, perky boobs) but if you choose to really strut your stuff, straight or natural, then bros can’t help but admire it and take a second glance.

      • http://liffy.blogspot.com Luvvie

        “but if you choose to really strut your stuff, straight or natural, then bros can’t help but admire it and take a second glance.”

        I agree. If your swagger is tight, dudes will notice either way.

        • JBoogie

          co-signage…

        • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

          “I agree. If your swagger is tight, dudes will notice either way”

          you know, if substitute “swagger” for ummm, “starts with c and rhymes with **cooch**”, this sentence still works

          • http://liffy.blogspot.com Luvvie

            Umm… have you been dealing with loosed-wall chicks or sumfin?? People’s who’s “sugar walls have disintegrated” (shoutout to Ig Rodney)

            • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

              “Umm… have you been dealing with loosed-wall chicks or sumfin??”

              hmmm. sounds like someone’s projecting a bit.

              • http://liffy.blogspot.com Luvvie

                “hmmm. sounds like someone’s projecting a bit.”

                Champ, I heart you. But dont get fought! :-p

    • http://www.myspace.com/chicanextdoor Miss Patterson

      “Everytime I wear my hair straight, I pretty much double the looks I usually get when it’s down and straight.”

      is this a west coast thing? i’m pulling out the hot comb—i like it straight too, but a little voice inside me says ‘you’re submitting!’. eh, screw it. pass me the hot comb…

      • http://www.thecomebackgirl.com The Comeback Girl

        “‘but a little voice inside me says ‘you’re submitting!’’”

        To what and to whom exactly…did Madam CJ Walker go through all these changes. If there is a hairstyle you’d like to try must you go to some imaginary black hair council in the sky.

        • ForReal

          must you go to some imaginary black hair council in the sky.

          LOL..love it Comeback Girl! I hear the council is a b*tch

      • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

        “pass me the hot comb…”

        this was actually the working title of “the bluest eye” until toni morrison’s agent convinced her otherwise

        • Shay-d-lady

          “pass me the hot comb…”

          this was actually the working title of “the bluest eye” until toni morrison’s agent convinced her otherwise

          LMFAO!!!!
          since I am natural I didnt even feel like the drama…..

          • http://liffy.blogspot.com Luvvie

            I’m also natural

        • KindredSmile

          CTFU! I just choked on my chai and waffles

      • http://www.blackfemmefatale.wordpress.com Jolie Fatale

        “Everytime I wear my hair straight, I pretty much double the looks I usually get when it’s down and straight.”

        Very TRUE! When I wear my hair curly or in a ponytail out and about I get minimal attention. But when my hair is flowing down my back. Heads turn. This has also happened with going to the club. Bouncer looks at me with curly hair or a ponytail then down at my DL ..then back at me and back to my DL.. Eventually I say “ITs ME! My hairs just not done!” (huffs away)

      • http://lizburr.com Liz

        Naw, I think it also happened when I was on the east coast too. i do think I look really different with my hair straight which is odd to me lol.

        • http://liffy.blogspot.com Luvvie

          The way we wear our hair really does change the way we look, since some hairstyles will make ur head bigger, smaller, easter egg-like (sorry Champ)…

          • V.E.G.

            No doubt: our hair changes the way we look. And some people should not rock certain looks.

            But, my question is, should you change your hair for a job or a man (or chick). For example, if your relaxer is tight, do you grow it out simple because your new guy really loves girls with naturals? Or, do you cut your locs because you think it will further your career.

            • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

              “But, my question is, should you change your hair for a job or a man (or chick). For example, if your relaxer is tight, do you grow it out simple because your new guy really loves girls with naturals?”

              i view making changes like this as highly problematic. if it’s a change you would have made on your own…cool…but if you’re making a change simply for another person’s pleasure.

              how would whitney say it…oh, right: hell to the naw.

              then again, i’m so anti-conforming-to-other-folks-whims that i’m probably as extreme as you’ll get.

            • http://liffy.blogspot.com Luvvie

              I don’t necessarily agree with making such a BIG change based on one factor. Like P-money said. If you were not considering making that change before, and make it solely b/c of ur significant other, you may regret it.

              • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

                P-Money…that’s a name i can get with…

              • http://liffy.blogspot.com Luvvie

                Glad you dig it.

          • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

            “some hairstyles will make ur head bigger, smaller, easter egg-like (sorry Champ)…”

            thats ok. i’ve grown to embrace my egg.

            • http://liffy.blogspot.com Luvvie

              “thats ok. i’ve grown to embrace my egg.”

              That’s all you can do.

            • http://www.myspace.com/circa1908 Intellectual Hedonist

              “thats ok. i’ve grown to embrace my egg”

              LMAO!!!!!

              Im thinking in Spanish today!

              ROTFL!!!!

    • http://vodkaandmilk.wordpress.com Vodka&Milk

      I agree, this is an issue that has plagued black people for a long time, especially in the corporate world. It’s like that episode on Living Single when Kyle didn’t get a promotion because he refused to cut his twists, crazy!

      But I do think men have it easier, but women, if your hair looks jacked up, depending on what career field you’re in, that can definitely hinder your career. Its unfortunate, but that’s just how the world works. Now there are some employers who are accomodating, but I’m sure there are some out there that places importance heavily on appearance, and could care less about someone’s qualifications.

      • http://liffy.blogspot.com Luvvie

        *Singing* “We are livvvinnngg single, ooo in a 90s kind of world, I’m glad I got my girls… Keep ur head up, o keep ur head up (thats right)”

        Living Single was good TV. TV don’t come like dat no more.

        • http://vodkaandmilk.wordpress.com Vodka&Milk

          Okay! That was the black woman’s version of Sex and the City before it was even thought about. I miss it!

          –Sasha Two Pistols

          • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

            “Okay! That was the black woman’s version of Sex and the City before it was even thought about. I miss it!”

            actually, the premise of “living single” was blatantly stolen by the people who created “friends”. like, they didnt even pretend that this wasn’t the case, lol.

            • miss t-lee

              actually, the premise of “living single” was blatantly stolen by the people who created “friends”.

              I can see that.

              • http://vodkaandmilk.wordpress.com Vodka&Milk

                Hmmm, never knew that. And I can totally see it. We just can’t have anything these days I tell ya.

            • ladyB

              but wasn’t friends really about rich wp without real jobs living a black-free existence?

      • http://www.myspace.com/circa1908 Intellectual Hedonist

        One of my sorority sisters if the director of HR of an international firm, I have her come to speak to several of my classes and specifically to the women of color on expectations in the work place as it relates to maintaining your ethnicity through appearance in the workplace. Believe me when I tell you many firms want you to look as unethnic as possible though they may be a “global” company

        global = have sweatshops in mutliple third world countries

    • http://myspace.com/shatani shatani

      “Regretfully I agree, hair does matter. Everytime I wear my hair straight, I pretty much double the looks I usually get when it’s down and straight. I will say I also feel prettier but this may be the chicken and the egg argument.”

      i will say that i agree, i get more looks when i wear my hair straight…but i dont feel prettier. i feel so plain with my hair straight. i love my nappy hair and whoever dont can blow me…

  • Wise Diva

    also, do you think that a hairstyle is directly proportional to the level of sanity?

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

      i do. longer haired people tend to be nuts. freaks, but nuts.

      • miss t-lee

        You really believe this?

        • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

          “You really believe this?”

          no, lol.

          • miss t-lee

            I was just wondering…lol

      • http://liffy.blogspot.com Luvvie

        “longer haired people tend to be nuts. freaks, but nuts.”

        With this logic, I’m pretty sane. Short hair DONT CARE! :-D

  • http://k-unwrapped.blogspot.com K.

    Yet another reason that it’s tough being Black. If you relax your hair one group views you as self-hating. If you rock a natural and/or locs, another group views you as Boho. Not to mention the implications in certain work environments. *sigh*

    That said, I have two turnoffs where men are concerned: braids and long hair in general. Those styles scream “I’m young as hell” or “I’m old as hell yet in denial.”

    • V.E.G.

      I haven’t permed my hair in 17 years. Since then, I’ve rocked a short curly natural, a long curly natural and locs. Every 8 to 12 weeks I indulge in a blow out. Neither look has negatively affected my dating or professional life. I’ve worked in law firm marketing departments, at a software firm and in large nonprofits. And I’ve had my share of fine brothas, sporting the cleanest fades to the longest locs.

      Sure, the level of attention I get from certain types of people increases/decreases depending on which style I chose. Ironically, the clean cut boys loved the long curly natural (with light skin and green eyes, I think they possessed some fantasy that I was “mixed”) and the dreads gave me mad love when my hair was blown out (though one famous Chicago reggae singer cussed me out for having straight hair, lol). But the love was/is always there.

      And employers haven’t made a big deal out of my hair (during my enslavement, I mean tenure, at the law firm, I had locs).

      I think it boils down to confidence and presentation. A long time ago I abandoned the idea of wearing “corporate suits” and instead adopted what some have called my trademark: patterned dresses and fly heels. Yeah, I’ve had a hater chick in the office say she wished she had as much time as I did to get dressed in the a.m. (b**** please, a dress is one piece, it’s easier to put on) and some laugh at the fact I don’t own a button down shirt, but at the end of the day this is the look I choose to present. I own it. And I get mad respect (90 percent of the time) for it.

      Not sure what my point is, lol, but maybe it is this: if you own yours you will always get love, from employers and the opposite sex (or same sex, if you swing that way).

      ** Wow. This response was long. My bad. :) **

      • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

        “Not sure what my point is, lol, but maybe it is this: if you own yours you will always get love, from employers and the opposite sex”

        in theory, this is true, but there are some lifestyle limiting hairstyles where “ownership” truly doesnt matter

        • V.E.G.

          Like?

          You are only as limited as your faith in yourself. And, yeah, certain lifestyle choices (hair, tattoos, having or not having a child, living in a small city, etc.) may temporary delay your success, however you define it, but if you push on you will get there.

          The dread I mentioned in an earlier post, the Nike exec, also has a full sleeve tattooed on his arm. It took him a while to reach his pinnacle – Nike was his dream – and maybe he would have gotten there faster had he not had the locs and the tags. But he got there. On his terms. So much more gratifying.

          How sad it must be to make a decision based on what others think. We get one shot at this life. Living it worried about other’s perceptions is the surest way to have regrets.

          • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

            “How sad it must be to make a decision based on what others think. We get one shot at this life. Living it worried about other’s perceptions is the surest way to have regrets.”

            its a balancing act. sure you can’t go through life living entirely through the whims of someone else, but you cant be completely oblivious to cultural norms and mores.

            each of the people you mentioned are in professions where personal creativity is stressed more than usual. in some careers, thats cool…in others, its not. thats just the way it is.

            • V.E.G.

              “its a balancing act. sure you can’t go through life living entirely through the whims of someone else, but you cant be completely oblivious to cultural norms and mores.”

              Yeah. But that doesn’t mean you have to subscribe to them, either. My best friend’s husband is a big time finance manager at a major consulting firm. He’s got long locs. He thinks his locs may be preventing him from getting promoted; has thought that for at least two years now. But he hasn’t cut them. Some may call him stupid and may say he needs to play the game to win. But he’s playing his own game. And, to me, that already makes him a winner.

              *Cues cheesy upbeat, inspirational music.**

              • http://liffy.blogspot.com Luvvie

                Well in this case, he is already IN so cutting his locs isn’t as important. Besides, I’m sure another company would hire him with his locs b/c even if they don’t like his hair, they gotta dig his experience.

              • http://liffy.blogspot.com Luvvie

                AND, some people will not change who they are to play the game and I respect that mucho!

              • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

                “AND, some people will not change who they are to play the game and I respect that mucho!”

                yeah, respect is great, but at the end of the day, principles don’t pay the bills.

          • http://liffy.blogspot.com Luvvie

            I do agree that we cannot always stay firmly within the box, but I do think that the norms need to be taken into consideration at times. Of course it depends on one’s end goal, the industry, and one’s caliber (which increases choice).

            If I was from Ivy League, interned at Microsoft all 4 years of college, and have skills so bomb that folks would be STUPID not to hire me, hell yeah I’d DARE Apple or IBM to turn me down even though I have tattoos. But usually, folks trying to get to where they are don’t have ALL those plusses.

            Sometimes, the game must be played, even if its just a lil bit for a lil while.

            • V.E.G.

              “Sometimes, the game must be played, even if its just a lil bit for a lil while.”

              I could not disagree more. Once you start the game – and this is only if playing the game means you are stepping outside of your true self – it is hard to get out of it. The costume you put on everyday starts to become part of you and it takes a lot of soul searching to shed it. It’s a slippery slope.

              • http://liffy.blogspot.com Luvvie

                Playing the game does not always mean stepping outside of yourself. For example, I will be blowing out my kinky fro into a picked out fro next week for an interview. I am choosing to pick a more “acceptable” style while still maintaining myself. I’mo be rocking a fro either way. This time, it will just be combed. lol

            • V.E.G.

              The point is he thinks he is getting passed over for a promotion, big pay raise because he has locs. He refuses to cut them despite his desire for a better opportunity.

              • http://andsoitislive.net/wordpress KaNisa

                I’ve got high level people in my GOVERNMENT consulting firm with locs and other natural styles. I think it depends on the company.

            • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

              “If I was from Ivy League, interned at Microsoft all 4 years of college, and have skills so bomb that folks would be STUPID not to hire me, hell yeah I’d DARE Apple or IBM to turn me down even though I have tattoos. But usually, folks trying to get to where they are don’t have ALL those plusses.”

              they’d only be stupid not to hire you if there wasn’t somebody equally experienced to step into your place. and if there’s one thing life teaches us, it’s that there’s always somebody else.

              but getting to a larger point (and agreeing with you Luvvie)

              in a prior comment i said i don’t think you should change hairstyles for anybody. and i mean that in relationships. thing about jobs is this…you know what you’re getting into before you attempt to get the job.

              you can’t sign up for the military and then get mad b/c you have to cut your hair. that’s uber-dumb.

              sh*t, it goes further. if you want to work on wall street, you wear suits and professional attire. you can’t decide for yourself that you’re not gonna succumb to the status quo and wear shorts and flip-flops everyday and then get mad cuz you get sh*tcanned.

              i actually know people who think that they are gonna make a multi-billion dollar company conform to them…yeah, okay.

              • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

                “i actually know people who think that they are gonna make a multi-billion dollar company conform to them…yeah, okay.”

                talking to these people is always amusing. this feeling seems to be especially prevalent with young black college grads. its truly the gift that keeps on giving

              • V.E.G.

                “i actually know people who think that they are gonna make a multi-billion dollar company conform to them…yeah, okay.”

                Those are crazy people. Lol. I am not delusional enough to think everyone is going to accept you as you do you.

                @ Luvvie: You can pick your fro out but if you are meeting with someone who can’t stand the look of natural black hair, picked out or not they will see it as a fro and overlook you.

                My point (I finally found it) is do not make life decisions solely based on hair. Yeah…if you are in the military you know you gotta shave that head. But if you are committed to locs or wuteva, and company (or dude or chick) A doesn’t like that look, step on to plan B.

              • http://liffy.blogspot.com Luvvie

                Well ALL they gon get from me is my picked out fro. Don’t mean I’mo perm it to get the gig. Just means I will compromise a bit 2 make my look more acceptable. At the end of the day, the level one is going to compromise is the difference.

            • Leila

              “If I was from Ivy League, interned at Microsoft all 4 years of college, and have skills so bomb that folks would be STUPID not to hire me”

              Software companies don’t seem to care as much as other companies as long as you have the right skills. I work at Microsoft and you see all types of styles. I’ve seen just about everything (some people even come to work in pajamas) and they don’t care as long as you have the right skills and can perform your job.

              • http://liffy.blogspot.com Luvvie

                Oooo Leila. Shoot me an email at Luvvie20@gmail.com. Got some professional questions for ya, if you don’t mind.

              • Leila

                Just sent it:)

              • http://freetherapyorelse.blogspot.com MsSula

                I am a Software Developer… And we have purple haired and pierced folks all over the place. Sofware Development is the last frontier as far as expression goes.

              • Leila

                So true! Tattoos, piercings, different color hair, very common…

      • http://k-unwrapped.blogspot.com K.

        When I think of “natural” I don’t think of curly hair, light skin, and green eyes. A nappy natural on someone browner is perceived different than a curly natural on a light skin chick, trust.

        • http://andsoitislive.net/wordpress KaNisa

          Yup.

        • V.E.G.

          “When I think of “natural” I don’t think of curly hair, light skin, and green eyes.”

          Maybe you need to expand your definition of “natural”. My hair is unprocessed. My skin and eye color have nothing to do with it.

          That said, maybe you are right. When I was in the shower, after I posted, I thought about that.

          Who knows? I do know that I don’t let hair or skin color politics invade my decision making process.

          • Scarlett

            I agree with you VEG….

            I have dark-skin friends/family who have natural hair that is loose curls. I know light skin girls with kinky hair patterns. Light skin people are not exclusive to any certain hair type or grade of nappiness.

            natural is natural is natural

            • http://k-unwrapped.blogspot.com K.

              I think you missed my point. Obviously Black folks of any shade can have any hair texture. The point is that a light skin Black woman w/ curly hair is perceived differently than a brown or dark skin woman w/ nappy hair. And a brown skin woman w/ curly hair is perceived differently than a brown skin woman w/ nappy hair. One will be told they have pretty hair and the other will be asked why she never ‘does’ her hair.

              Not the way it SHOULD be, but that’s the way it IS.

              • Scarlett

                gotcha

        • http://liffy.blogspot.com Luvvie

          “When I think of “natural” I don’t think of curly hair, light skin, and green eyes.”

          See?? This is a symptom of our color complex. Another post all by itself, but it is indicative of the views we have our of own people that are less that productive. Her hair is natural, which means without chemical process. Why should it matter what her skin color and eyes are?

          • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

            “Her hair is natural, which means without chemical process. Why should it matter what her skin color and eyes are?”

            it matters because admittedly, a light-skin+curly hair natural just doesnt have the same effect on the general public as a typical brown or dark skinned black woman going natural would.

            like you said though, this is another topic by itself

            • V.E.G.

              I hear you and will concede that you guys are right that it may be perceived differently.

              I was hoping I left all that mess on the playground.

          • http://k-unwrapped.blogspot.com K.

            The point wasn’t do debate the semantics of “natural.” The point is, a woman w/ a curly natural is NOT going to have the same experience as a woman w/ a nappy natural. Y’all acting like y’all live in La La land or something.

            • V.E.G.

              I feel ya and I got your point. But I think you are looking at only one side. As a light skinned woman I think folks, especially our folk, least expect me to be natural cuz they have some preconceived notion of what a “good light skinned girl” should look like. For example, when I rocked locs, I was told by a former H.S. classmate that I was too light for locs.

              I think folk expect me to straighten my hair permanently and live up to some “high yella” ideal they have set in their minds.

      • http://freetherapyorelse.blogspot.com MsSula

        * Standing Ovation*

        I don’t think I have had different reactions whether or not I was sporting a fro, caesar fade, braids, extensions… Or maybe I just don’t care enough…

        It would be like saying, “Oh I didn’t get enough good looks today because of that red belt I wore”… Just doesn’t click in my head…

        I understand that hair can be more than an accessory… But to me, it mostly is.

        • http://freetherapyorelse.blogspot.com MsSula

          Oh by the way, I am very dark-skinned with natural hair… And I don’t think it makes a difference.

          Then again, I don’t pay attention.

  • http://www.myspace.com/womannaofgod utc115

    I am happy to be commenting. Since school has started I have to be in bed early to be upright and cheery for the kids.

    Hair MAtters…………..I dont think so. I say to each its own. I decided to go natural in January not for any “deep” reasons but because I wanted to try something different such as seeing if my hair would be healthier.

    Now personal options are something different……I dont like a dude with a steve harvey cut. I dont like the Katt Williams perm on men. Braids I can deal with to a certain point but then u have to grow up and get them cut if you ever want to get a good job. The same for dreds. I love them on men. But if it keeps you from getting a job let them go.

    So basically to each its own. I like mine natural.

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

      “I dont like the Katt Williams perm on men. ”

      lol…does anyone?

      • miss t-lee

        I know I don’t

      • http://liffy.blogspot.com Luvvie

        Men should NOT be rocking a slicky ricky. It is SUCH a turn off for us to be getting our hair done by the same person.

      • http://www.goodeness.blogspot.com GOODENess

        “I dont like the Katt Williams perm on men. ”

        lol…does anyone?

        YES…the other men that he is sleeping with!! he’s a boy Damon!

        • miss t-lee

          YES…the other men that he is sleeping with!!!

          Oh snap.

      • The Queen

        Someone likes it because people are telling him it looks good. I suspect some country people. lol

        I don’t want a dude whose hair is longer than mine. lol

        • http://liffy.blogspot.com Luvvie

          Since I have short hair, a dude can have hair longer than mine. Locs.

        • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

          whoa whoa…as a country boy (intermittently), the perm is not just a country look. folks in detroit and chicago prove that definitely on a daily basis.

          and if you are from detroit or chicago i DARE you to tell me that perms and s-curls don’t still get rocked!!!!

          i double dog dare you.

          and by the way, i saw a dude in DC with a faded-shag yesterday.

          • http://liffy.blogspot.com Luvvie

            “and if you are from detroit or chicago i DARE you to tell me that perms and s-curls don’t still get rocked!!!!”

            *sighs* Yeah I still see s-curls from time to time in the Chi. We gotta do better.

            Oh, we musnt forget finger waves. The West Siders…

            • KindredSmile

              Don’t you DARE throw the Westsiders under the bus, Luvvie! You know good and well that the North and South siders have their own personal hair demons – mullets, paintbrush ponytails, and hair so overprocessed you can comb it with a fork!

              • http://liffy.blogspot.com Luvvie

                Bump what ya heard. Aint NO excroose for finga waves in 08. NONE, I tell you!!

          • The Queen

            I said country which doesn’t mean southern. Country is kinda like ghetto…it can happen anywhere. There are plenty of country people in Chicago and Detroit…and DC for the matter.

          • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

            “the perm is not just a country look. folks in detroit and chicago prove that definitely on a daily basis.”

            this made me choke on my strawberry smoothie

          • http://vodkaandmilk.wordpress.com Vodka&Milk

            “and by the way, i saw a dude in DC with a faded-shag yesterday”

            Please help me out, becasue I’m trying to get a mental picture, lmao!

            –Sasha Two Pistols

          • V.E.G.

            Living in Chicago, I can testify that the blow out and s-curl for men lives on. I dated a Haitian brotha who rocked a short, faded s-curl (in my defense, I was 22 and didn’t know any better). He only let it go when male patterned baldness reared its ugly head. I also saw a dry jherri not too long ago…

          • From The D

            Where’s ya double dogs man??? Now I know there’s a lot going wrong in Detroit…some could say there is nothing good at all about our city and it would be hard to argue with them (but I’d try). However, I can honestly say that the curls have either dried into unkempt fros or been cut off. I gotta defend my city when I can :o)! The faded shag comment had me LMAO…you need to get a picture of that.

  • V.E.G.

    One last thing (feeling chatty, lol). For brothas: dreads should not keep you from getting a gig. I personally know four guys with locs who are doing their thing. One is a cancer research scientist, two are professors at a major university (one in the Ivy League…and yeah I know that academia is a little less stringent) and the fourth is a big time executive at Nike.

    If you bring the skills and the swagger, most companies will see your hair as just that: hair. If they don’t, I suggest you don’t want to work there anyway.

    Life is too short to live in other people’s boxes. It is a lot more liberating to build your own.

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

      “For brothas: dreads should not keep you from getting a gig. I personally know four guys with locs who are doing their thing.”

      yeah, just from what ive observed, for us dreads work but braids typically dont.

      • V.E.G.

        I think cornrows elicit fear in the hearts of white folk (hell, some black folk, too) and are a harder sell.
        But, I do know a brotha with braids who grew them AFTER he got his promotion and it’s been all good. Not sure what his prospects will be when he starts looking for another gig.

        • http://liffy.blogspot.com Luvvie

          “Not sure what his prospects will be when he starts looking for another gig.”

          EXACTLY. You can change once you are already IN, but approaching corporate America with braids will be difficult. Not impossible. Just difficult.

          • V.E.G.

            It may be difficult. But I think it would be more difficult living with yourself knowing you made a change just cause you felt you “had to” to “make it”.

            Cut the damn hair, cover the tags, wear the boring ass lady suit because you want to. Not because you think you have to.

            • http://liffy.blogspot.com Luvvie

              I rock FABULOUS pinstripe power suits (thankyouverymuch) with FIERCE heels to match. Ain’t ISH boring bout MY corporate wear. LOL

              Anyway, if you a grown man, you shouldn’t rock braids. Job or otherwise. :-p

              • V.E.G.

                I ain’t never seent you in a power suit and I’ve worked with you twice! lol. Now, I give you love for your blazer game.

                But you do that cuz that is your style not cuz you fear consequences from the corporate overseer. If you did fear consequences, I would not have seen one of your many Kangols, in meetings, as I often did.

              • http://liffy.blogspot.com Luvvie

                Gurl we ain’t did anything that necessitated my power suit. But you saw my vest and slacks. Just FLYYY.

                And LMAO @ my kangols.

            • genius khan

              V.E.G.gie Delights:

              “…the boring ass lady suit…”

              will (puffs) u put on (exhales) some (puffs) dresses for me?

              pass…

              • V.E.G.

                I was born in the south and it was impressed upon me that a lady wears dresses. And while I do rock jeans or a pair of funky slacks, I am always in heels unless I am working out. So, to answer your question, you would definitely catch me in a dress. What’s your fav color? :)

      • http://vodkaandmilk.wordpress.com Vodka&Milk

        Also, it depends how your dreds look. Now if you’re looking like Lil John trying to get a corporate job, I don’t think that will fly over well in the boardroom. But if you’re clean like Jeff Johnson, then it might be a different story.

        –Sasha Two Pistols

    • http://liffy.blogspot.com Luvvie

      I dont think any man over the age of 18 should still be rocking cornrows. I saw a GROWN man wearing a nice suit with braids. I wanted to take a page from Miss T-Lee’s book and punch him in the throat.

      • miss t-lee

        I think you should have…lol

      • V.E.G.

        i have made a mental note not to piss you or miss t-lee off. lol.

        • miss t-lee

          I’m harmless…really…
          :)

        • http://liffy.blogspot.com Luvvie

          When you piss me off, I just punch you in the arm. U already know.

    • http://www.goodeness.blogspot.com GOODENess

      locs come with a regal connotation…one of strength…I would dare to say they come with an inherent air of “act right” (unless you’re in FL, of course)…they come across as a cultural choice rather than merely a hair style…braids, however, not so much…

      • The Queen

        This is all true as long as they are clean and kept up. I see too many brothas walking around looking a mess with locs.

        If they aren’t done, you don’t get no respeeeccct. (in my head I heard an accent with this sentence. I’m quoting someone but I don’t remember who. Anyone know? lol)

        • miss t-lee

          Patra?

      • http://tiffanybbrown.com/ tiffany

        “they come across as a cultural choice rather than merely a hair style” exceptions due to lil wayne.

      • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

        “locs come with a regal connotation…one of strength…I would dare to say they come with an inherent air of “act right” (unless you’re in FL, of course)…they come across as a cultural choice rather than merely a hair style…braids, however, not so much…”

        i’m gonna have to go ahead and call BS on this.

        at one POINT in time, this may have been the case. now locs are just strictly a fashion thing, culture be damned. i’ve actually been doing my own research in DC, and i swear 1 out of every 4 cats has locs. knuckleheads and bookreaders alike.

        very little regality involved in a cat with locs (well kept) who robs you. only regal this cat has is the one he’s stealing.

        • genius khan

          shyyyyytttt Jack:

          “very little regality involved in a cat with locs (well kept) who robs you. only regal this cat has is the one he’s stealing.”

          concur.

          however to white corporate America (white decision makers) dreads may deliver a different message than braids regardless of how unrealistic it is. dreads make 2520’s think that we don’t wanna mess with this guy he is concious and aware and we don’t want him to go to the NAACP or the……. on us. …provided the dreads are well kept and neat.

          2520’s still don’t like dreads but they draw a diff reaction than braids.

          • V.E.G.

            “however to white corporate America (white decision makers) dreads may deliver a different message than braids regardless of how unrealistic it is. dreads make 2520’s think that we don’t wanna mess with this guy he is concious and aware and we don’t want him to go to the NAACP or the……. on us.”

            Pretty much.

        • http://www.goodeness.blogspot.com GOODENess

          nah nah nah… I was offering that rationale as an attempt to explain how/why locs get over in Plantation America smoother than braids do…I don’t agree…I was just trying to walk a mile in Massuh’s mindset…ya dig??

        • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

          “very little regality involved in a cat with locs (well kept) who robs you. only regal this cat has is the one he’s stealing.”

          sidenote: i saw a young hopper yesterday rocking an obama t-shirt. i think its gonna take me another 2 weeks to fully process that image

        • shay-d-lady

          yeah in the dirty dirty, dreads are replacing the braids…and perms….and jerri curls..probably because finding someone that still does jerri’s is like finding the last jedi knight but still….

  • Scarlett

    I’m sporting my natural curls these days and my Cane River fam hates it with a passion…smh @ my own people. On a positive note, men love me with my natural hair! What is really weird tho’ is that I get approached by goon-like/hood dudes with my hair straightened and more cultured/intellectual men with my hair curly. I love my hair because at events I stand out…I like being different…..the girl with big, curly hair!

    I don’t really care how my man wears his hair as long as it’s well-kempt. I do not like ratty locs, totem poles, scruffy hair, etc.

    • V.E.G.

      Cane River? Sending you some Creole love.

      New Orleans, 7th Ward, over here. Pichon, Laurent, Dubuisson.

      :)

      • Scarlett

        hey and thanks for the love…I’m apart of the Chevalier and Metoyer clan :)

      • http://liffy.blogspot.com Luvvie

        LMAO!! You SOOO quick to shout out ur peoples.

    • V.E.G.

      What is a totem pole?

      • Scarlett

        a totem pole is a “style” that guys wear when they pile their locs and band them so they stand straight on their heads…like a totem pole. I was told this was the name for it.

        • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

          “a totem pole is a “style” that guys wear when they pile their locs and band them so they stand straight on their heads…like a totem pole. I was told this was the name for it.”

          damn. i learn somethin new everyday here.

        • http://liffy.blogspot.com Luvvie

          Ok the “totem pole” sounds a HOT FOOL! Nothing about it sounds attractive.

          • http://www.goodeness.blogspot.com GOODENess

            Luvvie…I was thing that same sh*t…no way dude…sounds real Flava of Love III to me!

          • The Queen

            I’ve never seen it, but based on the description, I disagree with the totem pole.

            • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

              i see it twice a day in DC. everybody here has locs. hell, 8 out of 10 dentists approve of Crest…

              but 9 out of 10 thugstas approve of locs.

              • V.E.G.

                There are thugs in DC? lol.
                During my trips there, I only met/saw the wrist tippers.

        • V.E.G.

          I do not think I have seen a totem pole but have decided I do not like it.

          • KindredSmile

            I concur. Negroes walking around looking like exclamation points?! No and NO.

            • V.E.G.

              Good one.
              :)

            • http://liffy.blogspot.com Luvvie

              LMAO @ exclamation points.

    • http://liffy.blogspot.com Luvvie

      With my natural kinky fro, I get a lot of attention too b/c I’m usually the only with that style in the room. Dudes definitely notice me more, even if they don’t always approach. I see them seeing me, lol.

      • V.E.G.

        The natural also makes your model-esque facial features that much more noticeable.

        • Scarlett

          I notice that the majority of commercials/mag ads/billboard, etc. always use black women with natural hair.

          • http://tiffanybbrown.com/ tiffany

            i suspect because natural folks tend towards the artsy. the artsy tend to be (a) the type to star in commercials since they’re acting and all; (b) too broke to maintain a relaxed style. and (b) is why i went natural when i went off to college.

            • http://liffy.blogspot.com Luvvie

              I went natural not b/c I’m artsy (I’m really not), but b/c I was just tired of the cream crack.

            • Scarlett

              I actually think naturals are overrepresented in commercials, but underrepresented in movies/on TV.

      • http://www.goodeness.blogspot.com GOODENess

        Luvvie…I will cosign on that…and when you actually have a sense of style that is not already on every manequin in your city, your style abounds the “competition”…I get people all the time asking to touch my curly, red fro…or they ask who does it…and when I say “I does it…” I get to passing out business cards and making a little money hunny…lol

        it’s funny though, because folks assume I’m all “green” and “conscious” and thangs…some are shocked to see me in my gas guzzling Ford Explorer XLT bumping anything from ying yang twins (shouts out to Panama) to Nickelback…

        aaaah! the duality of the Negro

        • http://liffy.blogspot.com Luvvie

          “it’s funny though, because folks assume I’m all “green” and “conscious” and thangs…some are shocked to see me in my gas guzzling Ford Explorer XLT bumping anything from ying yang twins (shouts out to Panama) to Nickelback…”

          YESSS!! I don’t understand why they think my hair IS my VISUAL personality. It’s not. I don’t wear kente cloth and kuri shells. I prefer a good movie to a pretentious poetry set. AND I don’t have a tattoo of an unk. SUE ME!

          • http://www.goodeness.blogspot.com GOODENess

            I don’t have an ankh-ttoo either…but I do have a few tribal tats…lol…ankhs are like red roses…nice…but over done…google something else to get tatt’d on your shoulder ni99as…google something else!

            • http://liffy.blogspot.com Luvvie

              You are SOO right

        • ladytreez

          “aaaah! the duality of the Negro”

          Tshirt!

          • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

            “aaaah! the duality of the Negro”

            Tshirt!”

            i concur

        • V.E.G.

          Gurllll…I had a dude once tell me that, because I had natural hair, I should not be in $200 shoes or driving a convertible.

          WTF? Cuz I do not regularly straighten my hair I should not like nice shyt? Yeah, I choose to wash and go but I also choose to shave my legs (feeding into another ‘natural’ stereotype’).

    • http://tiffanybbrown.com/ tiffany

      “What is really weird tho’ is that I get approached by goon-like/hood dudes with my hair straightened”

      yeah … i’ve noticed that the wearing and acceptance of kinky hair is a class thing. i don’t see too many sistas with ‘fros in the hood.

      • http://andsoitislive.net/wordpress KaNisa

        That’s a very interesting observation tiffany…

      • http://liffy.blogspot.com Luvvie

        “i don’t see too many sistas with ‘fros in the hood.”

        You are SO right!! When I worked on the south side of Chicago, the bus rides were like an experiment in sociology. Busses full of Black people, and I was the only one with natural hair. But when I would go to visit my college, a GOOD amount of the girls had natural hair.

        Someone should get their Ph.D in sociology by studying the effect of social class on African American women’s hairstyle choices.

      • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

        ““What is really weird tho’ is that I get approached by goon-like/hood dudes with my hair straightened”

        yeah … i’ve noticed that the wearing and acceptance of kinky hair is a class thing. i don’t see too many sistas with ‘fros in the hood.”

        cuz strippers tend to have straight hair. locks would be whippin’ around and slappin’ them in the face while they tried to make it clap to chris brown’s “poppin'” straight hair is way more manageable for strippers.

        hood dudes like strippers so they approach you cuz they hope you’re a stripper.

        its not an exact science, but it’ll do.

        (68.7 percent of this won’t hold up in court)

      • puff

        it’s interesting y’all say this cos in africa it’s the reverse… having a relaxer/straight hair suggests you have more money (not necessarily more class) because you can afford to get your hair done. poorer people (i have difficulty determining class boundaries at home) tend to rock a low fro or keep it cornrowed.

        this is why my mother gets furious at me running around looking like kunta kinte’s long lost girlfriend.

        i kid, my natural is very fierce (albeit braided up at the moment) and i definitely get more compliments than i ever did when i was relaxed.

  • http://andsoitislive.net/wordpress KaNisa

    I’ve gone natural in the last year and I’ve definitely noticed a difference. When I had long relaxed hair I got a lot more attention. Among dudes…I haven’t gotten that much attention unless they’re “Afrocentric” or they knew me before I cut my hair. I’m brown skinned…regular dark eyes…

    When I have longer braids…attention.

    Short fro…invisible or intimidating.

    I don’t mind because it helps me weed out people with skewed values.

    As for my preferences, I don’t really care how a dude has his hair as long as it’s neat. Locks are just as secsy as a close cut…

    • V.E.G.

      Locs are segzier than a close cut, IMO.
      Give me a natty dread any day…
      Whoo.

      • http://andsoitislive.net/wordpress KaNisa

        Well, heh, yeah I might have to agree…Shazaa from a different world could have gotten it all day every day before he he got on that stuff…

        • Shay-d-lady

          Shaza was fine..but his dreds were well kept… I love a dude with well kept dreds….clears throat…Low boys are great too! (looking over shoulder to see if husband is reading reply….)

        • http://www.myspace.com/chicanextdoor Miss Patterson

          ditto. yum! Gary Dourdan (a.k.a. shazaa) can get it
          …i hope he alright. *sniffles*

          • puff

            omg did you see that picture of him on the beach? i cried myself to sleep that night…. bring back the swexy gary, you’re one of the few light skinned dudes who could get it. and i’d like you to. get it, that is.

        • V.E.G.

          Shaza was hot. Personally I do not like locs that are too done (I mean, it is okay to have a 1/4 inch of new growth and any brotha who sets his locs on rollers should keep on walkin) but I don’t like the ‘6 big locs’ look either.

      • http://liffy.blogspot.com Luvvie

        Locs can be soooo alluring. Definitely gives guys extra points. Well, unless they look extra “homegrown”. Locs that look like they hold the cure to cancer are NOt my cup of earl grey tea.

        • V Renee

          “Well, unless they look extra “homegrown”. Locs that look like they hold the cure to cancer are NOt my cup of earl grey tea.”

          BWHAHAHAHAHAHA

          • ladytreez

            Loves me a wavy 360.

            • shay-d-lady

              yeah but natural waves not a processed joint

        • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

          ” Locs that look like they hold the cure to cancer are NOt my cup of earl grey tea.”

          ROTFLMBAO

    • Shauna512

      I’ve had my hair at different lengths and styles over the years and I’ve settled for the long hair option after noticing the major differences in attention and respect from both males and females. My hair is currently down to the small of my back and I can wear it in my natural curls or straighten it for a more professional look.
      I suppose my main reason for keeping it long though is based on the fact that the men where I live tend to prefer a woman with long, real hair. It’s like getting major extra points in the dating game. Most would probably consider me average looking, perhaps above average on a good day, but when my hair is looking tight, I have no problems stealing a man’s attention away from a perfect 10 with a short style or weave. I realize that something so trivial as hair really shouldn’t matter, but whether we agree or not, appearances mean everything.

      • puff

        is your hair natural? i’m asking cos i’m growing mine out right now (i’ve been wearing a short-ish fro for the past 2 years and i want to switch it up) and i wonder if the maintenance doesn’t get exhausting past your shoulders.

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

      “I don’t mind because it helps me weed out people with skewed values.”

      so being more drawn to a certain hairstyle means that your values are messed up?

      • http://andsoitislive.net/wordpress KaNisa

        It’s not necessarily being drawn to a hairstyle, it’s more about having preconceived notions about people with certain hairstyles.

        Like if you have a narrow minded opinion about people with natural hair, I probably would have kicked you to the curb eventually anyway.

        But if you know people with natural hair run the gambit from the most Afrocentric person in the world to whatever is the opposite of that, then you have common sense and I can deal with you.

    • http://www.goodeness.blogspot.com GOODENess

      YEP!!!

      when I had a relaxer…the men that loved me, loved it…but now, the men that loved me then, love me even more now…they didn’t want me to cut it off…but they say that the natural suits my nature…lol…and I used to wear my hair in my face…I was hiding behind my hair…and now..I got nowhere to run..it’s forced me to make eye contact and genuinely engage with people that stare…a gift and a curse…

  • http://www.thecomebackgirl.com The Comeback Girl

    I really never give this soul stirring thought except in Philly when the headwrap and or natural girls would side eye the chick with perms. Do poetry readings require I look like Erykah Badu?

    To me its all about personal choices as said above. And honestly I don’t really look at my hair in terms of what men like. I don’t dress for what men like. It really is about what I like. Weave, real, perm, head wrap, stocking cap (jk) …I do me. And if a man comes along and likes it too, great. If he doesn’t he can go to he#ll in a handbasket.

    • http://www.myspace.com/chicanextdoor Miss Patterson

      “Do poetry readings require I look like Erykah Badu?”

      riyeeeeeet?? what’s up with that? lol!!! i just wrote the very same thing in response to another comment. it’s messed up if you ask me. like what, you can’t have depth with straight hair?

      • http://www.thecomebackgirl.com The Comeback Girl

        exactly, HBO didn’t require I don a headwrap for def poetry jam.

        • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

          “exactly, HBO didn’t require I don a headwrap for def poetry jam”

          you were on def poetry?

          • http://www.thecomebackgirl.com The Comeback Girl

            yes I was…from my living room.

            • http://liffy.blogspot.com Luvvie

              LMAO!! I was bout to say “congratulations” too

              • http://www.thecomebackgirl.com The Comeback Girl

                i’ll take a congrats..i JUST paid comcast. thanks!!

            • http://liffy.blogspot.com Luvvie

              Well congrats are in order for at least another month of cable lol

    • http://www.goodeness.blogspot.com GOODENess

      Do poetry readings require I look like Erykah Badu?

      real talk…some of the best stuff I’ve heard (aside from myself of course) has come from sisters with relaxers…I see nothing wrong with it…I was relaxed for 20 some-odd years…perms are easier to maintain that’s for sure…

      my BFF is natural, but she rocks a press…she is a mutant that doesn’t sweat in her head though, if I pressed my hair, it would be a fro by lunch time…

      • shay-d-lady

        yeah, for my uncles funeral I pressed my hair for the first time since I went natural…lt took like 6 hours and lasted like 6 minutes….never again. The closest get is wearing roller/rod set or flat twists and a roller/rod set in the back..

      • V.E.G.

        perms are easier for day to day maintenance. I try to tell people but they do not believe me. Help me spread the word, lol.

        • shay-d-lady

          I dont agree with that necessarily, if i have kept up the maintenance on my fro on most occassions I can wash and go. When I get a roller/rod set I can rock that joint for about 2 weeks strait with out doing anything but cleaning my scalp and keeping it oiled and nothing was easier than the itty bitty but as far as overall hair care, I have to be way more careful with my hair now than I was with a perm. to much heat, not enough moisture, to much tension will have the fro uneven in no time, especially at the crown.

          • V.E.G.

            Maybe it’s just me, then. I notice my relaxed friends can pull off the satin cap and bounce in the morning. And they tell me they know natural hair is easy but they ‘just can’t do it’ (chicks must think I don’t ever comb my hair, lol).

            I have to condition, untangle and rub some anti frizz stuff through it in the morning. Every morning. That’s it and it seems easy enough but it ain’t “untie and go”.

  • http://www.thecomebackgirl.com The Comeback Girl

    btw…Camron (with this song) is making me forget and forgive he drove a blue lambo. (was it blue or baby pink?)

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

      “btw…Camron (with this song) is making me forget and forgive he drove a blue lambo. (was it blue or baby pink?)”

      i think it was a pink range

    • http://liffy.blogspot.com Luvvie

      A pink range rover w/ pink fur. I shan’t EVER forget. It is scorched into my memory of “hot *ss messes”

      • miss t-lee

        Yep…freakin’ chump.

        • http://www.thecomebackgirl.com The Comeback Girl

          He is a little “how you doin'” But thats ok too. When is it going to be ok for some rappers to come out, come out wherever you are?

          It still doesnt change the fact that “comehome with me” is pretty hot.

          • miss t-lee

            If I must like a Cam’Ron song, it would be “What Means the World to You”. Mostly cause I like the Roxanne” sample…lmao
            Or “Suck It Or Not’…I’m gonna laugh at myself for that one.

          • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

            “It still doesnt change the fact that “comehome with me” is pretty hot.”

            honestly, for a guy who’s pretty much the bane of all positive existence, cam does have a few bangers in his catalog. tracks like “glory”, “losing weight”, “where i’m from”, etc still are pretty hot