White People Won’t Let Our Edges Be Great » VSB

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White People Won’t Let Our Edges Be Great

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You know that Viola Davis GIF where Annalise Keating serves an epic black girl eye roll, grabs her purse and goes the hell home because as she was leaving her house she wished a nigga would, and they clearly did? Well, those were my exact sentiments last week to the folks over at Victoria’s Secret and their blatant disrespect of model Zuri Tibby’s edges.

It was pretty bad guys. One look at the photos and it’s clear not one person on set had even thought about doing black hair that day. Victoria had poor Zuri out here looking like last night’s sleepover and she let her little cousins play beauty shop in her hair before bedtime. Who thought this looked good?

What is it about us black women that our general market friends just can’t seem to understand? We’re not that complicated. Don’t put your finger in our face, leave us a few good men with decent credit, don’t try to convince our aunties that Luther was gay and admit that Lemonade should have won over 25. Oh, and do my dang hair correctly. That’s it.

I wonder if Charlize Theron or Jennifer Aniston ever had this problem; if they’ve experienced the plight of sitting in a global brand’s salon chair with some of the industry’s top hair stylists all up in your coif with no clue how to treat or style their Goldilocks tresses. Follow that up with having to smize through your frustration and resisting the urge to simply pull out your toothbrush to lay your own edges, because apparently we are the only ones properly equipped to do, style, and familiarize ourselves with our own hair.

So let me get this straight. You somehow manage to find the Pump It Up Spritz? Super Hold when it’s time to refresh the Kardashian’s cornrow set, yet, you conveniently misplace your “Miley Cyrus Ultimate Guide to Cultural Appropriation” handbook when the black girl sits in the styling chair? And ya’ll wonder why Maxine Waters keeps a mean side eye in her change purse for white folks. It’s for moments like these — moments when white people refuse to reach past their white privilege to understand people of color, or have the audacity to call into question Amanda Seales’ “passion.” At the end of the day, they don’t know us and quite frankly aren’t that interested in getting to know us if it doesn’t pertain to a social media dance craze, Halloween costume or Kanye West album.

If I have to memorize that wretched “Star Spangled Banner,” keep my comments on Taylor Swift’s limited vocal ability to a minimum each time I walk the aisles of Crate and Barrel (on her best day the girl couldn’t compete with whatever Tisha Campbell is doing these days), and smile at Barb’s macaroni salad at the office potluck, then the least you blow dryer touting, fake English accent, Upper East Side, Paul Mitchell School dropouts can do is watch a YouTube video on the supposed intricacies of putting a black girl’s hair in a ponytail.

 I get it. If you didn’t spend a third of your childhood propped on a pillow, seated between the legs of a black momma or cousin getting your hair done, (or at least in your play auntie’s kitchen or hair salon), understanding the ins and outs of black hair may not be innate to you. But come on Victoria and any white stylist that has laid a hand to Naomi Campbell’s head. You mean to tell me there was not one black person on set who had a jar of Eco Style, Let’s JAM! Regular hold (although Extra Hold would have done the trick #NoShade just facts), or even that clear stuff that flakes worse than the cereal crumbs at the bottom of the bag?

I want to know who was the lone black person in the room who decided to remain silent on this because you know there was one. You, sir or ma’am, are also to blame for this. Those edges were screaming, reaching and chasing after you. I bet my bottom dollar cute little Zuri even gave you the universal black nod as a signal for help and you brushed it off as some sort of morning pleasantry, or confirmation that your Cucumber Melon body spray was on point. We the people of the Black Delegation revoke your Black Card until the 2018 barbecue season.

This is not how you make a woman feel sexy or beautiful or fly AF or part of an imaginative inclusive society. It’d be somewhat different if this was the brand’s first time working with a black model but they’ve had several and all have (for the most part) rocked a decent hairstyle on the runway and in the ads. Something isn’t adding up. Maybe the one black hair stylist called off this week so the Vidal Sassoon intern or Kendall Jenner had to step in for the day. Yup, that’s it, because surely a seasoned hair stylist wouldn’t let a model step out like this. Oh, and special shout-out to Zuri, and all the black and brown models who have come before her, for pressing your way and stunting despite your circumstance. You ladies are the real MVPs.

If this is the secret Vicky has been holding in all of these years, a mush to the face and an apology of SheaMoisture proportions is owed here. It’s not right, it’s not okay, but thankfully #MelaninShallPrevail anyway.

Chevonne Harris

Chevonne Harris is a lover of all things pop culture and Oprah. She is an unapologetic subscriber to the book of Beyonce and the creator of AdoreColour.com, a digital destination celebrating the sheer awesomeness of black women. Her work has appeared on Buzzfeed, Jezebel.com, EBONY magazine, The Huffington Post, Clutch Magazine and more. #FunFact: Chevonne is also a proud two-time winner of Monopoly and firmly believes life would be much better if lived to “Songs in the Key of Life.”

  • Michelle is my First Lady

    But they seriously do not know how to style our hair. If that is the case, have at least one black person on set to take care of a black model’s hair. Anything. Just don’t have us walking around like Ms. Celie’s step child. Not to mention how many flat irons and hair curlers and the amount of heat they probably use on the other model’s hair will most likely do more damage to our hair.

    This also reminds me of when I lived in Belgium a few years back. I walked into a Tony & Guy (my first mistake) to get a quick wash and style. My hair was permed at the time, and after looking at my hair the stylist said, “wow, her hair isn’t as kinky/nappy as the others.” Who are the others? Man, when I say I turned around so quick and got ready to haul off and slap her. But I remembered I was in another country and I didn’t want to be holed up in the bottom of a dungeon somewhere.

    • ValerieTheTenderoni

      “wow, her hair isn’t as kinky/nappy as the others.”
      I hate that statement. Why are people so intimidated with kinky hair?

      • AzucarNegra

        Sometimes I will forgive a white person but when you have one of our own hating the hair that grows out of our heads that’s a different story. I am fed up of people telling me to put a texturiser in my natural hair.

        • ValerieTheTenderoni

          Yes it’s the black stylists that hate our textures that trouble me, I had one like that

        • MsSula

          Brain washing to hate yourself can do that to even the most resilient amongst us.

      • Michelle is my First Lady

        They don’t understand how our hair works. It’s really simple if they just took the time to learn.

    • NonyaB?

      Makes me want the address so I can deliver a retroactive slap to her the next time I’m around there. SMH.

    • MsSula

      Belgium is one of the most problematic (in my opinion) in Europe. Look at how their colonies are faring in Africa (Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda). They have a superiority complex to all things Black Africans. I have worked with several and it has been confirmed over and over again.

      • Gisele N

        “Look at how their colonies are faring” as in present tense? Those two countries couldn’t be more different. Rwanda has one of the fastest growing economy in African, is at the top of the cleanist countries in the world, while Congo is amidst a civil war, and has an atrocious list of human rights violations.

        • MsSula

          Yes, Rwanda is doing EXCELLENT at the moment. But it came after a brutal and difficult civil war. It’s when they decided to severe ties with their former colony and went English speaking that they reversed their fates.

          So I should have been more precise. Rwanda, prior to 1994 and DRC now.

      • Michelle is my First Lady

        I agree with you totally. I certainly felt how they treat Black Africans compared to how they treated me while I lived there. I did not like it one bit.

  • Kenton Campbell

    Were they going for the “12 years a model” look???

  • NomadaNare

    She had to have walked onto set thinking https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/97f197d17a1ea9aadd6c43a57034d6d571e32b58da88c432f5b3b4316b750893.gif

    (Grandma Georginas sunken place wig is laid though)

    • Jennifer

      …and she looks young. Women in the field who are little more seasoned have learned to broach doing their own hair and makeup without insulting the stylist. The stylist deserves ridicule, but the models wanna get booked again.

      • Mary Burrell

        She is young i recognized her from one of those Purge movies sin that film she has a beautiful head of natural hair.

      • Mary Burrell

        Did you see the film Get Out in Get Out the old white woman is in the black woman’s body.

    • Her eyes were mad creepy

  • She is still more than a little attractive. It could possibly I like em a little hood.

    • NomadaNare

      Bredren it aint just you

      Act like Keyshia Cole with her starbust flavored tresses couldnt get it

      • PhlyyPhree

        Keishia has amazing bewbs.
        That’s all I have to add to this conversation.

  • But Luther wasn’t gay… *I will fight you on this*

    • *side eye* Girl Bye!

    • miss t-lee

      Oh, bless your heart…

    • Val

      *puts on boxing gloves*

      • BrothasKeeper

        Bottom (no pun intended) line: we miss Loofah.

    • AzucarNegra

      De Nile is a river that’s all I am saying

      • I’ll gladly post up. De Nile is a lovely place! :)

        • AzucarNegra

          Ok. Just do not get too comfortable or else you shall die from a heartattack

          • lol what??? heart attack from what? Being told liieesss!!!! *just imagine the lies part being said by Tamar Braxton*

    • Soul Glo Model

      He wanted to dance with more men than just his father.

      • Nooope! A man with that great of a voice can’t be gay. Just unheard of. And I guess ya’ll think Freddie Jackson is gay too huh?

        Tuh….Luther Vandross is gay..uh unnnnnn!

        • miss t-lee

          You’ve never listened to Luther’s lyrics in detail, huh?
          It’s okay, just let the truth wash over you.

          • Val

            Secret Lovers, anyone?

            • miss t-lee

              That one.
              Creepin’
              Every Year, Every Christmas
              A House Is Not A Home

              Etc, etc

          • Give me some lyrics sis!

            • miss t-lee

              I just mentioned a few songs downthread, but I’d say start with “Creepin’. or “If Only For One Night”.
              He ain’t singing about no lady.

              • So men can’t creep with a lady? Preposterous!

                • miss t-lee

                  Let’s break down the catalog as a whole, shall we?
                  Most of his songs, covers included were about a love that he couldn’t have. Not just unrequited love, but more like a forbidden type love situation. Plus, this was the 70s/80s and folks were not as free and open with their s*xuality as they are now. Most of his songs were sung in a way were you could swap out “he” or “she” “him” or “her”. I don’t recall a song where he actually says “my girl, my lady, etc”
                  Just my three and half cents.
                  I believe Luther was gay as the day is long, and there ain’t nothing wrong with that.

        • KMN

          But he sang about love…whomever (whoever? whatever lol) he loved was what that voice was about…
          Love love…that’s what he did…let it flow to whoever wants it :)

          • He was just trying to appeal to a broader audience. He was non judgemental lol

        • Um YEAH! lol

      • ________________________________________________________________________________________________________

      • KeyBrad

        That song was weird to me.

    • LilMissSideEye

      Luther was in a closet with squeaky clean glass walls.

  • ValerieTheTenderoni

    I have never trusted white women or dominicans (heat damage) in my hair.
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/0650a3d118246dfef871521e4897969ca80c3819c22a133e9a6add0df6ad9b1a.gif

    My old hair stylist was an older black lady who had this old school
    mindset that your hair must be straight to be manageable. Recently found
    the right stylist who doesn’t make me feel like my hair is a problem.
    I’ve heard my hair is too thick or too kinky all my
    life. My new stylist is LIFE, and is
    helping me with my new natural hair journey. I no longer feel like my
    hair is a “problem” to be solved.

    • Val

      Er..um, who she?

      • lmao.. What about Moniece?

      • easy there, get in line behind me…thanks

        • ValerieTheTenderoni

          You can’t have all the honeys

          • fine, i’ll keep my one celebrity crush

      • ValerieTheTenderoni

        What about my struggles Val? Lol Kat Graham.

        • Val

          Oh thank you. Gonna have to g00gle her.

      • Mary Burrell

        Katerina Graham from Vampire Diaries she’s Bonnie the Witch Jasmine Guy was her grandmother and Persia White from Girlfriends (Lynn) played her mother.

        • Val

          Cool, thanks a lot, Mary!

    • Simms~

      Heat damage at the Dominicans is serious. I had to cut my hair into a twa cause I wasn’t trying to deal with the dual textures and nurturing that damage. I will never step foot across the doors of a Dominican salon again.

      • grownandsexy2

        If you’re letting the Dominicans do your hair, it had better be in tip top shape because of the heat. Say what you want though, they’re making a killing in the city cause they’re all about making that money. You’re not in there all day while they talk on the phone and order out.

        • Simms~

          I appreciated the efficiency and all but yeah, the price I ended up paying (twa) was too high. While I have nothing against rocking a Caesar, I need it to be on my terms and not out of necessity.

          • grownandsexy2

            I’m rockin’ a buzz cut but I understand.

    • pop_top

      I went to an older black woman stylist once who lamented that if my mom had kept me in just a little bit longer, I would have had “good hair.” Once that sunk in, I got up and walked out.

  • Val

    It boils down to they just don’t care enough to take the time to learn.

    • AzucarNegra

      Until they discover things we do to our hair or products that we bank on and then all of a sudden .. looking at you Shea Moisture

      • !!!

      • LMNOP

        I don’t think Shea Moisture was ever really used by a lot of white people, despite their ads.

        • AzucarNegra

          I used to read a good bit of natural hair fora and a number of white persons have adopted a number of “black products” and techniques to deal with their unruly hair. Proportionally it is still small but it is growing

      • Brown Rose

        yes…some have been jumping on that train and think they discovered something new.

      • ValerieTheTenderoni

        Shea Moisture cost too much lol

        • TheUnsungStoryteller

          Girl…at this point, all the best natural brands are costly

          • ValerieTheTenderoni

            I wouldn’t know. Just starting my journey, good to know what to expect.

    • miss t-lee

      Yup.
      I just mentioned downthread how most Black stylists/barbers I know can do all kinds of hair, but that’s not the case otherwise.

      • grownandsexy2

        One of my family member went to cosmetology school awhile back. Unless times have changed, black stylists weren’t required to really learn black hair. Stylists learned on white hair and applied what they’ve learned to black hair. They practiced on those mannequins that had white hair and used what they learned on the black public who used to come in during the week to get their hair done at a reduced rate.

        • miss t-lee

          Word? Wow.
          Had no idea!

          • grownandsexy2

            Which made absolutely no sense to anyone. Most stylists I know work in black salons. But she stayed practicing on that mannequin with the white hair.

            • miss t-lee

              Hmmmm.

        • Brown Rose

          This is mostly true. Slight changes in that some are incorporating more natural hair care. But the lady who used to do mine back when I was natural went to seminars, hair shows etc to know new techniques for Black hair. it didn’t come from formalized training.

          • grownandsexy2

            True about the changes. Cousin went and continues to go to the hair shows to learn.

      • BrownKitty289

        White Ignorance

    • Jae Starz

      Agreed! I have had my hair done in a melanin deficit salon and I was fairly pleased with the outcome. I mean it was a bit poofier than when I go to my regular salon but it wasn’t terrible.

      • PhDivaLife

        I’m relaxed, but I stretch them for 12 weeks. My previous stylist hated this and always had a load of comments about why i shouldn’t stretch. My friend gave me the name of a stylist at Smartstyle in a nearby Wal-Mart. Last time, she was out, but I had taken out my braids and needed a do before i went to an event on Sunday. I ended up in the chair of a young white guy. I was a lil nervous, but he slayed my hair. It was one of the best relaxers and styles that I’ve had since I moved in 2012.

        • Jae Starz

          I’m relaxed too but transitioning (I think) It’s been 6 months. If I can make it to August without breaking then I am just going to commit. I also stretch mine for 12-16 weeks and was in between when I went to this salon.

          • PhDivaLife

            Yeah, I’ve tried to transition at least 4 times. My longest stretch was 9 months in 2009. I don’t want to big chop, but I’ve not managed to commit to a long term transition. Maybe one of these days! Good luck!!

        • Monica Harris

          Yo, a press I got from a white dude stylist was definitely one of the best I ever had.

    • Brown Rose

      Exactly. I Knew a Black natural hair stylist who did all kinds of styles, hair and she also had white customers. She was always learning new ways to style and manage all kids of hair. Do you think that it would have been reversed? nope.

    • LMNOP

      They should be required to learn, there are 1250 hours of required training to be licensed to do hair. That’s on the level of LPN training, and significantly more than EMTs. If you can learn to handle a huge variety of life and death situations in that amount of time, surely you can learn the basics of Black hair care.

    • lkeke35

      And remember it’s not important to their survival to anything about anybody other than themselves. YT ppl only need to know about YT ppl. When they have the opportunity to be lazy about any issue, they will happily take it.

    • Yep. And it’s foolish. Black hair, for better or worse, is a billion dollar industry. But, hey, if they want to mess with their money like that, I say we let ’em.

    • lunanoire

      see also some non-Black moms whose Black and/or mixed kids hair is neglected

  • miss t-lee

    I’m sorry, I wouldn’t let anyone lacking melanin even touch my hair, much less style it.
    No ma’am, pressed ham.

    • LilMissSideEye

      Bet you a dollar if she had corrected or refused the stylist she would have been called “difficult to work with” and gotten a bad reputation amongst that clique.

      • miss t-lee

        Guaranteed.
        It’s the reason that when folks can, they have their own glam squad team, and I don’t blame them one bit.

      • Brown Rose

        *nods head*

      • Val

        That’s their go to, always.

      • Mary Burrell

        That’s what I have been saying she needed that job and she couldn’t complain because she didn’t know if she’d get hired for other jobs if she complained.

        • JennyJazzhands

          This is why I always bring my own makeup and hair stuff to shoots because you just never know if the staff knows what their doing. I’ve been known to go behind the hairstylist and fix my own self. Even my beautician hands my the flat iron if I make a certain face.

    • Darkchloe144

      “No ma’am, pressed ham”
      I will find a way to utilize this someday, lol.

      • miss t-lee

        LOL It’s an oldie, but goodie classic.
        Please do. :)

    • MsCee

      I just did my research on this picture. I didn’t know it REALLY belonged to Vicky’s. I could have sworn it was a stock photo found by googling the words..”morning after a good d!cking” “walk of shame” “when netflix and chill goes right” or something along those lines.

  • PDL….HE still working on me

    Chevonne, your hair is GORG!!

    Nothing but a black stylist for me. Like my mamma used to say when I was a girl “don’t be letting nobody play in your hair.” Especially if I’m paying

  • Brown Rose

    I got locs, so no one but me and my loctition would be touching my hair. Even before that, I styled my own or I went to black salon that styled natural hair. The only time White people look in my direction is if they like the loc style, trying to think if my hair is real, or think I might know where to get herb. *shrugs*

    • ValerieTheTenderoni

      I went to black salon that styled natural hair
      This is key.

      • Brown Rose

        Yup. You don’t just want any Black stylist doing your hair especially when natural.

        • miss t-lee

          Not at all.

    • QRaven

      I still want locs, but I’ve found out that a lot of black salons don’t know how to style natural hair outside of the basics. And when it comes to cutting it, that’s an issue as well. I’m not paying someone $70 for a twist out.

      • Brown Rose

        Its hard. I lucked out and found a really good one, but I did pay the bucks. I went to her sparingly for deep conditioning and more elaborate hairstyles. I learned how to style my head through trial and error, a couple of books, youtube and napptruality.com.

      • UrbanNortheast

        I got my feelings hurt about a year and a half ago when a Black stylist at a Black salon jacked my head up. Went in for a trim, she took off 4″. I now go to a natural salon (but not that often, mostly just for trims and if I’m going somewhere fancy & need a special do).

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