Well, it sure ain’t the first time and it sure as heck won’t be the last time the topic of “good hair” rears its ugly ‘ol head. Today, as I was perusing Clutch, I came across a piece on the topic of good hair, which never seems to wane in popularity, inasmuch as we may endeavour to alter hair conversations into ones that are both constructive and informative. It seems as though our fellow Torontonian and songstress Melonie Fiona has landed herself in some water, over what may seem harmless to some.
Clutch highlighted a few words that had been uttered by Melonie Fiona in Sophisticate Black Hair (SBH)’s June/July issue. It went a little something like this:
SBH: What’s the secret to your gorgeous long hair? Melanie Fiona: I was born with a full head of hair, and my mom wouldn’t let me cut it until I was 12! I’m mixed – my mom is Black and Portuguese and my dad is Indian so I have a good mix for growth.
According to Clutch, the folk of the Blogosphere are up in arms over Ms. Fiona’s remarks, citing a comment that was made by Ebony at Longing4lenth.com:
“In the future when asked this same question, a much better response would be “I’ve been blessed to always have a head full of hair and never had to concentrate on growing it long.” You can acknowledge your ethnicity but that whole ‘good mix for growth’ girl, if I were part of your PR and marketing team, that statement would be forever banned from your vocabulary! Secondly, where have you been Melanie? Did you not get the memo that we are trying to do away with the term “good hair” in all of its traditional uses?! I need to send her one of those popular t-shirts with the slogan: I got good hair – I got African in my family! Shoooo, she needs the accompanying earrings too! Or maybe we need to have Rev. Al Sharpton conduct a public funeral for the phrase good hair as he did for the N-word!”
For fear of jumping to conclusions without actually having read the SBH issue, I’m going to off on a limb and say that Fiona’s comments were not ill-intentioned. Given that her reference to her mixed heritage was vis-a-vis hair growth, it appears as though she had no intention of singling out the goodness that is her hair, in opposition to undesirable/bad hair. There is no doubt that as Black women, the topic of hair is touchy, sparks outrage in many, and is tied to the issue of self-hate. However, it would be ignorant to even suggest that Fiona’s comments are baseless and do not contain any truth. As a Black woman who loves her natural hair, I’m well aware and accepting of the fact that my hair does not grow at the same rate as that of my Caucasian and Indian counterparts. Call me out if I’m wrong but, sometimes people are overly reactionary about issues that are either directly or indirectly related to sensitive topics that have plagued our communities for so long. Sometimes it’s really not that serious. In this particular scenario, I do not feel as though Fiona’s comments should have incited as much backlash as it has.
What are your thoughts? Do you believe Melonie Fiona’s comments about her mixed heritage in direct relation to her hair’s growth were made in bad taste?