Plain Jane vs The Urban Glamazon

Sep 13, 2010 @ 3:14 pm | By TheFeministGriote | 3 Comments

“This is how I look without makeup
And with no bra my ninny’s sag down low
My hair ain’t never hung down to my shoulders
And it might not grow
Ya’ never know”

-Erykah Badu from the Song “Cleva”

A couple of weeks ago I was perusing through the statuses on facebook and a friend put up on her status that the humidity was not cooperating with her permed coif and at the end of her status she stamped it #teamnaturalHair. I remember reading the status and being a bit perplexed. I always associate natural hair with hair that is not processed or chemically treated in any way shape or form and then the other day I read a tweet on twitter that was blasting women who wear make-up and was basically trying to say that women who insists on wearing makeup every time they go out are insecure ugly women and that too was stamped #naturalbeauty.

I notice that social media has become both  the platform  and arsenal that many women use to preach there gospel for or against makeup and natural hair. Its a war among these two camps both are wanting to assert which team is more beautiful or natural. I find this disparaging banter both funny and problematic. I know so many women who could not survive a week without not having weave in their hair nor could they survive without their creamy crack addiction better known as a perm. I find it hilarious when women with processed hair stamp themselves #naturalbeauties and  want to berate those women who wear makeup. And of course there is blame on the other side of the pond, we have the natural hair sistren who often look down upon women who wear weaves, process their hair, or wear makeup. This appears to be a losing battle that cannot be won no matter the side you find yourself on. Me being me once again I find myself in the gray area of this debate. I am on team #naturalhair  or #nohair, but I wear makeup.  Actually I love makeup. I love to play with colors and create looks that compliment my outfit or mood. I am no more insecure than any other woman living in this sexist shallow society that I know. I am  a perfectionist and like to be well represented when I walk out. I wear makeup because I feel it gives me a polished look. Plus, I love the shape of my face and I like to treat it like a canvas and adorn it with colors as I wish. I don’t wear makeup to do my house chores  or when I go exercise therefore, I am not addicted to it. Actually, during this summer I have reevaluated my femininity and find myself wearing it less and sometimes not at all.

The fact of the matter is that femininity is vast enough that it can encompass all women. No matter how we chose to market our femininity and beauty. Those of us who wear makeup or don’t, perm our  hair or let it be in its natural state, those of us who like to wear dresses and skirts, and those women who prefer t-shirt and jeans. All women can find their respective place within the spectrum of femininity. Why must women always operate in this competitive mode that seeks to annihilate and alienate each other? As women we have the right to represent ourselves as we see fit without the fear of being scrutinized by other women. As women we already have to subjected to men comparing us to one another, treating us like a pieces of meat, and looking past our humanity and only seeing us in parts be it our breast, our asses, and of course our vagina’s. With that already hostile situation in place we as women do not need to exacerbate the situation with our ridiculous judgment of each other. We need to celebrate the Plain Jane’s, Top Models,  The Divas, girl next door, the sporty ladies, the Earth Mama’s the natural hair, processed hair, bare face, and painted face.  The arch can accommodate us all!

3 Responses to “ Plain Jane vs The Urban Glamazon ”

  1. This post is relevant in so many ways because like you stated Social Media has given a lot of people men and women the platform to bash women on whether they wear makeup or weave this or that. I observe a lot on twitter woman that are so quick to judge others yet everything about them is superficial which is funny yet crazy to me. Why is it that women feel the need to uplift themselves by trying to compare themselves with others. I always felt like if you want to wear weave in your head 365 days a year then so be it, and if you wear makeup morning, noon, and night then that is your business but don’t try to put yourself on a platform. Enjoyed this read!

  2. “All women can find their respective place within the spectrum of femininity. ”

    I have to say that during the initial phase of my transition to unprocessed hair (10 years ago), I was judgmental, self-righteous and condescending towards women who I believed did not embrace or accept their “natural” beauty. My girlfriends and I all went through a similar stage!

    As I matured I realized that the more I grew to understand my inner-beauty and found ways to express it through fashion, music, interior decorating, etc. the more “open” my mind became to the various forms black beauty is expressed and understood. It’s about my mood, the season, my budget (smile) and most of all not hanging on to a static view of what beauty is or supposed to be. I have girlfriends with unprocessed hair who wear weaves, fabulous wigs, extensions and flat iron their hair if the mood hits them. I found myself flirting with the idea of a curly-wig for the summer just because I wanted something “new” and to experiment with a different look/energy.

    All of this boils down to personal growth, owning our ideas of beauty and feeling bold enough to express them in which ever ways we feel lead!

  3. For me it’s about finding balance. I love my makeup and my heels and getting all dressed up but it was always equally important to me that the guy I was interested in would see me without makeup, frizzy hair, and even sweaty after a good basketball game or a good workout at the gym. These are all sides of me. No surprises.

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