Tyra Banks Has No Business Discussing How Black Hair Affects Self-Esteem

Tyra tackled the issue of black women and girls hating their natural hair and examined the lengths they go to straighten it. I found it extremely sad that a six-year-old girl could hate herself so much at such a young age and has already figured out that she doesn’t fit the beauty ideal. I wonder if/when she’ll start hating her skin color, too. The idea that straight, silky hair is better than kinky hair is nothing new in the black community. In fact, Chris Rock’s “Good Hair” documentary examined it, too. What I found most interesting about this episode of “The Tyra Banks Show” is that the host perpetuates the idea by wearing a long, straight-textured brown wig. She even told the six-year-old, “I have hair like you, too. I have a Hannah Montana wig.” Of course, Tyra had her hair in cornrows for this episode. I don’t think I’ve ever seen her natural hair, so who is she to tell women and girls they should be proud of their nappy hair?

Hair is what you make it. And I’ve learned over the years that it’s irrational to think that every black woman should have natural hair. But the decision should be made based on personal preference, not because they’ve been conditioned to believe straight hair is more attractive than kinky hair.

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