Whoopi Goldberg: “The Reason Black Women Want Straight Hair Is Because It’s Manageable”
Today on “The View,” the ladies discussed “Good Hair,” a documentary by Chris Rock. Whoopi Goldberg made the startling revelation that black women don’t straighten their hair because they want to be white, but because they want manageable hair. “It’s less about the larger culture and more about ‘I don’t want to fuss with my hair,” she said. But that’s only half the story. Nowadays, we realize that beauty can come in different forms, but we can’t ignore the beauty ideals that are presented to us on a daily basis in magazines, TV, and the web. Silky, non-coarse hair is the standard. Whoopi alludes to this but ultimately skirts over it when she says that in beauty school she was taught to do everyone’s hair but black people’s. Back in the day, no one wanted to do black hair because black women were expected to conform. What some black women want today is a hairstyle that is manageable and conforms to society’s beauty standard. If they were only seeking manageability, then we’d all be walking around with bald heads (the most manageable hairstyle of all), cornrows, or locks. Whoopi should know those last two hairstyles only require maintenance on a weekly basis. This isn’t meant to shame women who straighten their hair, but we can’t gloss over our history or the present either.