Jun 4, 2015

Discussion: White Women Who Wear Locs?

White Women Who Wear Locs?
I've been asked on several occasions how I feel about women who choose to wear locs, but are not of African ancestry or culture. I think my answer is as complicated as the question.  In my humble opinion, I think any questions surround intention, which is where things get tricky.

I think the question of intention comes in when we examine Pop, or American, Culture. I do believe Andy Warhol said it best:
"In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes."
I believe this speaks to the individual as well as collective cultures.  American culture is simply bits and pieces of other cultures. When the American collective, usually driven by youth and money, decides something is popular it becomes Pop Culture. This is why I agree with Andy Warhol's suggestion that fame would only last for 15 minutes. Youth and money are constantly changing and shifting.

So what does this mean for locs? Or bantu knots? And cornrowns?  It means that if we want our natural beauty added to the collective, we have to be mindful of the fact that we may become trends that are world-famous for 15 minutes.  And if a woman is inspired by pop culture to loc her hair, she'll meet her justice when those 15 minutes are up as she tries to catch the next trend.  Locs are not easy to release.

I do understand that the ultimate challenge is being overlooked when originating looks and styles that become trends. This indicates that our natural beauty is not a part of the collective. And it is not.  It is who we are, which cannot be contained in trends and fashion reports. That is also the answer to the challenge.  As we continue to own our beauty regardless of worldly standards, women and girls that come after us will do the same. And they will make sure the world knows who they are.

When a woman chooses to loc her hair, regardless of her texture or ancestry, she is making a commitment to groom and maintain a style can lead to personal development.  The patience and maintenance required for locs can easily manifest in other areas of life. I would not deny anyone that experience.  Making a decision to grow locs in spite of any potential prejudice is a moment of personal resolve and confidence. Who could deny anyone that?

That is exactly what I did.
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