Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Curly hair, an expression not unanimous

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Alan Binder
Alan Binder
"Alcohol scholar. Twitter lover. Zombieaholic. Hipster-friendly coffee fanatic."

I don’t like the word frizzy. In society (black) often, when used, it has a negative association. Better to say: fine curly hair or tight curly hair.

Quote from:Nancy Falez, hairstylist from Montreal

After being consulted about the definition of the term frizzy, Radio-Canada’s linguistic and terminology consultant, Nathalie Bonsaint, states that there is no pejorative mention of the term frizzy in dictionaries. It is aware, however, that the information contained therein may not always be appropriate for members of certain communities, who may be offended by the use of certain terms.

Diversity and immigration consultant Rachel DeCoeste also adheres to the dictionary meaning based on the 17th century definition according to Robert Online:

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Screenshot from Le Robert’s online dictionary

Photo: Radio Canada

In this definition, we see the term frizzy associated with the adjective lover. For Ms. Decost, the negative connotation of the term is external to its actual definition. She explains that the problem is that people of African descent share or internalize this pejorative idea of ​​the term.

About the origin of the connotation of humiliation

Fété Kimpiobi, a Niagara resident, explains that the discomfort with the term frizzy has to do with the various forms of physical and psychological aggression that blacks have suffered throughout history.

“Strange” is a term that hurts some people a lot because of the way it was defined and by whom it was identified.

She explains, for example, that the heads of slaves were shaved. Women had to hide their hair under scarves. These are assaults that, in her view, cause a shame in the collective unconscious regarding the natural hair of a black woman, that is, hair processed without an individual.

What bothers me the most is not qualification, but the fact that we believe in it so much that we use tricks […] Fake hair and synthetic products to hide it.

Quote from:Fété Ngira-Batware Kimpiobi

For Montreal-based Angelica Homer, the expression Curly hair The discrimination experienced by the black community reinforces itself. In addition to Western beauty standards, there are beauty standards even within our black community associated with the use of the term “weird.” It’s unjustifiedas you say.

Suppose the expression

Mrs. Decoste says she has no problem with expression Curly hair. I decided to love the hair that comes with me including my curly hairas you say. Ms. Decoste has not straightened her hair since 2010.

Rachel DeCoeste smiles for the camera.

For Rachel DeCoeste, glancing at discrimination around the term “frizzy” means associating oneself with misconceptions associated with racism.

Photo: Rachel Decost

Also aware that talks about good hair No date from yesterday. It takes courage to stand up to popular norms, she adds.

For her part, Saint Catherine resident Naveh Fago, of Beninese and Chadian descent, feels that there should be no debate about the expression. Curly hair. She explains that, since her childhood, this qualification has never been a problem.

In my family, everyone has curly hair. […] We have very hard hair. My mother’s hair was very long and curly. My aunts have very short hair.

Quote from:Naveh Faygo

It calls for a recapture of expression. We are black women. We have curly hair. take back what we areas you say.

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Ms. Kimpiobi shares this view. However, she prefers to use the expression natural hair somewhere Curly hair. ‘Weird’ is a problem when you are uncomfortable with yourself, she believes.

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