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Tuesday, July 14, 2015

The Term Nappy! Is it Good or Bad?

Yesterday, while browsing youtube I came across a video by Ghana Goddess formerly known as Miss Cinnamon Cake. In the video she discusses her thoughts on the word NAPPY and why she doesn't think its a bad word. Today, on facebook I came across a video of a father doing his daughters hair with a vacuum cleaner after he saw a caucasian dad give his daughter a ponytail with the vacuum hose. In the video the father stated that the vacuum method only works on silky hair not a nappy afro. People proceeded to come for him in the comments section, ethering him for being insensitive and calling his daughters hair nappy.

I clearly find nothing wrong with the word Nappy. In the past when my hair was relaxed I used to refer to my hair as nappy in a negative way when I would get new growth, and also when I went natural and found that my hair would never be 3b. I hated my hair and constantly referred to it as Nappy because I broke combs in it, It wouldn't straighten properly, it wouldn't even blow dry right. I absolutely hated everything about it, but I was mostly upset and let down that after going natural I didn't have curls. I thought everyone had beautiful curly hair once they stopped relaxing their hair. I eventually came to love everything that I hated about my hair and for me the term Nappy no longer represented something bad but something that I loved. I find nothing wrong with what the father said I don't think he was being negative about her hair in any way. I now refer to my hair as Nappy with love.

The term Nappy can also be used in a derogatory manner. For instance, I came across a story today while browsing the internet in which a coach in Texas referred to a young African American child's hair as Nappy and Nasty.

Of course this verbal attack was racially motivated. The coach that I am referring to is caucasian. As a community we have been relaxing and straightening our hair for years. Some say to fit in with mainstream (white) America, others say to make our hair more manageable. The young African American woman that the coach was referring to has straight hair (most likely relaxed from looking at pictures) the coach had straight hair so what was her reason for calling this child's hair nappy and nasty when aside from hair color it doesn't look that much different from hers. I'm sure she wouldn't refer to a caucasian child with straight hair as having nappy or nasty hair. Even though the hair is straight, because it is attached to the head of a black child it is seen as nappy and nasty in her eyes. The saddest part though is that this grown ass woman, whether racially motivated or not, thought it was appropriate to degrade and belittle a child. In my eyes a coach is supposed to uplift, motivate and shape students in their care, not belittle them at a time when confidence building is so important. That alone should be grounds for termination (the simple fact that she sucks at her job and she's a despicable person).

I don't mind the term Nappy being used to refer to African American hair by African Americans when it is used with love. If you are not of the culture you don't get to use it much like the N word. Simple as that. Even within the culture it is not appropriate to refer to someone else's hair as nappy in a derogatory way. Even though I use the term to refer to my own hair, I wouldn't use to to refer to anyone else's. Not even in a good way, because of the fact that I don't know what their feelings are towards the word.

What are your thoughts on the N (nappy) word?