[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he word ” nappy” is a very provocative term to say the least. You will guarantee yourself a good debate with no shortage of opinions with good arguments for either side. This is a popular topic on the blogs and in social media groups. Personally, I do not refer to my hair as nappy because of the mainly negative connotation the term ‘nappy hair’ seems to have. Much like there are several ways to refer to black people but I prefer not to be called a “nigga”.
In the past, nappy hair was used by mainly in a derrogatory way. Nappy is not commonly used in a praiseworthy way rather is usually denotes something disdainful or unattractive and ultimately undesirable. And unfortunately negative ideas and beliefs have a way of taking root much easier than the positive ones. If you got the same reaction when you mentioned the phrase ‘nappy hair’ as when you mentioned Keeping Up With The Kardashians , then it would mean that the nappy hair would have mass appeal because it’s being presented as something desirable in mainstream media. Even if you are sickened by the fact that these reality stars seem to be appealing to a vast majority, it’s hard to deny the fact that American pop culture is celebrity-obsessed, homogenized and extremely superficial.
But even without outside or media influence, a lot of negativity about hair texture comes right from within the African-American community, even from family and friends. I’ve had some of the most negative and ignorant comments said to me about hair come from black folks. The word nappy is often used by blacks to insult, make fun of and/or humiliate fellow black people.
There still exists what I call the “good hair” mentality. Who decided what was ‘good hair’? And if there’s good hair then that means there’s also ‘bad hair’. What is bad hair? And we can’t forget the buzz Chris Rock created when he did an entire documentary about Black women, hair texture, and the hair weave business, it was called ” Good Hair“. Reportedly Rock’s film idea was sparked by questions his young daughter asked him about hair texture.
And it might come as a surprise to some, but when I wear my hair in it’s naturally Afro-curly state I have often received compliments, approval and admiration from White people, particularly European whites on how much they love my hair. They’re absolutely fascinated with my hair and want to touch it. Some say they wish their hair had so much texture and versatility and etc. On the other hand, when I blow my hair out straight, I receive noticeably more comments of approval and admiration from African-American folks. These are the things that make me say….hmmm.
So no, I wouldn’t describe my hair as nappy I typically find it that it’s used in a way that I find offensive. I do describe my hair as any or all of the following Afro-curly, kinky-curly, coily-curly, thick, coarse. fluffy and puffy.