When I wrote about ASAP Rocky’s beauty advice that dark-skinned women should stay away from red lipstick, more than a few readers commented saying he was just stating his opinion and he shouldn’t be attacked for it. Their thinking went: ASAP just happens not to like how red lipstick looks on darker skin tones — what’s so wrong with that?

That logic reminds me of growing up around African-American boys who told me that they only found exotic-looking women with light skin tones and long, flowing hair attractive. They immediately shut down my rebuttals that they were subscribing to a dominant standard of beauty with the claim, “that’s just my preference.”

How can you tell when a preference or opinion is completely objective or when it is informed, even unknowingly, by societal notions of beauty?

I wondered about this when Solange Knowles engaged with yet another critic of natural hair on Twitter. Via

The user tweeted her: “if u would just slap a relaxer on that hair you’d b a dime piece, smh”

And she responded: “How about u put a relaxer on your ignorant mouth:)”

I got a good laugh from Solange’s usual quick wit and sass in shutting down her detractors. Still, criticism of the singer’s response loomed: is it ignorant if the Twitter user just prefers the look of straight hair?

What are your thoughts, Clutchettes? When it comes to beauty, how do you differentiate between someone’s preference and an opinion borne out of ignorance?



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  • I don’t like when all black are referred to as African American just because your black doesn’t mean you came from Africa,and hair is hair straight or curly or kinky just make sure it’s combed no matter what texture that’s the main thing. No one is better because their hair is straighter.

    • Jmail

      The reason why blacks r referred to as African- American is because africa is where they descend from. When they brought blacks from africa as slaves they called them african- american. This is a indirect referral of where they originally came from. So you may not have ever been to africa but your ansectors are.

  • Jessa

    If that’s the case then white people should be called European Caucasions? Since their ancestors are from Europe? Right? I don’t claim to be African American. I am actually Jamaican American and my ancestors are from England. Not Africa. Just like that person said before it shouldn’t matter just because your black that you are considered “African”” American. That’s a bit ignorant.

  • Kathy

    I have to comment on this. The critic is an african-american male whose standard of beauty has been informed, shaped and regurgited by the dominant society’s standard of beauty. Case closed and so is his mind. Don’t believe, look at some of the famous african american entertainers and see who they chose as partners.

  • I wrote a post that I hadn’t posted but it was about if I was any less black because I chose to change the texture of my hair.

    Didn’t India Arie song have any effect on anyone. I am not my hair I am the soul that lives within. That’s my belief and I just happen to be one of those people who could texturise, perm or go natural. as long as I know how to take care of my hair am good.

    An opinion usually sounds genuine or offers some form of support and without ignorance. Whilst ignorance is someone who is saying a whole load of nothing. Their statement or opinion would have no back bone, no evidence, no validation just noise.

    I don’t listen to noise, I hear it everyday a lot from the black community but i don’t listen to noise but hear truth loud and clear. Hair is Hair.. Health and well being should always comes first and as for Solange and asap neither of their opinions matter to me because frankly they have done nothing to me and for me they are just people.

    Cool Post