First, let me state, it’s your hair, growing out of your scalp – do what you want with it. But don’t go around co-opting the natural hair movement and calling your hairstyle an ‘afro’ when clearly it’s not.

Such is the case for YouTuber EskimoGirl.

EskimoGirl, a hairstylist based out of Los Angeles, recently posted a tutorial on how to achieve ‘afro’ hair. Obviously this is not for us black women out there who have been rocking Afros since the dawn of time. If you’re white and your name isn’t Bob Ross, please do not call your manipulated hair an afro.

After wrapping her hair in aluminum foil and heating it with a flat-iron (what in the world?) then unwrapping it after some time, EskimoGirl now has an ‘afro’, so she thinks.

See the problem is, ever since the natural hair movement has gained momentum over the last several years, non-black women have been co-opting the movement. Sure, if you’re white and your hair does not have chemicals, technically it’s ‘natural’. Good for you, but it’s not the same thing, especially when you’re manipulating your hair to get an afro.

And sure, there are tons of natural haired black women out there who don’t have kinks, coils and curls but guess what? They’re still black and still embrace their naturalness.

White women and their natural hair trend is something that will always garner a side-eye. Notice I didn’t say movement. When you culturally appropriate, it’s not a movement, it’s a trend. When white women get tired of trying to manipulate their hair into ‘afros’, black women will still rock theirs proudly, and even get side-eyes for doing it, especially at the workplace.

Clutchettes, what do you think about EskimoGirl’s ‘Afro’ tutorial?

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  • disqus_6sinns1216

    This is very complex, because this is a facet of colonialism. And when you understand colonialism+capitalism a little better appropriation vs assimilation becomes much easier to understand. But I’ll do the best I can to explain to you simply.

    Black hair is a physical feature black people were oppressed for. Excluded out of work, dehumanized emotionally & physically for, mocked, shamed for. Seen as uncivilized in this society for. A physical feature we took back as powerful and beautiful during Civil Rights Movement as not only a fashion statement. It was a political statement. And since then has been seen by white society as radical, uncivil, and rebellious. There are a lot of doors closed to you when you’re black in this society, even more close when you choose to not conform and assimilate socially and physically. The cultural practice of black women wearing straight hair comes from them having no choice but to assimilate into this white supremacist society to avoid looking “radical” and “uncivil” as a means of survival. To get more access to jobs to have food to eat, shelter over their heads, clothes on their backs etc. <– This is assimilation

    I've explained what appropriation is historically, in a former post when I corrected another user when he/she used the word incorrectly. You can scroll up to see it

  • onetraeh

    Hmmm it looks nice though!I’m going to try it lol

  • Mayborn7

    To paraphrase the great Paul Mooney: “Everybody want to be Black, but don’t nobody want to be black.”

  • kcal

    I got to this site by googling “what’s an appropriate name for very curly hair on a white person”..sounds dumb, but my son (he is 13) is not interested in cutting his hair and I’m a-ok with that. His hair is VERY curly and’s just getting bigger and bigger and more curly. Kind of epic..but I want to be culturally sensitive and not use words that may offend someone because that certainly isn’t my should I call his hair an afro or..? Btw…I’m half indian (feather, not dot) so I have no clue where this came from…my hair’s hella curly as well…

  • plumpdn

    I don’t see the problem. It looks cute and it looks like a twist out on African hair (that is 4a or 4b). She isn’t saying anything offensive and it’s about time they wanted our hair instead of us just killing ourselves to imitate theirs…buying hair from poor Asian and Indigenous women to simulate a head full of straight hair. I mean, who can win? You mad at blonde weave tutorials now too?