His Confessions |▶ Kevin

by West Parsons on September 9, 2012 · 19 comments

in his confessions

Name: Kevin
Age: 25
Geographical Location: Washington, DC
Educational Background: Masters

I heard you had a status on Facebook that started a great discussion. What was that status? What was the catalyst behind it?
FB Status: Perming for “straight” hair is the number one self hatred action still going on by Black People today. It needs to stop. If you are going to relax your hair, you might as well get a nose job, slim down your thick lips and bleach your skin and get the full effect of trying to look or have Caucasian and/or Asian features.
Catalyst: I was browsing through Facebook and saw an old friend’s fb status that said: “Can someone explain to me why I can’t get a perm just b/c I’m pregnant? What, I’m supposed to walk around nappy?” Needless to say, I was upset about the social implications of her resistance to “nappiness”. I have actually felt this way for quite sometime and have had numerous conversations about it, but after reading her status I decided to address the issue on Facebook.

How important is hair to overall attractiveness? Specifically, which styles (down vs. ponytail vs. bun) and lengths?
Bottom line, I’m not interested if I’m not physically attracted to you. Preferred styles are natural styles. Dreads, ‘fros, braids, twists, etc.. You can do a lot with fro lol.. The world has told us that black women are the lowest on the beauty scale, straightening your hair only confirms that. I really like the confidence a ‘natural’ hairstyle exudes…

Do you feel there is a ‘Natural Hair Movement’ currently occurring? Why do you think so many women are going natural (i.e. Do you think most women want to make a statement or to just stop relaxing)?
There are many black women who understand that ‘being themselves’ is most attractive. Of course there are those who simply want to be trendy, but I think after their ‘big chop’ they begin to see themselves for the beautiful individuals that they are. This ‘Natural Hair Movement’ should have started a long time ago. I think there are many black women who have come to realize that a preference of straightened hair over their natural hair is a form of social oppression (Could write a dissertation…), but again, there will always be those who lack substance and are just following the crowd which is fine.

Would you support your significant other if she decided to become natural?
Is this a trick question? Of course.

Are you able to tell the difference in textures of hair? If your significant other were to go natural, would the texture of her hair affect your opinions on whether she should remain natural or not?
No it wouldn’t. To me, those with the ‘nappiest’ hair should go natural as well. I’m aware that some hair is a lot more ‘coiled’ than others but at the end of the day ‘good hair’ is a facade. If you embrace your own beauty, others will fall in line

Do you like or dislike when your significant other changes her hair style often (i.e. wigs, weaves, braids, flat ironed, wash & go)?
I appreciate new styles, although I really don’t like weaves. I also like to be able to touch her hair.

Does the amount of time your significant other spends on her hair prove to be problematic?
Not really. I understand the need to want/need to feel beautiful. I just hate when a woman lacks self confidence.

How do you feel about the amount of money your significant other spends on her hair? Is there a point where the amount of money is a source of conflict? Is it acceptable for her to spend as much as she chooses as long as she looks fly?
The amount of money is not an issue. However, I will never understand hundreds of dollars spent on weaves or wigs.

Do you think your significant other should consider your opinion when making decisions about her hair?
Most definitely. Not considering my opinion would lead to think she was trying to impress someone else.

Why do you think women care about a man’s opinion when it relates to hair?
Women say they do everything for ‘themselves’, but ultimately, we’re who they’re trying to attract, so of course they should care.

How do you view women that wear weaves? Can you tell the difference between natural hair and a weave?
I hate weaves. I haven’t been fooled in a while.

How do you feel about satin sleeping bonnets or any type of hair scarf?
Hair scarfs are cool. Gotta withhold that moisture some way.

Does it matter to you whether your significant other’s hair is relaxed or not?
Yes it matters. Relaxers reinforce the fact that black women are perceived as ‘ugly’ compared to other races. When black women are no longer concerned when we choose a woman of a different race once we (black men) ‘make it’, then it will no longer be an issue. As it stands, relaxed hair is more acceptable in most platforms than a natural hair style, which is a huge problem. The only way to fix it? Embrace your natural hair.

Follow  @KevSumner on Twitter


Delia December 3, 2010 at 9:53 pm

I appreciate and respect Kevin's point of view. He is entitled to his opinion, like the rest of us, and it takes balls to confront hundreds of black women who are passionate about their hair!

Yes, some women are ignorant about their natural hair. Yes, some women do have esteem and self-image issues tied to their race and natural hair texture. But not all.

Kevin chooses to prefer women who are natural. I also prefer to be natural. That is my right. And women who prefer relaxers and weaves? That's their right. I don't have to like their choice, I just have to respect it.

I think if he does a little more research, he'll come to understand, as I did, that there's more to it than self-hate. It really does boil down to a choice. And for women, the more choices she has to express her beauty, the better. =)

pinkcurlgirl August 3, 2011 at 4:30 am

I agree with Delia – a relaxer is a choice!

Everyone loves to jump on black women for relaxing their hair, but white women also wear extensions, dye their hair, perm and straighten their hair with ceramics. Very few white women solely wash and go! Noone ever questions them on self-hate 🙂

I had relaxed for so many years that I didn’t know or remember what it was like to have natural hair and thought it would be far more work than it really is. A relaxer is not self-hate, but perhaps embracing my natural hair is something about extra self love. x

Tai' December 4, 2010 at 7:49 pm

I absolutely loved this response to women's hair. I feel the same way about women conforming to this world and not taking in thier own beauty. For this reason, i went natural myself.

i've always had low self-esteem aside from my hair and me going natural really put my self-esteem to the test. i would never change going natural for the world because it has simply MADE me accept myself for who i am…A Beautiful Black Young Lady 🙂

*Kevin should really meet my sister in DC 😉

Anonymous December 5, 2010 at 5:08 am

Kevin has done his research! He knows a thing or two about natural hair which I admire. He knows what he likes and why he likes it. And the fact that my tie head won't be a problem seals the deal! He's great.

simone.kinsale-hinds December 6, 2010 at 3:36 am

I really, really like him =)

Thanks again! What a wonderful interview.

MMM December 15, 2010 at 4:23 am

I agree with Delia. We all should have choices and not accused of being self-hating.

So lame that you gotta knock someone down to make your point.

Funbi's January 12, 2011 at 2:23 am

What a great interview! It brought a smile to my face. I appreciate Kevin'a views, because not to many men think like this. Great arguments and he also has a very clear view of what natural hair entails to. I also dislike weaves but I believe there are some women of substance out there who rock their permed hair.
Thanks for sharing!


HBCU w/natural hair May 26, 2011 at 5:44 am

he is definitely a breathof fresh air, i ve never seen this dude in dc lol.

he brought up a good point about women with the nappiest hair going natural, how ever frank, its true that women with kinkier hair are more concerned about having “straight outta africa” hair or “slave” hair. im using these terms because I have heard them used by friends.

if you say you’re hot then you re hot is my opinion, believe me it has been tested. i know confidence doesnt come over night but it is amazing the reaction from guys when they “feel” your confidence.

nas concert in dc, my hair was no more than 3 inches long, very kinked up so it looked shorter, guys were staring me down left and right, mostly ny guys-this may make a diff?? dont know but i was honestly surprised. just carry it with confidence. who cares of black men dont like it, bc most others do-there is a caveat to this…

we black women never really know who is down with natural hair bc black men dont tend to compliment as much as others imo. i ve had black guys tell me 5 years later they used to have a crush.

shy guys should really learn now attractive it can be to a women being approached by a shy guy, its cute, and its good to feel like this guy isnt approaching everyone.

Caprisha Brown September 9, 2012 at 6:21 pm

“The amount of money is not an issue. However, I will never understand hundreds of dollars spent on weaves or wigs.”

I love this statement, me being a woman I don’t understand it either. Women spend so much money on something/someone else’s hair to look beautiful. I love this interview #naturalhairrocks 🙂

Lin September 9, 2012 at 7:42 pm

Thank you Kevin. I especially love his response to the last question.

Nicole September 9, 2012 at 7:47 pm

This man has the same basic viewpoint that so many “natural is better” brothers running around. I am natural myself, it started as more of an experiment but almost 2 years on, the urge to start perming again has not bit me. And even if I were to start perming again I wouldn’t hate myself, my blackness, my history or revert any personal growth just because of my hair. Just in my short time of being in the natural hair community as it were, Kevin’s opinion is RAMPANT from all sides. It’s not new or fresh or eye opening, it is extremely off-putting. I just put this blog in my RSS because I really liked what I found but I am immediately unsubscribing because am not here for these tired and (though some wouldn’t think so) hurtful perspectives to be anywhere near my eyeline. Good luck supporting judgemental snobs.

westNDNbeauty September 9, 2012 at 8:02 pm

Everyone is entitled to their opinion. That was Kevin’s and this is yours. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

Nikki White September 10, 2012 at 9:36 am

Wow, Kevin is on fire! Loved this. I think it’s pretty clear that the brother has done his research and he’s entitled to his opinion. I also found it refreshing that he not only appreciates a woman with her God-given hair, but that he became enraged that someone would prefer to jeapordize the health of her unborn child rather than walk around with “nappy” hair. Let the man speak, and as for the reader who unsubscribed from your blog because of this interview, clearly not aware of the Constitution and a little thing called freedom of speech.

jMarie September 12, 2012 at 10:00 am

Great article!! I appreciate the fact that he knows what he wants. Especially with him being a “younger” black man. Most younger men are driven to attraction by what they see so it’s refreshing to know that there are some that think beyond sight(speaking of the hair topic). However, of a woman chooses to relax it’s her choice. I choose to be natural and that’s my choice im not looking for confirmation from a man on my hair. If he doesn’t like it thats my confirmation that he is not the one. Great article!!!!

Smiley September 17, 2012 at 4:49 pm

I love Kevin! And what I love most is that he emphasized that the texture isn’t what matters either. Many dudes claim to accept natural but they’re usually referring to the looser and softer curl patterns that they consider more “exotic” or acceptable; I think that’s so biased and wrong and it does affect the self esteem of some who have the coarser tighter texture. Bottom line, natural is natural, love it or leave it. I have no problem with natural or relaxed but I do have a problem when people think a natural headed woman is less beautiful. It sends me in flames. I’m about to have my second big chop this week and sadly, I know what I’m about to go up agains all over again, but Kevin’s interview gave me the motivation and freeness I love to hear. Thank you! Team Kevin all day!

MMM September 28, 2012 at 6:43 pm

Honestly after I read his FB status you posted I just couldn’t read the rest (but I did skim over it). I am all for empowering black women but at the expense of women who chose to relax that is pretty lame. I wonder what he thinks of naturals who straighten? Actually scratch that I don’t care what he thinks. I am a natural who straightens every few months.

Straight hair does not equal whiteness. He should probably buy some African cloth so we can’t use his words against him.

Sabrina October 7, 2012 at 1:19 pm

Good! Another brother from my hometown and place of residence who loves us sisters au naturale.

AJ December 13, 2012 at 1:23 pm

It’s easy to talk like that from where he’s sitting, being a Black American male; Black men have always taken liscence to define/censure/critique the activities and identities of Black women. I’m 30, Black American, have attended a traditional Black curch for 16 years, and have been natural since sophomore year in college (about 11 years). I know about Black politics! You can’t just make a blanket statement like that and expect it to be valid. I work in the business sector and my hair is not a problem here, but interestingly enough the very few brothas I see around, or who I know personally who have degrees, DO NOT DATE BLACK WOMEN. Just for the record. They just don’t. And I’m not mad at them about it. It’s just a fact. I could go on and on about skin-complexion privelage, ect ect and the various messages we get from childhood about who we should and shouldn’t be. So needless to say, I have short-patience for these kind of assertions.

Jai April 28, 2014 at 10:51 am

This man’s perspective is very refreshing! I am newly natural as I just did the big chop 6 months ago. I agree that it is every woman’s right to wear their hair in the manner that suits them. However, we can’t ignore the fact that the reasons why many of us had relaxers was because of a systemic hate for the way we look. I wore a relaxer for 20 years and LOVED having straight hair that flowed down my back. It was taught, whether directly or indirectly, that kinky hair was not ideal. Many of us had the pressing comb experience by the time we were in Kindergarten. Now, I am in LOVE with my kinky, coily hair. I think I look better now than when I had long, relaxed hair. This is the hair that God designed me to rock! I’ve never worn weaves or wigs and don’t knock those who do…but its time for Black women to own our beauty; kinky hair and all.