I remember the days when I was a weave girl. Those fat cornrows littering the back of my scalp. I could always hear the thread embedding itself in the cornrows, before the sheets of human hair were framing my face.
My friends and I love what I call “weave-watching”, especially on famous people like youknowwho. Critiquing weaves seems to be a favourite past-time for many women, whether you are talking about famous women are not. When I think about the days when I was wearing weaves, I think I always knew it was not me. They made me look like an entirely different person.
I became another woman. Braids with extensions never made me feel like that. But weaves did. It seemed like another extra effort to blend in with what hair should look like. Not necessarily in a European context but in a black context because especially in the United Kingdom, weaves seem to be de rigueur. I think that is the reason I fell out of love with weaves. They became another extra effort. It was like trying and trying to be a member of a society where the entrance was based on appearance.
I think if a black girl wants to wear a weave, that is fine if she wants to. Weaves do look great on many black women (except Meagan Good). All I am asking is that we rethink the position of the weave and its dominance in many black women’s life. Let us put it under a microscope and do something different: let’s ask ourselves why it has become so important.
Women who I would like to see step out of the Weave mould**
Meagan Good - This girl is a stunner. That goes without saying. But her hair. I am not saying all girls have to be adventurous and leave the weave but I think she would really be jaw-dropping if she did. What do you think ?
Beyonce – lol, it is youknowwho time! I think it goes without saying that she would look great with non-weave hair. There was an image I used to have of her on my old laptop with what I believe was an afrowig. She looked fab.
Lil Kim – Enough said. *sigh*
Naomi Campbell – Ditto.
The examples aforementioned are fairly obvious but I believe they point to rethinking the weave. As much as we hate to admit it, conformism is key to an extent. I am not saying people should burn weaves at all. I am not against extensions or weaves. I just think it is important for black women to look at why they run to embrace weaves first and why natural hair is left to the dust. I think the answer to this question will reveal a significant amount about black female identity and how post-colonial images are constructed because whether we like it or not, weaves are part of the post-colonial mind and psyche, because like this definition of dictionary.com highlights, weaves are basically interlaced into the fabric of our (post)(colonial) minds in how we see hair.