Been riding Fiddler for conditioning, so the lathe is getting dusty. I just can't manage to do everything all the time. There are only so many hours in the day.
In other news, I'm making an effort to be nicer to my hair. In pursuit of that goal, I'm all about buns and sticks these days -- they're gentler, more protective hairstyles. And sort of along the way, I wound up watching Tyra Banks going on about good hair. Good hair is a term in the African-American world for hair that is more curly/wavy and less nappy. Nappy is the very tight kinky hair, the texture that is seen as not-so-good, sometimes.
Now, as many of you are probably aware, I do not have African-American hair. I have dead-straight, baby-fine, boring white girl hair with a complete lack of body. (I am a white girl, so me having white girl hair makes sense.) But it came to me, watching Tyra Banks talk about "Good Hair" on YouTube with her hair in cornrows, that the amount of worry, expense, effort, and straight-up heartache that far too many black women experience over their hair is about what I would encounter if I tried to make my dead-straight, baby-fine, boring white girl hair act like the more kinky/nappy end of the African-American hair spectrum. Like, it totally wouldn't work. My hair wouldn't behave that way even if I processed the hell out of it. It'd get stiff and dead. It'd break off. No matter how much I worked at it, it'd not be nappy or kinky in the same way that natural black hair was. I could spend a bloody fortune on salon work and still I would not have "suitable" hair. Trying to get my hair to act like kinky or nappy hair would be a hideously difficult proposition, if not downright impossible. Imagine how much more seriously I would take my hair if I thought I might not get a good job or a promotion if I didn't have "proper" hair... or if people judged my worth as a person on my ability to make my own natural straight hair successfully mimic nappy hair... or if maintaining my natural "straight" hair was some kind of a political statement that could make people concerned about having me in their church/school/political party/carpool/committee. Could you get me to agree to sew fake kinky/nappy hair into my head so that I could look more "correct"? Probably.
And I am telling you this, not because I think you are terribly interested in good hair or bad hair or Tyra Banks, but because I suspect that at least some of you have never, ever considered why on earth so many black women in the United States have such difficulty and expense with their black hair. Heck, I went to a black college for four years and never considered the hair issue in the proper light. (The proper light is Try to imagine how much it would cost and how hard it would be and what arcane chemical processes would be required and how many hours you might have to spend in a salon chair to get limp, straight hair to hold in the sort of afro that comes naturally to kinky/nappy hair.) So, take a mental stroll in the mindset of an African-American woman who wears processed hair.
It ain't easy and it ain't cheap and maybe there are better things for a black woman to spend her money on.