A quick overview of beauty standards across West Africa will bring you to the quick understanding that to look European is to be beautiful. This short article is to examine why this is the case and also to understand why natural traditional Africa beauty standards are looked down upon.
90% of all hair salon for both men and women will show you the reality of this situation, the female hair salon’s point of expertise is usually in stripping our women of their natural beauty by constantly creating innovating techniques that make their hair of our women look more and more like the European women hair or stocking up on the latest skin bleaching cream to make our women again look as European as can be.
Many women are suffering from skin cancer and baldness because of bleaching and the use of these hair relaxers that are used in straightening and softening the hair of our women. Those who don’t get skin cancer from these skin bleaching products end up looking like demonic creatures with multi colored bodies and burnt faces after prolonged use.
I know a lady who is still in her 20s yet has to use other products to treat the effects the bleaching creams have caused on her skin.
West African men are not exempt from this practice as their’s does not look to obvious but when looked at properly denotes are more disturbing image.
The West African Man relaxing their hair can be seen as unprofessional, since they can’t perm their hairs exactly like the whites or wear wigs that looks like the hair of white men for obvious reasons, they decide to perm or shape their hair just as that of the white man appears, I have put pictures below to show this.
On this row, we have the standard black man, white man haircut, it is my believe that the haircut of the black man on the left is directly mimicking that of the white man of the right.
On this row, you see the black men with the similar haircut as the one above, the only difference is the parting like at the side, once in West Africa, the haircut with the line on the left especially was the most common kind of haircut, I believe this is directly mimicking that of the white man on the right, who parts his hair from left to right in most cases. This parting type haircut amongst white men happens to be the most common type of haircut amongst white men.
I really do not believe that there are black men who are consciously doing this in order to look like white men, I believe that this is a sub-conscious attempt to resemble the white man whom that black man have sub-consciously accepted as superior to them.
The truth is that Africa is constantly rubbished on the news, in media and even in comedy, there is hardly any international coverage of the greatest that Africa has to offer, only the worst, it is only normal that West African children who are accustomed to seeing their home and culture ridiculed by the world will see their own culture, tradition, natural hair, skin pigment and even innovation as inferior while seeing that of others as superior. This is why most Africans abandon African beauty standards in favor of the European beauty standard; who have modeled themselves as the only standard globally.
I must also mention that in places like Ghana and Nigeria in general, it is very difficult to get shops that specialize in African hair care and to me this is infuriating, the irony that in Africa you can hardly find African hair care, and even when you find it, their services are treated as exotic services is not just infuriating more frustrating to me.
The irony of West Africa and the West African condition continues to blow my mind, but I am seeing something different in recent years, more and more men and women are beginning to embrace their natural hair and African beauty standard, I am praying that it is not simply a trend, I remain hopeful that the African beauty standard and the normalization of our natural hair, hair car and natural African beauty standards will one day become the norm for all black people everywhere we are, that will signify that we are healing as a people because in this moment, our mentality and reality suggests that we are unwell from how we behave to ourselves and each other.