Friday, March 23, 2007

My Kid Will Have My Hair.

At least, my biological kid will. And if she's a girl, how I look forward to the years of painful coiffure ahead of me and her.

My hair was and is the thickest conglomeration of kinky strands I have ever encountered. I bet my present and former hairstylists would say the same thing. The kicker is, I have an extremely sensitive scalp. Combing my hair in its natural state is a horror. And making it easier to comb by chemically straightening it burns my scalp, even if my parts are greased and the relaxer is mild. That's why since my junior year of college, I've kept my hair in braided extensions. I still get it straightened every so often to make it easier when I take the old braids out and get the new ones put it. Now that is a harsh trial. :(

Whenever I think of doing my future kid's hair, I get all worried. Then I think about something else, like teddy bears or ice cream. How am I supposed to do my kid's hair when I can't do my own hair? Then I came across this New York Times article via Racialicious: "I Have Taken On My Daughter's Hair And Won," by Randal C. Archibold. Mr. Archibold writes:

I’ve been doing Lyla’s hair since she has had enough hair to do, receiving my first lessons from my wife and subjecting Lyla to my continued training by my sister, mother-in-law and other female relatives. Combing and brushing and, most important, braiding her hair seemed another way to help out and participate in the joys of having a daughter.
I had never even thought about having my partner do my kid's hair. One, because when I imagine my kids, I've always thought that their hair would just be magically done all the time, without anyone doing it, like on TV. Two, since I haven't married the soon-to-be-lanced Elijah Wood yet, I'm not really confident that I'll be having these kids with a partner.

But after reading this article, now I'm having all these visions of my partner doing my kids' hair. Just like he'll be staying home with said children for their first year, until they go to daycare and preschool, etc. And he'll be happy to do it. I'm aiming high, because why shouldn't my partner take care of our kids? Hello, they're his, too. I'm not going to be the Primary Parent (scroll down for reference) just because I have the vagina. Our kids will know that both of their parents are equally responsible for them and equally capable of raising them.

My favorite part is where Mr. Archibold talks about his inspirations: his cousin's husband Kirk, and Brad Pitt, whose daughter Zahara has helped him empathize with "white people who might be having a little trouble with black-person hair." Mr. Pitt apparently endorsed Carol’s Daughter hair products in last October's issue of Esquire, which got him quoted in the Say What? column of Essence.

On the other side of dealing with a black daughter's hair, I also discovered this article via Racialicious: Black Baby is Born to White Pair.

A Park Avenue fertility clinic's blunder has left a family devastated - after a black baby was born to a Hispanic woman and her white husband, the couple charges in a lawsuit...

...Despite the alleged baby bungle, little Jessica was born healthy.

The Andrews, however, fear that because of the circumstances of her birth "she may be subjected to physical and emotional illness as a result of not being the same race as her parents and siblings," according to their suit.

According to the couple's attorney, Howard Stern (insert joke here), the baby doesn't look like them. Really? Because when I look at that photo and hear, "One of these things is not like the other," the voices in my head are talking about that confused looking white guy on the left.

Furthermore, his wife? Is not white. I don't know what the New York Post is talking about. Then again, do I ever? The woman is clearly a dark shade of Dominican. Even if the baby had been conceived with that man's sperm and that woman's egg, considering the mestizo history of the Dominican Republic, there is a good chance the baby would have come out brown anyway.

If this couple wanted a pure white baby, they should adopt one, or find an acceptable Aryan egg donor. And if after three years, these people still can't get over the fact that their daughter--this woman's biological child--will not "get lighter over time," then those people should give this child to a family who will love and appreciate her, regardless of the "abnormality" that is her dark skin. Angelina is always looking.


Catherine Avril Morris said...

Wait, WHO is that cute little baby?? Is it YOU?? Oh my gosh, too much cuteness...

So anyway. Most important things first (ha): I feel your sensitive-scalp pain. I used to bleach my hair platinum a lot...till my scalp started bleeding every time I redid my roots. Oops. Stopped that real quick.

I never even thought about white or other non-black people having trouble dealing with their black children's hair. Huh! But the bit about the white guy and the Latina lady and their devastation over their half-black baby...grr. What the fuck is wrong with people sometimes? And what the fuck is wrong with the NY Post?

Well, anyway. Thanks for making me giggle and wince on a Friday night. ("Angelina is always looking..." Ha!!)

Bianca Reagan said...

That cute little baby is Angelica from The L Word. She is Tina and Bette's baby.

If you think the NY Post is bad, wait till you read about what Details magazine considers journalism.