OK, So...I have them. Braids, I mean. And It's very interesting how divisive my hairstyle is to the masses. They either go apeshit OMG, you look AMAZING or I get this:
Now, with any new hairstyle, you will get reactions, no matter what. People get accustomed to how you look, and when you switch it up, it's like a whole new face is being presented to the world. But braids for some reason, REALLY shake people up!
And I think I know why!
I think it's because the masses have different perceptions about people that wear braids. These perceptions run the gamut. Now, where did they get these ideas from? Ah! TV! What better way to get information than from TV! And I should clarify here that when I use the word TV, I mean trash TV and popular movies.
So, I will attempt to break down 3 different characters with cornrows/braids that might be the reason why someone would side-eye me a bit.
Let the un-brainwashing begin:
1. Cleo from "Set It Off"
Now, she looks mad asf. Like, for real. And in this image, she is in a police line-up mean-mugging the hell out of the person she assumes is about to rat her out (and that person is behind a 2 way mirror). Now, that's gangsta. Her energy penetrates even through this image. Please keep in mind that she is mean-mugging because she's such a badass and NOT because she has cornrows! Cornrows do not magically give you gangsta ability. They do not make you this upset with life (unless someone braided those jokers too tightly, and then rightly so, a frown, maybe not this deep of a frown, but a frown is appropriate).
2. Joifrom "Friday"
AKA "hoodrat, hoodrat hoochie mama." Yea...so...she was a hoodrat, hoodrat, hoochie mama because she just was! NOT because her braids made her into one. I'm not saying she was born this way, but with or without braids, this hood barbie was hood-ratch-not-tastic before her braid girl hooked her up. <SNAPS!> I will not hit you with an attitude over the drop of a dime or start calling my man and hanging up just because my hair looks like this (and it is kind of uncanny that this really is how I look right now. Nails, too) Now, don't get it twisted. I can genuinely pop an attitude, but it's not only when I have braids, mmkay??!
3. Justice from "Poetic Justice"
Now, what bad thing can you say about Justice? Nothing! She's beautiful, deep, poetic, confident, complicated, compassionate, strong, independent, caring, yada, yada, and yada. She's perfect! And that's the problem! Box Braids do not make you magically perfect! Braids can add to your beauty, but good Lord! Who can live up to Justice's image? Come on!
Remember that this is just TV! Clearly, if you have a hyper-ecstatic or hyper-what-the-heck reaction, it could be that you need more girls in your life that wear braids. That's how stereotypes are ingested as fact. IJS. (but I do like the hyper-ecstatic reactions) Like, this makes me smile AND laugh at the same time:
...except, don't grab my hair. If you do, don't blame me when I become Joi in a split second.
In conclusion, I LOVE the way that I look in braids! I get to become more acquainted with seeing more of my round, chunky mocha face and out of all the hairstyles I've rocked in my 31 years of life, these make me feel the most regal. So, go me with Braids! Ya look good!