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Beyoncé was recently photographed stepping out with her seven-year-old daughter, Blue Ivy Carter, but it wasn’t Queen Bee who generated all the buzz. It was Blue Ivy with the big hair! Since Blue Ivy’s 2012 entrance into the world, people have been criticizing her and from her name to her looks. The list of critics ranged from your everyday internet troll to celebrity status hater. Most of the criticism has been directed at her natural hair. Many described the child’s hair as unkempt, nappy, short, and an array of other negative adjectives, but don’t let the thought of internet trolls and washed up celebs talking about an innocent child’s hair get you all worked up. There were just as many people coming to Blue Ivy’s defense! There were some people who had enough common sense and knowledge about natural hair to realize there was nothing wrong with the child’s hair.
Flash to 2019 and Blue Ivy’s still got the world talking about her hair, but the narrative has definitely changed. In a sharp turn of events, the seven-year-old is being praised for her big beautiful natural hair! While appreciation of natural beauty is always amazing some aren’t too happy with the child’s newfound admirers.
A lot of people feel like there is nothing new about the child’s hair except for a few inches. Critics of her new admirers feel like her hair is only being praised because it has gotten extremely long. In recent photos, her hair is shoulder length and that’s without being straightened. Even though her natural hair is being praised now there is definitely still a stigma on short natural hair and that is what caused the child’s hair to be criticized all these years.
In the past few years, we’ve seen the natural hair movement make its resurgence! Much like in the 1970s and 80s women of color (black women specifically) have been embracing and flaunting their natural curl patterns. From Issa Rae, Lupita Nyong’o, Yara Shahidi, Willow Smith, and even Blue’s aunty Solange have helped make a place for natural hair in the mainstream. Their hair differs in texture, length, and style but they are all beautiful. For a lot of people, this isn’t a wave or a movement it’s simply a way of life. They aren't doing it because it’s trendy they’re doing it because it’s what they like and society just so happens to like it right now. But does society really like natural hair?
When I say natural hair, I don’t just mean cornrows that the Kardashians gentrified or Bantu knots that they were given credit for as well. I mean does society really except natural hair in its entirety and all the different looks that come with it or does society just accept the natural styles that people who aren’t of color choose to embrace? Blue Ivy is a prime example. She’s been natural all her life and she’s also been talked about all her life UNTIL her hair got long enough for society to see it as cute. What was so bad about her pigtails and puffballs? Why are societies hair and beauty standards being projected onto a child?
If we as a society get to chose what’s trendy and we deem what is socially acceptable, why don’t we as a society not only make it acceptable to be your truest self and also make it safe to do so? Making being yourself acceptable and safe means no more picking, prodding, criticizing, or judging especially when it comes to people’s children!