tightly coiled hair

A non-black friend of mine posted as their Instagram caption, “Excuse the nappy hair” indicating that their hair was messy.

Except that “nappy” isn’t an adjective meant to mean “messy”, it’s an adjective used to describe a texture of hair, particularly tightly coiled Afro-textured hair.

I’m not trying to call anyone out, I just want to inform you that saying your hair is nappy, when it’s messy, is associating a negative image with those of us who have naturally nappy textured hair. The same goes when your hair is poofy or untamed and you say you have an “afro”. Phrasing like that lends a negative connotation to those of us who grow that kind of hair naturally, and can negatively alter the perception of black people by society.

So basically the Jet Black Heart music video made me cry. And I’m not fangirling, I’m being deadass.

I can’t remember the last time a band I liked put a girl who looked like me in a video.

I’m older than most of the fandom. (I’m 24) So I was into Blink 182 and Green Day and Linkin Park and Taking Back Sunday and My Chemical Romance and 30 Seconds to Mars and allllll those pop punk and punk rock bands while they were dominating TRL and Fuse and maybe I missed it, but this has never happened with a band that I loved as far as I know. So many bands resonated with me musically, lyrically, emotionally when I was struggling. When I didn’t want to be around. When I was praying and wishing for better days

but none of them ever looked like me.

None of the girls in the videos had my dark skin, or thick lips.

None of them had thick, black, tightly coiled hair, or braids, or dreads.

None of them shared my experiences.

It felt like none of them saw me. I was invisible. (no pun intended. Lol)

But today some girls did share my features and for this first time ever, it felt like I was worth acknowledging.

It hit me hard, man. Harder than I ever could’ve anticipated. I didn’t know I cared… I had no idea it mattered as much as it did until I saw those girls in the Jet Black Heart video.

I think I just got so used to white girls being the norm, I didn’t even realize I gave up. To see brown skin in the video shocked me. And even writing this I’m tearing up because this is something I never thought would happen. Thank you so much 5sos. I really really can’t say it enough.

And I know it seems minuscule and tiny but it’s real. God, is it real and it’s beautiful and gut wrenching and gratifying and… Shit. Smh.

I’m not that broken 14 year old girl anymore. I’ve made my strides and eventually those better days came by… I’m battling different demons now (Student Loans, Electric Bills, Rent, Evil Grad School Profs, Parking Tickets, etc) but I know that seeing those girls in that video made a difference for so many black teen girls out there. I know it made a difference for me.

Representation matters. I want to thank Ashton, Michael, Calum and Luke for seeing me… After 15 years of loving Pop Punk and Punk Rock they’re the only band that I listened to that ever has.

Black Travel Groups Find Kindred Spirits on Social Networks
Virtual communities have sprung up catering to African-Americans travelers, mainly women, who rarely find themselves the target of tourism companies.
By Ashley Southall

As I stood barefoot at the entrance to the Chottanikkara Bhagavathy Temple, a labyrinthine Hindu shrine in the southwestern Indian state of Kerala that is forbidden to nonworshipers, a man studied me.

Wrapped in a blue silk sari, I was an anomaly in the crowds of worshipers and wedding guests sweeping past. My pecan-brown skin had been tanned by the sun, my tightly coiled hair was cut in a close crop, and I spoke a foreigner’s English. There was no one like me there except my then-boyfriend, who was standing next to me with his modest Afro as we waited for my college roommate’s wedding party.

“What are you? South African?” the man finally said. When I told him we were American, he asked again, “South African?”

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My hair is natural and I was told by a white hair stylist that she does “ethnic” hair, and that she would do my hair.  She doesn’t say I do curly or tightly coiled hair as that can refer to anyone including white people.  I’m sick and tired of black people being referred to as ethnic or exotic (code word for anything not white).  Everyone has ethnicity including white people.  Plus, we’re not different races, that annoys me too.  We’re all apart of the human race.