“I hate to say/admit it, but I’m so sad that I have my dad’s hair texture,” begins Deyjah Harris, the daughter of A-list celebrity rapper TI, also known as King of the South for the impact that he’s made on hip hop coming from the region.
But while Deyjah’s famous dad admits that the King of the South moniker was self-proclaimed (“The term King of the South never existed before [I] said it,” he declares), his daughter is like many other young black women who have had difficulty proclaiming or standing in their beauty — especially when it comes to their hair texture.
“Growing up, I never heard any compliments or positive comments when it comes to my hair. I was told my hair was ‘nappy’.”
i hate to say/admit it, buttttt ): i’m so sad that i have my dad’s hair texture ): sad because it’s so much to deal with/ manage ugh. sad because i feel like it just doesn’t fit me nor is this texture one that’s appreciated or uplifted as much as the other hair textures
— Deyjah Harris🤎 (@yafavdeyj) August 27, 2021
YouTuber IAmEloho has shared a very thoughtful and nuanced discussion of this topic; check out her 14 min video below:
IAmEloho talks about how black hair is often “masculine-ized” so that TI’s hair wouldn’t be seen as making him less handsome, but his daughter’s exact same hair texture can be seen as less feminine. “Many [type] 4c hair [texture] women can relate,” IAmEloho says. “But today is the day of acceptance. Today is the day of changing the narrative, today is the day of ‘I’m loving myself as a black woman and I don’t care what standards are put upon me.’”
The idea that inheriting your black father’s hair as somehow diminishing your beauty, was the inspiration for superstar comedian Chris Rock to make the 2009 documentary Good Hair, after his daughter asked him “Daddy, how come I don’t have good hair?”
The poem Father In The Mirror, part of Cultivating My Vibe: Daily Affirmation Poetry Cards from Let’s Talk Hair TV Show, touches on this sentiment, as a father asks:
Will she wear my features and Afro hair with pride and not in pain? / Can I teach her that she’s beautiful without her becoming vain?
Let’s Talk Hair producer Olu Gittens feels the show’s affirmation poems are a great tool in the healing journey around African-American hair. “Black fathers have a role in helping to un-do the damage of texturism on their daughters,” she says. “Affirming the beauty in the hair that their daughters inherited from them is something that black dads have a key role in.”
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