Natural-Hair Discount: Divisive and Confusing

When a club promoter favors natural-haired women, do we all pay the price?

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Weekend reports that an Atlanta club promoter who, according to his blog, has "utter disdain" for weaves offered a $10 discount on party tickets to women with natural hair -- and his actions have elicited a backlash. It's no surprise that so many women resent being pitted against one another in what feels like a manufactured feud between those with perms and those without.

While the promoter may have had the best intentions (celebrating natural beauty, supporting women whose looks might not fit those embraced by mainstream -- and even black -- media, etc.), the way he went about it has been widely deemed a misfire. Not only does it lead to more division than uplift, but the promotion also seems nearly impossible to implement.

As Essence's Demetria Lucas points out, the threshold question of who qualifies as "natural" represents an entire debate in itself -- one that likely goes way beyond the expertise of a bouncer. She asks:

And how is natural determined anyway? No perm? Okay, what if, like many women, she's natural beneath her weave? What if she has braids? What if she's natural, but has a blowout or a fresh press? What if she pulls a Solange Knowles and adds coiled faux-hair that looks similar to the texture that grows unaltered from her scalp? Do those ladies get a hookup? Or, er, no?

Unless he has answers to all those questions (and a good argument about why any positive aspects of this promotion aren't outweighed by its divisiveness), we'd suggest that this club-promoting blogger stick to words instead of dollar signs when it comes to expressing his views on the very personal, historically fraught and still complicated questions related to black women and hair.

Read more at Essence.

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