Let’s Get Real.

Dreadlocks Woman

Last night at a dinner party I had a bit of a conversation with a woman of color who is opposed to what I am doing. (Not this dreadlocked* beauty above – she loves it!) I get varying feedback, which will come up in posts throughout the eternity of this blog, but thought I should address some of my thoughts today – this warm, sunny #FollowFROday.

I am aware.

Very aware that the name and concept of my blog is jarring and provocative. I know the fact that I’m a white Jewish blonde running around town with a fro does not sit comfortably with all.

I know that women of color do not have the option of taking off their fro at night to have long, soft, blonde hair.

There is a ton of political and personal weight here. While many of my black friends are all for it, I have been advised against doing this altogether by others. I am aware.

Michelle Joni Fro

The thing about me is, though, I have always been misunderstood. Misunderstood by groups of friends, people who know me from afar, and even by myself. I have always had people who dislike me, who push back on my ideas, and who don’t appreciate me. As I learn to wean these negative forces out of my life and seek only the opposite, there is still an underlying inkling of comfort I feel from not being fully understood and accepted.

Omega Sirius Moon

Omega Sirius Moon, recording artist, with friend

The other more apparent element here is the racial sensitivity issue. The last thing I want to do is offend anyone. I have such love for human beings – as a whole and individually. If I could talk to new and interesting and different people all day, my life would be very rich.

Man Fro

The point is, and I take this verbatim from my first piece of random fan mail (Love ya, Kenny!)

Anyways, I really appreciated the honesty of your blog and saw it deeper than just “Hey I wear an afro”

I am in the process of creating more substance in my life and soul, and that’s all for me. I want people to have to dig a little bit harder to find it. If someone wants to take a look at my blog and judge me as racially insensitive, they did not go deep. Just like you can’t understand me as a person just by taking a look at me, I don’t want it to be that easy for my online self either.

Young black and Fab

Aja and Lea in the East Village

I’m not “The Fashionista Blog,” I am something far more obscure and unplaceable. Just like in real life.

Why do this whole self-blogging thing if not to hook and line in the exact people who are drawn to your energy and can SEE you – and like you – for exactly who you are? Even – and especially – if that person is ballsy enough to walk the political tightrope of wearing a symbol of someone else’s culture – because that was a genuine and profound and very real experience for her?

Talde Park Slope

Allison at Talde in Park Slope, who wanted to check out the blog on her iPad before agreeing to be photographed. She browsed around and said, “Yeah, this is cool.”

I have made it my business and duty to learn all I can about the culture from which I am borrowing, and its rich, empowering history. That is part of this journey too – a place I never would have otherwise had a real reason to go.

My beautiful natural haired black readers – my gorgeous weaves, dreads, relaxed, and shaved alike – I would love to hear any of your insight or suggestions so that I may become more and more sensitive as to what’s important to you. And THANK YOU for this gorgeous hairstyle!

Blur

PS. Check out the spotlight on Omega Sirius Moon in NYMag!

*CORRECTION! The woman featured in the first photo is not dreadlocked – those are Box Braids. “Poetic justice braids” in slang. Thanks Carolyn for your help!

148 thoughts on “Let’s Get Real.

  1. Aw I love what you’re doing! You’ve always been an original and think you’re doing it for the right reasons. Love your thoughts about getting away from negativity. You deserve all the happiness in the world!

    • You’re awesome, thanks for the support, gurl! Checked out your blog and I look forward to following your “finding myself” journey. You are beyond your years and certainly on the right track. Stay in touch!

  2. Wearing an afro as a White woman is the equivalent of (as in the same thing as) wearing Blackface. It’s really offensive that you’re wearing a hairstyle natural to Black people as a personal statement, cultural experiment or whatever. Practically every Black person you see has an afro under the perm, weave, wig, braids, twists you see. You would see this if they were in a society that accepted and encouraged that hair type.

    Want a cultural experience? Instead of wearing an afro go get a relaxer.

    • Hi Ya, thanks for the thoughts. I would sure hope that my personal style choice to pair certain outfits with this wicked-cool afro hairstyle would not be compared to mimicking Black people as a culture. I’d like to think of the hair game as equal: If Black people can choose to get a weave to be more like “what society encourages,” why can I not choose a style that is far too often concealed because of society, but that I happen to think makes me look great? Who says society is that smart?

      • you don’t look great, you look like a moron…

        because YOU ARE WHITE and YOU’RE WEARING AN FAKE AFRO WIG

      • You can wish and “sure hope” that your “personal style choices” aren’t seen as a mockery of Black people, but wishing and hoping won’t make it true. Try wishing for a change of heart, so you are no longer obsessed with invalidating a culture to which you have no right. You ask why you can’t choose a “style” that, in your questionable opinion, makes you “look great”?

        Because. It’s not the same. Yes, Black people get weaves, but extensions don’t erase centuries of injustice or protect the women who wear them from structural inequality. Many Black women sport artificially straight hair *because* they don’t have the luxury of your disgusting choice. When you wear an afro, it’s part of your “journey” (and a naked bid for attention or validation). When Black people wear an afro, they are viewed as unprofessional, radical, and uncooperative. Black women with weaves are still black. Just like a delusional white fool in an afro is still a silly person who refuses to consider why her choices are repugnant.

        The argument, if “black people do it, why can’t I” is made by denial-addicts who don’t understand that all the Kumbaya-ing in the world while chanting about not seeing color just makes white people feel better even as it does nothing to address the appalling problems that exist because of race. Consider it a tiny, minuscule consolation prize for all that they have suffered, but yes, unlike you, Black people can do whatever they want. You see, they’re still going to be black and treated differently for it. You have to check your bizarre, self-indulgent impulses because in the overall game of life, you were born on third base. That is why you are not being daring by considering the “hair game” as an “equal” realm. You are being obtuse, inappropriate, and wickedly offensive.

        You can sport blackface via wig form and get away with it because you are white and you are lucky (and quite uncreative, but I’ll address that in a moment). This entire “experiment” and your false attempts to claim consciousness regarding how it might be controversial even as you insist that you are a special snowflake who is allowed to be as toxic as you want to be because you’re “different” and have great intentions…it’s a depressing reminder that collectively, we are far from an equal and compassionate society.

        You must procure your chutzpah by the case at Costco to justify this indefensible experiment with a physical attribute others suffer for, all in a transparent attempt to create a “hook”/get attention for another privileged woman’s blog about her cliche-ridden “journey”. Keep deluding yourself in to believing you are exploring a solution when attitudes like yours and people like you are a huge part of the problem. Shame on you and may G-d grant you enlightenment, compassion and humility, soon.

      • Not mimicking…minimizing.

        And the fact that you would say “if black people can choose to get a weave…why can I not choose a style that is far too often concealed…” shows that you actually do not get it.

        Black women wear weaves, extensions, and relaxers because society says that our natural hair is not acceptable…not pretty enough…not fit to be worn with pride – in the outdoors. There is a psycho-social root to this that is deeply embedded in our society. You, on the other hand, are wearing a wig because you want to go against group think. And you think it makes you look cute. There is a fundamental difference between the two, and I suggest you do some more research to truly understand it.

        I do agree that what society says is certainly not always right. (Black hair is beautiful!) But there is a fine line between encouraging a group to feel beautiful in their own skin, and trivializing an issue that has massively affected the psyche of a culture.

      • because Black women don’t get to choose whether or not standards of beauty try to force them to get a weave instead of having natural hair
        because you have the ideal type of hair, as a White woman and you don’t feel the same pressure as they do
        because they have to live up to White ideals and they’re told by society to get weaves and that their natural hair is ugly and you face none of that
        what your doing is an insult and a slap in the face to Black women and their hardships

      • Young Black children, girls in particular, whose hair is seen as “unruly” do not have the option to remove their hair, as you do. They have to deal with being marginalized by authority figures because of the way their hair grows naturally.

        http://www.whataboutourdaughters.com/waod/2009/12/16/paging-allison-samuels-teacher-cuts-little-black-girls-hair.html

        And those young Black children become Black adults, several of whom are side-eying the shit out of you right now. For good reason. Because that experience, of being marginalized specifically because of your hair, is one that you never had to experience. And if you experience it in your wig, you can take the wig off, stash it in a bag, and forget about it.

      • No. You lost the fight the moment you intoned that for black people it is a CHOICE to wear weaves or get our hair straightened with relaxers, etc. No. It has been socially engrained into the black psyche that we MUST force our hair to what society deems “appropriate”. To have our individuality ripped away along with the precious proteins and natural strength in our hair.

        For many, they struggle with the creamy crack and the tracks. They have to keep them to keep a job. Or get a job. If they go natural- they have to immediately go for the only “safe” style most professional environments (ie: corporate world) will accept. A small afro, almost a buzz. Not every field allows for big glorious fros bouncing to the staccato beat of stilettos you know.

        There have been lawsuits, and arguments over this topic, and the black women generally always lose because of the same whitewashed mentality of “well she has a choice”. But the thing is, if she DOES have a choice, it has to be the “white choice” because anything else is deemed ‘wild’ or ‘offensive’ and ultimately ‘unprofessional’.

        So please don’t even start. Just. Don’t.

        And because you have a few “black friends” who think its a-okay is not a free pass to keep on keeping on. You ought to have listened to those who told you not to with a bit more of an open mind, and listen to the voice of the dissenters in this post as well.

      • Omg, do you even know why many black people wear their hair like “What Society Encourages” (i.e. white people hair)? Because blackness is ostracized by our society and black people are often pressured into conforming with white beauty standards.

        And here you are, a white woman, just popping on an afro on a whim and getting lauded for it by other white people and posting pictures of black people who gave you a pass for your racism.

        It’s really quite gross.

      • See you don’t understand, but that’s because of white privilege. For us Black people, we are told from childhood to CONFORM to euro-centric standards of beauty, e.g. long straight hair, lighter skin is better, etc. Your wearing this wig around NYC, a place I live as well, is disgusting. Race relations are still screwed here, despite what your invisible knapsack called white privilege leads you to believe. You want the true Black experience, follow this:
        Move to Brownsville, Brooklyn and see if you can survive 1 month
        Shop at bodegas on Gun Hill Rd
        Get pulled over by the cops doing a “routine check”
        Feel the hurt and pain of being called the N word on NYC streets
        Feel the sting of gentrification
        ETC
        You’re just an idiot living high off of white privilege, but chalking it up to having “a life altering experience”. You’re a disgusting, white trash social attention whore. And they’re locs, not dreads idiot. There’s nothing dreadful about them. The only thing dreadful is your mindset

      • Hi, I’m sorry but there is a very large difference between you wearing an afro and a black woman getting a weave “to be more like ‘what society encourages'” because of the same exact reasons that there is a difference between racism and prejudice. That people did not “get” you as a child is a form of prejudice (a person to person, NON-INSTITUTIONALIZED bias, hatred or opinion) – wait no actually that isn’t even prejudice, that’s just someone not liking you – that you believe an afro represents freedom or ferocity or whatever mixed-up (I’m sure you think is positive, which I think is probably a large factor in your confusion) is actually a form of racism. It is racism particularly because of your insensitivity to the black women who you claim to idolize. Racism and white privilege is what makes you think that it is okay to wear another person’s physical identity as a costume, project, gag or whatever else this ‘experience’ represents. Racism is tied to systemic power and institutional power, racism is prejudice with a long NON ERASABLE history of institutional bigotry and hatred.

      • You are a white woman with white privilege. People of color conforming to white standards does not give you the right to wear an afro because they do it. You seriously need to educate yourself about privilege, racism and what it means to fetishize people of color. The idea that you feel “cooler” wearing an afro is a perfect example of this form of fetishizing.

      • Racism needs no intentionality. You are white, privileged, closed-minded, racist, and defending it. Stop, and stop now. Learn. Read. Talk to people. It’s your responsibility to stop this charade now. How dare you.

      • You have absolutely no clue. Black people choose to get weaves to be more liek what society encourages in the same sense some girls choose to develop eating disorders to be more like what society encourages. It’s not a preference as much as it is a pathology that natural hair is the other, less than, unkempt thing to do. The sentiments behind Black hair are so inextricably tied to social issues that it’s always a topic of discussion and there was a movie about it for godsakes. There’s a “natural hair movement” in itself where Blacks urge others to embrace their natural hair. Recently debate reignited over Hampton University’s policy of requiring MBA candidates to cut their natural hair in order to walk across the stage for graduation…Hampton’s rationale, “your natural hair will prevent you from getting the jobs you plan to get.” I understand that you exist in a world of privilege where grasping the complexities of these issues doesn’t come natural, and you probably very well mean no harm, but honey, you’re causing it. Your making the comment that Black people get weaves to be more like what society encourages completely ignores an ongoing conversation about Black internalizing European standards of beauty to our detriment. This is all very wrong. The Black experience isn’t monolithic and if your friends aren’t conveying to you the insensitvity and issues in this, I’d venture to say that their experience isn’t one that’d cause them insult and uneasiness about your afro. Mine is.

      • Thanks @Clarence and @fatbodypolitics and @dash.

        Black people wear weave and straight hair out of the necessity to assimilate into the dominate culture/society. Anyone who trying to say that it’s a choice and Black women are just switching it up are delusional. No need to further explain.

    • Seriously! Why would a person with straight hair get a relaxer? Also, relaxers are not used only by black people. There are other races with curly hair and a lot of biracial people with curly hair that decide that relaxers are better than dealing with their own curls. I have seen many different races buying them and had a friend decide, after years of trying to work with her childrens hair, to give them a relaxer although she had a curly afro and they were polynesian! Maybe if you suggested she try getting a perm to make her hair curly then yeah the would be more like what black women do to get their hair straight like other races. But again why should she have to subject herself to chemicals just to wear a style thats readily available, damage free, from the beauty supply like the black women who wear weaves and post on twitter how long their natural hair is right before the sew-in process begins. She nor any other white person forced black people to use relaxers. True enough, you may feel more accepted by society with straight hair, but there are plenty ow women who never fell for that mess and never have been relaxed and have daughters whoe were never relaxed. We can switch up with with heat styling or stretching methods not just by using chemicals when we want to switch up our styles. Suggesting she try a relaxer for a cultural experience is a bad idea because there is nothing cultural about them in fact I would even go as far as saying theres not much culture in afros as many people wear them for different reasons. “culture” now in this present time we live in is so mixed together in this country you wont find many true cultural experiences here

      • A person with straight hair would get a relaxer instead of doing some bogus ‘cultural experiment’ and wearing a wig. A relaxer is a true Black female cultural experience but nobody with straight hair wants to do that (not a fun experience) soooooooo.

        Puhlease. Coming from a Black woman who’s been 3 years natural and got perms for 5 years relaxed hair is not at all easier to deal with. It’s all about assimilation. I’m not suggesting her to do anything that will make her hair look like Black hair.

        The presence of White people as the dominate race in society forces any person not like them to try to become them. So her existence as a person in America forces all of that. And you trying to shirking her responsibility and privilege for her is a prime example of that.

        PLEASE count the afros you see on the street because I see few. Maybe none (in a lot of places).

  3. EVERYONE is misunderstood and feels alienated at some time in their lives. However, being white and blonde provides you with the comfort of not being diminished or marginalized on a systemic, daily basis. If you want to be seen as outside the norm and push out of your comfort zone you could’ve done any one of a million things to signify that…dye your hair a primary color, wear a ballgown daily, wear rollerskates, rock a tiara every Tuesday.

    You instead chose to stick a wig on your head mimicing another culture’s symbolism and style….you can not reinterpret the meaning of symbols and styles that never belonged to you in the first place.

    If you want to learn more about the black experience, why not ask your non Caucasian friends and acquaintance to tell their own stories, in their own words. Remove your ego and need for attention and applause for being “tolerant and liberal” from the equation. Listen and learn. You don’t deserve a cookie for meeting the bare minimum requirements of a decent human being.

    Removing the attention seeking also applies to your quest to be seen as your “real” self. If you need a costume to be “real”, you’re still basking in the glow of a false image you want recognition for. Wear your hair the way it grows out of your head, and tell stories of your experience as a jewish person, as a woman, as a writer.

    I read through every post on this blog, and if you want to be applauded for the real you, you ought to drop all of the gimmicky appropriated nonsense and let us see her.

    • Hi again, Paige. I truly appreciate you taking the time to read through my blog and make some really important points.

      This whole journey for me thus far – in the 2.5 weeks since I’ve been blogging – has lead me to some truly wonderful people, ideas and discoveries, as you know. What I haven’t begun to share yet are the tertiary effects, the fascinating stories about the Black experience that I have now had the privilege of hearing. People who ordinarily would not share such feelings of contempt with a white blonde girl suddenly feel comfortable – whether out of admiration or defense.

      I never sought to take on the Black experience and make any part of that my own, but it’s pretty cool that I’ve learned so much about it in a way I otherwise might not have ever.

      Although there is lots that could be said about my ego, I don’t believe that it craves attention for being tolerant and liberal. That’s something inbred in me, and my hope is that others who share those values gravitate toward this blog. And that they can see – and accept – that “real” me… The one that comes along with this weird package of slightly questionable blogging endeavors.

      • Michelle,

        Again, stop patting yourself on the back. If liberalism and tolerance is indeed bred into you, you should have been thinking about subtle inequality and the vast difference between the experience of minorities vs a majority group and what you could do to check your privilege long before you ever stuck a wig on your head.

        The fact that you haven’t really questioned your position or sought out this information until AFTER you found a way to insert yourself as the center of the conversation indicates you still have a very long way to go before you are as aware or tolerant as you think you are.

      • “People who ordinarily would not share such feelings of contempt with a white blonde girl suddenly feel comfortable – whether out of admiration or defense. ” This stuck out to me the most
        Because you outright say it right here- you are hurting people and making them explain their hurt to you, the person hurting them
        But it’s all ok because it is such ~**~Learning Experience~**~ for you!
        That’s fucked up and sociopathic.

      • Your lack of knowledge about discourses about race are so glaringly apparent from your writing it’s sickening.

        “Tolerant” – do you know the connotations of this term? Find out, because to assume that you are in a privileged position for minorities to be blessed with your ‘tolerance’ is disgusting. Tolerance gets us nowhere.

    • I just love you but you can’t argue with people that have privilege because they’re not going to get it. That’s what privilege means. We’re just a joke to her. We don’t have humanity-we’re just a Halloween costume to wear year-round, much like a monkey suit or a tiara.

      • I just made that comment elsewhere on this chronicle of one woman’s journey in the world of hipster-ish racism. I CAN’T believe this nonsense. I can’t believe that SO many black people can tell this woman that what she is doing is blatantly racist and wholly disrespectful and she can sit here and tell the black people, “No, guys, no… you don’t get it… I like it, so it’s cool.”

  4. Pingback: White Woman Wears Afro, Life Changes. Or Something. « PostBourgie

  5. This is really horrifying, the whole bit. You really exposed yourself when you acknowledged Black women who “dont have the option of taking off their Afro to reveal long, soft blonde hair.” You basically made Black women’s hair the equivalent of Tyra’s fat suit from a few years ago. There are millions of other ways to have an ‘out-of-body’ experience and transform yourself without misguided cultural appropriation and there are as many options for learning about Black women’s lives and culture without looking like a human parody. Our hair is not a kitchy thing simply because they sell these obnoxious wigs at Ricky’s. This is such a disgusting exercise of White privilege and willful ignorance. Shame on you and shame on your Negro enablers.

    • I was disgusted by that comment about taking off the afro to reveal blonde hair.
      Hey guess what, I’m a stylist. I do blonde hair, curly hair, kinky hair… hair of all kinds all the time. Bleached blonde hair is usually far from soft. Its stiff, damaged, stripped of all life because of over use of color and bleach.
      I would never want to remove this fro to see some limp lifeless frail BS. I am so sorry that you were not born with a fro. I can tell that is one of the great tragedies in your life, seeing as how you somehow made time to go out in the worst fro wig you could find and act like the racist fool that you are instead of progressing society.
      Seriously? You don’t have anything better to do? In fact I’m mad at myself for taking out the 5 mins of my life to give attention to your mindless actions (which you were looking for).
      What a waste of white skin. Shouldn’t you be somewhere spending a trust fund? Taking advantage of all of the head starts you got in life? Instead of making this horrible attempt at experiencing the set-backs of my life and many other people that look like me… Shouldn’t you be running up daddy’s credit card?
      Oh and btw, is it necessary for you to trollop around making those ridiculous faces and gestures? You look like a FOOL.
      You and your stupid journey are truly disgusting. Good luck to you in life. You will need it.

    • Very well said, Jamilah. The line about the “long, soft blonde hair” certainly did expose her implicit belief that she has something desirable that those with Afros are deprived of, and it horrified me when I read it. My only thought is (and I’m directing this at you too, Michelle,): Was that statment mean it tongue-in-cheek? If so, it was not funny at all because it would hit a nerve with a lot of people who don’t actually feel they’re deprived of anything by their hairstyle, but are repeatedly told through media representations, comments from bosses who say their hairstyle is ‘unprofessional’ etc. etc., that they should think there’s something wrong with how they look. How was that comment about your own “long, soft blonde hair” the slightest bit appropriate in a blog post where you are trying to suggest that you are liberal and tolerant?

      • Hey Jamila and Ambrosine, I haven’t been able to respond to every single comment here but I wanted to specifically address this. The line “long, soft blonde hair” were someone else’s words I took away from a conversation about it that night – that THAT is how people of color would feel – contentment over me being being able to switch back and forth. I personally do NOT believe my hair is of any higher status or worth, nor should it be envied. It is simply fact, and it was brought to my attention that others would see it that way. And actually, I had written this post and just put in “blonde hair” but then riiiight before publishing added a couple descriptors – the writer in me, dammit. I look back and wish I hadn’t added the adjectives, because that’s not how it was intended whatsoever.

    • Still ‘wrong and strong.’ You have now assigned hair agony to POC? You believe that people will see your hair and your wig and resent that we start with the Afro and can’t get the shiny Barbie locks? No. I do not wish your hair upon my head. I like my hair for me and I like your hair for you. And the sisters who do want long “soft, blonde hair” go to the beauty supply and get it. And none of us wish to see you walking about NYC or anywhere else looking the entire damn fool and posing and believing that you are having some sort of deep, misunderstood cultural experience. Get a copy of “Eat, Pray, Love” and go find yourself in Europe, please. I don’t resent your “soft, blonde hair,” but I do resent that you are under the misguided impression that you are having an immersion experience by (poorly, awkwardly) AND that you will probably get a book deal or some other undeserved monetary gain from this shit show.

      • This times 1000. That line, “I know that women of color do not have the option of taking off their fro at night to have long, soft, blonde hair”. really got to me.

      • Jamilah,

        Just wanted you to know–the Eat, Pray, Love comment was genius. I hated that book (and the entire notion) of a person “finding themselves” by capitalizing on the (unshared, but adopted) reality of others (yogis in India, Italians in Italy, etc.). This project definitely seem to be in that same vein.

      • Jamilah—-thank you, thank you, thank you! Honestly, I was thinking the same damn thing…and the part about the book deal PRICELESS. As a writer by TRADE, that is exactly what I thought. What kills me even more if there will be millions of white women lined up to purchase this fuckery AND we all know a movie deal to boot. I am so sick, of priviledged white women feeling they MUST tell the story of the black feminine experience. What hell is all about?

    • Preach! There is so much wrong with this blog, though I do think that misidentifying this hairstyle was the last straw, you know?

  6. Some folks put on a mask/costume and become a different person. Some people take drugs and become a different person. Some people travel to a new place and create a persona for themselves. As soon as ‘normalcy’ returns, they are their usual self again. BUT – When you’re in costume, on drugs, or traveling, there’s a sense of discovery happening that easily gets transfered to being the ‘real you.’ It’s not. It’s just the euphoria of discovering a new experience that we otherwise may not have had – it’s like when you’re a kid discovering new options for what you could become as an adult. It’s daydream. It’s pretend. You’re not really YOU when you’re in that state – you’re exploring – you’re roleplaying.

    If you really wanted to understand what it’s like to be on the other side of the coin, you’d go somewhere that girls with long, soft blonde hair are harshly discriminated against (I could offer MANY suggestions for this), and see what it feels like, and when it gets hard, and when you start to resent your pretty blonde hair – KEEP IT, and STAY THERE. Experience what it’s like to be discriminated against because of your looks or your sex or your race. You’ll find a million supporters out there for what you’re doing, but I guarantee you those who support you either are discriminatory jerks, pretty dense (which is what you seem to be), see you as a clown, or trash you as soon as your back is turned.

    As a white girl, I’m ashamed.

  7. Please, really think about what you are doing. I urge you to read your own blog and reflect on your words. You’ll realize you’ve made a mistake

  8. I was disgusted by that comment about taking off the afro to reveal blonde hair.
    Hey guess what, I’m a stylist. I do blonde hair, curly hair, kinky hair… hair of all kinds all the time. Bleached blonde hair is usually far from soft. Its stiff, damaged, stripped of all life because of over use of color and bleach.
    I would never want to remove this fro to see some limp lifeless frail BS. I am so sorry that you were not born with a fro. I can tell that is one of the great tragedies in your life, seeing as how you somehow made time to go out in the worst fro wig you could find and act like the racist fool that you are instead of progressing society.
    Seriously? You don’t have anything better to do? In fact I’m mad at myself for taking out the 5 mins of my life to give attention to your mindless actions (which you were looking for).
    What a waste of white skin. Shouldn’t you be somewhere spending a trust fund? Taking advantage of all of the head starts you got in life? Instead of making this horrible attempt at experiencing the set-backs of my life and many other people that look like me… Shouldn’t you be running up daddy’s credit card?
    Oh and btw, is it necessary for you to trollop around making those ridiculous faces and gestures? You look like a FOOL.
    You and your stupid journey are truly disgusting. Good luck to you in life. You will need it.

  9. I’d love for you to succinctly, and specifically state the reason why you’re wearing this afro around town (other than for shock value and attention). You’ve only given vague generalities so far. I’m hoping your answer will help you come off a bit less ignorant.
    I’ve got a great new blog for you to start: “Blackface, now and forever.”

  10. I am very curious to know what you think of this blog?

    http://fucknomessianicjews.tumblr.com/

    Also, how would you feel if a non-Jewish person decided to wear a nose prosthesis and a yarmulke and then went to Bagel Festival?

    Let’s say this person takes it off for benign events but when he goes to a Holocaust Museum, it’s a-okay.

    How would you feel if this person flashed money or pretended to be miserly about gold in his photos?

    How you feel if this person insisted it was all in fun and used the few Jewish people he has come across, who don’t have a problem with it to justify his donning his ethnic costume all in fun?

    Would you find that life-affirming?

    • I’m white and Jewish, so I followed the link to the Messianic Jews site.

      At first, I thought I understood the points the commenters made and why they were criticizing this girl
      and then I saw what people look like mimicking the Jews
      and then the point hit home.
      And now I’m adding my voice to the growing chorus: Michelle, take off that wig and just be yourself!

  11. You are ABSOLUTELY abusing your privilege as a white woman by stealing a hairstyle that many black people can’t even get away with, because it would negatively impact their employment opportunities (racist white people think it looks ‘unkempt’ and ‘unprofessional’) or their daily lives, because they live in an area where police or common citizens would feel comfortable harassing and criticising them.

    There are people alive, TODAY, who remember their lives and the lives of their loved being threatened for not abusing their hair into looking more like white peoples’ hair. for looking african, or haitian, or brazilian, or just plain NOT WHITE.. There are people alive today who are being HARMED by the way you spread the attitude that it is PERFECTLY okay to take ANOTHER piece of their lives and history, and sell it to more goddamn white people. It might be a fake afro, but it’s still a piece of a black person’s body that you bought to parade around in in one of the most racist cities in the states.

    How. Fucking. DARE you, when there are people of color who can’t be true to their own roots and cultures without being harmed? Where the fuck did you find the nerve to look some of them in the eye and say ‘I don’t care if this hurts you’? And finally, what twisted monster are you, that you can’t care for your own goddamn ‘soul’ except at the expense of other souls?

  12. you are an embarassment. ugh, I cannot believe you. seriously, listen to your friends who are telling you not to do this while you still have friends good enough to try.

  13. The fact that you don’t know the difference between braids and dreadlocks is a sign of your ignorance and the fact that you don’t TRULY grasp the importance of hair to black people. it is just a performance piece for you and a way to get attention. The LEAST you could have done before embarking on this is read a couple of books on Afro hair, check out a few hair forums and understand the history of how we got to this point.

    You slap on some comical fake hair, eat fried chicken and now you are what?! what has that done for anyone?

  14. This is so racist it’s making me sick. Not only do you run around wearing a fake afro (might as well paint your face black too, though I have to caution that is ALSO RACIST), you trivialize black women who actually have afros. Please, they don’t all wish they could have soft blond hair, that’s just your privilege showing. Really appalling.

  15. You’re ridiculous. What’s the point of this? I don’t even know where to start with how outrageous you are. The fact that you think you’re entitled to this after you admit that people have told you this is a stupid ass idea shows your entitlement. The fact that you acknowledge that you’re wrong but you don’t give a single fuck demonstrates your racism. I think your process of self discovery or whatever the hell this is supposed to be has been fulfilled.

  16. Here’s a fun test (since you’re all about expanding your horizons, enlightenment, or whatever self-serving mental gymnastics you’re using on this given day to justify being a one-woman blackface minstrel troupe): why don’t you show up to work every day for a month in that wig? Or better yet, wear it to a job interview!

    I know that I’d personally just love to hear your harrowing tales of wearing “natural” black hair when your livelihood is at stake. (Ya know, how it *actually* is for black women every damn day.)

  17. I’m not sure exactly how I feel about your blog, having only read a post or two, I may be jaded. What sticks out to me in the photos is the faces and positions that you take coupled with the accessories you wear. Visually they make what you’re doing look like a caricature. Nevertheless, I didn’t come here to scold, rather I would implore you to be authentic. Your writing seems honest enough, the pictures however take me in another direction.

    Another commenter suggests that if you want to truly learn about the before and ‘afros’ that you ask people who have truly gone through it about their experience. Here’s mine:

    I went natural several years ago, with a big chop, not because I was looking for a deep experience, but rather because my hair was badly damage and I needed to start over. I bought a pair of CVS scissors and cut it off….myself [not recommended]. Now, while I was beaming on the inside of my new found power, I couldn’t help but notice the difference in how I was treated on the outside, naturally there were stares and questions from strangers and friends alike, and even the audacious individual that now felt the need to touch my hair, but I digress. Two two things stood out to me: my career and my love life. I stopped getting dates. And it was so bizarre to me because I was exercising like a crazy person and in the best shape of my life. At work, I was no longer asked to be part of presentations, or attend in person events. For a while I assumed it was paranoia, but once I straighten my hair, I was told that my ‘fro’ gave off a militant vibe to clients o_O

    There was no turning back at that point while it took a while to get used to seeing all that FACE, my face, ME. You see, I come from the south, and I was brought up not to leave the house if my hair wasn’t presentable. I spent probably a quarter of my adolescence in the salon; every other week for 5-6 marathon hours at a time. My entire schedule revolved around my hair – dates, my job, even my health. But once I cut off my hair, I realized, it was just hair, it didn’t define me. Once I stopped being paralyzed by my hair, I realized I had never felt more beautiful in my life.

  18. You are not aware. That “rich, empowering history” is not for you to borrow. This should be intuitive. The fact that it is not is suggestive of just how deeply immersed you are in your own ego.

    Your musings here whimsical, insubstantial, and over-hyphenated at best(and deeply offensive at worst). They are not indicative of a person who is looking for more substance in their lives. Yet, I don’t know what more I could expect from someone who actively wants to get rid of those who would criticize their ideas.

  19. …so I think you need to get really friendly with the term “cultural appropriation” and really think hard about why it is you wear a costume-shop afro wig and blog about those experiences. Please just read about it. Check out racialicious.com, feministing.com, clutchmagazine.com, nativeapropriations.blogspot.com, really, any of these and they will probably lead to many others. What you are doing is incredibly hurtful to people like me (Yes, I am a black woman with natural hair that I wear in an afro because that is how the hair grows out of my head. Your hair grows out of your head straight and blonde because you are a white woman.)

    My initial response would be to say to you, “would you liked it if I put on a prostetic nose that is really large to mimic white Jewish people’s noses*? Maybe then I could understand the plight and hardships faced by white Jewish people?” But obviously this wouldn’t work, I wouldn’t suddenly understand what it means to be a jewish woman and it would be WILDLY innapropriate and offensive. This is where empathy comes in. I can listen to a white jewish woman tell me her story and empathize with her because I am capable of empathy. I can in turn tell that white jewish woman my story of what it means to be a black woman and she can empathize with me. But for us both to simply immitate the other’s physical charachteristics is a misguided attempt at empathy. It reduces the value of our personal stories and lived experiences.

    You do not need to wear an afro to understand what it is like to be a black woman with natural hair. You simply need to engage with a black woman in conversation. She will teach you what you need to know.

    *Obviously not all white Jewish women have large noses, but this is the characteristic that many people associate with being Jewish, so…

  20. The fact that you believe a beautiful person is hiding, alone and misunderstood, underneath an inane and racist exterior is–even if true–completely irrelevant. Regardless, your capacity for cognitive dissonance is somewhat beautiful, in an ashamed-to-be-seen-with-you kind of way.

  21. also, posting photos of POC on your blog is see-through. Why are you relying on photos of your black friends(or perhaps random people of color who let you take their photo) to validate your “right” to wear a culturally-bound hairstyle? And your bullshit about feeling privileged to hear these views is frustrating as well. Why don’t you talk about cultural symbols with people rather then offending people and putting them in the position of educating your dumb white ass. JESUS.

  22. You are a racist piece of shit parading around as a social justice warrior, and it truly is sickening. What you are doing is not empowering, or a tribute, or a journey of “self discovery”. PoC do not need morons like you appropriating their look, their style, their culture, and their genetics in such a tripe, basic, ignorant manner (or at all, for that matter). PoC are not a fucking Halloween costume. They are not a persona you just put on to go party at night and then put back in the closet when you get back home. I will not be kind about this, because what you are doing is majorly fucked up. You do not deserve praise or respect for doing this, and anyone who does praise your insanely racist actions is just as ignorant and racist as you.

  23. you can not reinterpret the meaning of symbols and styles that never belonged to you in the first place.

    you can not reinterpret the meaning of symbols and styles that never belonged to you in the first place.

    you can not reinterpret the meaning of symbols and styles that never belonged to you in the first place.

    Paige’s comment was bang on, but it clearly didn’t sink in.

    You don’t want to hurt people?
    YOU ARE.
    This is about YOUR character and self-actualisation?
    NO.
    THIS IS NOT ABOUT YOU.
    OTHER PEOPLE’S CULTURE IS NOT ABOUT YOU.
    YOU CANNOT APPROPRIATE IT AND MAKE IT ABOUT YOU.
    YOU CANNOT CLAIM THAT YOU ARE MISUNDERSTOOD WHEN PEOPLE OBJECT.
    WE UNDERSTAND. WE JUST DON’T CARE.

    But clearly you think that YOUR freedom to express yourself is more important than the offence and hurt you cause other people in the process

  24. This is ridiculous. I feel physically sick after reading your blog post. Why do you feel like you’re entitled to appropriate my culture?

  25. From Merriam-Webster Online:
    <blockquoteDefinition of INSENSITIVE
    1
    a : not responsive or susceptible
    b : lacking feeling or tact

    You are being literally insensitive. People are telling you that what you are doing is hurting them, and you are brushing it off, showing a lack of responsiveness, feeling, AND tact. It does not matter why you are doing what you are doing, what you are doing is hurting people. Please, please stop.

  26. This whole blog is a joke, right? When I first started reading your posts it was hard to convince myself that you weren’t just a huge troll. This blog and your actions are some of the most blatant examples of white privilege I’ve seen. You bought an intentionally exaggerated afro wig for use as part of a costume and now you are wearing it around under the guise that it will somehow broaden your scope of understanding? And you claim to not be mocking black race and culture? Give me a break. Your ability to somewhat intelligently write about your experiences isn’t fooling anyone. You need a serious reality check. If you want to truly know what it’s like to have the hair of a black woman, get your hair cut extremely short and then get the tightest perm possible. Now, wear your hair like this for the rest of your life. You can’t just take your wig off once people start insulting you for having what society considers a seriously unattractive attribute. Posting photos of black people that approve of what you’re doing does not what you’re doing any less racist.

    I sincerely urge you to remove this blog and stop wearing that ridiculous wig, unless you want truly want to understand the meaning of mockery.

  27. I am so, so embarrassed for you, and wish you would stop doing this right now. You look like an ignorant fool. You are not “enlightened” for wearing an afro. If ANY of your “black friends” are OPPOSED to or OFFENDED by you doing this, why would you even stubbornly insist on hurting them by following through with it?? If people tell you they are offended by this, why insist on wearing the wig? I think you need to take a long, hard look at your position of privilege, and your total ignorance. You are making people uncomfortable, which you are clearly aware of, and you could learn much more about a culture by reading or speaking to its people, rather than trying to appropriate from them so they need to speak to you out of self-defense.

  28. Pingback: UPTOWN Magazine » White Woman Wears Afro, Life Changes. Or Something.

  29. I like how this post is ‘look at the black people I have found that are okay with this, I’m totally not racist and that’s why I have so many black friends I have to talk about to justify my actions~’ How about you just -not- do it? This isn’t about your life journey. It’s about treating an ENTIRE OPPRESSED GROUP as a costume. You have absolutely no reason to do this. If there is such opposition and such feelings hurt, then why must you insist on doing it? You act like you’re some revolutionary, but really you’re just some white girl with black friends that are okay with it. That’s cool, but you are hurting a ton of people on your way.

    Say if you were dating a person and all of their exes were cool with them dragging a knife down their back during intercourse because they found blood to make their life experiences have greater depth. You weren’t okay with this, but they continually ignored your requests to stop. So you break up with them, cool right? Well, what if the next person did the same thing? What if you kept meeting people that didn’t listen to your request to stop because they were hurting you? Yeah, occasionally you’ll meet that person who doesn’t drive the knife down your back, but they’re much rarer. This isn’t one of those things where people are just suffer from a difference opinions like when someone chooses to get breast implants or become an atheist, you are actively hurting people against their consent with knowledge of how if effects people.

    It’s not even that you can take the afro off and reveal luxurious hair, but that the afro is something YOU CAN’T HAVE. It was, and still is, something that is used to oppress black women (and men) alike. You have the privilege of not being bullied in school for it. You have the privilege of having billions of dollars spent in your hair care industry, but black hair will be lucky to have a small portion of the shaving isle. It’s not just about the afro.

    White girl to white girl, stop trying to be a special snowflake. Stop trying to prove what you’re doing isn’t racist. You have no means to understand what racism is. It would be different if you were like “Oh man, I see how much I’ve offended people and I’m sorry. I’ve learned how much appropriation can hurt people,” but you aren’t. You are telling POC that their opinions are meaningless compared to your need to feel validated. Sure, you have some POC friends that are okay with it, but you have tons telling you they aren’t. When you are continually telling those POC who dissent just don’t understand you is actually, 100%, no doubts about it, racist.

    Black people are not a costume. You are a racist.

    I feel awful for even speaking on behalf of any POC. Ugh. I hope one day you actually understand how your behavior can hurt people. Other cultures are not a commodity for you to suck up through a guise of enlightenment.

  30. I think the real problem here is that you are so steeped in privilege that you don’t even really realize that you are diminishing the experience of a historically oppressed people down to a novelty accessory. Sometimes you go out wearing the wig. The wig, by the way, a laughable and inauthentic ball of plastic that looks nothing like an actual real, beautiful, afro.

    Maybe you don’t understand because you’re very thin, conventionally attractive, obviously economically privileged, and ostensibly white. Maybe you don’t understand because you have likely never had anyone dismiss you as disgusting, inferior, or “less than” after a single glance. Let me try to explain it to you: you go out in the world wearing an afro wig, and it sends two very clear messages. The first, that it’s okay for YOU to be wearing an afro wig, because you’re white! Look at the cute white lady in a fake afro! That’s so quirky and New York!

    The other message this is sending to me, honestly, is probably not the one you’re intending. It comes off VERY STRONGLY that what you are doing is experimenting with making yourself LESS ATTRACTIVE by putting on a big ol’ afro wig and going out in public with it. Because the black hair is less attractive and desirable than your blonde hair, right? Is this the brave choice you’re making? Because what you are NOT doing is engaging in any kind of activism that will make people re-think their ideas about the beauty in women of color. At BEST you’re challenging people to rethink their ideas about whether or not thin white people have to be “pretty” as is defined by the current media. But the way you’re doing that is by dismissing the pain and offense that you have heard about from women of color and declaring that you are totally entitled to wear an afro like a costume because you’re “learning so much!!!”

    Why isn’t what you’re learning that being black in America is a huge pit of struggle, lack of representation, subtle stereotypes that most people deny believing, a system that is stacked against you in every way, and casual racism. Casual racism like a white woman wearing a stupid looking fake afro wig with no sensitivity to the issues it raises and choosing when she feels like showing everyone in town that she is the SPECIALIST SNOWFLAKE.

    You are not a special snowflake. You are not thinking critically about your actions or your privilege. And I know it’s not easy. It is much easier to get defensive and say “But I’m not racist!!” I’ve had those moments. But the truth is, by continuing this activity without a real understanding of the undertones of it, or of the darker side of the message you’re sending, and especially by not respecting the feelings of the black people you used to be friends with, you are being racist. The limited amount of equality that people of color have today has been hard-fought and is, in many places, resented to the point of non-existence. Stop feeling entitled. This is not an intellectual pursuit. This is an offensive, attention-seeking pursuit.

    You say that you get a little thrill from not being accepted. This is the essence of your privilege: people thinking you are quirky or different is a fun, positive thing that you like. When a black woman comes up against the “oh, you’re different than me” wall, it often has little, if anything, to do with her personality. It means she will be dismissed, oppressed, not hired, fired, complained about to a manager, the victim of hate crimes or social exclusion, or worse. Check your privilege. Just sit down for a night and instead of knee-jerking to how great and entitled you are to this fun accessory, explore the idea that you’re WRONG and that the hurt you are causing is not justified by the good time you are having. Even if you decide to keep doing it, I challenge you to spend some real time thinking through the ways and reasons other people are offended.

  31. Ugh. You look ridiculous and you’re a racist. Please stop telling people that you’re Jewish, I’m embarrassed to have that in common with you and given the history of our people you should know better.

  32. Oh Miss Michelle! I know you think that you are misunderstood. You most likely are a nice person. In all reality, you are a nice person who does not understand cultural appropriation and how your privilege makes it acceptable. What your blog says is “Hey I hear that this may be hurtful, but I’m gonna do it anyway.” “Oh, this is offensive to people of color? Well, let me show you all the Black people who still like me even though I’m clearly just interested in pimping out aspects of an ethnic identity.” And my personal favorite, “I am not above wearing a physical trait associated with Blackness to a fried chicken event. Of course it’s an appropriate time to wear an afro!”
    Many people have eloquently explained all the things that are oh-so-wrong with this misguided effort of wearing an afro around selectively in the attempts of reaching some sort of nirvana. I don’t know if all of these comments that have been beautifully written will help you realize the weight of you are doing. All that I hope is that the next time you go to place that afro on your head in order to liberate yourself, you remember all of the people of color you disrespect by this act, put the wig down, and attempt to really challenge your privilege and examine a society where people of color don’t get the chance to exist unapologetically and unchallenged without assimilating. If you truly do this and still decide to steal people’s ethnic identity, then you are not as thoughtful as you claim to be. In that instance, you misunderstand yourself to be a free-loving friend to all. Meditate on that.

  33. This is what I see- Hey everybody! I’m a privileged white girl who just found out that I was priveleged So I’m gonna wear a wig to insert myself into Black culture.

    Am I wrong? I guess that’s a good first step, acknowledging your privilege. But could you have done this without the shitty, unrealistic, offensive costume wig!? The very wig in itself is offensive!!! You must not have seen the “My culture is not a costume campaign”. Can’t wait to see how you are going to insert yourself into Mexican or Guatemalan or Venezuelan or Carrib or Korean or Indian or Native American culture…You don’t need to hide behind an afro wig to start a conversation. Adjust your woman balls and ask a question. Ask someone to tell their story. And think about this from the flip side-if I (a black, natural, queer woman) decided to wear some Ann Taylor Loft clothes, Sperry’s and a “Long soft blonde” wig am I going to know more about White culture? Well first of all, I don’t need to do anything to learn about white culture because white culture is ingrained all up IN and THROUGH the “American Dream”. And second of all, NO because every white girl I know does not have the same story.

    Ramblings coming to an end….here’s the takeaway’s for ya:
    1) The wig-it’s offensive. Period.
    2) Ask a question-start a conversation.
    3) Innerstand your privilege through an introspective look at yourself.

    • Well said… particularly “Ask a question-start a conversation”. One does not need to wear a costume to start a conversation with another human being.

  34. There’s quite a contradiction when you say “The last thing I want to do is offend anyone.” and yet you know for a fact that you are offending people, and that you “have been advised against doing this” by your “black friends”.

  35. I am also a privileged white person,* here to tell you you’re embarrassing the fuck out of us. Stop it. Stop it right now.

    You know, part of being “aware” means being willing to consider that you’re totally fucking wrong when the very people you’re appropriating/mocking tell you so. LISTEN to the criticism on this thread (that you yourself solicited). They are right. You are not. Game over – you are not going to get your cookie. Deal with it.

    You are not “misunderstood.” You are not “obscure.” You are not a special flower exempt from navigating these insidious systems of oppression and their effects on people just because you’re “aware” they exist and believe you have the right to play around with them for funsies using a fucking costume. You are an asshole. You’re HURTING PEOPLE with this Eat Pray Love enlightenment-via-cultural appropriation bullshit. You put the “vile” in “privilege.”

    You said yourself “the last thing I want to do is offend people.” Dude, the verdict’s in: you’re offending people. You can’t change this by arguing with them (that makes it worse, actually), taking pictures with random black folks, or whining that you’re not being intentionally offensive – intention doesn’t matter (although, in this case, your intention is pretty damn offensive too). You CAN change it by taking that fucking wig off, dismantling this blog, and shutting the fuck up.

    If you truly had such “love for human beings,” then you would BELIEVE THEM WHEN THEY TELL YOU YOU’RE BEING A RACIST, PRIVILEGEY SHITBAG, and, oh, I don’t know, maybe stop being a racist, privilegey shitbag?

    Gah, you ruined my day. You are the opposite of an aware, sensitive, enlightened lover of humanity. You are the worst. Please, please stop. I’m begging you.

    *A super fun part of my white privilege means I get to get real fucking pissed about stuff like this without being dismissed as oversensitive or irrational or reverse racist or misunderstanding or whatever idiotic accusations white people lob at POC who dare to object to their own marginalization, and I intend to use this privilege until shit like this blog ceases to exist or I run out of breath – whichever comes first.

  36. I’d like to know who the woman in the first picture is, though. She is absolutely stunning. Did you even bother to ask her name before you used her image to show how unracist you are? You have just wrongly tagged her dreadlocks woman.

    • I ALWAYS ask people’s names and have a conversation with them before photographing. With this woman – I was mad at myself because didn’t write down. I thought I’d remember, and then I forgot. I talked to her about the blog though, for a while. And yes, I was corrected on the dreadlocks style and indicated so at the bottom of the post.

  37. Let’s get real. I was open to having a regular objective conversation with you but as the earlier comments have notes a) you want attention b) you aren’t misunderstood c) you aren’t going to stop wearing that Afro. You can’t say that no one ever told you and will continue to tell you that you are a part of the problem not the solution.

    On the surface I’m sure you are a nice Jewish girl just trying to function in NY like Sarah Jessica Parker. Well this isn’t sex in the city. Wearing your FRO is a look at me, kinda like the naked cowboy in Times Square. You aren’t raising any awareness except to your own shallowness and ignorance. Your friends will call the people who don’t agree with you haters. They are right. I absolutely hate when people piss in the wind and say it’s raining. I’m sure the NY times and some production studio are already contacting you to “highlight” your controversy. You’ll most likely pen a book, start selling ads or find a way to flip this into some residual income.

    On your blog you said you are Jewish, so next week I’ll show up at your crib or synagogue with a JEW fro, henna painted numbers on my arm, a star of david t-shirt with a jar of Gefelte fish and hand you a Drake CD. See how provocative and liberal that is? Is it sinking in yet? Let me beat the dead horse some more.

    Better yet let’s pretend you were something else since you know culture is so interchangeable like wigs. If I came to your house or attended a party, taking photos with a Blond/Red Wig and a trash bag with dirt , fake blood and crosses , started dancing around throwing it all over the floor. You’d think what the hell is her costume and what is all this crap? And I replied oh I’m reliving the European experience , the dirt represents the plague, the crosses represent religious conversion and the fake blood is for all the people I’ve killed along the way. Celtic music on my iPod with a fake missing teeth mold in my mouth. Oh and I will claim your house in my name because It belongs to me.That would be hilarious right? Of course it wouldn’t be , not only would it be a gross racist homogenization of European history and culture , it’s not Entertaining. Being” Black ” however is a form of entertainment for those who subconsciously feel we are something for consumption.

    You and people like you are cultural cannibals. It’s nothing new your wanting to go native, get in touch with your “primal” urge to experience culture. In the 1800s it was animal skins and fake bones in your mouth, in the 1900s, it was Blackface. You will hear it a hundred more times but knock it off. Your “Black” friends might approve but they could use a dose of history themselves for co-signing it.

    See it’d be different if you started that blog and tried a social experiment (google Black Like Me) Or you were teaching children about African history, registering people to vote, taking meals to elderly Black people in senior centers, you were stopped during NYC stop and frisk , took African studies in grad school, volunteered at the Schomberg,you’d soon realize that Afro isn’t an accessory you take on and off. It’s a crown.

    You’d have photos of your mother or father with an Afro in your house, you’d have relatives that have that Afro that have doctorates, you would even hope that you don’t run into a young white girl who thinks wearing a fro while making strange faces is funny. You’d school her because when you put in your fro it’d be like a graduating cap because you learned everything from Kemet to Collard greens and you’d seriously know you don’t need an Afro to know that.

    Is it getting any more clear now? Which experience is it that you want? Do you want the African experience before European invasion or the Black American experience post slavery. I don’t think you’d want to be at home and someone take all of your stuff, put it in a museum and claim they don’t know how they got it or would you rather a 2 month boat ride chained to a wood plank while you watch your husband jump overboard. I’m assuming you went to college, let’s pretend you are Black, had a 4.0, perfect SAT score only for someone to tell you that you “snuck in” or were only let in because of affirmative action. Still feeling provocative?

    Better yet do you want to be a Black academic and have your every published paper questioned repeatedly on the fact that you were Black and wrote it but not your white counterparts? Or would you like 15+ tumors in your ovaries because as a Black woman you’d be more prone to fibroids? How about having a psychologist write a paper about how Ugly and unattractive you are and publish it in a scholarly journal.

    I can go on all day Michelle and beat it like a dead horse and you STILL wouldn’t know what it means or comprehend all the things be it positive or negative that encompasses Black culture. For anyone who reads this and think it’s trolling or being critical remember that SHE put herself out there no one forced Michelle to wear that wig. Michelle you asked for the conversation so people are going to bring it to you.

    I don’t have an Afro or a blonde wig but I know that stereotypical depictions of anyone can be harmful in the wrong hands. It’s not too late for you. Leave the Afro at home and stand on the corner off Lenox avenue and pass out flyers about Black Women’s health or visit a children’s ward in the hospital and ask to candy stripe for Black children with Sickle Cell.

    You’ll find more and more that you won’t want to wear that Afro. You’ll want to just be yourself and learn about other cultures. And for the record dating a Black guy doesn’t count as getting to know Black people.

    • Agreed.

      Honestly. What would a seemingly privileged jewish girl know or even want to know about the black experience. That’s like an Israeli taking the time out play kick ball with the Palestinian kid from down the bombed out, dirt clogged, bulldozed road that used to be that child’s home. Then a quick pat on the head and back over the fence you little rascal. It’s a wonder a Jew (one of a multitude of members responsible for the very enslavement of the people she’s ridiculing) can go out with no shame under the guise of living in a new cultural lens. No it’s ignorance, fake White/Jewish liberalism and a penchant for attention whoring. That or she just wants to be black. Who knows?

      • While I’m appalled at Michelle and what she’s doing, there is absolutely no need to bring anti-Semitism into the criticisms lobbied here. Please don’t add to the ignorance and hate.

    • Stands up and applauds. HelpingYouGetReal… that was everything I could possibly think of to say.

    • Using your brain, providing examples, and making a logical argument is not trolling. Disagreeing is not trolling.

      This is awesome, and I thank you.

  38. “I know that women of color do not have the option of taking off their fro at night to have long, soft, blonde hair”
    This is such an awkward phrasing. Why do you think Black women want the option of taking off thier hair for long, soft blonde hair?

    • It should be noted, too, that Michelle does not have the option of taking off her blonde hair at night to have long, soft, [some other type of] hair.

      What? I’m implying that she would want such an option? No, no, no, of course I’m not implying that.

      *sigh*

      I’m so misunderstood. If only more people would stare at this blog until they agree with me…

  39. Dear White Jewish Woman,

    This is Kola Boof.

    The only thing you are doing here…is flexing your privilege as a Western White woman….the same way Americans dress up at Football Games as American Indians and hop around on one foot.

    They too believe they are genuinely celebrating Indian people. But in truth, it’s easy to “pity” something after you’ve destroyed it. It’s easy to mock and dress up and believe to be honoring…when in fact….you’re just mocking Black women and expecting attention and a cookie for it.

    As an Egyptian-Sudanese woman, a Sunni Egypto Gisis-Waaq Oromo Nilotic and a mother of Black children let me say unequivocally…….you’re nothing but trash.

    Racist History in the Western world has set up a landscape of “Faux Black people” whose ignorance was instilled on slave plantations to the point that they have no memory of Africa or what being Black really is. Add to that the mulattoes who also mock Black people (I see you in a photo with one; the BOTH of you trying to cash in on Black cool)…and then we have White women like you….feeding off their self-your hatred, your White guilt and your own self-hatred as an estranged Jew….no one challenges your racist “good intentions,” their inferiority complex makes them feel they have to accept your warped sense of “faux love”—and then of course, there’s your Whiteness with which you wrap yourself up and fail to notice that they hate their own Black mother while you patronize them for rising you in her place. You’re a pretentious PIG…the typical two-faced selfish Caucasian Woman (who hasn’t changed since slave days)….and thinks that it’s right that the whole world revolve around you and your FOLLIES.

    I don’t respect you and I don’t admire a single thing about you…or the “colored” plantation STOCK who encourage, pacify and support your mockery of their ancestral mother.

    Kola Boof

  40. “I know that women of color do not have the option of taking off their fro at night to have long, soft, blonde hair.” What the fuck does that even mean?

    Do you not have a private diary or something to jot down this nonsense in?

    This blog is so rude, offensive, and delusional that I can barely believe my eyes. “Ohhh I’m so misunderstood”. Yeah. Right.

    You’re just an asshole.

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