Monday, August 22, 2011


Are Afros Uncivilized?

I'm sure many of you are already aware of the Nivea ad that got many naturals in an uproar last week. It's the one you see above which depicts the image of a clean-cut African American male holding, or rather, preparing to toss aside a decapitated version of himself sporting an afro. The words "Re-civilize Yourself," which are displayed in all caps across the front have been deemed highly offensive.

As a natural, I must say that I don't believe that there is anything uncivilized about an afro, which, by the way, most of us would have if we stopped straightening and or styling our hair with certain products that make our curls and kinks more defined. However, I have to admit that there are certain situations and places that I tend to not rock my natural curls in all their glory simply because of how I wish to present myself, and how my hair makes me feel. Yet, that has never stopped me from wearing my hair how I want to wear it, even at work, because, after all, it is illegal to discriminate against someone based on how they wear their hair.

I may have mentioned this before in an ancient post but I can still clearly recall how I was stared at and treated like a stranger in the office I used to work in simply because I chose to wear cornrows one week. Even though my cornrows were stylish and feminine (I added Spanish wavy hair for extra length and left the ends out), some of my co-workers acted really funky with me, and one even went as far as to say, "That's a prison hairstyle." So, I know firsthand how ignorant, and to be completely honest, quite scared some people can be when it comes to natural hair.

What are your thoughts on the Nivea ad? For more info, see Nivea Pulls 'Offensive' Ad.


Mello925 said...

I was appalled by the ad and Nivea's weak apology. How could they not know that something like that would infuriate people. I can't imagine folks sitting around a table thinking that ad would gain customers. Then again, it may have been a publicity stunt to be/stay relevant.

Lena said...

I'm reading this a day later, but I'm glad you shared your cornrow/work story. I was feeling some type of way at my grad school orientation today. I'm the only black grad student and I wear my hair curly in summer. We had a chance to mingle and I saw people giving me suspicious looks and no one approached me. I mean, when I went over to someone they spoke to me, but I felt it. Honestly, I dressed more professional than most of the students that attended and I think I looked very pretty and tidy. That's just how it goes sometimes.
Anyway, thank you! :)

Mello925 said...

Unfortunately, some people equate natural hair, afros, cornrows, twists, braids, and the like as ghetto regardless of how proper we look or sound. It's really sad to stereotype like that.