Warning: This post is frank and unfiltered. Sometimes I'm opinionated that way.
I hate, hate, HATE, the Andre Talks Hair method of classifying hair. I hated it from the first moment I laid eyes on it, several years ago when I bought the book. I had a relaxer at the time, and I was like WTF? I am natural now, and I'm even more like WTF? And frankly, I assumed that everyone saw it as some bullshit. So when I saw natural hair people embracing it, I really was taken aback.
I really don't understand the purpose of the whole "classification by numbers" outside of a ranking system, with straight hair being first and kinky hair being last. I don't care how you slice it or dice it, when you apply a numbering system to something, you're putting it in order. And in any society or culture, #1 is the best, A is the best, etc. So when you have a hair classification ranking system where 1 = straight hair and 4 = my hair, again WTF?
Because, let's just be honest here, okay? I think we can do that. Straight hair is what's desired in society. Kinky hair is not. I'm speaking in general terms. And if you dispute this, I admire your ability to live in a vacuum. To illustrate my point: Let someone with straight hair and someone with kinky-curly hair wash their hair in the morning. Now let both go to work or school and let the hair air dry. Whose hair is deemed acceptable by the majority of the people?
At one natural hair meetup, a sister rocking a gorgeous twist-out was asked if she ever did a wash-n-go. "Oh, no, no, no," she replied. When asked why not? "Because my hair would look like carpet," was her response. Chuckles and giggles of understanding all around the room. Carpet is like wool. And why can't wool be pretty? Individually, we are learning that it can. But by and large, it is not. If you have to twist it, curl it, mousse it, gel it, twirl it, pull back it, or otherwise manipulate it, before your hair is culturally acceptable, your hair is not deemed the norm. Why else are we, black women, the only women in the world who can go through our whole lives and have no idea what our real hair texture is?? That's insanity.
So for Andre to (consciously or unconsciously) reinforce this negative thinking with a classification system where our hair represents #4, the furthest deviation from the #1 norm.... And for us to embrace it because "it's just an easy way to discuss hair." No, thanks. I'm good. I'll just use adjectives and keep my esteem in tact. How 'bout that?
If we just have to rank, how about a system that goes from 1 - kinky to 4 - straight? How about my hair be the standard that others deviate from? How about the further you get from curly, the more numbers you add? Or how about we stop the madness altogether, and not find yet another way to put anyone last in this society?? Or maybe I just moved into the vacuum.