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Blonde or Blind Judgment?

March 23, 2015

Let me preface this post by quoting Jesus when He stated: “Judge not, least you be not judged.” With that said, a woman in front of me in line at Woodman’s had a few boxes of dark brown hair dye, and you could clearly see that her roots were much lighter than the dark color of choice she selected. She was Caucasian, and I think her choice to go darker is great. The reason I bring up race is not for the reason you might think. You see, I am African-American and I have received judgement from primarily my own race about my choice of hair color, which is blonde.

I have been blonde for over ten years, and when I took the plunge to change my natural jet black hair to platinum, family and friends all freaked out! You would have thought I had just killed someone!! I recall being told by a man from the African nation of Cameroon that he cannot understand why sisters want to look white. Well, trust me when I tell you that I set him straight and he will never ask that idiotic question again. Blonde is a hair color, not a race. If he knew his history, then he would know that there are African indigenous tribes with natural blonde hair.

I can recall odd reactions from one of my family members that kept harping on how nice my black hair was, etc., etc. On another hand, I had family members that loved my new hair color and told me how becoming it was on me! What hurt the most is when I was ridiculed by so-called female friends that constantly told me that it was too light or that I should make it honey-colored. Yes, it hurt, but you know I got over it and kept on doing and being me, because as my father told me, this was their issue and not mine, and I am unrepeatable no matter what hair color I have.

They were all judging me based on hair color and even though I am not hurt anymore by people’s ugly judgements, what bothers me at a greater level is how a few of the same people who were against my platinum tresses now compliment total strangers, who are also black women, on how nice their hair color is, or I hear them say that they personally like black hair over blonde. But then they turn around and start slowing lightening their own hair. Hilarious, but okay, I so get it now! My father, as well as a close friend once told me that, “Imitation is the highest form of flattery.”

A co-worker went blonde and she straight out told me that she was inspired by my hair color so much that it gave her courage as a black woman to break the mold and false judgments that other black women can put on each other because they are hurting. I, in turn, admired my co-worker for keeping it real with me, as the saying goes. Deep down inside we are truly only ridiculing ourselves based on our own fear or insecurity when we judge unfairly. At the end of the day, just do you and if you like it, then I should love it because you are my friend.

Jesus healed the blind in His day. I wish He was still here to heal those that have eyes but still do not see. We need to be nice and truly compliment each other instead of hurting those we say we love with ugly judgement. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and our judgements can come back to bite us with irony. It is best to turn a blind eye and do a self-check first before we lash out to judge another.

Sonya Marie Bowman is a writer of positive prose for The Milwaukee Community Journal and a published co-author of the book No Artificial Ingredients – Reflections Unplugged. She is a member of Sister Speak, a trilogy of writers who formed in 2010 with a vision of self-expression and a goal of healing. The trio states they are inspired by grace, allowing them to take a genuine position on the struggles and successes of everyday living.

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