This post inspired by my hesitant forays into the Twitterverse. Or to be more accurate: #BlackTwitter.
It is the little things that drive you nuts. The minor annoyances that add up and weigh you down and lead you to make accurate if painful conclusions about where you stand in society.
Buying makeup should just be one of those things you do while you are out and about running errands, grocery shopping, getting gas etc. Well for many women of color it becomes a journey all by itself.
Used to be the Walgreens nearest my house had the Cover Girl face powder in the shade that matches my skin. Well they stopped carrying it after awhile and I had to go farther afield to the one waaaaaay over there. Then CG stopped carrying that line in stores entirely for some reason – I didn’t even want to guess.
So I resorted to an internet search and found someone selling 5 compacts of what I needed at a huge discount so I sent off for those. I’m set for a little while until I get down to my last compact and then I’ll be on the search again.
None of this takes into account what I went through to even find the powder that matches my skin tone in the first place. A journey I’ll probably have to take again if I can’t find anyone selling what I need. I lucked out on that. I took everything they had left. So we’ll see.
I remember in high school – when I didn’t wear any makeup except 80’s style black eyeliner and cherry lip gloss – during the many times I performed in plays and dance recitals, I had to mix my own stage makeup foundation.
The offerings they had were plentiful in the white girl skin shades, and the only Black girl shade was a tin of what could easily pass for black shoe polish. I kid you not. So I had to mix and match and then hide the result so no-one would use it as face shading – which kept happening, hence the need for subterfuge.
Funny thing happened second year in college. I started wearing foundation and powder – for some reason, I really dunno – and of course I couldn’t find anything that matched my skin tone. A friend suggested Mary Kay and this nice Southern lady showed up, took one look at me and whipped out matching products Just Like That! Never judge a book by its bouffant, I tells ya!
Since then, I usually make do with Almay, Cover Girl, and a few other brands that tend to stock the darker shades in easy access places like Walgreens and grocery stores. Maybe I’ll just have to budget for shipping and handling fees and buy my ish exclusively from the web. Le SIGH.
Finding pick combs for my afro used to be a chore. Now wide toothed combs and picks are “in” or whatever for white girl hairstyles, so they can be found all over the place.
Don’t Believe The Hype. About how expensive it is to maintain natural hair. Seriously, the key is to understand that all you need is a little time and care and simple products. Many you can make yourself in the kitchen. I might do a whole post about it sometime. I’ve been loving the adventure with my own hair, so why not?
But in a nutshell, all you need to do is make sure you wash your hair regularly, doesn’t have to be every day, but 3-5x/week at least. Always, always moisturize! You can spritz daily with just water in a spray bottle. Your hair will thank you! Avoid waxes unless you are dreading out, they can lead to scalp build up which prevents growth. Wrap your hair at night. Like you aren’t already lol!
Shop around! You can find leave in-conditioners, light oils, and shampoos without alcohol for very low prices. Look at the ingredients of anything before purchase. If you can’t pronounce half the stuff on there, move on! Some things might say “natural” on the main label, but are filled with chemicals in the ingredients list. Stay away from mineral oil.
Walk bare-headed in the rain. Enjoy the freedom of your natural hair!
Just how hard it is sometimes: Natural Hair Care Act Passes In Oregon. Seriously. Read that article. It’s 2013 y’all. SMH.
In a win for fairness and common sense, the state of Oregon will no longer subject people who practice African-style hair braiding (and other forms of natural hair care) to a bizarrely burdensome licensing process that’s more lengthy than what’s required for someone to fight fires or give lifesaving medical care in ambulances.
Don’t forget about your skin: SoapMuffin. Natural soaps and more :)
Finding jeans that fit your butt.
Flesh colored band-aids.
Pink tights for brown ballerinas.
Walking and driving while Black.
Passing a newsstand and the only Black faces you see on the covers of magazines are Oprah and on sports or music publications.
That look when you show up to the job interview. Name on resume and voice on phone considered “white”. Surprise!
Being told how articulate you are.
Having to always represent the monolithic Black People.
People touching your hair without permission. And no, you can’t touch my hair, thank you for asking.
Chronically un/under – employed.
Constantly being told that the racism you experience is a figment of your imagination. If they don’t experience it, it must not exist.
Having awesome parents will not stop a Black person male or female from getting shot in the street like a dog.
Living in a country that wants you gone, dead, erased, out of sight out of mind.