I think sometimes people honestly forget that hair can grow. Particularly hair on the heads on black people. If you’re spotted once with short hair, the assumption is that your hair cannot grow any longer and that short hair isn’t a choice.
One of the best examples to illustrate my point is Queen Beyonce. A few years ago, pictures of her at the airport with a teeny tiny ponytail surfaced (pictured left) and ever since then, people have had the image of Beyonce with short hair.
She went on to wear a lot of lace fronts wigs, and (black) women everywhere brought up their magnifying glasses to check her hairline. Pictures of glue or tape or the details of her wig were all over the Internet (see above), with people sure that she wore these wigs because she was bald underneath (and not because she was protective styling or something). Her hair has been criticized like no other, and I personally commend her for not ever addressing it.
But what if—after those airport photos—Beyonce decided she wanted long hair and started wearing wigs to protect her ends and starting cowashing and prepooing and after five years now has bra strap length hair? How would we know? Well, we wouldn’t. It’s very possible that now when we see Beyonce with long blonde locks that the front is her own and she’s adding extensions for volume or length just like any (and every) other Hollywood celebrity. But people still will not give her the benefit of the doubt. Beyonce is bald and that’s final.
I want to share an old picture of my hair:
I took my natural hair journey seriously after July 2011 and cut out heat and harsh chemicals. I transitioned wearing my hair in box braids, re-doing them every month. You could see the blonde bit move down the braids each month, and people would ask me, “How did you get the blonde all the way down there?!” The simple answer was, “My hair grows” and then people would take their palms to their faces and realize how obvious it was. But people really do forget that black people can grow hair.
So when Beyonce’s hair comes under fire, I personally find it to be ridiculous and part of the assumption that black women cannot grow their hair out long.
What do you think? Would you be shocked to find out Beyonce had long hair or does that seem obvious to you? Have people ever expressed doubt about your hair being long?