I have to admit that I find it hard to relate to my straight-haired counterparts, always upset that their hair is a “nightmare” to deal with. I would give anything to be able to simply wake up with straight healthy hair. When I try to get straighten my hair it either a) takes me forever & damages my hair, b) curls up at the slightest touch of moisture or humidity, or more likely c) all of the above.
I will admit that curly hair is more difficult to manage — and worse, it’s repeatedly (and subtly) bashed in the media, as Judith Newman recently wrote about in “Making Waves, With No Apology” for the “New York Times.” Think about it: It’s always the funny/quirky or neurotic/crazy girls in bouncy curls (the Phyllis Dillers, Lucille Balls, and Debrah Messings of the world), and the smart/respectable or sexy/vixen women with glossy, straight hair.
“It pains me when I see women straighten their hair in order to be considered more ‘professional,'” says Newman. She begs readers to “try to find a newscaster in a major metropolitan market with curls.” Are all of these woman naturally straight or “is there some gene for shellacked and ironed tresses that goes together with on-air talent?” she asks rhetorically.
Men in every poll or survey constantly tout long, straight hair as the “sexiest” too (see the other attributes men find sexiest here). When Newman asks Patti Stanger of “Millionaire Matchmaker” why it is she always has the curly haired women on her show hit the hot iron before dates, Stanger replies, “Look, it’s not what I want, it’s what wealthy men want — I don’t know why. I just know that to be a dream girl you need straight, long, silky, humidity-resistant hair.”
Newman says women with curly hair are even marketed to as if their hair is a “consolation prize.” Curl-specialized products “pat us gently on the back saying: ‘Listen, we know what you want. We know. But be proud. If you can’t have straight hair without massive amounts of time and effort, at least we’ll help you look like you didn’t stick your finger in an electric socket.”