Rapper Cardi B has won praise for unabashedly being herself, but her most recent comment may not follow that trend.
“You look so [beautiful], look at your hair,” Cardi says to her young niece, who has long straight hair, on Instagram Live Tuesday, Dec. 19. “Look at your hair. I know my kids not gonna have hair like yours, though. Wooo. You know that my mother’s side of my family, their hair be a little f—– up.”
The statement brings up the ongoing debate about what makes good hair and what makes bad hair. Typically, many people believe that straight, Eurocentric hair is “good” while kinky, coily hair is “bad.” Cardi B is far from being alone in such sentiments, which is shared among the general population. A study completed in February 2017 by the Perception Institute and Shea Moisture, surveyed more than 4,000 participants on their attitudes toward natural Black hair.
After completing an implicit association test, it found “a majority of people, regardless of race and gender, hold some bias toward women of color based on their hair.”
“The Talk” host Sheryl Underwood came under fire in 2013 for criticizing Black hair as “curly, nappy beads.” She then responded to co-host Sarah Gilbert’s statement that she saves her children’s hair after getting it cut.
Celebs and the Natural Hair Movement
“[It’s] probably some beautiful long silky stuff. That’s not what an afro is,” Underwood said.
But then again, as singer Cassie demonstrated, we all want what we don’t have.
“From the time I was born until I was 12 years old my hair was pin straight and I prayed every night that I could have [curly] hair like my mom,” the star said during a Carol’s Daughter hair discussion in 2011. “She’d press it out, she’d have her beautiful curls when we’d go to the beach. As soon as I hit puberty, I got that curl and now it’s going back the other way. I always wanted that and I had it for one moment of my life.”
Yet there is some hope. The Shea Moisture study also found that Black millennial women who wear their hair natural experience more positive attitudes toward curly, coily and kinky hair than all other women.