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By Jennifer Williams (pictured above)

Ready for love and having a hard time finding it, I hired a high end matchmaker. I was so excited – they were going to find my husband! After about a year, I hadn’t had any introductions. When I finally did get a few, both men declined to meet me. So I asked the matchmaker team – what’s going on?

They sent feedback from their male clients – my hair wasn’t attractive. I laughed – I didn’t like my hair either! In January, I went to Las Vegas to visit a friend and to her stylist for a “trim.” Fifteen minutes later, two years’ worth of afro growth was on the salon floor. Big chopped without my permission, I was back to square one.

Jenniferpic

So I offered to take new pictures after my afro grew out more, in about 6 months. Turns out, they said, their clients wouldn’t find a bigger version of my natural hair attractive, either.

Instead, they sent pictures of “styles” that they thought were more “appealing.” The pictures were of black celebrity women with and without wigs, all with straightened hair.

This wasn’t the first time I’ve been told my natural black hair was ugly and unattractive. In 2001, I did the big chop long before it was fashionable. My family hated it – I can’t tell you how many times I heard I would be so attractive if I would just straighten my hair. After 3 years, I caved in and started relaxing my hair again.

Over ten years later, there is still a great deal of pressure for black women to conform to a Eurocentric view of beauty. Black men, too, have been subjected to our society’s flawed racial logic that teaches all of us that natural black hair is ugly, and straight, long hair is pretty.

I refuse to accept that the only standard of beauty is a Eurocentric one. And I’m willing to stand for what I believe, even if it means being alone. I hired a photographer to take photos to show I’m beautiful just the way I am, sent them to the matchmaker team, and fired them.

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I love my natural hair, and I love the woman I am fully in my own skin. Beauty radiates from within, not so much because of my hair, but because it is a part of the woman I want to be who embraces herself totally with kindness and love.

jenniferpic3

Other black women who are facing the same criticisms will realize that as long as they are wholly comfortable with themselves, their beauty will always be more powerful than any negativity that comes their way.

Photographs by andrewthomasclifton.com and make-up by @makeupbykendel

Black Girl With Long Hair

Leila Noelliste, founder of Black Girl with Long Hair (April 2008). Social media, pop culture and black beauty enthusiast. bell hooks' hair twin...

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149 Comments on "True Life: My High End Matchmaker Told Me My Natural Hair Was Keeping Me from a Man"

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Ms. Information

Men love long hair…this has always been a fact. Also, black men have been conditioned to love long, flowing hair. Even still, there is a conscious, loving man that will love you exactly how God made you.

Jennifer Williams

Thank you Ms. Information! Indeed, there are men who love long hair. Lots of them. However, there are millions, and I mean millions, of women all over the world who have hair just like mine. If long hair is good, then is our kinky coily hair bad?
We’ve all been taught to love long hair – years of flawed racial logic and self-hate have worked.

I have no issues with any woman rocking whatever style she chooses, as long as she loves herself, as herself. Self-love, first, always.

Ms. Information

You are right…it has worked on some people…but keep the faith…God sent me a man who loves this nappy headed chocolate woman..lol..he actually asked me to stop wearing pieces (I wore them for length)…so yes men who love us are still on planet Earth…lol…your love is coming…your smile is infectious!!

omotola
I agree black male and female needs to be re-educated about our true history and love of self. I have had my hair locked for the past 15 years. My daugther hair is locked as is my man. I have never had a problems with finding a brother. Sister if you want to meet brothers who will appriciate you go to african events. Why do we hate our natural hair? Too much of us look outside of ourself for what is beautiful. Why is it that people outside our race can appriciate our beauty and not us?
Jennifer Williams

Thank you omotola! That’s a good question. It’s incredible the amount of self-hatred that’s out there – it even surprised me.

And that’s why I wrote this, because it needs to stop. We need to be more aware of this and start having real conversations about ending it. Self-love, first, always.

FoundLoveinParis
Love this blog, but this is my first comment. Jennifer, thank you for loving yourself and being a role model to women everywhere. My husband is white and French. When I decided to ditch my braids for a short ‘fro, then twisted the ‘fro into locs, he was behind me every step of the way. He decided that he was the one for me, so no matter what my hair looks like, he supports the person it’s attached to. And I only found him by being myself. Thank you for being a living testimony of the beauty of black women… Read more »
Jennifer Williams

Thank you so much FoundLoveInParis! What a lovely story! It is wonderful to hear you have love for yourself, and found someone who see this and adores you for who you truly are.

It emphasizes what I hope other women will gather from my experience – that the most important thing is to embrace yourself wholly with love and kindness, and truly enjoy and love the woman you are. Self-love, first, always.

Lena

That’s ridiculous. They are basically telling you to change who you are so that they can match you with someone who can love you for who you are not. There’s no happiness in that. That is way beyond the idea of compromise.

Ubah Luar

On point comment!….Boom!
Never change your etnicity…one can change its figure, clothes or even way of liveing.
Buth your skinetone and hairtexture…NEVER…My opinion

Jennifer Williams

Thank you so much Lena! Exactly – there isn’t much point to matching with someone not being who I truly am. No woman should have to force herself into someone else’s idea of beauty. Self-love, first, always.

NaturalNdaNati
Jennifer, I think you are absolutely stunning. You’re hair is maintained, clean and styled. You have beautiful features and your skin is just gorgeous. You have a great shape that celebrates the curvy nature black women were born with and other women pay for! One day some lucky man will see you and say that’s mine!! Hang in there sista. If a man can’t embrace you how you were born (and probably like he was too) he doesn’t deserve you. Natural hair rocks and I wear my kinky curls boldly right beside you! You made me even more proud to… Read more »
Jennifer Williams

Thank you so much NaturalNdaNati! That’s what I hope all women who choose to wear natural hair feel, too – pride, love, and beauty. Because we deserve to have all of those things, just as we are. Self-love, first, always.

char

You are all kinds of sexy, I loved every photo of you and honestly if I were a guy every kink and coil would make me wonder who you are and can I get to know. The sexiest thing a man has said to me is – when I play with your hair and my hand gets tangled I find it like being tangled in you. You’re full of so many things, you have so many twists and turns and I feel it manifests itself in your hair. <-something like that.

Jennifer Williams

Thank you so much char! *blush* We are, and should feel, sexy and beautiful being true to ourselves and loving ourselves! Self-love, first, always.

jasmine

amen & amen to this article!

Jennifer Williams

Yes! Thank you!

TINA SMITH

A REAL MAN THAT APPRECIATES REAL BEAUTY WILL SNATCH A NATURAL SISTA UP AS LONG AS SHE HAS A BEAUTIFUL SOUL TO MATCH. WE NEED MORE FEATURES LIKE THIS. SO GLAD MY MAN LOVES MY HAIR AS MUCH AS I DO. HE GOT OVER ME BC’ING VERY QUICK WHEN I ROCKED IT WITH CONFIDENCE AND MY BEAUTY SHOWN THROUGH

Jennifer Williams

Thank you so much Tina for your support! It’s good to know that women are being supported and loved for who they are! Self-love, first, always.

Cami
Sista, the camera adores you! Your lead photo is absolutely stunning and should be displayed in all its glory in a Metropolitan Museum of African-American Art. I’m with you — I’ve received the same sorry and unsolicited feedback regarding my kinks too, but right as I read this part of your story: “. . . After 3 years, I caved in and started relaxing my hair again.” right on cue and without missing a beat, I could almost hear Florida Evans scream out, “Damn! Damn! Damn!” So glad you’ve embraced the beautiful you, just as God made you. The man… Read more »
Jennifer Williams

Thank you so much Cami! The photographer is amazing – andrewthomasclifton.com. Yes, indeed, I’m embracing my kinks and coils now more than ever! Self-love, first, always.

TWA4now

You look beautiful hair and all….they are NUTS…btw: my male cousin hates wigs and weaves…

Even black men need a re-education when it come to natural black hair.

European beauty standards isn’t the only beauty style…straight thin or wavy hair???? Come on! In the famous words of my white bestie when she was referring to my natural hair, “I wish my hair did that!” have a HHJ!

Jennifer Williams

LOL! Thank you so much TWA3now! You’re so right – there’s so much re-education that needs to happen, and we’re doing it! We’re letting the world know that we’re just fine as we are. I think a lot of women of all races feel this pressure, but I think black women feel it most – enough is enough. Rock your TWA! Self-love, first, always.

Kelcie

You are a classy and very beautiful lady. Keep your head held high and continue to stand on what you believe. Mr Right will come along one day, when you least expect it.

Jennifer Williams

Thank you so much Kelcie!! Self-love, first, always.

LESLIE

You are AWESOME the way you are! Glad you fired that match making team!!! Its funny that now that I’m natural, black men tend to look past me. So when I go out it’s usually men of other ethnicities that approach me or say they like my hair!

Jennifer Williams

Thank you so much Leslie! Yes, I know what you mean. The rejection is real, and it stings. It’s centuries, and I mean centuries, of self-hate we’ve been taught.

That’s why it’s so important to love yourself for who you are – if your natural hair gives you happiness, then your spirit will glow! You are not alone – and you’re beautiful the way you are! Self-love, first, always.

C in Colorado

Jennifer, you are gorgeous. I can only agree with the others above — refusal to see your beauty (inside and out) is THEIR (matchmakers, their clients, and sadly, some family members) loss.

Please promise us you’ll keep being glorious? 🙂

Jennifer Williams

Thank you so much! I promise 😉

Just Saying

To all the hard working folks at BGLH…

Thanks ever so much for this blog and all that you do to POSITIVELY promote our struggle.

I don’t think a day has gone by in the last 2 or 3 years where I didn’t log on first thing on my morning commute. And since then, I have NEVER had a “bad hair” day (pun intended).

Jennifer Williams

Thank you so much Just Saying. You’re right – this is a positive place for women who are just trying to be themselves and love themselves.

Guest1234

Shooot! Them folks are crazy. You’re a beautiful woman! It is my humble opinion that you rightly fired those idiots. If they can’t find a man for a beautiful woman, I can’t even begin to describe their incompetence. What a bunch of nuts!

Jennifer Williams

Thank you so much! I should pay you their ridiculous fee and you’d probably do a lot better:)

Random Trini Chick
“Black men, too, have been subjected to our society’s flawed racial logic that teaches all of us that natural black hair is ugly, and straight, long hair is pretty.” Oh man! Some days the weight of my black skin and natural hair is too much for even me to carry. And then along comes a black man, who instead of helping me carry this load, unloads his, on me! When will it end? I am going to make a point of encouraging any and every natural haired woman I come across every day. Each one of us is going to… Read more »
Khanyi

That’s so true, I’m in South Africa and today in the shopping mall I saw a young woman(probably 20) in the Mall in her Afro(its still rare to see Natural hair in Africa due to the weave and relaxer culture) so I gave her a compliment you shlould have seen the look on her face, I tell you!!that look that says thank you but nobody has ever commented on my hair…Now reading your comment above I agree because whereever that girl is she is thinking her hair is All that and beautiful and of course it is!

Jennifer Williams
Thank you so much Khanyi! First, I want to say it is just awesome that you are reading this is South Africa! 🙂 It does not surprise me, unfortunately, that the same flawed racial logic we have here exists there. And I understand how she feels – to choose to stand up to that logic, to deny it, and to embrace yourself as you are can mean you feel as though you’re standing alone. This site shows all of us, though, that we are not alone. And the weave/relaxer culture will change, even in South Africa, as more and more… Read more »
Jennifer Williams

Let’s get a megaphone for Momma Dee’s voice! Yes, we’re still educating people around us about what beauty means. And some days, it is hard. That’s why I love blogs like this, because here is where you’ll find that you’re not alone. And, you’re appreciated and loved for who you are. Self-love, first, always.

merry

“Some days the weight of my black skin and natural hair is too much for even me to carry.”

there are times when i wish life had a pause button.

stephanieb

Amen Merry, and Trini Chick, amen! It’s sad that instead of uplifting one another, some black men seem determined to just drag us down while they go running to some overweight, unattractive white woman, really sad.

Mary

While looking at your pictures I couldn’t help but smile. You are so beautiful, and any man that passes you up for your hair is definitely missing out!
Thank you for sharing your story. Your positive outlook is so refreshing! Pass some of your confidence my way! 🙂

Jennifer Williams

Thank you so much Mary! My hope in sharing my story is that other women will know they can embrace themselves wholly for who they are, and love the woman they are, not some phony image they’re being sold. Self-love, first, always.

Alejandro

I think it is very sad and pathetic that people are basing love and relationship son hair. Maybe this is why so many people are single and/or lonely. be you and do you. I not only love it, I respect it!

Jennifer Williams

Exactly, Alejandro. My wish is that those men find someone who can teach them to be more open-minded, move past the superficial and get to the true spirit of a person.

Colalover

I like your hair, most men are losers anyway. It is rare to find a good one, even when you have blonde straight hair.

Jennifer Williams

Now that sounds like some real truth Colalover! I think this experience has taught me that going out of my way to do anything to get a man is ridiculous.

MsWatson

The only man her natural hair is keeping her from finding is the WRONG MAN! 🙂

Jennifer Williams

Yes! Yes! Yes! Thank you so much MsWatson!

MS29

She is a beautiful woman! I agree with previous replies, love you and be true to yourself.

Jennifer Williams

*Blush* Thank you so much MS29!

Brandi

I love ur hair! Glad u stay true to yourself. I just did the BC about a month ago and I get the LOOK like I lost my mind! I’m learning to love it, I have my good n bad days.

Jennifer Williams

Thank you so much Brandi! You’ll get looks, maybe even frowns. You’ll also get lots of smiles, and people who will tell you they love your hair. As long as you keep learning to love yourself as you are, however that is, you’ll be fine. (And don’t forget the to love yourself fully and with kindness:)

chinamountain

Im so happy you decided to remain who you are and stick with what you love. Men come and go. If it isn’t the hair its something else. Ive been natural several times and had guys say to me when are you going to straighten your hair or natural hair looks unkept..any hair looks unkept if its not kept. I love my natural and if aperson cant accept me with it I really dont think thats my problem.

Jennifer Williams

Thank you so much chinamountain! (cool username, btw:) It’s so easy to cave into pressures to please others. That’s a recipe for unhappiness and regret!

Knotty Natural

RE: Other black women who are facing the same criticisms will realize that as long as they are wholly comfortable with themselves, their beauty will always be more powerful than any negativity that comes their way.

So good I had to post it again! Stay strong! Love yourself, first and everything else will take of itself!

stephanieb
Agreed, I love that comment too and this whole article. I can really relate to her story because I know that women often say that black men love natural hair, but lets be honest, unless you look a certain way and have a less kinkier texture, they ain’t paying you any attention. It’s hard enough dealing with the brothers who only want a white, asian, or hispanic woman, and we have to also deal with those who don’t like you because of your hair. It makes dating very frustrating, and I can definitely sympathize with the lady in the article… Read more »
Jennifer Williams

Thank you stephanieb! My hope is that we stop letting unrealistic standards of beauty dictate to us who we are. We all have been mis-educated; it’s time to re-educate ourselves and rock our natural beauty!

Jennifer Williams

Thank you so much! We need to stay positive and remember that loving ourselves comes first.

Allegra

That high end matchmaker is a high end mischief maker who revealed a personal bias – and excuse – for why they “aint matched up no dates for you.” lol. You are a beautiful woman, with an infectious smile and gorgeous hair. Rock on.

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