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

Share Button

IMG950384

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.

jenniferpic5

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

Share Button
Black Girl With Long Hair

Black Girl With Long Hair

Leila, founding editor of Black Girl with Long Hair (April 2008), social media and black beauty enthusiast. When I'm not here, I'm moderating a Facebook group for black mothers called Black Moms Connect.

 

146 thoughts on “True Life: My High End Matchmaker Told Me My Natural Hair Was Keeping Me from a Man

  1. Jennifer,

    Let me start by saying how beautiful you are! I have been transitiong for almost nine months and it has been touch in go for me feeling less attractive. This is due to relaxers for over thirty years and enough was enough lol! I also feel that when God is ready to put a man in your life that deserves you he will! PS for me also!

    (0)
  2. Good for you! don’t compromise yourself for something as superficial as hair. I find at first glance, guys just are more likely to go for long hair, whether its curly, kinky or straight. I get more positive reactions to my hair from men of all races when it’s long – both when relaxed and my natural fro. Regardless, i just wear my hair how it makes me happy. One thing though – based on the feedback from the matchmaker, i’d add something in your profile (in a gentle, humorous manner) about your hair. Or try a different matchmaker with more open-minded clientele.

    (0)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>