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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.

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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.

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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, 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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Diane Carrington

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!

Ev
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… Read more »
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What hap­pened when you sent your pic­ture with a weave or a wig on?

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