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

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…

Leave a Reply

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

Notify of
avatar
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 whom He has in store… 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 de-pro­gram… 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 black wom­en see… 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.

wpDiscuz