kinkyvscurly

NOTE: Though the word “tex­ture” is actu­al­ly a term that describes strand thick­ness (i.e., fine vs. medi­um vs. thick), it is some­times loose­ly used in place of hair “type” (i.e., curly vs. kinky vs. coily).

Sev­er­al days ago, a video by Jouelzy enti­tled “So Over the Nat­u­ral Hair Com­mu­ni­ty & Tex­ture Dis­crim­i­na­tion” popped up on my sub­scrip­tion feed. Intrigued by the title, I watched her video, which actu­al­ly raised some good points. To super sum­ma­rize, she dis­cuss­es how kinky-haired nat­u­rals have much less sup­port from hair com­pa­nies and few­er clicks/views/shares than curly-haired nat­u­rals. You can check out her video below:

Klassy Kinks, anoth­er 4C nat­u­ral on YouTube, recent­ly did a respon­se video, which was also inter­est­ing. To sum­ma­rize her video, she speaks more on the real­i­ty that kinky-haired nat­u­rals have less sup­port and views because those with the same tex­ture tend to fol­low more curly-haired nat­u­rals. You can check out her respon­se video here:

Not too long ago, I did a BGLH post on 10 Kinky-Haired Nat­u­rals You Should Check Out on YouTube.” I, in part, did this post because 4B/4C’s tend to have a hard time find­ing “watch­able” nat­u­rals with our hair type. (Remem­ber the word “watch­able”; I will come back to that soon.) Many of the ladies I post­ed – and there are so many more – have few views, few shares, and less than 10,000 sub­scribers. Alter­na­tive­ly, if you look at curly- or coily-haired nat­u­rals like Nap­tural85 (433,000+), SunKissAl­ba (366,000+), Mahogany­Curls (216,000+), or Taren­Guy (204,000+), their sub­scribers are well over 200,000 and their views are through the roof. Few kinky-haired nat­u­rals, prob­a­bly as much as I can count on one hand, hit 100,000 or more sub­scribers, and this includes AfricanEx­port (145,000+) and may­be Nikki­mae2003 (151,000+). Why is this, and does it have to do with tex­ture dis­crim­i­na­tion?

In my hon­est opin­ion, I believe both Jouelzy and Klassy Kinks have very valid points on why few­er kinky-haired nat­u­rals get pro­duct spon­sor­ship, views and shares com­pared to their coily- or curly-haired coun­ter­parts. In terms of views and shares, I also think anoth­er fac­tor (a small­er but still rel­e­vant one) is the “watch­a­bil­i­ty” of kinky-haired nat­u­rals that I men­tioned ear­lier.

Let’s talk more about what makes some kinky-haired nat­u­rals less “watch­able” (oth­er than the obvi­ous tex­ture dis­crim­i­na­tion). Well.… pres­ence, per­son­al­i­ty, video qual­i­ty, and hair length also fac­tor into whether a YouTu­ber is watch­able. (Yes, I believe there is also a bit of hair length dis­crim­i­na­tion when it comes to nat­u­rals.) If you do a YouTube search on “4B” or “4C” nat­u­ral hair, plen­ty of indi­vid­u­als pop up, but few are ones to which I (and prob­a­bly oth­er nat­u­rals) would actu­al­ly sub­scribe. Let’s be real; how many kinky-haired YouTu­bers have the “whole pack­age” of an engag­ing pres­ence, a good per­son­al­i­ty, AND great video qual­i­ty. (Add in super long hair, if you want, but that char­ac­ter­is­tic is not a require­ment in my search for nat­u­rals.) Now com­pare that num­ber to those of curly-haired nat­u­rals. The lat­ter is over­whelm­ing. That “whole pack­age” gen­er­al­ly does mat­ter when it comes to whether some indi­vid­u­als sub­scribe to a nat­u­ral.

So what does this all mean for kinky-haired YouTu­bers? Yes, I def­i­nite­ly believe that there is tex­ture dis­crim­i­na­tion; it is very real. Also, yes, kinky-haired nat­u­rals do need to sup­port more of our own. How­ev­er, I am not going to sub­scribe to some­one just because she has kinky hair (or curly hair OR nat­u­ral hair, for that mat­ter). If the sound qual­i­ty is poor, the video qual­i­ty is sub-par, her pres­ence is bor­ing, and/or her per­son­al­i­ty is bland, I’ll pass. Last but not least, I’m more inclined to sub­scribe to nat­u­rals with great hair style tuto­ri­als and/or inter­est­ing hair care advice; if they lack those two, I am not as intrigued.

As for oth­er social media (Insta­gram, Face­book, etc.), I’ll let you all chime in on that one.

Ladies, is tex­ture dis­crim­i­na­tion appar­ent on YouTube and oth­er social media? What are your thoughts?

Chinwe

Empow­er­ing wom­en of col­or to break bar­ri­ers. Cherish.Thy.Melanin. https://cherishthymelanin.com/
https://www.facebook.com/cherishthymelanin/

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246 Comments on "Does “Texture Discrimination” Affect the Success of Naturals on YouTube and Social Media?"

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Elodie
There may­be a “tex­ture dis­crim­i­na­tion” issue but I believe the “watch­a­bil­i­ty” of the blog­gers remains the biggest prob­lem. But why is it ? Are the 4B/4C genet­i­cal­ly less tal­ent­ed than the oth­er hair types ? Of course, not! Up to me…when the nat­u­ral hair move­ment start­ed, the curly girls where more prompt to embrace it as their hair type was — how could I put it?- 1-not viewed as unpro­fes­sion­al hair 2-not so “unman­age­able”. I am a 4C hair and when I want­ed to be nat­u­ral 8 years ago…I went to locs because I thought that hav­ing my hair free… Read more »
Nika

Wow! Klassy Kinks PREACHED!!! *drop­s­themic*

Black Girl With Long Hair

Chin­we, this is such an awe­some post! And I want to chime in with a per­spec­tive from the BGLH com­mu­ni­ty. Our most pop­u­lar style icons tend to be Type 4 nat­u­rals with medium/long hair. 

Top style icon list of 2011 http://blackgirllonghair.com/2011/12/natural-hair-style-icon-of-2011-poll/
Top style icon list of 2013
http://blackgirllonghair.com/2013/12/black-girl-with-long-hairs-most-popular-style-icons-of-2013/

Jordan

I sub­scribe to nat­u­rals with sim­i­lar tex­tures to mine, nap85 & chary­jay, but I have noticed the favor­a­bil­i­ty of those with looser pat­terns. I have also noticed some YT’ers typ­ing their hair incor­rect­ly, almost like they don’t want to have kinkier tex­tures. It reminds me of girls who say, “I’m not dark­skinned, I’m brown!”

Libby
Yes there is still tex­ture dis­crim­i­na­tion in soci­ety and the Inter­net is made up of cit­i­zens who make up our var­i­ous soci­eties. Of course there is tex­ture dis­crim­i­na­tion on Youtube. There are many rea­sons and while it is true that the kinky haired Youtu­bers often have poor video qual­i­ty, a lack of pres­ence etc, that’s because many of them have just start­ed out on youtube and while peo­ple eager­ly wait for the curly with 2 ins of hair to grow a tumblr/instagram wor­thy head of hair, kinky haired girls often take longer to achieve that goal or nev­er do because… Read more »
ida voyder
I’ve actu­al­ly watched all the you tubers you men­tioned above except Klassy Kinks, and that’s because I’ve nev­er heard of her. But when I’m fin­ished here I’ll def­i­nite­ly watch her videos. I don’t clas­si­fy my hair, or even put lim­its on my hair, which some peo­ple use to deter­mine what videos to watch — I look at every­thing, if the style looks inter­est­ing and I want to try it out on my hair — then I look at it. Of all of the peo­ple men­tioned above, I’m sub­scribed to Nap­tural85; and prob­a­bly Nikki­mae2003. I’m also sub­scribed to Nat­u­ralme4C. But my… Read more »
Anon87
So looser tex­tured ladies just hap­pen to have a bet­ter per­son­al­i­ty and over­all pack­age than tighter tex­tured ladies? Hmm… I think we have to con­sid­er that looser tex­tured haired ladies have had the sup­port from the get go. You know, when they too didn’t have much per­son­al­i­ty and used their iphone cam­era to record. The sup­port they’ve gar­nered has helped them to improve and expand their chan­nel. There hasn’t been as much sup­port for tighter tex­tures. Also, we are deal­ing with a mar­ket that has become over sat­u­rat­ed. Peo­ple are stick­ing with who they’ve already got­ten used to. And a… Read more »
Kay
I have most­ly 4b hair and I’m sub­scribed to both kinky haired and curly haired indi­vid­u­als. When I was tran­si­tion­ing, I will admit that my go youtu­bers were nap­tural85, chime edwards, and nikki­mae although my hair is more coarse than theirs. I think it was because I had the goal to grow long hair and they already had the length I wished to obtain. With 4b/c hair, its hard­er to see the length unless the hair is stretched. 2 years lat­er, my go-to’s are xgoldn, caribbeau­ty, fusionof­cul­tures, nat­u­ralme4c, chary jay.. peo­ple close to my tex­ture. I still watch nap­tural85 and… Read more »
mary
Of course there is tex­ture dis­crim­i­na­tion. Its not just on YouTube and social media. It is a real life occur­rence that has plagued the black com­mu­ni­ty for years so why would it not per­me­ate social media? We, at least me, have been taught that the tighter your curl pat­tern, the less sig­nif­i­cant you are and your hair is. Add short­ness or rather the appear­ance that your hair does not grow long to that and you are not as appeal­ing in appear­ance. We have been trained to long for, desire and adore long, thick, curly hair. Throw skin col­or into the… Read more »
JoliP
This arti­cle is very appro­pri­ate. I watched Joulezy’s video and found it very true. I hon­est­ly am soooooooo over the entire hair typ­ing sys­tem. Even here on BGLH, there are wom­en who do style icon arti­cles say­ing they are 3C who look like 4a/b. It’s so arbi­trary and use­less. I sub­scribe to a vari­ety of Youtu­bers from Nap­tural85, iknowl­ee, to Nikki­mae2003. I am not inter­est­ed pri­mar­i­ly in their hair type but tips for healthy hair, mak­ing my own prod­ucts and styling options. You have to be smart to know what will and will not work on your head. Length is… Read more »
Queen

I noticed that myself, ladies on here say­ing they are 3C when they are clear­ly of the 4 range. I get that hair typ­ing is not a fo proof sys­tem, and many don’t sub­scribe to it (and that’s per­fect­ly fine) but when some wom­en are WAY off, it ends up com­ing off like they are wish­ing for some­thing they don’t have, and it’s sad :(

Queen

fool proof*

Leah

My hair is sim­i­lar to nat­u­ralme4c, so I sub­scribe to her chan­nel. I have noticed peo­ple with tight­ly coiled hair becom­ing pro­duct junkies in a quest to look like Kelis or Tracee Ellis Ross.

Ivicoco
Tex­ture dis­crim­i­na­tion does exist but I hon­est­ly don’t think it affects nat­u­ral youtu­bers, or rather affects them as much as was implied in Jouelzy’s orig­i­nal video.Unfortunately the prob­lem with alot of 4c yout­bers is the qual­i­ty of the videos/tutorials, and also how fre­quent­ly they upload — I am sub­scribed to sooo many kinky tex­tured youtu­bers but most of them haven’t upload­ed a new video in the last 5 months. Anoth­er thing is video length — 20, 30 min­utes some­times for a tuto­ri­al[ most of which is full of irrel­e­vant chat­ter], where­as peo­ple like Whit­ney keep her videos down to 12… Read more »
Thick Nigerian Hair

“Most of which is full of irrel­e­vant chat­ter…”

THIS! I can­not stand watch­ing a pro­duct review that spends 5 min­utes read­ing the ingre­di­ents (post a pic for good­ness sake) or doesn’t even show them using the pro­duct and then is wear­ing a style in which they did not use the pro­duct. Take a hint from Chary­Jay and Jouelzy and every­one else. 

Let’s not get into light­ing where I can’t even see the hair that is being styled.

Libby
Re:Sponsorship Since many mainstream(read white/Asian) YTers and to a lesser extent black YTers were able to end up releas­ing pro­duct lines, trav­el the world and avoid get­ting real jobs while rent­ing or buy­ing flats and things that mat­ter in the real world. If some­one is going to devote so much time to cul­ti­vat­ing an online pres­ence and giv­ing out impor­tant infor­ma­tion out to peo­ple then I guess that is great compensation/reward for it. I find the nat­u­ral YTers way more vital than all the­se teenage boys with flop­py hair putting out half baked videos and earn­ing thou­sands or play­ing video… Read more »
Alisa
While I’m sub­scribed to quite a few nat­u­ral hair chan­nels on YouTube, I pri­mar­i­ly watch videos from those whose hair tex­ture is sim­i­lar to mine, like My Nat­u­ral Sis­tas, NaturalMe4C,NikkiMae2003, and Jouelzy. I’m not sub­scribed to Taren­Guy, Nap­tural85, etc. because their hair tex­tures don’t resem­ble mine and I rarely wear the hair styles they put up on their chan­nel. I also know that if I did try a hair­style that say, Nap­tural85 did (like curl­form­ers), my end result would be dif­fer­ent than hers because our hair tex­tures are dif­fer­ent. I actu­al­ly prefer to sub­scribe to nat­u­ral hair chan­nels that are… Read more »
D

Anoth­er prob­lem, for me at least, is find­ing long term kinky haired tran­si­tion­ers on Youtube.
Also, I watch hair style tuto­ri­als if I like the result, but I try to stick in the type 4 range so that the result might be sim­i­lar for me. What mat­ters the most is the tech­nique and whether I can mim­ic the style with what I already have lying about the house

Nappy 4C Rocks

“Let’s be real; how many kinky-haired YouTu­bers have the “whole pack­age” of an engag­ing pres­ence, a good per­son­al­i­ty, AND great video quality”.…..I am so ready to read the com­ments for this post.

anon

Akushik­aGo­ne­Nat­u­ral

Toni

The only per­son that I sub­scribed to is Nap­tural85. I also used to vis­it long­hair­dont­care2011 (R.I.P) on occa­sion. But most­ly I go to Nap­tural85. Stum­bling across their chan­nels was acci­den­tal, but they were engag­ing and I could see myself and my pos­si­bil­i­ties in them.

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