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

Healthy hair care tips and more!
http://www.healthyhairbody.com

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

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JenniD
I was wondering when this topic would show up here lol. I saw Jouelzy’s video and several of the reponses. I do agree that many are still hung up on curl envy and “silkier” textures. Overall I don’t care about dazzling personality. I want to see hair tutorials and product reviews. BUT I’d like to point out a glaring problem I have with my 4b/c youtubers: 1. too much wig and weave reviews- Um if you have issue with accepting your texture an are looking for ideas of how to be confident and cute with what you have how is… Read more »
Ms LiLi
I agree 100%. I am a 4b transitioning girl and am always looking for similar hair types to learn more about hair care in general on the yt, but it’s difficult because the 4bc ladies I find are wearing wigs and weaves which I Do Not like and on the rare occasion that they wear their hair it’s referred to negatively. Or they just stop making videos after a while. I’m transitioning not only my hair but also my way of thinking about my hair and these channels are less than helpful. Back in the day yt videos were more… Read more »
Mary

Oh, and a large number of straightening videos. I am not interested in straightening my hair, so I don’t subscribe to any textured lady who caters largely to that.

Mary

I totally agree with #1!
I am not interested weaves or wigs. I don’t care too much for product reviews since most products are not available to me, I have products that are working for me and I am on that there college student budget.
So when a channel produces videos that are 95% of the above, I just can’t subscribe to it. No need clutter my subscription feed. =/

mercy

Yuuup …I agree with you. I come from lusaka Zambia , so me subbing to a channel with a million products n reviews I’ll never see this part of the world makes no sense. Naptural85 is simple, shea butter, flaxseed gel a few oils and I can relate. Curly hair or not…its all about relevance and content.

easyBlake

Re: #2 LOL That’s because, apparently, the Struggle IS Real. I’ve known quite a few kinky girls who are committed to staying natural, but they style their hair & are unhappy with the results (& the social feedback they receive). I agree, though, that I don’t want my inspirational YouTubers to be reinforcing those kinds of views. Especially, if they want to be a guru of some sort. Even if they have to fake it ’til they make it.

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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