Monday, May 20, 2013

Little Black Girls and Weave: How Young is too Young?

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Reginae Carter
 It's a new day. Many parents now give their daughters more opportunities to express themselves with their hair and clothing instead of dictating strict rules for their personal appearance. This can be a great thing. I commend Jada Pinkett Smith for letting her teenage daughter, Willow, explore in ways many disapprove of.


Willow's endured scrutiny about her sexuality because she has chosen to shave off all her hair and wear clothing that isn't traditionally feminine. Jada has done her daughter a service by letting her know at an early age that there's more than one way to be a woman. It's important for young girls to know that their bodies are their own. From the time we exit the womb, we're poked, prodded, and critiqued.

Although I generally support encouraging girls making choice for their personal appearance, some choices concern me. For example, piercing and tattoos are inappropriate. But I'm also concerned that young girls try to sexualize themselves at an early age by imitating styles they see on older women. Hair extensions on girls too young to drive feel wrong, and weave on the heads of elementary school children looks absurd.

I see how some might find this viewpoint to be hypocritical. Why allow Willow Smith that freedom and not Reginae Carter? Hair extensions are for grown women. They're often expensive and require upkeep that children shouldn't be worried about. Take this little girl for example.


Is she so worried about messing up her hair that she cannot play like a kid? How are you teaching a child to love the hair she was born with by not giving her a chance to grow into it?

How young is too young for little girls to wear hair extensions? 

Related:

Online Hair Care Craze: Necessary or Over the Top?
I Love Your Hair: Letting Go of Kinky Hair Anxiety
Spilt Ends: Black Women, Money, and the Cost of Hair Care






Kimberly Foster is the Founder and Editor of COLOURES. Email or