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The Reasons I Did Not Want My Wife to Be Natural

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beforenatural

When I First Met Her!

 

When I met my wife, she was everything I wanted in a woman. She was educated, Black, took great care of herself, and had long flowy hair. As a youngster, I was always encouraged by older men, my peers, and even some women to find a woman who had “good hair”. Equipped with this advice, my wife’s hair was the icing on the cake to complement her other wonderful qualities.

After dating for a while, my world got turned upside down as my wife uttered these dreadful words…”I am thinking about going natural”. At this point I thought, what is a man to do when his wife is thinking about getting rid of the icing on the cake? Now, I had seen tons of women who were natural and I admired their look (one of those women being my mother), but for some reason I did not feel natural was for my woman.

As the days went by, I progressively started researching as much as I could about the entire natural process to figure out what in the heck my wife was about to do to herself. As I learned more and more about the process, my mind started playing tricks on me. The questions in my mind began to transform from being about why my wife would want to be natural to why did I want to keep her from being natural. This is the point I started evaluating myself instead of my wife.

So the million dollar question is why did I want to keep my wife from embracing her natural hair?

Insecure

The truth is that I was insecure. I was insecure in the fact that my wife had to cut her hair. I was insecure in the fact that she would have a TWA (Tiny Weeny Afro).  And I was insecure in the fact that she could possibly look different. The underlying issue was that I was not comfortable in my own manhood, because subconsciously, I felt I would be less of a man if my wife did not have long flowy hair. It was not about her, it was about me and my insecurities.

Blinded

I was blinded by so many things including Eurocentric values, the media, and my own people.

  • Growing up in a country where the standards are based on Eurocentric values, I fell into the trap of thinking that my definition of beauty was supposed to be the same as their definition of beauty. This false sense of understanding lead to me having the spirit of oppression towards my beautiful Black sistas, including my wife. Sadly, I tried to place those Eurocentric values on my Afrocentric queens.
  • I was also blinded by the numerous images of “beauty” that were portrayed in the media. Anytime I would see a Black woman who was in movies, music videos, pageants, or on any day time television, she had long flowy hair. This played into my psyche and caused me to think that these women were the definition of beauty.
  • Finally, I was blinded by my own people (including myself) who constantly displayed self-hate. The men constantly spoke about how women with short hair or non-straight hair were nappy headed and sistas put tons of weave in their head for the purposes of “increasing their beauty”. We created the thought that we were not beautiful the way God created us.

 The Reality

Cut again

This is Her Today (4 Years Later), Looking Spectacular

I am blessed to have a wife who challenged me by not giving in to my insecurities. Her journey of rediscovering herself was a pivotal point in my life because I also discovered myself through the process. I broke free of oppression and am now one of the biggest advocates for my beautiful sistas returning to their natural roots. Since the blinders are off, I would not want my wife to be any way other than natural.

Moral of the article is brothers support our beautiful natural queens and sistas embrace your natural beauty!

 

If you know a man who could benefit from advice about supporting our natural queens, please download and send him my free e-book Supporting Your Queen on Her Journey of Returning to Being Natural.

About Dr. Corey Guyton

Dr. Corey Guyton, "The Genuine Scholar" is dedicated to providing positive and inspirational commentary about the topics he is most passionate about. More specifically, he is very committed to giving advice about and reporting on current events, relationships, natural hair, academics, and life.

123 comments

  1. I love it!-

  2. I'm so glad your point of view changed. I was about to write just that, that it wasn't about her, it was about you. Wonderful story.

  3. As a 'Natural Sista', I have to applaud you not only for your courage to self-evaluate (so few have the strength), but your willingness to throw away the self-imposed false values we as a culture have adopted as beloning to us.

    I applaud your wife's courage to do the 'Big Chop' as well. It's not only faster, but healthier in the long run to go this route when returning to our natural follicular state.

    She looks great, and you look like someone to look up to. Thank you.

    Much Love
    Ms. Audrey Liggins

  4. Love it because I am a naturalist and I get it but only with a but. This is not a battle of the sexes article: "I would not want my wife to be any way other than natural", I would also love to hear him say that she is free to be what/whosoever she wants to be…it continues to be about her.

  5. Michelle C Morton

    Her icing on the cake, shows just how shallow you were…

  6. I am so very glad to read about "your" transformation in thinking. Your wife is gorgeous, so no matter the hair do, she will still be gorgeous. That said, when I had perms, my hair would come out at times, and I can't count the number of times my scalp would burn and itch. I am wearing locs now for the past 4 years, and my hair has thrived as a result. I have "long, flowy hair" now that I've stopped the perm madness, and it's "long and flowy" in it's natural state. Congrats to you and your wife for embracing natural hair.

  7. Thank you sista! Life is about growing and developing and I am thankful that this was one area I was able to grow and develop. Although a lot of people have been giving me credit for where I am, it was really my wife who challenged me and my thought process, so she deserves a lot of credit. I appreciate you for taking the time to read my article and giving me such positive feedback.

  8. Looking at your wife's love face I would say that was the icing on the cake! She would look beautiful without a hair on her head. You are truly blessed.

  9. Looking at your wife's love face I would say that was the icing on the cake! She would look beautiful without a hair on her head. You are truly blessed.

  10. Thank you Beverly. It is unfortunate that our sistas feel the need to put their hair at risk for the purposes of fulfilling other people's definition of beauty. I am thankful that you and other natural sistas have found your real beauty, which is natural beauty. Thank you for taking the time to read my story and commenting.

  11. :-)….I am glad my point of view changed also, because I was a lost brother (even though I did not know it). It is so liberating when the blinders are taken off!

  12. Absolutely…Unfortunately, we are brought into this world and programmed to be shallow thinkers. Fortunately, I had a wife who challenged my thought process and this lead to me digging deeper and discovering the truth.

  13. Krista Saint-Dic

    So glad you changed, cause I was about to go "in" on you, LOL.

  14. Dreameyez Chirse

    First Off Let Me Say Black Is Beautiful, Any Shade,Hair Texture…All Of It!! I'm Glad You Changed Your Way Of Thinking. I've Been Natural For Years And Wear My Hair Straight And Curly. I've Noticed That Men Are Drawn To The Straight Look More So Than The Natural Look. Then They Talk That Mess About "Good Hair". All Hair Is Good Hair As Long As Its Healthy!! I Applaud You For Seeing The Light And You Guys Are A Beautiful Couple.

  15. Thank you for being man enough to share your story. I know that it will inspire and provoke an awakened way of thinking in other men. Your wife's icing on the cake is your wonderful ability to take a step bake and examine where you might have been able to have a better understanding as well. Lucky woman!

  16. Jazzmynn Melissa

    I was scared to read this article because I thought I was going to have to stand on the soap box and curse your life. As a natural woman I am happy that you embraced the change, it is commendable that you addressed your insecurities. P.S. YOUR WIFE IS BEAUTIFULl!

  17. "curse your life." LMAO

  18. I love this article!!!

  19. I read the article Bianca and I refuse to comment because it would be out of anger. I am happy to say I am glad the brother is no longer ignorant of who we are as a black race. Reaching one brother at a time and in the MEANTIME I will continue to be who I am.

  20. This is a great article! And your wife is beautiful!

  21. Thank you so much. I really ennjoyed this. Thank you agaim!

  22. Thank you so much. I really ennjoyed this. Thank you agaim!

  23. Lelitza Koretta Drew Ford

    you, my brother deserve a round of applause and your wife deserves a standing ovation for having the fortitude to stand up for her mane….
    i gather she knew how you felt and i for one would have given great pause before tell my s/o that i planned to hack off all of my hair!

  24. Now THIS is a man in love with a phenomenal woman! Unfortunately, there aren't alot of fellahs out there with such insight; needless to say employers who are more "comfortable" with a "familiar" hair concept for their employees. That's a real reason nautral sisters like myself (nautral for 2+ years & counting) chose to wear wigs. Yeah, they are fun, add fashion versatility & are convenient. Yet nothing, but NOTHING, beats my natural hair; so much so that when it's out I can't stop putting my hands in it…lol. BOTTOM LINE: When Michelle Obama can come be the First Lady with a natural, that's when we can be really free to be ourselves! Let's keep it 100!

  25. Most of the credit goes to my wife for staying true to herself. She was the catalyst behind my change and I am grateful to her for that. She did know my stance at the time but she went with what was in her heart and it created a monumental change for me.

  26. lol…I'm glad that you did not have to go in on me :-).

  27. I completely agree with you…she would be beautiful regardless of how she chose to wear her hair.

  28. I pray that it inspires other men to evaluate themselves and awaken from the oppressive mindset. The truth is that I have come to realize that noting physical can be the icing on the cake….everything inside her is the cake and icing.

  29. I am in love with a phenomenal woman. I agree that there are not too many guys out there who think as I do, but a huge part of my mission is to help educate the brothers. Sadly, it is a process and will take time, but I am confident that we can get there.

  30. I agree that Black is beautiful and that all hair is good hair. Unfortunately, we live in a society that has labeled one way as "good hair". Hopefully we will get to a point where we will appreciate all Black people in all forms.

  31. I have been natural for over 20 years and unfortunately the Eurocentric mindset is still exhibited in every comment on this Facebook page complaining about how Black hair shrinks up and every question on how to keep Black hair from shrinking up. Not to mention all clamoring for long (hanging) natural hair and comments about how natural hair is not professional or formal. It's really sad that we haven't mad more progress. I am very Afrocentric and try to point out the wrong-headed attitudes, but it's very tiring.

  32. Dionne Shannette

    Peace to you, brother, and thank you for coming clean about why many Black men are so attached to our hair. I've been natural for 2 years now, and even though the man in my life embraces the natural, he doesn't like the TWA (which I LOVE!) I've asked him what is his attachment to the length of my hair and he can't articulate it. I think this might help. Thank you again.

  33. Mary K HairpornCo

    Self evaluation is the best reflection that a person can have and you were wise enough to look inward and ask questions rather than continuing to believe what you've always believed. I applaud you and as a natural and loving it woman, I applaud tour lovely wife as well!

  34. what an amazing man you are, a true definition of a KING. where the heck they make you at? cause I am on my way to find my own LOL!

  35. AND many blessings to your gorgeous wife, she is simply radiant in all her beauty. Blessings to the love that the BOTH of you share for each other :)

  36. Tremika BlackButterfly Smith

    I love when men embrace us for who we are. I do have a question though. Why do so many individuals assume that you have to have short hair or a twa in order to be natural? I've been natural for the majority of my adult life and I've maintained as he called it " long flowing hair". I get so annoyed when people tell me I'm not a "real" natural….just because I have longer hair. Dionne Shannette help your little cousin make sense of that please.

  37. Dionne Shannette

    Because the term "natural" is synonymous in the minds of most folks with the term "nappy." I, for one, do not believe that "natural" is the equivalent of "nappy." Nor do I subscribe to the notion that "natural" is equal to "short." I prefer my hair short, but my hair grows like crazy. It's all subconscious programming, cousin. I love my natural… and yours too. You wear it well.

  38. Natural is definitely not about length and the only reason I referred to my wife's hair in terms of being short is because she wanted to do the Big Chop and that was a drastic change from what I had become accustomed. Natural is about embracing your hair in the natural ways it grows. The different curl patterns is what determines how flowy or coarse the hair may be. I appreciate you queens for having a dialogue about my article.

  39. Dionne….as men, we do not like to admit to our insecurities because we think it will make us less of a man. As I stated in the article, short hair subconsciously makes us insecure. I am glad I was able to put perspective to what he could be dealing with.

  40. Thank you queen for taking the time to read my article and for commenting. There is nothing more greater than self-evaluation because that is the true key to growth and development.

  41. Seaki Ashé I agree that my wife is radiant and I am blessed to have her. If you keep loving yourself and living as a queen, I am certain that your king will find, love, and embrace you. Peace!

  42. This is really great to hear. God Bless you and your wife!

  43. His wife is BEAUTIFUL with that TWA…they are a beautiful couple…glad he came around.

  44. WELL SAID!

  45. Terrance Skerrette

    Great story….I love the direction we are going, SELF LOVE!!!!

  46. Amen brother, self love is a great thing….I appreciate you taking the time to read and comment.

  47. This is the positive message we need to see promoted especially from our black kings

  48. Montina Young Portis

    The ONLY reason I went natural was because my husband asked me to. That one decision began a journey down YouTube lane to starting a company, rocking out my YouTube channel and so much more. God bless you for embracing your wife's choice and your candid post. Thank you for sharing!

  49. Jessica Love Clark

    Love this!

  50. I love your first sentence! Described me to a T. I was swelling up just reading the first two paragraphs!! Then what happened when I read the rest? REDEMPTION !! More guys should self evaluate like you did !! Congrats !!

  51. Ammarah Johnson

    Why black men care so much anout our hair is beyond me. Btw u feeling sime emotion about ur wife cutting her hair is totally normal, shes ur wife. You shouldnt have to be ashamed of that. I just notice that BM are way extra concerned with our hair than other races of men. Makes me scratch my head.

  52. Your wife's beauty has proved my long standing campaign…beauty is not about the hair!

  53. Lynne Ronise Harrison

    Awesome!

  54. Dionne Shannette

    I appreciate you, Dr. Guyton, for opening up such a dialogue. Keep up the good work.

  55. Shonda Canada Locke

    Great reflection!

  56. Thank you for your honesty. It is refreshing and great!

  57. Yes!

  58. Brother, your story is almost identical to mine in every thought process and every way. I had to evaluate ME and why the thought of my wife letting her hair go natural would be upsetting. Once she explained what the chemicals were doing to her hair, things started to make sense. It was clear that I was the one who needed to evolve. I talked to other women that I trusted and the results were clear. I needed to do two things: Grow up and STFU and stop whining. It's all good. It was a huge relief to her that I "evolved" on this issue. Men, wise up. It's not your hair and it's not about YOU!

  59. Derrick Wimbley

    bravo black man….the subliminal emulation of other people other than ourselves, has destroyed our love of self and everything natural about us. When we break away from the emulation, then we start loving what's was/is naturally ours and when that happens globally, the damn planet will shift and "they" can't let that happen because if it does, it's the end of their rule.

  60. Love it…natural for 12 years. :-)

  61. Awesome

  62. Beautifuldready Wright

    I applaud ur wife for making this decision and I must say she looks very beautiful. I have been natural for 7 years and am so in love with my hair. I pray that our black sisters will see the beauty in being natural.

  63. So glad I ran across this story, My ex-husband's fiance' just did the big chop, and he's been complaining every since, he keep saying it doesn't look like your hair. it just doesn't look right on her, I wished she'd buy a wig. I'll be sure to share this with him, I happen to see her the other day and it looks nice to me. I'm natural as well and he always compliment me, he needs to embrace and support her and this story will help him do just that. Thanks

  64. As you can see bro., you're wife is beautiful!

  65. Thank you.

  66. Henry Wineglass

    Gary, I am so glad that you "evolved".

  67. Great read! I totally agree and I thank god for opening my eyes to appreciate and love myself how he made me from my hair down to my feet:)

  68. Wonderful! So many men feel this way… or feel something but won't take the time to discover WHY they are uneasy about HER decision. Instead they make their woman, mothers, daughters, sisters, co-workers, nieces, etc feel bad about their decision and in turn makes them feel like they are doing something wrong. Or they will never get a job again, or a man or be as beautiful as ever. I too applaud you!

  69. & God bless you both Brother! "She is beautiful!"

  70. Thulisile Mhlungu

    Wow I feel affirmed. Thank you.

  71. I've taken the natural journey three times now (Third time's the charm!) and honestly felt those feelings too! Had to defend my decision to make the "big chop" and figure out how to really care for my nonrelaxed hair. It's been more than a journey about hair— but a journey about returning to and learning to love My Self. So glad you took the time to write this for other brothers and sistas out there who are perpetuating these self-loathing ideals and imposing impossible (and sometimes unhealthy) standards of beauty on women. Thank you!

  72. Zan Zanelle Diniso

    I like this… Klentba am thinking of going natural for my 30's :)

  73. This is a good article but we have to be careful and not ASSUME that every AA woman that decides to wear a wig or a weave is insecure in their beauty in some kind of way. It's all cosmetic and a matter of personal choice. As long as they aren't hurting themselves, I think it's fine. It's not like these women that are constantly having cosmetic surgery and going under the knife to make themselves "beautiful." My wife does it all: wigs, weaves, natural hair, etc. but it has no bearing on how I feel about her, she can wear whatever makes her comfortable. She's the same woman I married; I didn't just marry the HAIR but the person she is.

  74. Antoinette Toni Harvey

    So glad as a MAN you realized who you were before trying to make her what YOU WANTED HER TO BE……….LOVE IT

  75. It is great that you had a change of heart about your wife going “natural.” Now African- Americans should come together to help the rest of the world understand the importance of natural hair. I have been natural for three years. The sad part is African- Americans are just beginning to accept “natural’’ hair. It will take many more years for the rest of America to find it acceptable. African-Americans have no clue how much control they have in the beauty industry. Because we are the primary consumers. I recently wrote an article titled “Are African-Americans’ Dollars Fueling Racism,” check it out at http://www.reealitycheck.wordpress.com it’s about racism in the beauty supply industry. Going natural could be more then an individual statement, or symbol of self-change it can mean change in a lot of aspects for the African-American community.

  76. Yep. Mr. Wineglass it only took 28 years!

  77. Renee A M Reives

    I wish this "good hair" phrase would die! Natural hair is "good hair"! Yeah, it takes a while depending on who you are before it's as long as it once was. And no, we can't run our fingers through it without hitting some snags. It's kind of like life. It can be hard and/or soft but there will always be obstacles.

    In the process of being natural, you become stronger ignoring the snide remarks, struggling to control it, and finding a man that accepts you. Women do so much to appease the world but will always fall short of what everyone wants. Can we do one thing and just embrace each other for who we are? I know I'm asking too much from this simple minded world, but it truly needs to be said.

  78. Renee A M Reives

    I wish this "good hair" phrase would die! Natural hair is "good hair"! Yeah, it takes a while depending on who you are before it's as long as it once was. And no, we can't run our fingers through it without hitting some snags. It's kind of like life. It can be hard and/or soft but there will always be obstacles.

    In the process of being natural, you become stronger ignoring the snide remarks, struggling to control it, and finding a man that accepts you. Women do so much to appease the world but will always fall short of what everyone wants. Can we do one thing and just embrace each other for who we are? I know I'm asking too much from this simple minded world, but it truly needs to be said.

  79. Since going back to my roots,"locking up" my hair has grown long and healthy. I grew tired of the same old cycle,….perm,break,cut weave grow,perm,break,cut…now however i get told by some people i should not have locks as i am not a "true Rasta"….no i say "i am a black women"!! I love seeing my sisters natural, afro or skinned!

  80. Awesome article! Attitudes like this definitely need to be promoted!

  81. Awesome article! Attitudes like this definitely need to be promoted!

  82. I loved reading from his perspective

  83. Thanks for sharing this with me Mr. Johnson. It may have taken 28 years, but 28 years is better than never. We have to make sure that we educate our brothers and heal as a race.

  84. Your wife looks gorgeous and you're awesome for having the courage to evaluate your own attitudes toward beauty. Yay love and acceptance!

  85. You too are blessed to have one another!

  86. Tehuti Khepra Amun

    Ase'!
    Much respect to you and being a Black man I love seeing Sistars becoming natural. I support all Afrikan womben wearing their crown of glory.

  87. Everyone keeps harping on about being oppressed if you weave or braid your hair. What about if you like your hair braided / weaved?Last time I checked I was living in a free country which means amongst other things I can do what I want or enjoy within legal limits.. People should be allowed to be..

  88. I love natural hair on a black woman, Rachelle Ferrell, Erykah Badu, Lauryn Hill, and Chrisette Michelle to name but a few different ways of wearing it that make me jealous, dammit!

  89. Chiquita Campbell-White

    I've been natural for several years and my husband was very supportive, unfortunately that's not toi often the case with most.
    I think it's awesome that you were willing to take the time and research the process and then basically research yourself. That shows love and growth.

  90. Anesu do your thing honey. The funniest thing is that half the people who go on about it are the same people who were weaved, permed and straightened within an inch of their lives 20 years ago when I had twists, afro and shaven head, successively. The superior tone that comes with their bedreadlockedness or plaits is stifling, did it ever occur to them that we are women, we love to adorn and accentuate ourselves, and that is principally a matter of self expression and that self expression varies from time to time in people. It certainly isn't an indication of how right on, how enlightened or how much of an assett you are to your people. Like most covers it tells you only what the wearer want

  91. wants you to know about themselves and not necessarily anything much about who they really are.

  92. God forbid, Doreen Lawrence is apparently an unactualised, self-hating black woman? She wears a wig. Actually it is probably just convenient for her in this moment in time.

  93. proviso: the man who wrote this appears to be a black American. There's is another world and history, whatever they need to do to survive and thrive mentally, they must do. I have heard and seen some ridiculously self-hating words and actions played out in their communities, but as an African, a Zimbabwean Mosotho, I don't feel a part of this process.

  94. Don't let them get to you Asu. Do what works for YOU on YOUR head. After all, your hair, clothes and any other choice you make does not interfere with their supply of oxygen.

  95. Sibusiso Gcabashe

    Good story…..there is a lesson to be learned there!!!

  96. Clemence St-Cyr

    very touching, brought tears to my eyes…

  97. Hey Mr. Guyton. I am in the process of going natural also. It hard but I know the end results will be worth it. Glad you learned to embrace your wife's decision. I love your website. Check out my blog dclark91.wordpress.com.

  98. Thank you.. my first thoughts were oh no here goes another brother bashing sisters on their choice to embrace their natural beauty in its truest form. Speaking from a place where when I first went natural many around did not accept my choice, now many years later these same individuals are my cheering squad for sticking to it and never looking back, even threatening when I mention cutting or anything of the sort.

    So thank you, acceptance from our black men makes all the difference in the world, the appreciation of our natural beauty over what the mainstream consider beauty speaks zillions!

  99. Bunch of brainwashed idiots! You need to stop having black women conforming to those false images. Social Treason! If and when you think of "God" which false images creeps your mind? Sirokus maybe?

  100. Sifu Ed Anderson

    Like Malcolm used to say Blind,Deaf, and Dumb to the Great Knowledge of Self

  101. Linda Russell-Curwen

    Tremika BlackButterfly Smith I agree – I did not do the TWA – my husband didn't want me to and truthfully neither did I – I transitioned and grew my natural hair then cut off the relaxed "stuff" once it grew to a reasonable length. That is one thing that I have issue with – the fact that so many sistahs believe that they have to cut all their hair off – NO YOU DON"T HAVE TO CUT ALL YOUR HAIR OFF TO BE NATURAL. You can transition … it takes some time and some effort – but it is an option.

  102. I've been natural since October 1996 when I stood in the bathroom and chopped all of the perm out of my head. My husband stood near and watched – completely surprised, but surprisingly supportive. I am so happy that you have learned to support your wife's decision.

  103. I love this article!!! when I was 18 & natural my parents struggled to accept it!!! They had the idea that if my hair was "undone" it was a reflection somehow of their ability to provide for me!!! It took nearly 10 years and now they accept my natural hair and support my company Farasue's Garden wholeheartedly. My natural hair is long and flowy!!! My curly hair is long and flowy. Thank you brother for sharing your awakening. Truly inspirational XoXo

  104. You went natural at 18?

  105. Debra Annette Williams

    Thank goodness for your enlightenment!! Good for you and your beautiful Lady!!

  106. Debra Annette Williams

    Thank goodness for your enlightenment!! Good for you and your beautiful Lady!!

  107. Mary Renee Reuter

    As a white woman I don't know firsthand about natural hair vs. treated hair, only what I've heard from friends, but I can say that it is really refreshing to hear from a man who looks within himself and deconstructs the false and constricting notions of beauty. Sounds like you hit the nail on the head. Good luck to both you and your beautiful wife in all your future endeavors.

  108. I'm absolutely in love with you & your wife! This article just shows how our community can be vulnerable, but find our strength & voice from ONE ANOTHER! Yes, in our black communities, we DO GET MARRIED, we DO SEEK HIGHER EDUCATION, and we DO ASSIST ONE ANOTHER!

  109. I went natural at 18, 22, & 25 LOL it's a journey Melly Mel

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