Some sisters feel they have to sew, glue, and purchase their way to beauty. What’s behind their addiction?

By: Amanda Anderson

Weave has to be one of the most polarizing topics in the African American community. While it’s true that black women aren’t the only ones looking to weave to achieve their beauty driven agendas, it is clear that other women tend to fit the standard of beauty created by the media more than black women. For years, it’s been suggested that straighter hair is better, and by all means, black women…your hair isn’t good enough. So instead we, glue, stitch, or sew some other woman’s hair on top of our “ugly hair” to get closer to meeting those standards. Now there are some black women who aren’t depending on weaves, wigs, or meeting the European standards of beauty. These ladies may rock a weave from time to time, but by no means is it required for them, to feel beautiful. They feel just as beautiful without the tracks. To them, weave’s just convenient, but not a necessity to feel attractive. 
And then there are the weave dependents. Without their weave, they feel unattractive, unworthy, uncomfortable, and inferior to the media’s pushed standards of beauty. 
How did any woman get to this point of weave dependency? Here’s their take on the weave addiction.
” I started wearing weave when I was in high school. I know it sounds crazy, but I would spend my little work money on tracks and glue, and spend hours in the bathroom gluing tracks in. With enough skill, I got really good at doing it. My hair wasn’t nearly as long as the weave, so I am sure that the length plays a part in me feeling more attractive with it. After a while, I just became so obsessive. I no longer wore my real hair. I paid the price for it because my hair began to break off really badly, and thin faster than I could manage. I eventually had to cut my hair into a short cut, and that had to be one of my lowest moments. I felt so unattractive with the short cut, and naked without the weave. I tried to get through the first week weave less, but ended up at the hair store mid week. I really want to break this addiction because I have a daughter now, and I don’t want to raise her to hate her hair or hate how she looks like me. It would break my heart to see her dependent on weave, and battle low self esteem. Eventually, I am going to break the habit. I guess I’m still looking for reassurance that I can even do this.”- Janet D.
” Yeah, I’m addicted to weave but I don’t really care that I am addicted. I mean really, it’s not my fault that society pushes this standard of beauty that black women can’t meet naturally. People tell me all of the time to wear my hair more, but I don’t see the point. Hell even the men themselves like weave more than they would like to admit. Black men love long hair, and I don’t have long hair. I still want them to be attracted to me, so I sew in some tracks. I see a lot of sisters going natural and cutting out the weave, but I’m not really encouraged to follow suit. I feel beautiful with my weave, and even if that is sad, it’s just the way society has made it. When the standards  change, maybe I’ll reconsider weave. But until then, I just want to feel beautiful and make some heads turn.”-Monica K.
“I definitely feel more confident when I have some hair flowing in the wind. But I don’t think it’s fair to get on black women about wearing weaves, we didn’t make up these standards on beauty. We’re not even the only race of women that wears them, even white women put in tracks to create more volume and even length. Maybe we’re more dependent on weave than they are, but it does seem like we are being called out unnecessarily for doing something that a lot of women do.”-Nicole W.
I can’t speak for all black women, but I guess I’m addicted to weave because long European hair has been and will continue to be a prevailing symbol of beauty. My real hair is shoulder length, but I definitely feel like I get more attention from black men when I have in longer tracks. They say they don’t like weave, but yet they break their necks for the women with weaves. Deep down inside, we all just want to be that woman worthy of the neck break. If black men were more supportive of natural beauty like they claim to be, they would stop giving the fake beauties so much attention. They praise fake women like Kim K, but dog out the sisters with weaves. If they wouldn’t worship so many fake Hollywood beauties, then just maybe black women would take it easy on the weaves. It’s not any deeper than that.”- Kara J. 
Each response sheds it’s own light on the weave obsession, and its ties to acceptance from black men and a close minded society, but each saddens me more for one reason: some of us have allowed society to determine how we feel about ourselves. Weave isn’t the end all be all in the woes of the black community, but the absence of self-esteem and self love are. 
Hair is just hair, but our attitudes about ourselves dictate rather we are beautiful or not; not a media ignorant on any other race accept the majority. I seriously hope all of these women will be able to see beauty without the extensions, and realize that the best kind of love starts on the inside. And only then will someone have the desire to love the same person you finally developed the courage to start loving.  
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