NOT so Invisible Chains

So a few weeks ago I was perusing the aisles of one of my favorite places in all of Brooklyn: The Hair store!  I am the first one to admit I have a weave addiction, but that’s the first step right, Admitting?  I can also attest to having spent  a small fortune on hair products to maintain the upkeep of my newest hair piece.  From hairspray to setting lotion,  even overpriced shampoo and conditioner have been purchased to keep my fake locks looking “real” enough for as long as possible.  I realized when I was giving my latest weave a roll and set, that maybe I should think about putting a little more time and energy into my own hair.  Nevertherless I found my self back in the hair store week after week day after day.  I frequented the store so often that the owner thought I was a stylist and removed the tax from my purchases!  So you can imagine my shock, Weave’s #1 customer, when I came in and saw this NEW product on the shelves of the newly renovated hair store:

OLIVE / BLACK / STYLING

The container displayed a cartoon of a woman screaming and her hair sticking straight up all over her head.

So I questioned myself: Am I being too sensitive? Can you really tell the race of this woman on the product? How do you know they are marketing to Black women? Who else has seen this? How many little black girls have seen this? Why can’t we get away from the Angry Black woman stereotype? Why did the manufacturer think it was ok to market this product in this way?  Why do I feel embarrassed? This product wasn’t made just for me…or was it?

I made a point to “google” the product and found that they were indeed marketing to Black women.  I also found it interesting that the description of the product on the site was different than that on the actual product :

Site:

“Angry Mousse is specially formulated to infuse lifeless hair with volume…”

Product:

“Angry Mouse BLACK is specially formulated to add luster and volume to dull, limp hair…”

As I toiled over these questions I felt my shame subside and anger rise.  I thought, “I’m going to buy this product and show it to some other women and get their opinions.”  I wanted to see if I was alone in my outrage.  Turns out I wasn’t, but I was more concerned that I wasn’t alone in my shame.  The Black women I showed the product to almost immediately lowered their heads, some just shrugged and said, “well this is what society thinks of us, what can we do?”  Yikes!

Well, I for one decided that I didn’t need any NEW hair for the New Year!  And although I didn’t have the courage before, I think I have the courage now to simply ask them to take the product off the shelf because it’s offense to me a customer, a “stylist”, a Black Woman.

What would you do in this situation?  Let me know:)

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