Food for Thought: The Word Nappy

When I first saw it, I knew I had to share this AyannaNaeela vid with you all. It's an awesome and very poignant subject. She talks about what's in the word, nappy. It's very well thought out and presented. I luv her, she's so eloquent with words. So check it out:

I have never cared for the word and have never used it to describe my own or anyone else's hair and would take offense if anyone were to call my hair nappy. In my experiences, I've never heard it used as a positive way to describe your hair. It's like their face turns up and everything when people in my experiences have said it; it's a way to make someone feel bad, almost ashamed of their hair.

I think while many of us are trying to turn it into something positive, it still stings when it's used by the "wrong mouths".

A huge part of this blog's mission is to showcase and describe afro textured hair as all the wonderful things that it is. Our hair is beautiful, springy, koily, kinky, kurly, highly textured, fluffy, big, unique, versatile, exciting. None of those words sting when anyone from any background describes our hair as such.

What are your thoughts on the word? Do and/or any of your friends use it?


Jc said…
No I don't use it or care for it. I thought actually it came from the hair in your nappies (nappy is a diaper in England). I actually think it is an American word because I've never heard it said in England or Kenya.

I don't regard it as an offensive word but I just don't see its relevance to my hair. I have curly hair just as majority of other women do, this is the 'technical' term for our hair.

There is alot of resistance to describing natural hair as curly unless it is the 'conventional' curl (i.e clumps up and not type 4). I do think that this is unnecessary too, we are all curl heads!

Anyway, my view is that people can do what they like, I just don't find the word nappy to be descriptive of my hair. I wouldn't be insulted though if someone used it to describe my hair unless it was said with intent to offend.
Chrissystina said…
I refer to my own hair as nappy. I refer to my hair as curly, kinky, coily, and nappy. That's just how I roll with my own personality and my way of redefining the word. But I will not see a lovely natural on the street, and tell her," Your hair is so fly, I love how NAPPY it is."

I understand and respect that others just dont like that to describe their hair with that way and with GOOD reason. But I have MY good reasons, as well. My friends and people who know me can understand and it won't get twisted.

Love and nappiness, to me, are not mutally exclusive. But I see the other side, too, OF COURSE.
Makeup Theory said…
A Canadian friend gave me a child's book called, Happy to Be Nappy. I LOVED it. It was a celebration of curly, kinky hair. But when other Americans saw it they immediately thought I should be offended by the book. My friend who gave it to me just thought it was the sweetest book ever to give me as a gift because I'd just gone natural with my hair. She meant no offense. I didn't take any. It's so weird how we let words rule over us at times.