The term “Nappy” what does it mean to you?
I feel like where was the word derived from, where did it come from.we know it was meant to be a negative term. Even though we have proud to be naturals who come out
now and say “Happy to be nappy!” I feel like just thee, from the original intent of the word it makes you cringe for a reason because you feel it there is a stigma attached to it. It’s going to be hard to separate that at this point, while I can hear the girls say I’m happy to be nappy, when a guy says I love your nappy hair…. how about let me call my own hair nappy. Whether its contradictory or not its just the way it is.
Do you think that men have caught on to the natural hair movement or are they still pro perm hair?
I feel like they are catching on. I feel like they are a few who were already on even within the black community itself. A lot of people say the white guys they’ve always loved our hair. Most black guys have been a little slow to catch on but I do feel like its a different kind of black guy that appreciates it and its just what it is. They can be either very cultured… I don’t want to put a stereotype on “That Guy” but you know what I mean, like that guy I don’t want to say who is burning incense, creating music and painting. But seriously he is that guy into all that stuff. And then there is the other guy who is very industry, very pretentious, and its all about the video models and gucci and their appreciation (for us) is gone. Its just a different kind of guy and race has nothing to do with it.
What was your proudest “Natural” Moment?
I have two, my first one was when I did the big chop in the middle of my natural hair journey. It wasn’t to go natural but simply I’m getting rid of this long hair because its damaged and I’m ready to start fresh, and really take care of it; the way I want to take care of it. Just to make that decision was serious because I was very attached to my length, that was a big move for me. And the second time As my hair started growing not fretting over my curls being perfect cause that was definitely me. If you watched my videos pre-big chop it was all about the kinky curly custard, and define this, and this curl is out of place. The appreciation for my hair really grew after the big chop. So now I’m in a very carefree space and I love it. Those two are big for me.
Any tips or suggestions for the current naturals who are ready to go back to the “White Crack”?
Ooooh! Who are ready to go back? I feel like they didn’t go back (to natural) for the right reasons then. Those People who go natural make that decision because it is a trend its so shallow that any little thing will make them go back (to natural) but when you do it for a deeper reason and more like self acceptance and I don’t care I want to be me then you’ll stay. Its just as simple as that, cause a lot of people like to jump on bandwagons and then they just jump right off.
After our interview Taren would face a sold out crowd at The Harlem School of the Arts, packed with naturals from all over, even international as far as London. They were all ready to hear the amazing panel that included, Dickey Founder and Creative Director of Hair Rules and Michaela Angela Davis, Image Activist and Editorial Brand Manager at BET, Nakesha Smith youtube natural hair vlogger, as well as other naturals hand-picked from the audience.
It was a sight to be seen over a hundred natural haired women and there were a handful of men as well all celebrating and learning about who we are… naturally.
Taren Guy is taking her show on the road through the U.S. and Internationally. So get ready to see her in a city near you.
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