Sunday, August 02, 2009

A Muslim Man's Beard & An African American Woman's Hair

Chris Rock has documentary out at Sundance Film Festival titled Good Hair, navigating himself through the world of black women's hair.

Watching the trailer for it made me realize that there is a great amount of similarities between a Muslim brother who lets his beard grow in accordance to the Sunnah and an African American woman who keeps her hair natural.

For a Muslim brother, there is pressure to conform and be clean shaved or to have goat tee or have the 2 or 3 day beard shadow for two reasons.

1st reason is that well, it doesn't bring attention to you. You don't stand out without facial hair or a small shadow beard (especially in NYC).

The 2nd reason is that many (key word many) Muslim sisters and most other women want men with some facial hair but not really a beard.

Lets face it, many Muslim sisters who consider themselves practicing and want another practicing Muslim brother want him to have George Clooney's facial hair...

Rather than than Yusuf Islam ...

The point I'm getting at is that many Muslim men have the same experience of millions of black women in America when it comes to changing their hair.

For Muslim men its shaving or keep a shadow of their beard, where as for Black women it means getting a weave or using chemicals in their hair to 'relax' it or straighten it. Like the reasons I mentioned about brothers not keeping the beard because of it trying to fit into their jobs/careers in America or subtly motivated by the impression that sisters have put out there about their preferences for the beard, I find reasons about black women that there is preference for straight hair in corporate America or that their man wants them to look that way and gives them money to get their hair done.

Anyways, these are just some of my thoughts. I'd love some feedback from others - especially African American women.

I'd love a Muslim brother to go out there and make documentary about the beard.