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12 Year Old Vanessa VanDyke

Source: Madam Noir

Source: Madam Noir

So I tried to write this in the height of my fury and indignation, after reading this story on Madame Noir earlier today. The link was lovingly provided by Angel Dike of The Natural Lounge.

Fortunately for the internet, because of my frustration at my Chrome browser I went away and allowed myself to be distracted by menial tasks and eating.

Now I’m back.

Sometimes I get tired of talking about hair but it seems to have so much power in the black community.

No matter how many times I see a similar news story I think;

  • How is this even possible?!
  • How is this allowed?!
  • How do people’s minds work?!

Apparently Vanessa VanDyke’s school, Faith Christian Academy, claimed her hair was a distraction to her peers and that she should either cut it or face expulsion.

How is her hair in its absolute natural form a distraction?! Afros naturally grow upwards (let me have that one ok)… So her hair naturally grows into a distraction?

Madame Noire reported that Vanessa’s hair did not become an issue to the school authorities until after her parents complained of students bullying Vanessa about her hair.

What if Vanessa’s body had been the cause of her being bullied? How about all the girls whose bodies mature earlier than the rest of the class? They get made fun of too. If that had been young Vanessa’s complaint would they have told her to wear a baggier shirt to school or leave?

What about the white girls with ridiculously long hair that they can sit on in class? Would they tell those girls to cut their hair? I find really long hair to take my attention and curiosity…

HOWEVER, to be fair and unbiased, I remember when I was 12 [oh so long ago…] I used to wear all sorts of braids. I also remember hearing that the white children were not allowed to have braids like mine because braids was linked to my culture – and not theirs.

So we need to be fair and realise that though sometimes rules don’t lean our way – we’re not always the sole victims in schools and their attempts in maintaining order.

I scream HOWEVER, again, because if this girl didn’t have such a strong support system behind her this school could’ve planted the seeds of a major hair complex. So I give her mother a major KUDOS for teaching her daughter to love herself the way she is.

And in regards to the children that made fun of her… the irony about the children that tease is they tend to grow up and later wish for the same things they disrespected when they were teasing…

I’ve been the teased and the teaser so I’ve seen it happen from both ends.

Vanessa VanDyke hunny… you’ll be fine.

I would have liked to hear what the schools did about those bullies. Afterall, not only are bullies distracting, the damage they cause can last a lot longer than the so-called distraction of this young lady’s beautiful hair.


About Combing for Curls

Ghanaian-Nigerian Accra-based natural hair blogger and vlogger. Creator/curator of African culture and political content.


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