Monday, 28 September 2009

NOT IN THIS HOUSE - NIMBY Principle hits home!

I came home the other day all inspired and on fire about locking my daughter's hair. Especially after exploring the subject (in a roundabout way) in an earlier post.
She currently has a perm (which her daddy likes very much - as does she). I thought I should grow it out and use something like the Sisterlocks method of transitioning from relaxed to natural/locked hair.
I was all excited as I outlined my plan of action to my hubby...

In the UK we have this thing called NIMBY: Not-In-My-Back-Yard. Everyone agrees we need a new landfill or sewage plant or refugee detention centre or homeless shelter (list is endless) but noone wants it to be built anywhere near to where they live. "You can put it anywhere ... except here".

Imagine my surprise to find NIMBY in my house when I discussed locking my daughter's hair. My husband was vehement. Apparently he hates locks. I thought at least they'd grown on him since I now have them - but what a shock to learn that 'nope, he still didn't like them at all'. Oh well... too bad.

Now I have to wonder whether I will be creating unnecessary friction in my home by locking my child's hair against daddy's wishes... or whether I should follow my heart and do what I think is best for my girl. Hmmmm.

NIMBY on wiki


Mr Jarvis said...

Here's a stupid suggestion. Let her decide what she wishes to do with her hair. Inform her of her choices, the reasons why you would wish to and let your husband tell her his side of the story as well. That way we have perfect management practices, Decision Making from below.

Bajan Lily said...

But that's exactly what I did J;
I gave her the pros and cons of locking, plus the pros and cons of continuing to have her perm; she voted in favour of locking her hair. I therefore thought it was 'a done deal' only to be knocked back by His Royal Highness having a spazz! Lol.... so, what do I do now?

DreadHead Trini said...

Do I need to tie up my hair before coming 'round? lol

Seriously, it's all about what Izzie wants to do at the end of the day. If she wants to try 'em, start her out with two-strand twists and go from there.

Mr Jarvis said...

Why exactly is he against "locks"?

Is it the old prejudicial notion that persons who "lock" are thieves and vagabonds or is it just plain old not knowing that natural hair is better for us persons of African descent.

Kimi said...

As a lock fan, I dont think you should lock it yet... haha lets chat later. To me it is more than a hairstyle, it is a journey.

Unlike perms (which can grow out) locs are permanent and you have to cut them off (at least that's what I have been told) or spend hours with a fine tooth comb in the first few years of their life if you want a switch.

Transitioning is also frustrating (says me as a transitioner). Lots of stress for a lil girl. I dont like perms in kids hair either so I dont know what to say. But what about good old cane rows every week? You can make them funky as well (mohawk haha) until it grows out then Izzie decides.

Bajan Lily said...

@ my Trini friend: LMAO! Thanks for cracking me up! Secretly I think I should start with the two strand thing and see...

@Mr J: LOL! I'd say it was something along those lines yes, plus he doesn't find it a particularly attractive hairstyle...

@kimi - you can grow locks out the same way you would grow out your perm. Also, something like Sisterlocks allows you to start locks while growing out your perm/transitioning as you put it. Transitioning in that sense would/could be less painful cos she would have the new growth plait/locked down while the ends were free to be curled or flat ironed/ what have you.

I am definitely interested in your other reasons though, unless you are my husband pretending to be Kimi?

Mr Jarvis said...

There was once a time when i did not like locks either for the same bigoted and selfish reasons. Then I got older.

Then I had a girlfriend with locks who taught me that it is just a hair style, which is better for us and easier to maintain. Give him time.

Anonymous said...

OK dearest aunty, somehow I dont think that I want to get involved in this one but maybe if you didnt make it seem like a big issue HRH (my good friend) may not have responded with the damage done the move forward is damage limitation run the natural hair route do the corn rolls and then move onto the double twists once he gets accustomed to the double twists, locks will be accepted naturally...on a personal note I think she is too young for locks as a style v religion/belief but as always you have my support..BFF love ya PS I got his back as well...

Bajan Lily said...

If it is a question of youth (perhaps Kimi feels the same way) i.e. that she is too young, fair enough.

My other option was to wait until she had finished her O levels, but by then she'd probably have even longer permed hair to cut off/transition from - whereas if I let her do it now, she'd have enough by that age to pick them out of she wanted to and still retain a fair bit of length.

I can assure it no big deal was made of it, perhaps His Royal Highness' concerns lie in her being a minority in her school and him wanting her to fit in as much as possible.

Lol re damage limitation. You know the King will do as the King sees fit, the rest of us have to fall in line... (well us = them, not me :P)

Kimi said...

Haha at your comment. I feel the same re: locks or perms for kids. Although locks is infinitely better for the hair. It's a big decision.

Is she ready for the prejudice (I have realised there is a lot, especially when I tell BLACK people I want to lock my hair), the assumptions, etc. its not all airy fairy plain sailing.

I think it will build her character wise but I have realised that attitudes have not changed re locs as much as I thought they have. That said sister locs look like twists and are different from traditional locs but I can't tell you how much opposition I have had!

That said, my mums locs look bess and and has reaffirmed my commitment to natural hair.

anthia-ofo said...

Aw, that's a difficult position to be in. Is hubby aware of the potential hazards of relaxers? I personally know people with extensive damage and I have heard of kids who's sight have been damaged when that acid hit the eye.I know we've all come to accept the use of chemicals as normal, but, it's more risky with children. Maybe he needs some time to get used to your SLS lol. Meanwhile you could educate him on the health aspect and do some twists on your daughter since she likes the idea of locs(what an enlightened child!- I guess I'm biased.)If she can wear a relaxer, she def isn't too young to wear locs. You can grow them out or unravel them if she changes her mind. However, I'm not sure it's a good idea to go ahead and loc without hubby's backing.

Miss Elliott said...

NOOO to perms. I have nightmares cos my mum does it, and if my sister chose to do it, I would honestly psychologically torture her until she chopped it off.

It's so so bad for you - your scalp, and potentially worse. The chemicals are crazy (Chris Rock crystallised my opinion, but I had thought so for maybe 2 decades before seeing that film).

If you don't like SLs and whatnot, you cannot give perm the green light.

Locks - the thing is, it will be a little restrictive in terms of styles, and she'll probably want to play with looks and identities and stuff like that as a teenager. I think locks is a little like choosing an identity. I know we do that for our kids - religion, citizenship etc. But there is some flexibility,and for me clothing, hair, make up, which designer brand(!) - all part of figuring that out. (Says the childless woman..) x

Gigglz said...

I love all the comments!!! Now Bajan Lily what a predicament you have gotten yourself in!!! Sometimes is best not to ask the hubby and just play the "oh I didn't know" card!!! If your daughter is all for it you should tell her to explain to her father why she wants it. I'm sure he is going to have a more difficult time explaining his own stigma of locks to his daughter and will succumb to the pressure --Lol. I also agree with doing some two strand twists or cornrows, what have you just to stay away from the perms since she actually doesn't want them.

The Woman Inside said...

This discussion is fantastic and has me laughing. I just had this discussion with my hubby and he is totally with me as long as I give her the choice to perm later on. We will see;) I agree transition her with some braid styles and then 2 strand twists, this gives him time to see how your pretty locs grow and mature.

Bajan Lily said...

@ Gigglz and Woman Inside - there are times when you wish you just didn't say anything... lol

Lian Stott said...

u got 2 b mad,let the girl make dat decision for herself,f u do it an she doesnt like it she wiil cut it off so wait an c wat she wants

Andrea said...

Your daughter is one of the brightest children I know, I'd say let both you and Trevor present your points on locs and perms (not in a daddy against mommy set up, but more like mommy has locs and dad likes perms and here's why) and then let her deicde. If she really wants to loc with all the information from BOTH of you (cos I feel you might be a biased towards the locs) then let her do it.

Bajan Lily said...

You let me down Andrea; no bias on my side- she heard from me, His Royal Highness and other family members AND even her friends. It was her decision to make and she made it.

Kimi said...

Yup but there is also inherent bias in "I want to be like Mummy" not anything you would say or do to influence her necessarily.

Bajan Lily said...

I don't think Andrea was referring to any inherent bias; moreso a reference to my current personal favour for locks- which is why I said she let me down, cos it wouldn't benefit me to give Izzie biased info on which to base a decision.

Ultimately, I won't die if she chooses to perm instead of lock her hair.

Miss Elliott and Verlon made very good points about identity issues and fitting in... ultimately, I looked at her hair texture, our budget and her lifestyle and said 'this might be something u could do' ie another option.

Bajan Lily said...

Fewer ppl commented on the earlier post where I originally raised the question; but it appears now that 'what if' has a name the responses are much stronger - Lord knows the last time my cousin has commented on anything I wrote... lol.

It's almost as tho one can't win with this one; let the child make the decision-she did turns into: well maybe the info u gave her was biased... or maybe she's too young to decide.

If she's too young then I will decide for her, cos I am her mum. Everyone's free to comment and I welcome the feedback and advice (love it!)- it may chg my mind, it may not. Ultimately, I'll live with the decision.

For me, this post was not about whipping ppl into a frenzy: "oh gosh, dat crazy woman going and spoil dat child head!" Moreover it was a finger in the wind, a litmus test of sorts: if my husband revealed an 'attitude' or 'issue'... better yet an 'unexpected opinion' right in my home, what are my friends actually thinking and feeling about the issue?

This post has been incredibly revealing in that sense.

My question was whether a wife should go against her husband's wishes (esp. since his hair is SHORT LOL) or whether u keep the peace and wait/hope he'll come around. Both Mr Jarvis and Verlon gave good advice there.

If we decided to grow out the perm, I'd still have to find sthg to do with it in the interim (unless I cut it all off), Kimi and Ver offered good suggestions there;
I think some of the key points gleaned from this exercise are
- coming face to face with resistant attitudes to locks ie not just a hairstyle, can be a lifestyle/religious choice etc and has connotations (some negative)
- the importance of being true to self and acknowledging (& expressing) ur own identity (once you understand what that is)
- Black girls seem to face obstacles fitting in (as it were) in a society where they are inthe minority and ppl (parents) would prefer to smooth that path as much as poss rather than add to it.
What can I say? Much food for thought.

Andrea said...

I stand by my comment. There may be no conscious bias on your part but the very fact that you have chosen locs after having spent much time researching the pros and cons and blog and post extensively about your journey with locs suggests to me you think they are the better choice and that, IMO, would introduce bias. Maybe that's why someone commenting on previous post asked jokingly whether she needed to tie her head to come by you :)

Bajan Lily said...

@ Andrea
The young lady who asked if she should tie her head before coming over has dread locks. She was responding to HRH having his NIMBY moment.

Bajan Lily said...

Additionally - I still fail to see how me giving her information on the pros AND cons of locking or relaxing is 'biased'. If my husband favours permed hair - and he gives her information on that - wouldn't that also be biased? Why does it appear that the bias can only be on my part?

We BOTH gave her the pros and cons of each option; this isn't a new conversation in our family. She has seen her cousin's locked hair, and her other cousins' loose hair, she has seen their relaxed hair. She asked her own questions and was given the relevant information.

Cons to locking include all the things that Miss Elliott, Kimi, Verlon and Mr Jarvis mentioned (mostly about societal attitudes and styling limitations); Cons to relaxing include all the things like breakage, damage, burns and chemicals; costs, maintenance etc. Both options also have pros - which were given to her as well.

As parents we are sensible enough to give objective arguments without getting all emotional. Just because locks happen to be best for me right now doesn't mean I am a walking evangelist trying to convert everyone I come across. Noone did that to me - I wouldn't do it to someone else. Whether you choose to believe that or not is entirely up to you.

Access to information allows people to make their own minds up. My previous post talks about the dangers of relaxers but also gives several links on how to care for and maintain healthy relaxed hair.

As I said before in what I thought would be my final comment - the responses to this post have been incredibly revealing

Anonymous said...

I'm surprised it is such an emotive issue, the hair, i mean.

@Bajan Lily - you sound exasperated, and I think a little frustrated with the comments your post has evoked. I find myself frustrated too, because locks can be such a beautiful thing, and some women's permed hair is 'eat out'.

Anonymous said...

Subject: Can of worms-the locks thread

Bwoy, the locks thread!! I was frightened to post this one live so I'm doing it anonymously but you'll know who I am when you read this...

I think the best advice I read was to go back to the natural styles etc for a while before approaching the subject again...for reasons that were overlooked in the other replies.

This isn't just about the hair anymore. It's about the unity of the family. To be honest, cos HRH is against it you need to submit to your husband (now deep breaths and count to 10!).

His feelings and point of view are very important for the long term stability of the family, and the enemy would love to start to sow seeds of discord that slowly grow into big trees in the future.

If he feels undermined, or offended, it could fester and rise up at random times over trivial stuff.

Having said that, although this would imply that he has won, he'll actually be more likely to change his mind in the future because you have initiated peace over the issue.

Does that make sense?
(*ducks from the cyber stones*)

I must also say I'm surprised at some of the comments, can't anyone read?

Bajan Lily's Big Sis said...

And here I was getting used to my niece with relaxed hair! I like it on her... I guess you're surprised to hear someone with natural hair say that huh?

Anyway, the way that I see it... ALL are just hair styles. If u r getting problems with the perm, then change it.

All hairstyles require maintenance and I find Locks also require a lot of attention if u want them to look good.

Questions to ALL... I was just wondering... If YOUR Locks were to look bad, what would u do? Cut them off or just keep them? Hmmmm

anthia-ofo said...

I came back to see what's up here and woah! Not suprised though, it's nearly turned into a locs vs perm debate. Chill sis,everybody's got their opinions, but it's your family. Like I said -not a good idea to proceed without HRH's backing-but that's me LOL. Good luck with whatever you decide. It will work out in the end.
@ bajan lily's sis
'Questions to ALL... I was just wondering... If YOUR Locks were to look bad, what would u do? Cut them off or just keep them? Hmmmm'
I would do my best to save them, but if it's truly beyond hope, then I'll cut them. I would probably play with other natural styles for a few months and return to a new set of locs. Because I like locs and find it's time-consuming dealing with my loose hair.

Bajan Lily said...

@ Anthia - I never got to thank you for your earlier comment; it was good advice, echoed again by my other cousin (Anonymous) near the end:)

As for the lock v perm war *rolling my eyes* oh gawwwwwwsh!

Think I'll keep the peace (on all fronts) and keep quiet on that front for the time being... everything in it's time. Marriage is hard enough as it is lol!


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