Meditation on a weave

Weaves and wigs are not fake. Moreover, they are really the hair of people who wear them. To say they are not is to idealize some reification of ‘nature’ that strips women, femmes and other weave-wearers of agency. What is nature, but the design of thousands of years? Nature is something that you cannot help, and females being active is viewed as deviant, ‘unnatural’, like Eve picking the apple. To patriarchy, the masculine is the active, the feminine is the passive.

There is also a racist undertone, because stereotypically weaves are associated with black women although all races wear them. By saying that weaves are innately false and deceptive, while a man shaving his face is not, it is saying that people wearing weaves are false and deceptive. Less than those who typically shave their faces and go to tanning salons, both of which are viewed as natural phenomena.

Weaves are real hair by choice. They are immigrants to the scalp and have naturalized there, becoming as local as the local-born citizenry – like the ‘stranger in the midst’ described in the Bible, that is accepted into the tribe. So much as the hairstyle is part of its wearer, weaves and eyelash weaves are part of their wearers as well. They are as real as the wind and the rain. As real as a suntan on a white male is real, despite its ephemerality.

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