One thing I’ve noticed that’s an interesting note of cultural differences within America is the gendering of hairstyles. I’ve included variations above of the two-braids hairstyle that, where I come from, is a common male hairstyle.
I’ve included two pictures of Snoop Dogg, who is probably for most people the most famous wearer of this hairstyle in a national/international context. Snoop of course is a bit of a dandy, with the signature long hair that’s obviously pampered and well-cared for. An important note: Snoop is from the LA area, specifically Long Beach, which is also my birthplace and hometown.
I’ve also included a photo of Willie Nelson, who’s rather famous for appropriating the two-braids hairstyle, which is generally considered to be the domain specifically of men of color. The braids are most popular among men of indigenous, mestizo, or Mexican descent, including young Black men.
For young Black men who do not perm their hair, the cornrow-braids hairstyle is a bit more common; six cornrowed braids that are then braided again at the base of the neck into two braids instead of hanging free.
Additionally, being a male and having your hair prepared in this style gives another message: that there is a woman who cares for you enough to take care of your hair like this, whether a mother, grandmother, aunt, wife, sister, or girlfriend. It can have the connotation of being spoiled, como “trenzcito” which means “little braid(ed boy)”; it adds a connotation of “baby boy” or “youngest son”.
Two instances of culture clash: when I first moved up north, I commonly fixed my hair in two long braids, which were almost waist length. In Cali, this is a “butch” hairstyle, or at least kinda gender-neutral. I got so many (sexist AND racist) comments about it, especially at work, that I ended up cutting my hair off an inch or two from my scalp.
Another is my ex-husband had very long hair, which I used to carefully and lovingly braid for him as part of my marianisma duties: a single long braid, the double-braid-in-one style pictured above, two sleek braids parted in the middle, and on special occasions, box braids. In contrast, my (white) partner now really doesn’t like me to do anything to his hair at all; he considers it to be kinda feminizing and/or something only to be done in private. I always end up feeling vaguely offended and rejected, but I just have to remind myself that it’s honestly a cultural difference, and that his lack of braids doesn’t reflect poorly on my care for him.
It’s really kind of funny if you think about it. I’m always imagining people see my unbraided partner at work and their pity upon him for being so unloved, before I remember this is the north and no one thinks that here. Still, it doesn’t stop me from wanting to yell, “make sure they know that I LOVE you!” every day when he leaves for work.
Reblogging from the queue because this is one of my favorite posts of all time.
And this is one of the many, many examples of why “gender” is not just some myopic thing you can “abolish”. It’s an intrinsic part of people’s cultural heritage and understandings.
That first picture just fills me with such joy and a feeling of hope.
HEY ERIN HEY!
It’s the last picture that gets me. Her eyes are off reading the defense, because she’s not handing off to the RB, that’s a fake. She’s the QB and she’d doing her goddamn job and she’s doing it well. GET IT GIRL.
“Everybody says, ‘What happens when she gets hit?’ ” Gatewood said. “This isn’t a knock on Erin, but she’s bigger than 10 kids on my team. I have a wide receiver that weighs 25 pounds less than her. And the pads she wears are the same as the pads he wears.”
This is the only context in which football matters to me
GET IT GIRL
hahaha omg i thought this to myself too
Seriously, the thing that the coach said.
The media has really fucked with our perceptions of women’s bodies. Women, generally speaking, are way heavier than you think compared to men of comparable height.
i love everything about this photoset, but i especially adore the first pic, with her cheerleader friend helping her tie back her hair. just…y’know, cheerleading is so strongly linked to a particular embodiment of femininity, just as playing football is strongly linked to a particular embodiment of masculinity, and like. girls are always pitted against each other, man, and their different ways of being girls are always pitted against each other.
to me, that first pic overturns a lot of shitty narratives about girlhood and girl friendships in one cute snapshot of a fleeting moment between two friends. idk, i just really love it.
^ This last comment!
A few days ago in a parking lot in Lisbon wheelchair users and volunteers occupied all the available Non-Handicap spaces to make a point to able-bodied motorists what it is like to have “their” parking places unavailable to them.
On every wheelchair various notes were left like: "be right back", "it only takes a moment", "I’m get something here", etc.
Reblogged this yesterday from a different source, but I think this photograph is more powerful.
I love this so much I’ll reblog it a million times!