Straight hair, weave, braid extensions are what define beauty in the black community. So, when Miss Universe pageant Zahra Redwood, with long locks comes out as a contestant in 2007, she’s wasn’t perceived as beautiful.
Why? Because she has (dread) locks. Dreadlocks can be traced back before Rastafarians in Jamaican. It is known that dreadlocks are dated back in Africa. But, Rastafarians made the hairstyle popular, and what it is today.
Rastafarian- A religious political movement founded by Marcus Garvey.
They were known to have a “dreadful” appearance, and rebel against the Euro-centrism.
Dreadlocks are becoming more acceptable today, but the more manicured your locks are, the more you will be accepted in society.
It’s as if even though we’re natural, we still have that “straight” mentality.
Traditional locks, also known as freeform locks are looked down upon, because they have an unkempt look. Also these locks are more stereotyped by people, especially, non lock wearers.
Stereotypes include; dreadlocks wearers not washing their hair, or being dirty. Marijuana smokers, as well as numerous stereotypes given to dreadlock wearers.
Hence, why the term “dreadlocks” offends some people. Because, some people think dreadlocks carry a negative term, when in reality there is nothing “dreadful” about dreadlocks. It’s all in their mind.
This is when the term “Locks” came in to play. The idea to change the name probably means something to some people, but regardless they’re still roped like hair that are still dreadlocks.
I often wonder when dreadlocks wearers-of all forms would be accepted in America because I feel that a lot of employees are missing out on a good employer if they are judging them solely on their hair.