The Fashion Spot Momtastic

Being Curly in a Straight World

Posted 08/12/11 at 09:29PM by Audrey Fine

My sister Rachel and I both have curly hair (thanks Dad). Sure, we've learned to live with it -- but love it? Yeah, not so much. Recently, Rachel put pen to paper (OK, fingers to keyboard) to vent about the whole curly situation in her blog. Here, for your reading enjoyment -- especially if you're a curly girl -- is what she wrote. I think you'll agree that she makes several valid points ...

Recently, Judith Newman penned a piece in the "New York Times" about being curly in a straight world.

Ms. Newman points out that lots of curly girls pass for straight (it is not possible, she writes, that all news anchors have naturally straight hair). For some reason, Newman notes, straight hair is generally perceived as more attractive, more respectable, more refined, more business-like, and on and on.

I only wish she had gone even further in illustrating how pervasive the bias against curly hair is. Off the top of my (curly) head:

1. Sandy in Grease.
Want to achieve a super trampy look that signals to your loser greaser boyfriend that you're leaving the whole good girl thing behind? Go super curly (and wear spandex).

2. Tangled.
Rapunzel has magical, long (straight) hair. Her evil witch of a stepmother is curly, curly, curly.

3. Katy Perry's "TGIF" Video.
The awkward teen alter ego of Russell Brand's wife has glasses, head gear, and -- horrors -- really bad frizzy hair!

4. Glenn Close.
On "Damages," Glenn Close plays a brilliant lawyer with straight hair. In "Fatal Attraction?" Curly. Super curly.

5. Juliana Margulies.
On "The Good Wife," she is putting the pieces of her life together and improbably handling (and winning) trials as a first year associate with (impossibly) straight hair.

On "ER", one of curly-headed Nurse Hathaway's first scenes finds her being wheeled into the emergency room after trying to kill herself. Her hair is as unstable as she is.

I've come to terms with my curly hair. But I've got my fingers crossed that my daughter's hair stays straight. And if it doesn't? Well, at least she'll have my lifetime of curl wrangling knowledge at her disposal, along with way better products than were available when I was a teenager.

See? Rachel makes her case. (She's a lawyer.) Are you curly? How do you feel about your ringlets? And, be honest. Do you feel sexier or prettier after a blowout?

P.S. If you want a really cute style for your curly hair, try doing these pin curls.
And the survey says...
1-6 of 16 Comments

  • Posted by EricaC123 on 12/30/12 at 06:50am


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  • Posted by beautybody on 03/26/12 at 08:59am

    I had a perm in the early nineties horror upon horror. What was I thinking.

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  • Posted by powerwoman033 on 03/13/12 at 10:36am

    It always come down to we all want what we don't have...Straight haired girls want curls; Curly haired girls always want straight! I think having so many different types of hair makes life interesting. I want to see curly haired women on the news! Celebrate our differences, they are what makes the people of the world interesting! You really opened my eyes on how differently curly haired people are portrayed on TV. All of the examples are so true. Go Curly Haired Women of the World, Unite! :)

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  • Posted by kristinwani on 11/29/11 at 06:57pm

    A few years ago, I tried the keratin straightening, my hair looked great and was super easy to straighten. But after a month of beautifully straight hair, I honestly missed my curls, my silly, bouncy, mind of their own curls. I still straighten my hair more often than not, but I love knowing that my curls are just a shampoo away.

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  • Posted by Nicole2814 on 11/23/11 at 01:52pm

    im starting to love my hair when its curly especially since im trying new ways to set up my hiar and new products

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  • Posted by kiley_marie on 11/22/11 at 10:12am

    I love my hair curly and straight :)

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