It's my black hair that keeps me curvy!!!

Going to the gym takes a special type of commitment. I am usually tired, so that's the first thing.

The next thing is to get to my gym I pass my turnoff for home. It only takes one sharp bad drive to the left and maybe some cuss words from some fellow fat motorist to get me off the beat me up path and onto the path to salvation aka home. There have been a few days (count Mon, Wed, and Thurs of last week) where I made the necessary bad drive from the fast lane (as we call it here) to the lane to make the turnoff to my couch.

Then I go to a very popular gym, with all the teeny bopper girls whose main purpose in life is either to see or be seen. I don't mind you doing what makes you happy off your membership fee, but when you crowd up the gym, hog the equipment to chat with boys and keep me back from whittling away my hips, then I have a serious serious problem with your extracurricular activities.

And then I also remembered a conversation I had with a dude last year at a conference in New York. My fellow Bajan PR superstar and I were the only black women at the table. You know this was deliberate that we sat together - but it was just a bonus that she was from the Caribbean as well. This bright American dude of Anglo-Saxon descent, then comes to our table to tell us he is writing a paper. On what you ask?

Black women, weight and hair.

It was his observation, from talking to other black women (so he say) that black women shun the gym because they don't want to sweat and ultimately sweat out their perm or their weave. He was saying this all with the straightest of faces. Now while the dude was probably right, and we will get to this, ummm...I don't know you and you're suggesting I am fat? lol. No no...he says. But he wanted to know if I avoided the gym to safeguard my expensive salon job. The question therefore really was would I prefer to be fat with great hair, or skinny with jacked up hair?

You know he was still waiting for an answer. Ms Barbados was not feeling him either with his farseness and out of order line of questioning and I could tell the white women at the table were wishing he would just leave as well. He took the hint real quick.

But to answer the question, unlike Caucasian type hair, washing black hair after the gym if say you go in the morning, requires great skill, equipment and hair products. It's not a wash and wear kinda thing, especially if you have locks or a weave. THIS requires a trip to the salon or a neighbour with salon skills. Thus I now go in the evening, in case you were wondering why (plus the other hassle of walking with clothes and makeup and sharing showers with nasty women who insisted on showing off ALLLLLLL their junk before and after a shower was not at all appealing anymore).

Would I prefer to be fat and have Pantene commercial type hair? No. Do black women avoid the gym because of the hair issues? I don't know. I certainly don't. I go to the salon on Saturday and may take a day on Monday but it's business as usual in the sweatshop on Tuesday. I avoid the gym for all the other reasons listed above. My gym has a lot of black women who work out hard, sweat a lot and they keep coming back -perms, dreads, weaves, braids, screwballs, you name it, we've got it. I don't know about American women, but Trini women seem to be fine with it, mister. And when was the last time he looked at say the Olympics? Ever noticed your American female athletes? They did not win medals cause they were scared of messing up their hair. Maybe they won via other means (ahem), but the hair did not hold them back. Female track athletes are some of the swankiest athletes out there. Steups. And once you ladies wash it and keep that from smelling like ole socks, I am fine with it as well.

But I still hate trying to find new ways of making the treadmill or stepping on an elliptcal for an hour exciting. Although, there is a dude who now thinks he can compete with the elliptical master and tries to keep up with my faster than a speeding bullet pace and hold perfect sexy form for the full hour. After 35mins I was alone again. Loser.

3 comments:

  1. This was something discussed on some natural hair blogs last year. It also made the rounds in the (US) regional news media. There was one anchor in MIA (I Think) who read the news with her hair in a straw curl hairstyle to present her report on how black women's hair concerns keep them from the gym.

    I've linked to a blog featuring the report here: http://naturallyleslie.blogspot.com/2009/04/black-women-hair-vs-health.html

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  2. Well girl I guess that is why I have jacked up hair. i have never let my difficult black hair keep me back from getting things done. Like going to the gym or washing my hair everyday. But black women there may be hope yet, my girlfriend who cut her long chemically relaxed tresses ( just as I did) to go natural confided that her always beautifully together natural hair is due to a product called 'mixed chicks' which I am yet to try cause I cant find it in Italy so waiting for my London trip to make the purchase. Its a shampoo conditioner and leave in conditioner system that makes it so you can actually leave your natural tresses to air dry and still be able to pass a comb through it. Really excited to try it and if any of you have used the product and have comments please share!!!!!

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  3. I like the video Soy but when the dude asks Robin if anyone can have that hairstyle and she says it's one of the advantages of ethnic hair and then goes "thank goodness there's one", I was like AY AY!!!

    Kisha, I have to investigate that product!

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