Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Do Some People Who Straighten Their Hair Need Psychiatric Treatment?

Cross-posted at the PamsHouseBlend and the American Journal of Color Arousal.

After four years of living with my step-children, I've simply come to the transitional conclusion that I simply don't like much of what comes out of their mouths and their behavior, particularly recently, with respect to their hair. This has become a dinosaur bone of contention between us. At this time, I have decided simply not to speak with them at all, about anything, lest I say things that hurt and offend them and they respond in kind.

I expected it when my step-daughter told me, "You're not my father", because all step children say that sooner or later. But, when one of them said that I like my dog better than her and she hopes my dog "will hurry up and die", that hurt and infuriated me more than words can describe.

Certainly, I provoked them, by pointing out that spending forty percent of my oldest daughter's internship income to straighten the two girls' hair ought not be a highter priority than paying what is already owed for straightening my younger step-daughter's teeth, and the monthly maintenance. I also provoked my oldest daughter by asking her how much it would cost her to straighten her hair once a week at a salon, on an anualised basis. (I already know that it will cost 20% of her income.)

I further pointed out to her that an electric straigtening comb does affect the family finances, because it will consume electricity for which her parents will pay. These are the sorts of observations that infuriate my step-daughters.

Yes, this decision simply to refrain from talking with my step-daughters is born of anger and hurt, but sometimes anger and hurt can help us to define and maintain appropriate boundaries between ourselves and others. It is certainly more mature to restrict relationships with others than to say or do things to them that are intentionally hurtful. Arms-length truces may not be as good as friendship, but they are better than open warfare.

At this time, my wife's two girls, 14 and 16, are going through the developmental stage where they realize that their hair is a potential point of attractiveness and the more attractive their hair is perceived to be, and they perceive themselves to be, the more attractive they are peceived to be overall. (Should I warn my oldest daughter that she seems more concerned about her hair than about a college entrance exam which takes place in two months and guarantees a full scholarship? No, that statement would be argumentative and provocative, regardless of the information contained within.)

These girls talk so much about their hair, and their friends' hair, and play with and organize and experiment with their hair so much that they remind me of three year-old girls playing with dolls, or two year old boys who have suddenly discovered they have penises, which become their favorite toy and fascination. These girls remind me of the white woman who inspired my essay, "I saw a white woman masturbating in the subway."

There are many reasons why my two step-daughters want to straighten their hair. For example, when they chemically or mechanically straighten their hair, their bosses, peers and others tell them that they had never perceived them until they saw them with their hair straight. All of that is a very strong motive for teens to want to straighten their hair, and that's why I would estimate that 99.9% of Afro-Brazilian women in the city where I live "treat"/subjugate their hair so that it looks as much as possible like the hair of Scandinavian women, although not all of these Afro-Brazilian women actually turn their hair blond.

At least three times a day for the last four years, my younger step-daughter has exclaimed how much she wants to buy a hot comb and straighten her hair. She says with determination, "I'm going to buy a hot comb," and then the argument starts between her and her mother.

The older one, 16, simply decided this week that, since she has a job, she can spend the money as she likes, even on submitting to chemical and mechanical hair straightening without her mother's permission.

And now the male salon owner says she's so beautiful with her hair straight that he wants to feature her in a modeling show after straightening her hair again and adding two additional colors to it.

I can't help but wonder about this man's motives, but I know my concerns will be rejected out of hand, so I'm not going to bother casting my pearls on the swine-like mind of an adolescent. This male hairdresser who eulogizes my step-daughter's beauty after she pays him a fifth of her monthly salary only has my step-daughters bright future in his mind, I'm sure.

He doesn't want to have sex with my step-daughter. He doesn't want to take nude photographs of her while he's modeling her hair. And he is not trying to sell her as a sex slave in Italy or Portugal, as happens to so many other Brazilian girls who believe Hollywood-like promises. He only wants to put lye and dye in her hair and make her into a star! Lye or formaldehyde and dye. What could be the matter with that?

Recently, a fifteen year-old girl of our acquaintance took off to another state with a 35 year old suitor, who then threatened to kill her and her family if she tried to return home. I know my step-daughters were able to learn from that girl's experience, and I know that the dangers from which I try to protect my step-daughters all have some level of relevance, but I simply don't have the patience and forebearance anymore. I am learning MY limits in the realm of step-fatherhood.

attyfrancislholland :: Do Some People Who Straighten Their Hair Need Psychiatric Treatment?

One Brazilian newspaper reported,

Em moda no mundo inteiro, os cabelos lisos viraram mania e vem mexendo, literalmente, com a cabeça das mulheres. Cuidar das medeixas, portanto, passou a ser uma atividade fundamental na vida de quem deseja ter cabelo liso . . .

Straight hair is in style the world over, and has become a mania that messes with, literally, the heads of women. Taking care of hair, as such, has become a fundamental activity in the lives of those who want their hair to be straight . . .

It costs my older step-daughter fully twenty percent of her monthly intern salary to straighten her hair at the beauty salon, plus another at least ten percent to treat it with various chemicals and creams. So, thirty percent of her income is spent straightening her hair, while her mother works seven days a week to pay for braces that straighten their teeth.

I believe in straightened teeth, but I believe that people caught straightening their hair ought to be immediately seen by a psychiatrist to determine whether they can stop straightening their hair on their own or whether inpatient or outpatient psychiatric care is necessary. Of course many of the ten people who read this will insist that I am being extreme, but I can prove that I am not.

One of the symptoms of the psychiatric condition that Michael Jackson had was his obsession with having perfectly straight hair, as would a Scandinavian or an Italian with no recent African heritage. If Michael Jackson had gotten treatment for the psychiatric illness that made him want to look like a white person, then he might not have become or remained addicted to the drugs that killed his pain, some of which pain was clearly the pain of having African DNA inside him in the context of a nation that hates many of the phsysical characteristics associated with recent African DNA.

Of course, everyone's DNA is 99.9% the same, regardless of their skin color and superficial color-associated physical characteristics, such as the texture of their hair and the shape of their nose. Michael Jackson was led to drug addiction and a demand for a suicidal drug overdose partly because of the pain he felt wanting to eradicate the 0.1% of his DNA that was of recent African descent.

The fight against color-aroused and color-associated physical characteristic-aroused disorder has only recently appeared on the radar screen of the American Psychiatric Association, and most people do not believe there is anything wrong with wanting to look like a white person in terms of one or more phsysical characteristics.

Most psychiatrists don't believe it is wrong to viscerally hate Black people's physical characteristics. If they thought hating, fearing, stigmatizing, being envious of, and feeling subconsciously inferior to Black people constituted a mental disorder, the would describe this mental disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association.

And if psychiatrists believed that some Blacks' feelings of disgust and revulsion at one or more aspects of our physical characteristics was a mental disorder, again, they would describe this disorder in the DSM.

If psychiatrists believed that attempts to eradicate the visual cue that arouses in them such emotional pain, amounted to a psychiatric disorder e.g. behavior such as nose cutting, and painting carcinogens like lye and formalehyde on the human head were acts of self-destructiveness, they would say so.

Since they haven't done so, we must conclude that they do not think it is an illness for whites to feel and act upon the disgust and revulsion that some of them they feel when looking at curly hair and afros, and likewise they do not think it is an illness for Black people to feel disgust and revulsion when they think of themselves or others having curly hair, Afros, Braids and Rasta Locks.

It is considered "natural" for whites to hate our skin-color and skin color-associated physical characteristics, and it is considered equally "natural" for us to hate our skin color and skin color-associated physical characteristics. Many people believe that, in any case.

I believe that (a) ideation aroused by perceiving brown skin and brown skin associated physical characteristics, such as, "I have to straighten my hair or I will be ugly"; combined with (b) extreme hatred, revulsion, fear, disgust and other upsetting and debilitating emotions aroused by our and others' skin color and color-associated phsyical characteristics, such as hair color and texture; combined with (c) behavior that is antagonistic toward the ideational and emotional cue, i.e. putting lye or formaldehyde in one's hair to make it straight, even when it hurts and causes hair to fall out,(d) all add up to a psychiatric disorder that I call "Extreme Color-Aroused Disorder" ("ECAD").

My wife recounts to me that she remembers her older sister putting lye in her hair to make it straight and then running out of the house screaming, "It hurts, it hurts!" She had permanent scars on her forehead and elsewhere as a result of burning herself with the lye.

Had she put the lye in her mouth instead of in her hair, she would have been taken to a psychiatric hospital. However, it is considered "natural" in Western societies for Blacks to pay any price, in terms of their finances and their health, to have their hair look more Scandinavian or Italian, regardless of the risks or the cost.

When Michael Jackson died, among the many chemicals he had in his bedroom was a cream intended to lighten the color of his skin. We all say, "Michael Jackson was freaky." Yet, people who treat their hair as Michael Jackson treated his hair are "normal", only because the norm itself mentally disordered.

I believe whites who automatically experience extreme arousal when they perceive color and color-associated physical characteristics are whites who need psychiatric treatment. Many Blacks agree with me that it is "sick" to hate Blacks, but they nonetheless insist that whites who are "sick" should not receive psychiatric treatment for their illness. We prefer to call this "racism" (a sociological problem) than to recognize that extreme color-aroused illness in some individuals is the sine qua non of "racism" in society. It is impossible for one to exist without at least some of the other.

Still, many Blacks argue with me that hating Blacks and our characteristics is not evidence of a mental disorder, but is just "racism". Maybe they hold onto this believe as drowing person hangs onto a life preserver because if hating Blacks and our physical characteristics constitutes a mental disorder then many Blacks (like the ones who cannot conceive of going to church with their hair unstraightened) have this Extreme Color-Aroused Disorder as well.

"Racism" ideology puts all of the onus for the hatred of Blacks' phsyical characteristics on white people. Extreme Color Aroused Disorder studies and one day hopefully will treat the symptoms of self-hatred in Black people as well as the symptoms of color-aroused disorder in whites. Ultimately, anyone who has repeatedly burned his/her head, over a period of six months or more, in an attempt to make his/her hair look more straight and (coincidentally?) more like white people's hair, is a person who should be screened for Exteme Color Aroused Disorder.

Some people if not all are putting lye and formaldehyde in their hair because they hate or feel disgust and revulsion at the hair with which many Black people are naturally born.

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