I was doing some daily browsing on Instagram when I came across a few ladies using the word “nappy.” A poster later chimed in and stated she has a strong dislike for that word. So, I ask you — how does the word “nappy” impact you? Do you shrug it off and move about your day. Does it make your attitude meter go from zero to 60 in no time flat? Do you use the word? Is it used in your circle of friends and family? How do you respond or react when it’s used around you? Is it ok when used in screen names, blog names, hair milestones, business names, etc? So many questions…let’s discuss.
For those unaware of what this word means, “nappy,” “nap” or “naps” for short, is most known for its use to describe an undesirable state of afro-textured hair. Variations of the word nappy are words and phrases many of us were raised on to negatively describe our hair. Examples: “look at that nappy headed girl over there” ; “girl, your hair sure is nappy” ; “man, my hair is so nappy right now.” Although these are only a few examples, it’s plenty to show the derogatory connotation surrounding the word.
Since being on my healthy hair journey, I’ve seen the word “nappy,” or a variation thereof, used in a positive manner but does that make it right? Does the way in which we use this word make it all right or all wrong? Is it ok to use phrases like napturalversary, naptural or napturality when it has become socially unacceptable to use the word “nappy”? For some, “nappy” has been replaced by the word “kinky” but is “kinky” any better? There really is no right or wrong, I’m just curious to hear your thoughts.
I definitely used the word “nappy” as a teenager to describe my hair when a relaxer touch up was due. If you look at the featured picture, my “kitchen,” which is used to refer to the nape, would have been called nappy. I now know better and no longer use this word. I’m sure many of you are like me in that we now consider all hair, good hair with proper care.
I rarely hear the word nappy used around me but when I do, I cringe a little but I don’t get all worked up. I recently heard it when speaking to a relative. One part of me felt the need to bust out a PowerPoint slideshow and give an educational lecture on hair care but I didn’t. Why? Well, the other part of me knows that not everyone is offended by the word. Plus, some truly have no desire to learn about hair, do hair or be ate up with hair like we are. It is what it is. I don’t hold it against them and neither should you.
EDIT: I can picture it now, someone becoming offended about me saying what you should and shouldn’t do toward those using the word “nappy.” So before that happens, let me just go ahead and apologize in advance. However, this post is meant to be a discussion. No shade. No bickering. I just want to hear your thoughts and reactions. 🙂
So, let’s have a friendly discussion. How do you perceive the word nappy and how do you respond when it’s used around you?