Is African Economist Dambisa Moyo’s Weave Hurting Her Message About African Emancipation From Neocolonialism?
Some Africans are very upset that economist Dambisa Moyo is rocking a weave. Weave politics is a very important issue in the African Disapora.
Dambisa Moyo she is an intelligent, glamorous, Zambian born economist. I think it is wonderful that an African woman is speaking up about African economics and politics.
I respect Dambisa Moyo, her educational credentials cannot be disputed. Ms. Moyo is an expert on the topic of economics and that’s why I believe her book “Dead Aid” is a very important book.
Ms. Moyo’s accomplishments are very impressive, she has a doctorate degree in economics from Oxford University, she also holds a MBA degree from Harvard. In addition, Ms. Moyo holds a MBA in finance and a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from American University in Washington D.C.
For centuries, the social constructions of African womanhood has been very negative. African women have been dehumanized since slavery that they are not beautiful, sexually desirable, or feminine.
Of course, black women have challenged the racism, patriarchy, and misogyny. Black women are beautiful, sexually desirable and feminine.
However, the discourse is, black women must conform to whiteness in order to be palatable to the mainstream culture.
Weave politics is a very serious issue. For instance, a few years ago a white female Glamour Magazine editor criticized black women that wear the afro and other natural hair styles such as twists and braids.
Some black women have been fired from their jobs and encountered employment discrimination for not wearing weaves or getting perms to straighten their hair.
Black men we have it easy, we can just walk into a barber shop get a hair cut for twenty dollars and that’s it. For black women, hair is a controversial issue
and yes hair has an impact on the lives of black women and black families.
Some African women believe they must conform to Eurocentric standards of beauty in order to be successful in society. For instance, in the pop culture, Tyra Banks, Beyonce, Venus & Serena Williams, are examples of beautiful black women yet they all wear weaves.
The question remains, why do black women wear weaves when they have their own “natural hair?”
The American pop star John Mayer’s racist and misogynist comments in Playboy Magazine about black women presents a modern example of this dehumanization of black women.
Mayer’s comments attempt to separate black women from their rightful place in femininity. The subliminal messages of Mayer’s comments are that white women are more feminine than black women.
Dambisa Moyo she criticizes white pop stars Madonna, Bono, and Bob Geldof as being “white saviours”. She believes the white celebrities intentions for the African continent are racist and not altruistic.
However, another point to consider is, isn’t Dambisa Moyo also dishonest?
Hair is an important symbol of what a person thinks of herself . A hair style is a presentation, it is an image a person presents to the world.
However, I wonder if some of the complaints about Ms. Moyo’s weave are sexist? After all, why are people paying close attention to Dambisa’s Moyo’s appearance? Should it matter that Dambisa Moyo wears a weave?
Ms. Moyo she wears this brown mop on her head yet it appears to me her mind is still colonized. For instance, Mary J Blige and Beyonce are hypocritical, they construct this image that they are strong black women yet they wear blonde weaves. Mary J Blige and Beyonce are conforming to Eurocentirc standards of beauty. I feel that blonde weaves are not a good look on black women. I believe blonde weaves reinforce images that black women are conforming to white standards of beauty.
Now, for people who don’t know “weave politics” I suggest you watch Chris Rock’s documentary “Good Hair.”
A weave is basically hair, it can be “real hair” which is more expensive or “processed hair”.
A woman can purchase the weave from a store or hair salon and a professional styles the hair to make the weave appear to appear authentic.
Some Africans, believe Ms. Moyo is very hypocritical, that her weave distrupts and blurs her polemical book. Some critics charge Ms. Moyo she is sending mixed messages.
For instance, in Dambisa Moyo’s book “Dead Aid”,she says that African countries must become independent from the Occident. Her argument is the Occidental countries should cut off foreign aid within ten years. According to Ms. Moyo, foreign aid does not allow African economies to grow and be independent from neocolonialism .
Ms. Moyo argues that foreign aid creates a cycle of dependency and allows corrupt African governments to obtain “free money.” Ms. Moyo believes the corrupt African countries are not developing the infrastructure within their own countries. For instance, foreign agencies are creating schools, providing health care, and education.
Ms. Moyo’s message is that paternalism, racism, and neocolonialism are the root cause for foreign aid. The Occident wants to keep African nations poor in order to maintain the revenue that African countries generate for their economies.
However, Ms. Moyo’s African critics charge she is a hypocrite, she is preaching to the world that Africans must become independent from Europeans yet Ms. Moyo conforms to Eurocentric standards of beauty.
Shouldn’t Ms. Moyo take her own advice and cut off her weave and wear a natural hairstyle? Did Ms. Moyo’s publicists or agents tell her that a weave is important to sell her book to a white audience?
I am not suggesting that Ms. Moyo should not wear the weave if this is the hair style she feels most comfortable with. However, I can also see the argument of the African people they believe Dambisa Moyo’s appearance cannot be separated from her message.