Melanie Fiona & Elle Varner Credit Mixed Heritage For Long/Thick Hair

For Discussion: Should We Be Offended When “Good Hair” Is Associated With Being Mixed?

- By Bossip Staff

Long hair don’t care… But how bad is it that many folks assume that being mixed is a recipe for “good hair”?

The reason we ask is that we read a lengthy interview with our boo thang Elle Varner from the November issue of Sister2Sister magazine where publisher Jamie Foster Brown grills Elle about where she got her thick natural hair and starts quizzing her about her gene pool.

Via the print edition of S2S:

Jamie: Okay, what about that hair? Where did you get that hair from?
Elle: My hair is my hair, you know? I’m Cape Verdean and Black.

Jamie: But who in the family has hair like that? Does your mom have a lot of hair?
Elle: My dad’s hair is thick and long, and, like, longer than mine. It’s crazy. My dad has so much hair.

Jamie: He’s got long hair too? Is he mixed or anything?
Elle: Yeah, he’s half Black, half Swedish.

Did that offend you at all? Or did it sound like perfectly normal questions? The reason we ask is that Melanie Fiona was reamed this summer for remarks she made in an interview she did this June/July with a “black hair” magazine.

Here’s the troublesome quote from the Sophisticate’s Black Hair Styles and Care Guide interview via

SBH:What’s the secret to your gorgeous long hair?

Melanie Fiona: I was born with a full head of hair, and my mom wouldn’t let me cut it until I was 12! I’m mixed – my mom is Black and Portuguese and my dad is Indian so I have a good mix for growth.

Elle’s answer isn’t much different from Melanie’s — the response is that their hair texture is a gene pool thing. But many folks took offense to what Melanie had to say because she chose the words “good mix for growth” but Elle’s answer implies almost the same thing.

So what’s really the difference? And does it even matter? Let’s be honest, you don’t have to be “mixed” to have good hair. There are plenty of full black women with healthy heads of thick, long, natural hair. So do we all need to be re-educated about this topic? Regardless, the “exotic” girls seem to always have the most success in the entertainment business, so is this just a touchy topic for black women?

Please discuss!




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