Hello, I Have An Identity Crisis

Identity Crisis. 1. a disorientation concerning one's sense of self, values, and role in society, often of acute onset and related to a particular and significant event in one's life. (WebMD)

After looking at the pictures of Christina Milian circulating around the net and the nasty comments that followed. One thing that stuck with me the most is that people often made the statements that she is somehow going through an identity crisis, often comparing her to Kim Ho Chi Min, I meant Lil' Kim or Beyonce.

This has been particular unsettling with me because I never once looked at it as an identity crisis, but rather a bold attempt to attract attention. Why is it that when black women straighten or color their hair (especially blond) it's an identity crisis?

I have even heard people even go as far as to imply that applying products or trying to make high texture hair curl or stretch is also a form of an identity crisis. Where is the line drawn from simply rocking your personal style to wanting to be something that you're not? Help me understand this logic because I just don't.
15 Responses:

I responded and compared her to Lil' Kim. I don't think she's going through an identity crisis, I just think it's a bad look for her, PERIOD. You asked the question, so you shouldn't be unsettled when people voice their opinions.

Let me clear one thing. What's unsettling is that--When black women straighten their hair or wear blond, people often say they have an identity crisis. I am not referring to any particular comment made on this blog. I am referring to comments that I've read on various blogs. Trust me, I don't care that people compared her to Beyonce or Lil Kim. There is validity to that comparison. I don't care if people have an opinion. I have an opinion! I just don't understand where the line is drawn between personal style and straying away from identity. Where is the line drawn is all I am asking.

Good question. Maybe the line comes when the person changes their appearance in an effort to become someone they are not because they feel they look inferior to other cultures. For instance, if I chose to straighten/color my hair b/c I think somethings wrong with how I look as opposed to straightening/color my hair to simply "mix it up" or "do something different". If that makes sense.

I don't know UC, you know this can be a hot topic in the natural hair community.


I don't think the line should be drawn at hair because hair is very versatile...it can be cultural, an emotional expression, etc. I think the line should be drawn when a person goes out and gets their face and skin manipulated so much via cosmetic surgery and skin bleaching. I won't say any names, for we know who, but there are some celebrities (especially black celebrities) who are a walking meaning of self hatred, and the first thing to go is the nose.

She is not going through an identity crisis at all. She simple just changed her hair color.

I do believe that this is her attempt to attract attention. She is about to put out a new album and with her past sales history I am sure she panicked a bit. And although the video of the guys was harsh I do agree that this is what happens when you fall off. You try to hard to compensate.

I think every woman, especially Black women, have the right to experiment with their style in as many ways as they choose. But if it's not a good look.....

this is a really good question. I really dont know where the line would be drawn> I really dont know any women who purposely try to look like another race.
For example if there is a black girl, who grew up in a white neighborhood, and the girl wore kinky hair all her life and was teased about it and lets say all of a sudden she permed it, would that be an identity crisis, or is she just trying something different so more people would like her.
I think most women just like to experiment, because we can.
But this topic reminds me of an episode of the Tyra show, where there were black people who hate black people and didnt was to be black. I feel like that is more of an identity crisis than changing our hair color.

Urbancurlz- you know somebody is always going to have something negative to say about any style choice she could make. If you wear a weave/perm, you're trying to be white. If you wear your hair natural and dont use products, you look like a black panther...lol..if you wear your hair natural and try to define your curls, you're trying to be something you're not (excuse me, but in which culture is frizz EVER considered cute?)...i bet those same people are wearing some form of makeup right now, but I bet they don't consider that trying to alter their natural selves...lol

Hey UC! this is a great question..I think the line is drawn when it effects the person who is judging...I mean when I saw Christina's new do, I was like um...I like the dark hair better but in reality I dont care lol...People always say that someone is going thru an identity crisis when it doesnt meet their approval..however they draw the line when they "choose" to do something thats out of the "norm".
I have natural hair and I wear my hair straight sometimes just for change just like when I cornrow it or twist it or wear it in a pony puff does this mean I'm going thru a crisis? nah I just like variety :D.
Great post!

When people say its an identity crisis I think they are referring to the extent to which the forenamed women go to in order to get that look. For example women like Beyonce/Tyra/Rihanna seem to think they have to look as caucasian as possible in order to be on the cover of Vogue or sell a CD hence why they wear weaves, dye their hair as blonde as possible and wear makeup that makes their features appear narrow. A lot of these celebs (+normal women) take it too damn far.

Its all good and well changing your hairstyle because you like the look, but changing every aspect of your appearance to the point where you are switching races is absurd! I can name countless black/brown celebs who have pretty much changed races in order to be where they are today (J-lo, Beyonce, Tyra, Lil Kim...) they take it too far.

Of course not everyone who wears their hair straight wants look white, but I do think a lot of ethnic women (+ men) feel that those who look closer to the white ideal are more attractive. How many times have you seen men stare repeatedly at a girl just because she was blonde, fair skinned, blue eyed or was "exotic" looking. This type of colorism is imbedded in society and is innate in peoples' minds.

This is definitely a great question because I think we all have been guilty of both trying to change who were are, and judging others who do the same. It is truly wonderful being a woman because there really is not a limit to what we can do with our dress, hair, makeup, style, or appearance. To each it's own but I think we all judge a little as a natural way of dealing with our preferences and sense of identity.

No disrespect but Christina Milan look'd a hot ass mess. Was she tryna channel her inner Pamela Anderson?

I'm all for changing it up; but the look was simply unflattering.

I agree the look is terrible!! I hate the hair. The shade of blonde and all. I do think she is changing her look via the Lil Kim and Beyonce route. And those two women are considered black as we all know but they have some things about their appearance that was changed to make them look closer to their white counterparts, or somewhere in between white and black. Ambiguously black. It's sad. And I hope Christina ditches this look real fast.

People always say that it's not that serious when others cry identity crisis, but many times, it's not that far of a stretch.

I think that the identity crisis thing was applied to Christina Milian because her hair color is so unflattering and frankly looks bizarre on her. Eurocentric ideals of beauty have been drummed into us all for so long that I think that it is difficult not to be affected by them. When somebody does something that clearly is so opposite of who they are racially, culturally, ethnically, some people will accuse them of being a bit confused. Similar things are often said about whites who wear braids, cornrows, or "dreads". It's fine to experiment with how you look, but if you start looking like Lil' Kim or Michael Jackson you have gone too far.

Christina Milian has switched her hair color from black to blonde throughout her career (see the "dip it low" & "say I" videos). Why is she all of a sudden going through an identity crisis this time? Like svrbrownsuga said people choose when they want to draw the line. Celebrities change their looks all the time, it's not a big deal. Her "new" (not so new) haircolor is not flattering but it's not a big deal.

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