There are a few theories out there but I'm gonna focus on the two that insult me the most:
1. Black women with relaxed or processed hair aren't proud of their heritage
2. Black women with natural hair look unkempt and ugly
First, all the sensible women out there know there's nothing to be done about changing your heritage. You can't walk into a salon, or your local beauty supply store and buy a new history/culture/heritage. You are who you are. If you look anything like me, you can't hide it lol.
Second, I love to see women embrace their natural texture. I think they look as beautiful and very well put together as any other woman who is careful about her appearance. I have friends who are natural who look fantastic (same for those who are relaxed) and the assumption that leaving our hair the way it grows out of our head as God intended is unattractive, is insulting to me.
I am black and my hair could be short, long, relaxed, natural, or I could be bald. That has absolutely nothing to do with the pride I have in my heritage. Yes, there are women who have issues with their hair and their identity as black people - that kind of insecurity stems from a number of places and is way more complicated than a relaxer. I understand that and I'm sorry for them. For me, hair is cosmetic. I want my hair to look good (I have a personal definition of that which is totally subjective and that's okay). Good looking hair is healthy, shiny, flattering to the wearer, and visually appealing to me. Bad looking hair comes in relaxed and natural. Trust me lol, I've seen it. & so does unkempt and unattractive. Matter of fact, all of that comes in various shapes, colors, and textures.
I have contemplated going natural before and truth is, in the good ole Jamaican slang, mi nasty and I can't bother. I honestly don't think I could comb it. The only possibility out there for me currently is locs and I don't like the commitment it requires. At all. But you never know. My mom just went natural...maybe she can teach me a few things. In any case, I will go natural eventually (the non locs type). My natural hair (which I miss - we haven't seen each other in almost 2 decades) is quite the demanding lady. She's very fussy. I plan to reacquaint myself with her one day.
I believe in detaching your self image and worth from physical appearance. I think long hair or short, relaxed or natural, women can have beautiful hair and be proud of it. An extension of that could be our obsession with whether we're busty or not, wide hips or no, nice shape or no, too tall, too short, too skinny, too fat, too dark, too light, nose too flat, lips too big....we can never be exactly what we desire on the outside (well, we can make a mockery of ourselves trying to pay for it) but we can work with what we got and make it happen!
In any case, we can always be exactly what we desire (& what God desires us to be) on the inside and at the end of the day, that is what matters the most.