If we consider the link between repeated use of hair relaxers and highly fragranced beauty products with increased risk of fibroids, could it be said that systemic racism can be held responsible for continued sterilization and decreased life quality in black and brown women? Let’s explore.
The Colonizer Beauty Program
BIPOC women historically have been required, coerced and punished into emulating Eurocentric beauty standards. The pressure on black mothers to prepare their children for an inhospitable world has led to the generational hand off of beauty practices which are designed to hide or manipulate hair into conformity and SELF HATRED.
Society has yet to fully embrace blackness, period. In sad attempts to incorporate black folks into the conversation, the overculture appropriates and capitalizes, because it knows no other way to celebrate and knows only to exploit and this truth is impacting wombs everywhere.
What We Know About Chemical Violence
What’s an EDC?
Endocrine disrupting chemicals are compounds that disrupt the natural balance of our endocrine system. Some of them are easy to discern while others are seemingly harmless, leading to years of accumulation in the body, going unnoticed. Synthetic fragrances are an easy to spot EDC, but who’d think smelling good could be harmful? Well, fragrances, synthetic and natural are considered to be one of the most toxic ingredients found in the majority of the personal hair products women + families use today.
The most common sources of EDCs are the personal care products women use to beautify themselves every day. What’s especially troublesome is that even greenwashing makes the average consumer feel comfortable and at ease with ingredients which do not have a place for daily use. It is in DAILY USE that trouble arises and the constant influx of chemicals that overrides the body’s ability to flush it out faster than it comes in.
The Link Between EDCs and Fibroids
Over-exposure to EDCs in the long run can cause non-cancerous tumors along the uterine lining known as fibroids.
Although fibroids are considered to be benign tumors, most doctors do not encourage the surgical removal of fibroids unless they pose an immediate threat to someone’s life, and often in these cases, hysterectomy and myomectomy are offered. The long term impact of some uterine fibroids can damage the reproductive organs, leading to infertility, pain or complications in pregnancy. This is of course, very simplified. If you want to learn more about uterine fibroids, please look at the work of the Healthy Her series.
Who Do Fibroids Impact the Most and Why Does it Matter?
Chemical hair relaxers are linked to high risk of uterine fibroids among African American women. The chemicals in hair relaxers look identical to estrogen in the body. Repeated use overloads the body and FEEDS the growth of estrogenic tumors like fibroids.
Why does the use of chemical hair relaxer being the direct cause of uterine fibroid growth matter? It is the programming of the American overculture that has placed strongholds against natural hair, body odor and overall beauty that is SELF defined.
If the medical community is aware that this is happening, the fact that hair relaxers, nail polish, cosmetics are still on the shelf and advertised to the youth just shows you how much capitalism cares little for the health of black women.
The Relationship Between A Woman and Her Hair
We had the pleasure of interviewing our good sister Elise, an advocate for women’s health, empowerment and education. We talk about her personal hair journey with beauty rituals she grew up with, grew out of and how that inspires her to advocate for accessible healthcare alternatives for women of color with fibroids.
Chemical Toxins Found in Beauty Products
Lack of Research and Intellectual Laziness
Where there are limited studies on the impact of EDCs and fibroids on black women and there are even less EDC-free beauty products that are marketed to black + brown women. If you are interested in learning what kind of harmful ingredients live in your beauty products, you can follow this link to The Talko.
Reclaiming Our Inner Beauty
We know how hard it is, to turn away from the conveniences of beauty, the life lived in luxury and the acceptance of the over culture, but at what cost? Over 500,000 hysterectomies for benign disease are performed every year in the United States, and of these, African American, Hispanic, and Asian/Pacific Islander women were more likely than white women to receive them. Listen to a hysterectomy visibility and care circle on Clubhouse HERE.
What is the point of perfect eyebrows, flawless skin and straight hair if we are SUFFERING and out of balance internally? We’ve got it all wrong, beauty comes from systems within the body functioning in longevity and grace – all systems listening and responding. This creates the vibrancy of health and then exudes itself. The standard that has been set for us, is in itself not designed by us or by nature for that matter.
Reclamation is redefining the design and “removing what does not serve” can literally mean assisting the body to discard the waste that we have brought into it. Coming back to simple ingredients and whole foods + herbs can support this process. Materre Tropics is our favorite supportive powder blend of detoxification. Materre Forest reintroduces fortifying plants to strengthen the blood and brings vitality into the whole body.
Reclamation is an uphill journey. Strength and dignity is needed to define what we become. The plants are here to help. Returning to earth-based beauty practices is not a simple journey, but it is straightforward.
Identify the toxins you’re interacting with daily
Remove or reduce toxic agents
Support the body in detoxifying
Follow the signs your body is giving
Replace with simple beauty rituals + practices that align with your body and your ancestral sensual ways
Ancient Healing Technologies for Shrinking Fibroids
If you’ve not run into yoni or womb steaming before, we pray that you stay and let a seed plant within you. Womb wellness is ancestral. The reason we’ve come to this bullshit place is because the systems in place to teach us care and healing for our body have been radically (and violently) removed. If you’d like to learn more about yoni steaming, check out Womb Steaming – The Basics.
With many thanks to our ancestors, the sister Elise for her testimony and wisdom, Starlilly Sister Nova Burch for teaching the ways of reclaiming our wombs, the sister Arielle De Martinez for bringing this good information forward on The Womb Room podcast with Qiddist Ashe.