If you've ever watched a video of a natural hair guru on YouTube, you might have heard her reference something called a length check. She may even have done one right before your eyes... and that would have been a whole minute and thirty seconds of your life wasted. You heard me. Length checks are a waste of time.
In a typical length check video, the guru stretches her hair by pulling a few strands down as far as they'll reach. Sometimes her hair has already been straightened, other times she leaves her natural hair shrunken so that her audience can be amazed by the true length of her hair. The guru will then state the length of her tresses in inches, or according to a conventional name such as BSL (bra strap length) or WL (waist length).
I understand that the main purpose of length check videos is to showcase the possibilities of healthy natural hair and to dispel the myth that our hair doesn't grow. However if you're "stuck" with neck length hair, watching videos like this will probably leave you feeling frustrated and envious. It's like someone with a Lamborghini pulling up next to you and claiming, "You can have a fancy car like this if you work hard." This in and of itself is not problematic, but it gives undue power to a singular set of values. Not everyone wants to drive a Lamborghini, and not everyone wants tailbone length hair. The abundance of length check videos online is perpetuating a one-dimensional standard of beauty -- namely, that long hair is what we should all covet. But short hair is sexy too! Bobs, teeny weeny afros, and fades are so chic it's not even funny. So the next time you watch a length check video, just remember that your hair is as desirable at two inches as it is at ten.
If you're looking for inspiration on how to style your beautiful, short natural hair, click here!