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Black Women’s DMX Challenge Channels Self-Love

Has debuting a new hairstyle ever met you with a double-take? How about a complete failure to recognize you?

As a black woman, I bet my fellow black women can’t nod their heads any faster. While this is usually cause to roll our eyes, at this point in time, we’re celebrating this pattern. 

If you’re wondering why DMX’s “What These B***** Want” is getting popular again, a few scrolls through Instagram and Twitter will tell you why.


“There was Brenda, LaTisha, Linda Felicia/ 

Dawn, LeShaun, Ines, and Alicia/ 

Teresa, Monica, Sharron, Nicki/ 

Lisa Veronica, Karen, Vicky/ 

Cookies, well I met her in a ice cream parlor…”


Black women are grabbing the popular hook of the song, where DMX lists a queue of women he has slept with, to show off the range of their hair. The gag is black women often feature hairstyles so glamorous and unique that they could supposedly be mistaken for different women entirely.

Celebrities are joining in on the fun too – with Nicki Minaj, Halle Berry, Jada Pinkett Smith, and others sharing iconic looks they have modelled during their careers. 

Black women are all too familiar with the awe, fascination, and jokes their hair invites from people around them. Whether they wear their hair naturally, with a weave, extensions, or sport a wig, comments are sure to follow. 

While some hairstyles can be eccentric, I don’t believe most of them render women unrecognizable. But sometimes, I feel like a minority on this hill because my reality begs to differ. I have been mistaken for other black women by my teachers and have had people I know walk right past me on campus because they didn’t realize it was me they were squeezing past through the tunnels. After getting over the offence, I found it funny. The kicker was my iPhone categorizing pictures of me with different hairstyles as different people in my photostream. 

There’s only so far you can go with emphasizing “not all black women look the same,” and quite frankly, I’m too busy planning my next hairstyle to mind anymore. 

I love the DMX Challenge for black women because we’re celebrating the versatility of our hair. We’re making light of a previously frustrating situation—or learning to let the annoyance subside. And best of all, we’re taking notes for new hairstyles to change our lives. A small victory, yes, but a victory nonetheless. 

It’s beautiful seeing black women shine and it’s magical witnessing the comradery between them. What’s possibly the best part is that once again black people—black women—can make light of negativity and adapt to thrive.

Journalism & Poli Sci '20. I love books, goats, breakfast foods, and spend too much time refreshing my blog: https://sherlynassam.wixsite.com/sail