A natural hair sorority and a fat girl sorority: Are black women doing too much for acceptance?
Ladies of Pi Nappa Kappa and Chi Zeta Theta Sororities are receiving various mentions on the internet as these groups of ladies are establishing themselves as unified sororities because they feel their needs aren’t being catered to in the mainstream culture. Pi Nappa Kappa are ladies that all embrace natural hair and feel that they need to group themselves together and support each other during their journey of natural hair. This is understandable because some women don’t know how to transition from permed tresses to natural hair.
But do you need to pay a group of women you don’t know to help you support and understand you hair? Are black women severely struggling with identity issues?
Then you have Chi Zeta Theta which is a group of ladies who support each other based on their size. It is considered a full-figured sorority and just like Pi Nappa Kappa they require yearly fees and operate like a traditional sorority. It is more understandable why some larger women would need more support, but even so, again, would you pay to be comforted by people who share the same insecurities as you?
“What about traditional sororities aren’t they the same thing?” Not really. I would not join a sorority based on my size or hair because those things can change. I can cut my hair and I can lose weight, but the person I am and my intentions rarely change so I want to ask are black women this insecure? The answer is yes but look at the circumstances. Black women in media are stereotyped and made a mockery of all the time. Some of those women purposely put themselves in that position while others are too naive to realize they are being made fun of.
Do black women need these “vain” sororities? I call them vain because they are based on looks and looks alone. If I did not have wear my hair natural I could not join the Pi Nappa Kappa sorority and if I don’t wear a size 24 dress I can’t pledge Chi Zeta Theta so within their insecurities they are creating a certain unrealistic identity and purposely separating themselves to make themselves feel better. I think this needs to be addressed because it seems catty.
Having natural hair doesn’t make you better than women who perm their hair and being more curvy doesn’t make you any more desirable than thinner women. Black women are having an identity crisis and it’s unfolding in front of our eyes. What can we do as a whole to heal each other?
December 21, 2011 at 10:43 PM
This completely makes no sense at all, there is nothing vain about being apart of a group of like minded woman who come together to make a difference in their community. So what if that community so happens to be geared towards the plus size individual in the case of Chi Zeta Theta Sorority, Inc. I am a proud member of this organization and have been for two years and I am beautiful size 12 not plus size in most people minds. It’s about empowerment and education we work hard to earn the letters we display, why judge us because we are making a difference in someone’s life. You don’t have to understand but at least respect the work we do.
December 21, 2011 at 11:19 PM
well here is where the issue lies; I’ve spoken to a few Black Greeks that finds Chi Zeta Theta and Pi Nappa Ki insulting and disrespectful to the entire Greek culture. That isn’t my stance however. My issue is vain sororities can possibly do more bad than good. There aren’t any “we have permed hair” sororities or “skinny black girl” sororities and to continue to pacify the plus size and natural community I find it to be redundant. Separation based on weight or hair texture is immature and it feeds into a deeper issue. Some of us (by that I mean Black women) have identity issues. Now, before you jump the gun, I am a woman with natural hair and I am plus-sized but I don’t need a factitious organization to prove to the world how much I love myself. That is the issue here.
I’m sorry we don’t agree but thank you for reading.
Your comment is appreciated.
January 7, 2012 at 8:18 PM
The problem is that a line is being drawn among black women where there are already lines marginalizing black women from all of society based on gender and race…why draw another line among ourselves? WHAT IS THE POINT?! We have a good appreciation for each others styles without trying to make it an exclusive type of club 0.o Natural hair isnt a reason to get together….neither is wanting to see more women your size. Why not start a sorority for black women ….and then let in women who so happen to have natural hair and are fat?! I am natural haired and fat and i would never join either because I dont like the superiority implied in having a group JUST for physical characteristics. I understand race because it is a physical characteristic by which a HUGE group of people have been oppressed and banding together unites and strengthens but getting together bc your fat …or you wear you hair the same? Ridiculous. You can be empowered without excluding people who dont meet your physical requirements, its counter productive to advancing the cause for all black women.
January 7, 2012 at 8:27 PM
All of this it is just no need for it.
January 2, 2012 at 12:23 AM
This is my first time hearing about such organizations. I’ve seen hashtags on Twitter mentioning Pi Nappa Kappa, but I thought it was a joke (no offense intended)! I can see both points of view. It is nice to be in a group where others are like minded and you have something in common, but I’d like to be exposed to new cultures and women from different walks of life.
I too am an African america, plus sized, natural hair female and I had many open arms from mainstream sororities (both historically black and white). So just limiting yourself to those who have the same interests, body type, skin color, whatever…as you can be good and bad. I mean, what’s the point of learning and growing if we’re all ALIKE.
Great post (:
January 2, 2012 at 1:47 AM
Thanks for reading! I’m glad we are on the same page. I don’t think it is healthy for black women to further separate themselves to prove their uniqueness. We are already unique and beautiful. We shouldn’t have to prove our blackness to ourselves or others- ya feel me?
January 6, 2012 at 10:09 PM
This is also tricky because hair & weight are such impermanent features – you could decide that you want to wear your hair different, even unnaturally, & would you have to leave the sorority? If you were a size 20 when you joined but whittled yourself down to an 8, would you be kicked out? Worse, when your sisters actively not support you in these choices? Women, black, white & otherwise, are more than our hair & our weight. While I understand the desire to find support from others who are like you, these sororities marginalize women in a way that boxes them in & keeps them from growing, exploring, & changing.
January 7, 2012 at 8:26 PM
I agree and that was mu point. What if I joined and lost weight? Would I be kicked out the organization after I’ve paid money to be in?
September 23, 2012 at 11:54 AM
1. Im a member of NRA
2. Im a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha, Inc.
3. Im also a member of Pi Nappa Kappa
4. A member of the NAACP
5 Bought With A Price liturgical dance team
6 Friends of Alvin Ailey
And for those that look at organized religion as an issue lol, the grand ole Church of God in Christ (and yes I tithe ….) Not angry at the article by any means but when did being a part of something you have a love or passion for become a problem?
… There are a multitude of interests groups that I participate in, and Im not the only one that participates in things that they are interested in. My husband is also an Alpha and involved in a prodominently white Honor Society as well… What is the problem with being a part of groups that you want to? And for one I have never paid any dues to PiNK… Our membership is based on how active you are and spreading the word and providing info to other naturals that INTEND to stay natural. Unlike other groups that I have had to pay annually… If someone doesnt want to participate why is there always someone that wants to tear down. I have gone back natural since 97 and being a part of 0iNK has helped me help others with hair and my own. Having had loose and fro’d hair from 97 to 2002 when I decided to loc was a journey on its own… And then I cut 8 years of locs in 2010 after the birth of our daughter to go back to loose fro’d hair and it was an all new journey after being pregnant and dealing with an entirely new texture. Im not the only Divine 9 member of PiNK, so the ones that feel offended that we have an organization thats based completely around natural hair, well I just dont understand. Though I can see why people may fear seperatism, thats not what we are doing… We dont hate on those with relaxed hair or those that may venture back. Even after obtaining my degrees Im in the process of attending cosmetology school so I can move forward with my love of hair and beauty… Why cant we just partake in what we love with out it being an issue??
There are some older Masons that are also trying to recruit my husband, though I doubt he has the time or interest required to join, but if he should decide that was something he wanted to do, why cant he? I think theres worse things to be concerned with… Just saying. No shade being thrown towards anyones opinion…