Couch Cat: economic indicators - hair and shoes

01 November 2019
Author   Jackie Wilson Asheeke

The IMF, World Bank, African Development Bank, and Fitch ratings can tell the world that Namibia is wading through serious economic goat droppings. 

For the banking and finance gurus, those prestigious agencies capture the technical truth about economic disaster.  However, for women, we don’t need any of that.  We already know it using our own charts, i.e., our declining ability to get our hair done and buy new shoes with the income we have.  
Mark my words Calle Schlettwein, Ipumbu Shiimi and all heads of financial institutions:  the key indicator that times are tough is when a black woman cannot get her hair and shoes right.  
No, this is not a frivolous conclusion, it is scientific.
When I was in school, I learned that there are steps in a scientific process.  Let me apply that to my hair and shoes declaration.
Six steps in the scientific process
Step 1: Ask a question. 
How do black women know that the economy is tanking?

Step 2: Do background research.
Not a soul out there can contest that women value having their hair done and cannot let a shoe sale go unmolested.  Women believe that we are sexy when our hair is ‘right’ and when our shoes match our outfits and make our legs look great. 
The right shoe complimenting the right outfit, in the right circumstance, raises appreciative eyebrows.  Worn with the right little things, sexy shoes can get other things to stand up too (wink-wink).  This is common knowledge.  Those who dispute this are men who are not ‘woke’.

Step 3: Construct a hypothesis. 
For two quarters in succession, a black woman who does not get her hair done and passes up a shoe sale is destitute and likely, frantic.  She has maxed-out credit or store account cards, not a penny is available on her overdraft and she has borrowed all that she can from any source.  She has no money for her kids’ school or clothes; she is extremely worried about what will be on the table for meals.  She is likely under- or unemployed.  She is unable to get her maintenance money deposited in her account.  Her man visits the shebeen and his girlfriend before bringing his salary money home for his wife and kids.  That is the definition of ‘economic depression’ for a black woman.

Step 4: Test your hypothesis by doing an experiment. 
This step is already done.  I’ve been a broke black woman and lived around tons of broke sistas’ for more than 40 years.  I’ve seen it and lived it for far too long and have collected tons of data along the way.  

Step 5: Analyze the data and draw a conclusion. 
Hair:  When there is a scrap of money left from a black woman’s income (after bills), that money goes to do something with her hair.  She might buy extensions, get natural hair shampoo, conditioners, hair oil, and moisturizers.  She may book an appointment at the salon for braiding, tightening her weave or a perm touch-up.  No sista’ in her right mind chooses to face the world with wild, dirty, nasty-lookin’ hair.  Our hair is a statement of who we are deep inside.  It is our empress crown. We’d rather have the landlord threaten us with eviction than go out in public with a shameful head of hair.  

Shoes:  Footwear is the life blood of a working black woman.  Shoes bring our outfits altogether.  We want that height on the heel that makes our legs long and sexy.  We want that comfortable, classic pump to wear to work that makes us look in control and professional.  Women can tackle the world wearing stiletto sling backs. We can turn-up the party wearing gold sequined Vans.  When we don’t get our shoes polished or wiped from the street dirt, don’t fix our heel tips, don’t wear a shoe that makes us look and feel good, and cannot afford to do better, we know for a fact that there is an economic depression brewing.

Step 6: Share your results.
Re-read this article.
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