ACCORDING TO D. A. BALLINGER, “This book deals with the erasing of the image of the black, African-American woman, and it also deals with the slow poisoning of all of Americans by the chemicals in the products that we use every day.” (Photo by Troy Tieuel)
First time author D.A. Ballinger offers a guide to self-reflection of sorts in his book “Unbeweavable.” The book offers advice on a variety of subjects including health consciousness, financial stability and child rearing. “Unbeweavable’s” main premise however is about avoiding the pitfalls of the fake hair industry, which he says strips Black women of their dignity and disposable income.
Hailing from Kansas City, Missouri via Chicago, former advertising executive D. A. Ballinger became fed up with the way that women were portrayed in the media and the constant pumping of deadly pesticides labeled as food and beauty products. He sought out to learn more about some natural remedies.
Published by Life Application Ministries Publication (LAMP), Ballinger held a release party for “Unbeweavable” at Emmy Lu Galleries in Beverly Hills to promote the book. Ballenger states that he was able to “unplug himself” from the grip of popular media such as television, cable and the various mass produced products that our society is virtually dependent upon. With this ‘unplugging’ came a new outlook on life for Ballenger who said, “When I unplugged myself from that system, I woke up.” Ballinger has a rich history as a writer who has worked on series such as “All in the Family,” and “The Jeffersons.” Because of a tragedy early in his life, he became disillusioned, taking on negative habits and moving away from who he really was.
“[When I woke up], I got back my dream,” Ballinger explained.
“I got back what I am supposed to do. Seven months ago, I began writing this book. It just came to me through the cosmos, through my creator.
“I said,’ wait a minute.’ Up until that moment, I wanted the lady with the drop top, hair flying with the wind. I wanted the Beyonce, but now, that’s not what I need, or want. What I need is a woman that looks like me. My book is not against wigs or weaves, or anything like that. My book is against the time that that individual person spends under it.”
Ballinger continued to elaborate on the thinking that most people unknowingly subscribe to regarding their self-image, by first asking this question, “When was the last time that you actually showed your look, the look that you and your mother grew up with?”
This question segued into a discussion about existing hair companies and their approaches to dealing with African American women and the products that they offer. Of the companies mentioned were Bronner-Brothers and their annual hair convention in Atlanta, “Fifteen percent of [Bronner-Brothers] market is devoted to natural hair,” said Ballinger, “So they see it coming.” What’s coming is a natural hair movement that, according to Ballinger, is soon to overtake the market.
Ballinger brought up recording artist Rahkua, who is featured in his book, and utilizes natural hair styles in her concerts. “I was both honored and ecstatic, when D. A. asked me to be in his book,” said Rahkua, “I think it’s so important for African-American women to realize and embrace our God-given beauty without the media-fed standards.”
Ballinger adds that African American men in America are “brain manipulated” into thinking that they like women with the weaves, or Caucasian styled hair, as opposed to African American women with all natural hair. “But that’s not how we come out of the womb,” he said. “We don’t look like that.”
‘Unbeweavable’ also talks about the slow poisoning of the American people by toxic chemicals that are introduced into the body through the use of various products, including hair and beauty products. “Every product that you use,” said Ballinger, “everything from cologne, to conditioner, to toothpaste is slowly poisoning you.” Ballinger admits that this is a brash and vague statement that he claims to be able to prove just by viewing the warning labels on the product that state, in the case of toothpaste, to go seek out a poison control center if the product is ingested. “Those ingredients that are on the bottle, are banned in Europe,” explained Ballinger, “But why are they selling it to us? [These products] are designed to dumb us down…to keep you from being who you could possibly be.”
At the age of 25 he moved to Los Angeles, California where he formed his own company called DA Vending. Later, he started a health-focused publication named “Health Unlimited International Publications.” Recently, Ballinger said he was inspired to pen his first children’s book entitled “Hi Mr. Tree, It’s Me Sarah,” about the misadventures of a little girl who befriends a very wise but lonely tree. Having traveled throughout the world, Ballinger now resides in and calls Los Angeles his home.
For more information visit www.unbeWeavableDA.weebly.com www.HiMrTreeItsMeSarah.weebly.com.
Jennifer Bihm contributed to this article.