As a supporter of Black women wearing their hair natural, it saddens me to know that the journey to having Black women turn back to their natural roots is a long, unconvincing road.
I have worn my hair natural since February 2006 when it just clicked for me that I should no longer subscribe to the superficial notion of dictated beauty in America. I was truly inspired by India.Arie's single "I Am Not My Hair". It became my anthem and I was free.
Free from believing that my beauty lay within my hair. Free to think outside the box and decide for myself what beauty is or isn't, to me. Free to say I'm proud of my natural roots and I'm no longer apart of "groupthink". February 2006 with the beginning of growth for me. I was to graduate from University in December, and looked forward to starting a career in 2007.
It was the turning point that I needed, it allowed me to see the bigger picture and become more involved in other endeavors that hold the Black community behind.
I am now almost five years later used to the stares I get, especially from young children. As a teacher I had to grow thick skin for the outrageous questions children ask. "Yes, I'm a girl, you do see these earrings and skirt I'm wearing" "No, I am not bald" "You do not have to like my hair, we are all different and women can have short hair and men can have long hair". If they stare, I wave. If they ask, I answer.
Adults on the other hand, baffle me. Seems as though they'd be more apt to accept my hair (not that I care) if it were pink or blue or sporting glitter on my extensions. I guess because they expect Black women to have "silly" hair. Yes I am calling red,white and blue hair "silly". It's as if they cannot believe that I have stepped out the box and am being defiant and not subscribing to what is normally "Black".
Surprisingly though, I get most of my compliments from White men, who express that they just "love my hair". I have no explanation for that one. Black men as well, but those vary. I guess some people think I'm some militant feminist lesbian, seeking to push her world views on the masses.
Negative. I'm not any of those mentioned above, not that there is anything wrong with them. I'm just me. Comfortable in my own skin. Someone rocking shorter hair than most, but portraying more inner beauty than the rest. I am me. And I am NOT my hair.
Sad video below, exactly why we shouldn't "relax" our hair. Our hair wasn't meant to be "straight" and "relaxed". Rock your natural hair, feel free...breathe again.