So I’v had natural hair for about a year now and I absolutely love it, i’v had mostly positive reactions from the people who are important to me so no problems there, around the middle of september i decided to get a “protective style” a weave(which wasn’t really “protective” but that’s another story).
When I got the weave I really didn’t like it, was already used to my TWA (teeny-weenie Afro) and I just wasn’t too fond of the straight haired look. When I got to school the following day everyone was ooh-ing and ahhh-ing about how gorgeous i looked with my long flowing hair and slowly I began to feel that way too. I curled it, flipped it aroung “whipped it back and forth” etc. I was really enjoying having long hair that “everyone” thought was beautiful.
Fast forward to Friday and i took my hair out, I was relieved to be able to wash, deep condition… I had missed my hair. Then on Saturday I had a date and began to fret, you see i had met this guy (who is white by the way so probably has limited experience with weaves) when I had the weave and now on our first date I was the girl with the afro, all of a sudden I began to feel less desirable. I sent him a light hearted text “warning” him that I was no longer Rapunzel.
But that text wasn’t really light-hearted, I mean for almost a month everyone had been telling me how nice i looked etc all because of this hair.. which was of course what they saw as beautiful, it closely matched their ideas of beauty and I was buying into that without even realizing- see how easy it is to get sucked in?
Anyways so my date came and didn’t even comment on my hair till i said “notice the change?” and he said “yes you have a cute afro” and that was that, he wasn’t that concerned. Although his affirmation helped me feel more comfortable it made me think about the reasons i decided to go natural.
Everyday the media feeds us images of the “perfect woman” and everyone is racing to be the long straight haired- long legged thin woman but who is she? and who does she represent? This is one of the primary reasons I have a tumblr, to surround myself with images of women, who look like me. ‘cos when i look out there I don’t see them
Sure you can say its just hair, but it really isn’t, its about perceptions of beauty, because by mainstream standards natural hair is a no no. If i went natural to be accepted then i definitely took the wrong route. My hair is part of who I am, one day i will have a daughter and she will know that she doesn’t have to go through drastic measures to be desired, or to feel beautiful.