love, life, and the pursuit of liberation
I’ve had some thoughts swirling around my mind in the past few weeks (months) about hair that have finally come to head, no pun intended.
Since I made my decision to relax my hair, I’ve had all sorts of responses from people, ranging from the “if you’re happy i’m happy” to the “i’m disappointed.” Yes, people, disappointed. The latter comments have really upset me, not because I take it personal, but because of the level of self-centeredness that some people have about MY hair. As if a decision I make about MY hair should have any forbearance on how people feel about me.
As I’ve sat back and pondered this, I’ve come to realize that it seems *to me* that some black women with natural hair are doing the precise thing that they claim to be against- creating a notion of what is “good” hair and what one should do with their hair. Instead of it becoming about embracing their own beauty, it’s been a reclamation of the tools of domination, but this time with a status switch. It reminds me of those so-called radicals who only want to emulate the same power structures that exist, except with themselves as the head. It’s not about dismantling the power structures at all; just claiming it for themselves.
Yes, I know. It’s just hair right?
I have valued so much on my natural journey, mostly learning about myself, not being afraid of my beauty and embracing what works for me. At one point, I may have been anti-perm. But for those who have known me for so long will testify, it’s simply not that deep for me anymore. Just as wrong at is to preach that one should straighten their hair, it’s also wrong to say that one should wear it naturally. At the end of the day, it’s about “shoulding” someone into compliance with a standard of beauty. (I won’t get into the ugly remarks and perceptions that are made about women with straight hair that I’ve encountered.. People forget that you can’t use the master’s tools to dismantle the master’s house.)
So what’s my point? Black women, we are beautiful, unique, diverse, and move beyond the mold. There’s no need to be divisive about who is and who isn’t valid, who is and who isn’t “real,” who is and who isn’t beautiful. We are all valid, real, and beautiful simply because we ARE.
I apologize in advance if this is rambling, but I had to get it out while the words were making sense to me. I welcome your thoughts. I’m even thinking about posting this on FB..