By: Antigone Davis
You are amazing. You are beautiful just the way God created you. Everything about you fits- no alterations necessary. Anyone who tells you anything different or doesn’t recognize you as the black queen that you are, isn’t worthy of being in your delicious company.
No, I’m not blowing smoke- I truly believe that. I believe you are strong and courageous- just as the decision you have made, or are thinking about making. Yes I’m talking about your hair. It takes a strong and courageous woman to fully strip herself of the “creamy crack”, allowing her natural hair to spring up and coil toward the heavens- spiraling in harmony like a beautifully choreographed ballet.
In an absolutely perfect world everyone would feel that way. However, I’m not an idiot and I realize that many don’t share my aesthetic appreciation for a black girls black curls. It’s unfortunate, but until they come around I would like to offer some words of encouragement to combat the negativity.
In my own personal experience I have “big chopped” 3 times. Each time got easier and easier. The first time I went from shoulder length relaxed hair to less than an inch of new growth. I was taunted and teased and it hurt terribly. I couldn’t understand why my close family members felt the need to attack me every time they saw me. They would speak to me as if I were a wayward child or prodigal son. They thought I had lost my way and would tell me “that’s not cute” and “they make stuff for that now- we don’t have to wear our hair like that.” They were convinced deliverance was one salon appointment away and that I had missed the mark. Honestly I couldn’t understand why they had so much self-hatred for their race. At least that’s how I saw it. I wouldn’t dare tell them at the time though. I just sat there and allowed them to make me feel bad about myself. I was amazed at how bold people became after I went natural for the first time. Strangers would come up to me and throw daggers. One girl asked me if my man liked my hair to which I replied “of course he does”. She laughed and said “your man likes running his fingers through THAT?” I was very uncomfortable and extremely unsure of myself. Eventually I went back to my relaxer.
Eight years later I am a much stronger person. I can honestly say that now I am mentally, physically, and spiritually in tune with my natural hair. Clearly I didn’t get the mentality that I have now overnight. It was definitely a process. The biggest thing that helped me was adopting the attitude that I was going to teach people how to treat me in every aspect of life. If there was a chance to educate someone who had issues with my hair I took the opportunity to enlighten them- if you catch my drift. I’m not saying that you should be mean- only that you shouldn’t take foolishness from anyone that has a problem with the way that God created you. What gives any person the right to say that one texture of hair is “good” and the other is “bad”? There is nothing that needs to be fixed unless a head of hair is unhealthy- but I digress.
I got to a point where I was so confident with my hair that I would pick it out when I went to work (I worked at a bank). I would make my afro huge and my manager already knew she better not say a word. If she did she’d be in trouble with employee relations. She knew I was a proud black woman and eventually told me that she respected the fact that I was so in love with how I was made and that I didn’t want to change myself.
I just want you to be encouraged. People are going to say dumb things but you can’t let it deter you. Let it make you stronger and push you closer to a deeper love of yourself. Of course it’s going to hurt. Anything worth having isn’t easy to come by. Become callused to the negativity and you will be rewarded with the ultimate compliment of inspiring other women to break free as well.
Peace and Curls,