by Cordeeva Smith
All hair wasn’t created equally so what’s all the fuss about?
I have seen gorgeous, perfect ringlets of curls on the heads of beautiful African American woman and I have seen fluffy wool on the heads of others. Does that mean the light skinned woman with the woolly hair is less beautiful than the dark skinned beauty with the silky ringlets of hair? Absolutely not!!
When we decided to go natural we decided to embrace our God-given beauty. Our hair is like our history–washed away and pretty much forgotten in a sea of hateful bitterness.
Most of us have the same stories: our moms relaxed our hair when we were little and we can’t remember what our natural hair looked like. Now ladies, please don’t have any ill-will towards your moms. They are only doing what their grandmother did to become socially accepted in a society that had a disdain for black women.
We all know our history–we were ridiculed and told we were not beautiful, all the while we looked at our white sisters having all privilege and beautiful fine flowing hair. We wanted what they had, and in fact, we wanted better than what they had. So we went out and we obtained it.
Madame CJ Walker put this in motion when she created the hot comb and relaxers. With the ability to straighten our hair we were able to meet the beauty standards of that time. Though some would argue that this was simply to manage our kinky hair and it did, but I can’t turn a blind eye to the oppressive state that black women were in during that time. I would dare to say that maybe some of our black women even admired white women. I may have struck a nerve for some of you but let’s keep an open mind, shall we?
While I was growing up there were no black Disney princesses. Had there been a black princess, surely I would have identified with her and wanted to look like her, perhaps, even be her. However, all I knew was Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, and you know all the other beautiful non-black Disney princesses. So is it far-fetched to say that maybe black women admired white women during that time?
Like I said, they had privilege and fine flowing hair while black women had nothing .
You can refer to me as woke or just simply an intelligent black women. Its all the same if you ask me, though there are some extremists out there and I don’t consider myself to be one. Don’t get us woke or natural girls all wrong. We just know our history and the disadvantages of having the short straw out of the bunch.
We embrace our hair for our own reasons. It’s definitely not to illustrate any type of hate for relaxed hair or white hair as some may think. All hair is beautiful in our eyes but we definitely prefer ours.
So the point I hope to make clear here is that different hair types do not take away beauty. Yes, let’s kill the standards of beauty that some vain person decided to make. Let’s just say beauty is what you say it is! I was beautiful being relaxed all of my life but it was not until three years ago that I found a different type of beauty.
I had no idea it existed and I had no idea what it looked like. Sadly, I was one of those women who questioned the natural hair movement. “Why won’t they comb their hair?” I would say quietly to myself when seeing natural hair that I felt was unruly or unkempt. It was not until I found myself in the chair of a stylist who persuaded me to look at hair through another lens that I decided to transition my hair after cutting it into a short bob.
Let me tell you…. only the strong survive the transition! To my surprise, though, my hair was not silky ringlets! I loved my curl pattern. It was frizzy, coily, fluffy, and it was me! I applaud my natural sisters who chopped all their hair off. That takes confidence and bravery! As you can see, being natural is about more than just hair.
It’s acceptance of yourself when others reject you. It’s proclaiming that every little thing about being a black woman is beautiful. So to those of you that feel natural hair is bizarre, weird, or just plain ugly, here’s us letting you know: We. Don’t. Care.