There comes a time in our lives where we have to ask the question, “Who am I?” On the exterior you are or appear to be one thing. On the interior you see and feel what no one else envisions. You start to take notice to things that weren’t there before, your body isn’t shaped like it used to when you were younger, you start changing your total look, or eating differently, exposing yourself to things you have never done before……. The list can go on and on and on.
I open this blog in this manner to make a point…..I have been natural for a loooong time (well pass 5-6 years). Yes, I have had a relaxer. I think I was 11 when I got my first relaxer. I was one of those children with massive heads of hair and it took two days to handle. Mother would set my sister and I up for the shampoo and conditioning and plaiting on the first day. The next day it was the blowing drying (our hair hardly ever dried in one day) and pressing or just styling. As we grew up we started obtaining our own “look” and personalities. Funny we both do hair for a living. My sister is a cosmetologist and I, a Master Barber. She wears relaxed hair and I wear dredlocs. We are totally opposite sides of the spectrum. Our thoughts on beauty are a matter of perception. And that’s okay.
Our perspective on beauty is truly on different pendulums. But our view overall is the same… projection of what we feel is beautiful to us (personally and professionally).
It’s unfortunate that we as women of color have to categorize ourselves, our curl pattern, our vision of beauty, or whose has better hair …. Systematically we not only break ourselves down, we break each other down.
It’s unfortunate that some naturals take elitist positions toward others because they do not look like, act like, and talk like….WHATEVER.
We need to be true to ourselves as to what we want and who we are as an individual. Everyone strives to belong to something, and that’s okay. But ask yourself, “Is this “group” making me a better person, educating me, improving my self esteem and self worth?” “What am I getting out of this thing called “Natural”?” “Is it making me healthier?” …. I’m just saying…..
Take a look in the mirror and do inventory.
The natural community has a lot of controversy on just defining “natural”. Doesn’t help to a lot of people it’s a fad. A passing trend that everyone is doing…. For others, it is truly a lifestyle change.
“How to Stay Natural”
Self Love and Preservation
“How to Stay Natural”…. Okay, most of you are wondering, “Who is this trying to tell me how to stay natural? I got this!” Well you probably do. BUT! Not without issue. I have been natural for 19 – 20 years (wearing locs for 13 yrs). In this time I have seen natural hair come, go, re-vamp, re-energize, and re-store itself. I have seen the lawsuits around the country via the news; the self-esteem issues of women rise and fall, the politics of “good” vs. “bad” hair, the negative connotations and uber affirmations.
The “sistahood” seems like a club that you automatically become indoctrinated to when you start transitioning from relaxed to natural. The key is you have to follow through with your journey to be an “official” member. With that being said, let us not forget the conscious level of everyone is not the same. Many women transition as a rite of passage to self-awareness, others for the style, while others are due to health issues. Seeing women look like ourselves, presenting confidence and reassurance, hopefully will give you insight to what you want and strive to be as a woman – a natural woman. At the end of the day we realize that we are just as beautiful if not more beautiful naturally.