REDEFINING MYSELF

  • SumoMe

before the big chop!

 

I am not my hair, I am not this skin, I am not your expectation, no’…..It seems like yesterday when I first heard India Arie belt out these lyrics to her hit song; ‘I am not my hair’. Interestingly enough, if I remember clearly, that was the same year Beyonce came out with her hit song ‘Check on it’. You know the one in which she wears all these glamorous wigs and struts her stuff like nobody’s business? Well, let’s just say that after all these years, I am still indecisive about which of the two messages I agree with more. I truly don’t know whether to side with the chic who tells me to ‘flaunt it cos I’ve got it’ or sister girl with her deep self who postulates that I can have razz hair and it doesn’t matter. Hmmph……

And the reason for that indecisiveness is that not too long ago, yours truly cut off all her hair! I didn’t cut it Halle Berry short (I did that two years ago, lol)….no, I did an Amber Rose with my hair. As a young Black-British woman who over the years also fell into the trap of trying to conform to society’s standards of what good hair should look like i.e. ‘black, long and bone straight, I had to admit to myself that I had failed. There was no way I could keep up with the Beyonces and Ciaras of this world; with their bone straight weaves. I simply couldn’t. Besides although I had voluminous black hair, I realised that having long hair certainly didn’t correlate to my robust, independent, no-nonsense persona. Hence, I’ve proudly worn short hairstyles or natural hairstyles as they have suited me much better.

Since I went ultra-short with my hair, I have raised more than a few eyebrows starting with my family. ‘Ad3n? Sister, why did you do it?’ my usually reasonable father asked. So I explained to him that I needed a change. Whilst some friends have considered it a drastic change, there are those who have come to love it and applaud my audacity. That said, I truly don’t care what people think about how I look. I believe that hair is an expression of individuality, creativity and style. Hence, I find it offensive and equally sad when people judge people purely based on their hair or how they look. Black America seems to have gotten that message loud and clear but it is high time Black Britain also took notice. I do understand that certain hairstyles can be self-communicative i.e. dread locks, but generally a person’s hairstyle is no clear indication of who they are on the inside.

 

To end this, ladies please understand that you do need to spend hundreds of pounds to achieve a hairstyle just so you can keep up with the joneses. Several research studies and articles have shown that too much weaving, braiding and styling is actually detrimental for the hair. Trust me; I’m a woman so I know what I am talking about. I understand the pressures of society. I know how it must feel to have a guy you fancy, staring you up and down because your hair is looking ‘razz’. That isn’t to say that you should stop weaving or straightening your hair but rather to encourage you to have self-love. When you love yourself, you will take good care of yourself. The knock-on effect is that others will love you too; hence it’s a win-win situation! Also guys, please stop stressing your women about hair. If she bought that Brazilian, it is hers. So, a beg, no vex!

 

And for the record, Elsie is a hair chameleon. My hair is ultra short now but who knows what I might do next? I’ve had to make a promise to ‘the dude’ that I shall not be cutting or colouring my hair for a year. I think that’s an achievable promise, bearing in mind that when I do eventually walk down the aisle, I want to be flaunting my own hair!

 

Thanks for reading. Please post your comments or email me directly (nkontobeanie@yahoo.com). I would love to hear from y’all…..till then…be you, rock you, redefine you!!!!!!

 

Many blessings,

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