I am not my Hair!


I am not my Hair!

I recently read a blog that said that if I as a black woman straighten my hair or wear a weave that I am trying to “conform” to a “European” standard of beauty and “suffering” from SELF-HATRED. And that I was a slave magazines (which I rarely read) , TV (which I rarely watch) and music videos (that I NEVER watch). First, I do not believe that I have to qualify to be black, neither through the friends I choose, the man I love, or the way I speak. But the notion that the way I choose to wear my hair is somehow a reflection of my overall self-appraisal of my worth as a black woman is outrageous!
I sometimes wear a weave. Sometimes I wear in the middle of my back, straight and flowing. Other times I wear it curly, bobbing around my shoulders, but MOST of the times I wear it short and cropped just below my chin, which is SHORTER than my “real hair.” And guess what, none of that has to do with me conforming to a European standard of beauty. I find it entertaining that I have to defend those choices and lose points on my “black card” if such a thing actually exists. 

I find it equally entertaining that some people are so narrow minded that they never see the world as it is, they see it as they are. They define their opinions based on their “own standards” which of course are a lot easier for them to adhere too. I do care about my hair. But my styling choices are more about convenience and flexibility, than conformation and about my self-expression, not my self-hatred. It’s about being able to swim 4 days a week and not spend 2 to 3 hours getting my hair ready for work the next day. It’s about being able to go to the gym on my lunch break, and into a board meeting 2 hours later. It’s about the option to reinvent myself as I see fit, to flip, curl it, pin it and drop it like it’s hot, on a whim.

I know who I am with or without affirmations from another person who “thinks” they have accomplished some higher level of self love because they picked their hair out. If they believe that one’s self love is (even loosely) based on the styles that they choose for their hair, that is the root the problem. We, as African-Americans get in the mindset of constantly trying oppressing each other; often through petty, immature and personal attacks. We cannot accept that there is no “one voice” or authoritarian on the subject, there are only opinions. And without that understanding cannot elevate our selves high enough to access the wisdom, class and aptitude needed to have a mature exchange of ideas.

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