One of the greatest things about working with the Public and working in New York City is the various lifestyles you come across and the random conversations you engage in that last 45 seconds in duration, but a lifetime in impact. A few days back, I was dealing with a customer and her daughter. They were both were sun-kissed with hair as coiled and enormous as the rays of the Sun itself. Quite a sight to see! I complimented the young girl, who appeared to be no older than 7 years of age, on how beautiful her hair was.
To my surprise, her reply was not as delightful. She turned to me and said, “I want new hair!”, all the while with a sincere frown upon her face.
In somewhat of a shock, as well as not, her Mother replied in a tone of normality and said to me, “She wants hair like Pochohantas…”!
Then it dawned on me, this image-crisis is so real.
To them it may have just been small talk, but to me it was touching, saddening and convincing all in one.
I’ve watched documentaries and observed actions that spoke on how many people, Women especially, due to social pressures, believe there is an ideal way to look, a notation of how you should be and if you aren’t that way… to change it.
It is… the Ugly Truth.
Why aren’t we all seeing that we are constantly being force fed an image, a brand, of what WE are to look like. Are we not already here by design?
This is a habitual subject, especially in Ethnic communities. After all, it is US who are mostly swayed into altering our “look” as well as being thee ultimate consumer.
However, this is deeper than our pockets and purses go.
It seems that we have yet to love ourselves in full. Meaning loving ourselves as we are, appreciating how we have come into this life, acknowledging the uniqueness of our hair, it’s ability to be coiled, locked, platted and many other forms; Choosing not to focus on growing and nurturing THAT love.
Instead, we spend much time, energy and reversed esteem plotting on how to make our hair, which is very much a part of ourselves, be every way but it’s Natural state.
The term “Natural” has even lost its innocence.
When in all actuality it is embracing you, AS YOU ARE, how you have organically come, as a part of (your) Creator.
Our hair is just as significant in the makings of us as any other strand of DNA, patch of skin or bone in our bodies. It tells a story of Ancestry. Not to mention how symbolism was often manifested in the styling of hair, allowing our Ancestors to identify one another, Pharaohs, Queens, a Young Priestess, a person belonging to a specific Tribe, Foreign Land and much more… you knew who to turn to. Much a part of Expression as well.
Can we get back to looking to ourselves to be who we are? Please.
With that I would like you to ask yourself…
What does your Hair say about you?
How do you speak of your hair?
Have you a disconnect between your being and your hair ?
Do you treat your hair with care and carry every coil with dignity?
How have we come so far to believe that there was a such thing as “Good” or “Bad” hair?
If anything, “Good” hair to me would be HEALTHY, not determined by texture. There is no sliding scale in which you grade your hair, wipe your lenses.
I am not saying any of this to convince anyone to do anything but love themselves as they are, love themselves as if there weren’t any Perms or Stations to conceal the identity of your hair.This is about us loving ourselves as a WHOLE!
It is very much possible to express yourself through your hair, I do it all the time! My point is… be comfortable in your hair be it platted or pressed.
Acting out in a way of shame or “correction” says so much about your love for yourself and your connect to your hair.
Brothers and Sisters, we must instill in our little ones, both boys and girls, that there is no image to live up to other than that of their own, purposely provided by their Creator. Express to them that they will come across opinions in life and even ridicule, just as much as they will come across various forms of hair. Ensure them that every word will bounce off of the foundation that they have built-in themselves… for themselves.
It is our duty to supply the inner conviction they will need in EVERY aspect of life; especially the most important one, the relationship and love they present to themselves. For that will be the very mirror of love and respect given back to them, by others.
N A M A S T E.