With all of this debate about natural vs relaxed hair, I’m sure all the ladies who’ve been tuning in have developed opinions regarding the matter. I know I have. I want so bad to just BE ME, and just stop with the weaves and relaxers, but it’s not so simple. I wish it was as easy as cutting the relaxed ends off and co-washing daily to maintain a cute and polished look. But similar to everything else in my life, its much more complex than that.
You see, according to Andre’s hair typing chart, I have 4C hair, the kinkiest, coiliest, wolliest, hair you’ve ever witnessed and no this is not by any means a gift. It is also very weak, dry, and unmanageable which hence makes it prone to unavoidable breakage. I’m not sure I will ever grow to fully accept my hair because I’m well aware that it’s not as beautiful as the longer silkier strands other women were blessed with. And even if I find it to be beautiful some days, I know society won’t agree, and as a social being, this affects me. I often look at myself and wonder ‘why was I cursed with this hair’? And I say to myself, “wow, if I had so-and-so’s hair, I would be poppin, can’t tell me nothing!!” But I don’t…. so does that make me less beautiful? To be honest, yes.
Especially when there are articles written to express very common yet hidden sentiments like those of Japanese writer, Satoshi Kanazawa, who wrote an article explaining why black women were the least attractive race, and thus least desirable. It has since been retracted, but he can rest assured that the damage has already been done. He basically solidified what us black women have secretly pondered each time we saw a fine black man with a woman of another race, or even a light skinned version of herself. Why didn’t he choose me? Is it my nose, my hair, my skintone, my shape? We pick at ourselves asking, What could it be?
For me, its my hair. I’ve never developed the self-esteem to proudly rock my natural textured hair as a big F-you to society’s standard of beauty. I hardly even rock my relaxed hair. Weaves have been my crutch for so long, I think I’m addicted- But it’s not “me”. I’ve never grown to just accept what the good Lord has given me and make it work like nobody’s business. I’ve never looked in the mirror au naturale and said back to my reflection how beautiful it is. But I want to.
I’m not that bad looking, I’m an average black woman, average height, slender build, average looks. It’s just hard to see the natural beauty within when the external forces which are so much stronger are telling you otherwise.
But how can we quantify beauty when it’s uncontrollable? What even gives any of us the right to do so? Aren’t we all considered beautiful since we are made in God’s image and likeness? We are all reflections of God love and life. Yet, we don’t see it within ourselves or each other. I just hope one day all the children of the African diaspora will gather for unity’s sake and come to accept ourselves as is.