I LOVE my HAIR…kinda?!

peas' ❤ & Hairgrease

Recently the internet has been a-flutter with a cute lil video of a muppet singing praises to her kinky nappy and oh so wonderful hair.  This viral video made me happy, giggly and hopeful all at the same time.  the video left me with a feeling of comfort in addition to clarifying my thoughts about the love of my hair and the many thoughts, feelings and memories that hair carries as a travelling womanists.

It brought back the memory of wanting to have long blonde hair as a 7-year-old african american child growing up in rural Sonoma county.  The days I longed to look like the Barbie that my mother protested me having.  The days I used a bright blue pom-pom attached to my head as a flowing ponytail that allowed me to whip whip whip my hair. This also brought back another memory.  The memory where I slowly progressed into a stage where I would love my Nappy Hair through the encouragement of my Afrocentric mother who refused to let the “status quos” formulation of beauty (smooth silky permed black hair) influence the sphere of her beautiful children that she worked so hard to insulate in a cocoon of self-love.  I think back to the only time my mother tried to use a hot comb on my head at the age of 10 and after seeing my violent reaction to the steaming metal comb decided against it.

The discussions that I had with her as i designed the perfect plan for my locs to grow as I blossomed into a young woman who was okay with locs.  The awareness that the harsh chemicals my friends used on their hair to create the look that I once longed for would eventually lead them to have hair like mine.  And then the progression into vanity.  Where I and many others begin to twist and pull their locs so tight that they begin to damage their lovely hairlines in the same way that chemicals and other products do.  The cycle that we all need to break.

As I begin to examine the journey, story and overwhelming culture that surrounds hair and beauty for black women i recognize so much.  I think about myself as I transition to womanhood and what my hair journey means 15 or so years later.  Do I love my locs?  Do I need my locs?  Who am I without my locs?  What will happen if I switch from “natural” to “processed” hair?    All of these will slowly come to me as I begin the next phase in recognizing who I am with or without MY HAIR!!!

Peace B. Still


~ by travelling womanists on October 22, 2010.

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