I can remember as a little girl, my mother putting relaxer in my hair to make it more manageable and telling me it will make me look beautiful. Now, there is a debate about how little black girls should wear their hair at school and how natural hair is deemed "untidy" and "unprofessional" (even Google agrees with this). My question is, what does your hair have to do with your education?
With so many stigmas & expectations placed upon women, especially black women and black people in general, it seems unconscionable to try and dictate the way they wear they wear their hair. It is also a clear indication of what is wrong with our society. We live in a very prejudiced,biased and superficial society where race,appearance and gender define a person before they even open their mouth. This is why black women have been brainwashed to think that a lighter skin and straighter hair means they're more beautiful. I mean, I grew up being called less attractive than my younger sister who was of a lighter complexion than I am. I ended up staying out of the sun & scrubbing my skin to the point of skinning myself because I wanted to be lighter. This is the sad reality. What does any of this have to do with who I am?!
More and more black women are breaking away from this idea that they should be ashamed of their dark skin and their kinky hair. Black people are in general are becoming self-aware and learning to love who they are and what they stand for. Movements like #BlackLivesMatter, #BlackGirlMagic and anti-skin bleaching campaigns are proof of that. We are learning to free ourselves, yet again, from white oppression and Eurocentric ideas of beauty. We are accepting that we are beautiful just as we are and more powerful than we realize. Women are looking in the mirror and learning to love the skin they're in and the hair that grows out of their heads and embracing their African roots. It's a new age Black Consciousness movement. We are understanding and redefining who we are.
Does the way I wear my hair make me a better person?
Does it define who I am?
Does it determine my integrity, my intelligence or my education?
Or is it just a way to express my creativity.....?
In the words of India.Arie:
I am not my hair
I am not this skin
I am not your expectations - NO
I am a soul that lives within
Published by TeeCee Mbaxa