Does the way I wear my hair make me a better person?
Does the way I wear my hair make me a better friend?
Does the way I wear my hair determine my integrity?
I am expressing my creativity...
I Am Not My Hair - India Arie
I just watched Good Hair by Chris Rock and I was floored. I learned so much! I recommend this movie to anyone, black, white, or otherwise, who is interested in learning about an entire culture of men and women who express themselves (for better or worse) through their hair. It made me think a lot about myself. I'm currently transitioning from the so-called "creamy crack" to natural hair and it's not easy. The pressure to conform to the ideal of straight hair is enormous. My own grandmother who I think the world of and who understands me better than anyone else can't even understand why I'd want to go natural. She asks me every weekend when I go visit her what on earth I'm going to do with my hair if I don't have a relaxer. Really, I'm not 100% sure. What I am sure of is that there are plenty of fabulous styles I can try out until I figure out what works best with my hair and my face. I'm also sure that I want to express myself and be proud of how I look without having to use harsh chemicals to try to achieve an impossible ideal. Maybe I'll never look like the models in the magazines or the famous black women with gorgeous (often $1000+ Indian weave) hair that I see on television, but I'll be myself and I'm cool with that.
This movie really inspired me to just not care what other people say about my hair because in the end it's not really the most important thing about me. Just like there's nothing wrong with people who decide for personal reasons to dye their hair or use weaves to have beautiful and model-esque hair, there's nothing wrong with me for wanting to truly be natural and embrace what makes me an African American. Both choices are okay and don't reflect anything positive or negative about what kind of people we are.
I say all this but it's not easy. It's hard not to judge myself for my choice and it's hard not to judge other people for taking what appears to me to be the easier route by conforming to what society says we should look like. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't conflicted. I'd be a hypocrite if I said that I didn't envy those women with "good hair."
Why on earth does this matter? Why is this my first post? I really want to have another outlet outside of my business blog where I can say whatever is on my mind and truly express myself. I need a place where I can write something longer and more in-depth than what I can say in 140 characters on my Twitter page, so this is it. I hope you'll feel free to comment, agree, disagree, debate, react, etc. at any time!