It could be that I’m simply feeling the pressures and uncertainties of the daily work/school grind lately…but I’ve been aggravated and just a tad angry. Why? Dunno…but sneaking suspicions point me to articles like this one posted on The Fresh Express recently. The comments, arguments and insinuations that have sparked from this debate have my nerves in knots.
Now, if every woman rocking a natural is doing it because it is trendy, let me be the first to say that they are well within their right to do so (no matter how wack I think it is).
I just want to know why. Where did this trend start? Who started this trend? I am a bit secluded from the world since I spend my days around mostly “educated” people in school and on Twitter. Is this wide spread among ALL women or just a small percentage?
With this whole viral age we live in, you can imagine how swiftly the comments began to troll in, but this is to be expected. On the other hand what continues to surprise me is the ‘debate’ that often always follows. Personally, it feels like an incessant circle leading to nowhere. Right hook…than left to see who’s attack wins the fight…who’s better and why.
I can tell you what came as a surprise after reading this dribble article…the varying perspectives many people still have about women who go natural. Duh…right? In 2010 we’re associating going natural with a sense of elitism, superiority, inferiority (are we allowed to have both?!) and all other buried complexes black women have had to deal with over the years.
Why did I go Natural? Mind you…there was never one ceremonious reason shadowing me over the years…I had several. Dang it…and rightfully so, that’s how my rational/irrational brain & I roll.
(as I bow my head for the upteenth time)…Because over ten years ago I saw something in the eyes of a stranger. A photograph of a young, black female in a major publication wearing a short cropped twisted hair style, eyes gleaming…skin radiant and beautiful. Beautiful is what she was. At the time I was in college and could quite easily count on both hands the amount of times I’d come across this emotion while flipping through the pages of a magazine publication. I know…because I’d often save those rare emotions.
That was it….or, that’s all you get. Because often times choices in life are in fact personal and need not be deciphered, picked apart & thrown to the unknown masses for no other reason than sensationalist blah…blah…blah. This is my right …God given or not & realizing this many years ago has enabled me to be more than comfortable with as many reasons I have & choose to carry around in my lucky brain.
If you are not here to support this ‘movement,’ ‘progress’, ‘trend’ (though I choose not to identify with ANY of these terms) and understand it from a place of sincerity, then I care very little for your intentions. That is all.
I know when and where issues with my natural texture exhorted from…and I wonder if the majority of the newly kinky/curly femmes also know for certain. I had them….MANY of them which had to be dealt with.
I still wonder if it was as traumatic for her as it was for me. There she sat in my dining chair, my beautiful 11 year old cousin* with a head full of matted, tangled hair. I stood over her slowly trying to pull my comb through it, cursing myself for thinking I could turn back the tide. “How did it get like this?” I thought. After more than an hour of sectioning and detangling I gave up, pulling her shoulder length hair into a ponytail, matted pieces and all.
A while back I stopped giving reasons as to why I went natural. If asked by another person entertaining the thought of going natural, I offer my own short-cropped response because…honestly my brain is bummed. We both decided it was okay not to offer a three minute soliloquy on the issue unless the intent is to help another person reach some kind of decision. And if this person strikes me as sincere, all the better. Granted that even though my decision sucks at times, particularly at several of the natural hair meet-ups I attend… it’s come to be my decision. I don’t apologize for it & rarely do I explain why because with all due respect and frankness…it’s none of your business…nor is what you do with your hair any of mine.