Does the way I wear my hair make me a better person?

12 Nov

Before my mother had my sister she was afraid of the idea of having a daughter for a simple reason. The hair. My mother is of Irish and Ukrainian descent. My father is African American. Meaning that any future child would be likely have naturally curly hair. Having a boy would be easy, keep it close, nothing to worry about. For a girl the solution would not be so simple. Hilariously, my sister was born almost bald. Eventually her hair evolved into waves and finally loose curls. Nothing too serious. Me on the other hand, I was born with a straight thick black mop of hair that my grandmother thought was a hat the first time she came to see me as a baby. The thick straight mop turn into a little curly afro, then waterfall of tight curls.

Over the years I’ve developed a complicated relationship with my hair. It’s been long, it’s been short, I’ve dyed it, straighten it, anything. Yesterday, I had my hair cut and blown dry straight. As my friend sat in the salon, mouth hanging open in amazement, I was kind of caught off guard. I’m used to the annoying people who think it’s okay to run their hands through my curly hair, like it’s rarity is an open invitation to do so. I’m not used to people treating me like straight hair makes me beautiful. I know my friend only intended to compliment the drastic change from curly to straight hair, but honestly it made me feel off. I like my hair curly. I’m okay with it. It makes me who I am. Straight hair is nice on some people, and it’s fun to change it up every once in awhile. But when people say things like “wow, you just look so great” a compliment I rarely receive from the same people when I have curly hair, I’m turned off. I know that straight hair is what’s preferred by many people, but it’s not my preference. I’ll never have movie star straight hair and I don’t want it. It just makes me sad that the people I know and love, prefer me as someone I’m not. Or think of me as more beautiful when I do something to change myself.  So here… the beautiful me…

Photo 14


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