Real Hair, Don't Care

natural

Hat: Goorin Bros. | Jacket: Zara | Earrings: Honestly, anywhere. Don't be lazy.

Sooooo I got my hair done over the weekend, (which I will post pictures of shortly) but I felt like it was important to post this picture first. First of all, it’s finally a picture of me—hi, this is my face—but also, it’s me with no extensions or anything in my hair. Just my natural shit. And I felt like it was important because this, taken last Friday night, was the first time since the 6th grade that I’ve gone out in public on purpose with my natural hair. The last time I tried, some dickhead 8th grader made fun of me by asking if I had gotten electrocuted.

Like that’s not okay. I feel like it’s crazy that for my whole life, LITERALLY THE WHOLE THING, I have hated my own hair. Not just like “ugh I’m having a bad hair day” or “man, I hate how the humidity gets to it sometimes”, literally would not be seen alive and rather not caught dead with it by itself. I loathed it. Abhorred. Spent countless hours fussing and crying because it didn’t “fall down my back like my white friends”—words I actually remember saying to my mother. I saw this video the other day of a little black girl who couldn’t have been more than 4 years old, crying to her mother because she hated her skin and how she looked. She said brown skin was “ugly”. WHAT IS THAT SHIT?! That after only 4 years of being alive and maybe 2 of being actually conscious in this country, this girl has somehow learned that her skin and hair are things to be ashamed of. It’s not okay, but the sad part is that I get it, because I was ashamed of those things myself for a lonngggggggg time. Like until very recently. And even Friday night, it’s not like I was 100% confident about wearing my hair out, I mean, I covered most of it with a hat. And there was even a moment when my hat flew off and I legitimately had a minor panic attack. It took an active redirection of my thoughts to remember that I shouldn’t be embarrassed of my hair. And I’m not saying this for comfort or fishing for compliments (in fact, if after reading this you feel compelled to send me a text or message telling me I’m beautiful, and you weren’t heretofore planning on it, please refrain). I’m saying all of this because something is wrong. Little black girls shouldn’t hate their skin before they’ve learned multiplication. I shouldn’t feel like I have to lock myself in my house when my hair isn’t done. Stepping out of the house with my hair looking the way it grows out of my head shouldn’t be an act of bravery.

Yet here I am, feeling somewhat brave because I’m broadcasting my natural state to the Interwebs. Honestly, as cliché as this is, I just hope that by the time I have a daughter, she doesn’t grow up in a society that teaches her to hate herself, or that it’s daring for her to exist in her natural state.