I, like most black women, was born with very, very, very curly hair. I’ve been relaxing (chemical straightening) it since I was nine years old. When I graduated from secondary school and moved back to the states I shaved my head to commemorate the huge change in my life (16 without parental supervision) and went natural again. It was my own little act of rebellion. Some people start drinking and doing drugs, I shaved my head and wore lots of black and leather.
Anywho, I’ve rocked a TWA (teeny weenie afro), bantu knots, a faux hawk, twists, an afrolicious-70s-disco-dancing-queen-can-you-dig-it afro and everything in between.
My hair was natural for five years before I decided to chop off my curly locks for a Josephine Baker inspired pixie cut about a year ago. Tres chic, right? Well, upon telling my friends this, most of them reacted by saying, “Why aren’t you happy with what God gave you?”
Surprisingly, a lot of my friends felt I was ashamed of my hair and straightened it because I felt the need to conform to society’s view of what is considered beautiful; straight, flowy “Pantene Pro-V” hair…
I would like to know why every fashion choice us black women make turns into a political statement. I decide I want a different hairdo and I’m suffering from an identity crisis?
I think it’s very important to be proud of what you were born with, but I also think a person shouldn’t be judged if they decide to change things up. It seems every other race in the world can decide to cut their hair or dye it or braid it and it’s considered edgy. Or am I wrong?
What do you guys think; are we conforming to society’s views of beauty when we change our hair into a style we may have seen in a magazine? And if the answer is yes, shouldn’t’t we have the right to do with our hair as we please?