In 2011 when I went natural….for the 1st time (yes, there’s levels to this) I did it for health reasons. I found out I was pregnant so I eliminated the intake of as many chemicals that I could from my body including relaxers to protect my baby. I was a new Mommi-to-be so I was trying to start on the healthiest foot that I could! Little did I know that this was a WHOLE MOVEMENT, a journey of self discovery and acceptance, and the beginning of a lesson in beauty that I would teach my baby girl for a lifetime!
As we all know, hair is a huge part of who we are in the black community. Our hair has been the topic of many conversations for decades! Mostly persuading us to alter our natural curls to fit society’s standards and approval. This dialogue was widely controversial but more recently there’s been a shift to very positive, and empowering conversations exemplifying self-love and pride for our natural coils. It’s beautiful to see and experience acceptance within our community for our hair, instead of turning a nose up when seeing a black woman with a kinky Afro Walk by, nowadays we might look and respond “Yasss Queen, you’re working that fro!” And that’s the type of energy we need to keep amongst each other! Because if we can’t even love what God has given us how do we expect others to?
Now, the irony of how for decades we have been discouraged from big hair, kinky hair, cornrows, locs, etc. and suddenly other races are using those same styles as the “newest and hottest trends!” Insinuating it was originated by them for fashion purposes, with no credit to the originators. Another aspect of our culture stolen and used as one of there’s for their benefit and the next the dollar. We call this culture misappropriation, we’ve seen this with our music, dancing, and fashion just to name a few. This is in no way an article to bash members of other cultures, but merely facts. It’s happened since the beginning of time, but rather than viewing it as disgust, it’s the highest form of flattery. It shows admiration for what black women/people /our culture was naturally blessed with. We were born this way. And how awesome is that!
It’s 2020 and there is no reason for anyone to be left in the dark about caring for natural hair with the technological access we have at our fingertips today. When I was a little girl we read magazines like “Black Hair,” “Hype Hair,”or “Essence.” These had our favorite black girl Sheroes on the front cover usually rocking bone straight, longer styles most likely from weaves and perms and we so badly wanted to mirror these same styles to look as glamorous as they did. When in reality that type of hair didn’t grow from my head, making it almost impossible to achieve these looks with a comb, brush, and products from home. Rarely did the girls on the cover have thick curly hair. So why should we want it? Why should any little black girl want to embrace something she never sees recognized as being beautiful or worthy of a cover girl spot? Representation is everything! While it is the responsibility of Mothers and Fathers at home to teach and instill healthy beauty standards within their children, the Mothers and Fathers in the black entertainment, marketing, and advertisement community also hold a portion of responsibility to provide diversity in beauty within mainstream media. Many of them are Parents as well, and as a whole we can potentially work together to bridge that gap. I’m happy to see these positive changes taking place over the last several years, and I am happy to be raising my Daughter in times where she can see her hair texture on TV, magazines, and the internet. We need more of that, so let’s continue that-and celebrate this progression!
I see so many natural hair events, groups, pages, channels, product lines, etc. It’s a whole vibe to see a group of black women with bomb natural hair! It’s proof of how far we have come and it’s a whole vibe that I hope never dies! It runs deeper than hair, it’s connected to our identity and self love as a whole. Black History Month stretches beyond just the Month of February and and is more complex than learning about a new Black inventor. Black History is deeper, bolder, greater. It’s pride and empowerment of all of the beautiful aspects that make us Black people and our enriching culture that makes us the superior Kings and Queens that they tried to convince us that we aren’t. All of the hardships we face as a race is because there is history attached to the struggle because we were proven superior in some shape or form or envied over our natural features, because of the undeniable beauty of the black race. As I tell my beautiful black daughter, if ever you feel less than, never forget you’re a beautiful, black Queen that is unstoppable and of course, Magical!
A Proud Black Queen