Many of you may have noticed the number of African-American women who are wearing their natural hair. Who are defying the status quo and making the decision to embrace their natural nappy, kinky, coily, curly of some combination of these various hair types more and more. Many of us have spent years pressing, perming, weaving, crocheting, interlocking, braiding and all sorts of other things to are hair from the our childhood. I don't think it was something that many of us consciously thought about - it was simply a way of life. I personally had been perming my hair since from an early age. In fact, I can't recall how long it's been. I also noticed that over the past decade I have spent more time (and money) doing all sorts of things that hid my natural hair. About a year ago I decided that I would stop relaxing my hair as I saw one blogger state "I do not need to relax my hair, it is not stressed out!" I thought this was cute and if I recalled her name I would have quoted her by name and directed you to her blog. Now, please realize that many other women, besides African-American women, wear weaves in their hair. Some people mistakenly believe that only African-American women wear weaves or wigs. This is far from the truth. Women of many different ethnicities wear wigs and weaves to lengthen their hair or make it fuller or for whatever other reason they choose. It is the underline message to women from men, their peers and even among female circles that we must constantly change who we are to be accepted, to feel pretty or get attention. For some of us it's convenient and fun as well. Many girls and women want to look just like barbie. Barbie is an American icon and has been for decades. However, this image is changing and people are embracing their natural hair and beauty. I am now one of them.
I was taking my braids and simply decided that I know longer want to put all of the various strains on my hair. I carefully took out the braids in my hair and for once in many years I decided that I was not going to make an appointment to get them redone! Not only that, for the first time in over 30 years, I made a decision to wear my natural hair. I decided that I did not want to be like Nikki Minaj and try to look like a black barbie. In fact, no real woman can truly look like barbie without some assistance. I decided that even though I am a leader in the corporate world this doesn't mean that I need thin straight hair or a long weave. I can be just as intelligent, innovative and proactive in the corporate world with my natural hair as I could with a weave. Now, is it a big difference for me? The answer is YES!!!! I am not accustomed to seeing myself without a weave flowing down my back. However, I have been getting som many compliments. I think a part of me was hidden behind that hair! However, I admire celebrities like Viola Davis, Alicia Keys, Shingai Shoniwa, Raven Symone, Solange, Janelle Monee, Kim Coles, Ledisi, Jill Scott and many others who have decided to where their natural hair. I too have decided to join the natural hair crew.
I especially think of the image issues that women of a darker hue encounter. I was watching a trailer of the documentary "Dark Girls" and it reminded me of being called "pretty for a dark-skinned girl" or people saying "your light brown eyes must be contacts because you're dark-skinned" as if people with dark complexion are not beautiful. I beg to differ!!!! Sometimes people put a stigma upon people of dark complexion and because of it, many girls grow up with low self-esteem and feel unwanted and unloved. There are still many bias against black people in general. However, when you have a dark complexion you experience biases within your own race as well. I just want to tell all my dark-skinned sisters - not just African-American because there are dark-skinned women from India, Africa, South America, Mexicon, the Carribean and so many other places around the globe. To each of you I say "YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL!!!!" As I watched BET with my daughter, something we rarely do because we both have ecclectic taste, I considered all that I have been through I am blessed. As we watched the show I thought BLACK GIRLS ROCK - FOR REAL!
I love my cocoa skin and I know that I do not have to bleach it or try to confirm to something that's not who God created me to be to be beautiful. Now, this is not to degrade people who make those choices. I have done all sorts of things to my skin and I've worn all sorts of weaves, but at this time in my life I say I am ready to embrace a new me, I realize that I have to be accepted and respected for me!! In fact, I mentioned to someone earlier that I have such a new found liberty and freedom that all I can do is move forward!
I have viewed many videos, blogs, photos, etc and I realize that few of them discuss how to wear your natural hair in a way that is conducive to a professional environment. I am learning to embrace my new look, but as a professional woman I also want to maintain a polished, but unique, professional image. For this reason, I have started established a new blog and Twitter account focused on natural hair and business stlyes for professional women. If you're interested in learning more about my new natural hair lifestyle follow me on Twitter: @KinkyCurlyCorp
I told you guys that transforming your diet can transform your world!! I am doing things that I never imagined what I would do and I think making a decision to embrace a new and healthy diet regime is giving me the desire to be who God created me to be. So I encourage you to take care of yourself and be you.