Girl is that your hair? (Part 1.)

(Pretty Ugly)
by Amber

take off your cover girl
masks of foundation
bare the real you.

show me your roots girl
way before the tracks and glue
reveal your heritage. coarse and strong
bare the real you girl, I wanna see you.

grab me tight girl
hands of acrylic and paint
underneath your brittle and weak
and ready to break

I'll protect you girl
look at me for the truth.
i hang high but i will not lie.
look in the mirror. I'm a reflection of you.

Women especially black women have been struggling with hair for ages. From "good hair" meaning naturally straight or curly, without coarse edges and roots, to natural kinky "virgin" hair, braids, relaxed hair, glued tracks, sew-ins, wigs .. it never seems to end. I personally feel like ALL women (not just black) in general are searching for acceptance and beauty by trying to alter their images and their hair.

I grew up in the beauty shop. My mom did hair until I was 19 years old. So I know a great deal about hair care. Although my hair is beyond thick and healthy my hair has been relaxed for 20 years! (*Note I'm 22*) Yes 20. Most people don't believe me. But I was two years old when my mother, the licensed beautician put a perm in my hair. When I asked her why she said my hair was so thick and hard to "tame" so chemically relaxing my hair was the only alternative. I never experienced hot combs (like most of my friends) Hell, I absolutely hated getting my hair done. I always cried when getting my hair washed, because i thought my mom was drowning me. I hated getting my hair combed, because I'm tender headed. I cried having to sit under the dryer, because it was too hot. But my mama didn't give a damn. I will say one thing, as a child my hair was always done, ALWAYS. I would get my ass beat before I would be out in public looking a mess.

I didn't start getting my hair braided until middle school, merely because I played sports and lived with my pops. I got my hair colored for the first time in 8Th grade. Yes 8Th and I've been addicted every since. My natural hair color is a Sandy Red color. My hairs been dark brown, burgundy, honey brown (think beyonce), blonde, red, purple, and jet black. Luckily my hair has never broken off.

I'm at this point in my life where I went to free myself from the stereotypes and judgements from my hair. I want to feel liberated. So I am going natural. I've tried a couple of times but got wrapped into the misconceptions and judgements of others so I relaxed my edges. This is kind of funny because I'm not the type to care what people think of me but at the same time I am attached to my hair. But this time around I'm serious, more knowledgeable and prepared for the criticism.

When most people think of natural hair they think of dreadlocks. Although I think they are beautiful that is not the look I'm going for. I love the curly fro. I think they are soooooo beautiful. I respect girls who have natural hair, it just says they don't have any hair insecurities. Their presence stands out in a room full of 50 girls. Most women with natural hair are more in tuned with their mind and body. I just think it makes you "naturally beautiful" without the stereotypes and negative images from the media.

This is something I have been considering for about 2 years now, and when I turned 22 (Sept 12Th) I told myself this is it. No more relaxers. 20 years is way too long. My sister doesn't agree with me but its not her hair its mine. I might get crazy looks and criticized but like India Arie said, "I Am Not My Hair!"

-ps IF <---- keyword. I ever had a daughter. She will NOT be allowed to get her hair relaxed until she's old enough to get a job to take care of it. I refuse to let my child go through what I have gone through. I will teach her that her hair (whatever texture) and body is beautiful the way it is.

(this is my screensaver. I think this is a beautiful picture and it displays black beauty and love without words.)


blue idle chatter said...

I think thats awesome your going natural. I wanted to have my own idenity so I went natural by cutting all my relaxed hair off. Now I have a teeny weeny fro But I love it. I feel so beautiful.

☆αmbєr said...

see thats my exact reason! i think the fro's are gorgeous. im really trying. this is super hard but im serious. wish me luck