I hope you all are doing fine.
It’s really exciting for me that I’m writing a random post today without having to plan or put down what I’m going to talk about. I rarely do that.
This post today really relates to me because I’m writing it based on a recent personal experience. I don’t know why I felt this urge to write a post on this but I just have to. I love natural hair. I really do. Because I feel like I have this personal attachment to it. I don’t know why. It’s beautiful, It’s unique, It’s fun, It’s my identity, it’s part of my history. There’s just a lot of things I have attached to my natural hair. My own hair is not just hair to me.
Please don’t get me wrong. This is not going to be one of those ”team natural hair/ miss coilier than thou” posts. All kinds of hair are beautiful in their own unique ways but what is even more beautiful is embracing your own hair in all it uniqueness, for what it is and for what it’s not.
I grew up forced to accept the fact that being dark is not enough. Being dark is bad. It’s never enough. It ruins every thing. It sucks. It disgusting. Think of the meanest, nastiest word you know. I have been associated with it. I can relate this childhood memories to natural hair. It hurts to know that some people just won’t like the way you look or the way you talk or the clothes you wear, or your kind of hair.
But that’s just fine. It’s something we just have to deal with.
In school today, I was involved in a normal conversation with a gentle man I would perpetually refer to as Mr. A. in this post. Everything seemed to be going well until Mr A. asked me, ”Do you write?”
Feeling quite confident and proud to tell Mr. A. about my writing experience as natural hair blogger, the following conversation ensued:
Me: Yes. I do. I also have a blog.
Mr. A.: (seeming more interested) Really? What do you blog about?
Me: I blog about hair. Natural Hair.
Mr. A.: (He grimaces) You are part of them?!
Me: (feeling appalled with mouth wide open): What?!! What are you talking about?
At this moment, I was thinking inside my head. What in God’s name is he talking about? I don’t own a blog to look down on other people with non- natural hair or straight hair. I blog because I want to… and that was how this heated argument between Mr. A and I ensued. Mr. A voiced out that he personally thinks natural hair is ugly, looks unkempt and rough. Mr. A insisted this natural hair movement is just a fad that would so be dead and gone. He considered it something simply pointless and stupid because it had occurred earlier where it also peaked and died off.
I tried to defend my own preference for my natural hair and make him understand that my being natural is not to enforce the same lifestyle on other people or look down on other people but to encourage other people to embrace their natural hair texture through my blog. And Mr A. was quick to reply,
”You are still young and restless! Your blogging about this would soon die off in say 2 years to come because things like this always do”
I was beyond shocked and appalled because personally, I have never heard such negative comments about afro textured hair before. And seeing that this is coming from a fellow Nigerian. It breaks my heart. Not because he speaks poorly of natural hair but because he is a Nigerian. How much more a fella from another part of the world?
A whole lot of things was going through my mind as Mr. A voiced out his preferences for straighter hair. He even referred it to me by complementing the wavy weave I had on and said, ” You know, you actually look beautiful with this hair” (in comparison to my natural hair) obviously smashing any truth in the fact that natural hair is beautiful as well.
Mr A. even went as afar as concluding I was in ”denial of the truth” as I tried so hard to slam a big NO to his opinion that we naturals really do care about what people say about our hair. I definitely react to what people say about my hair, especially psychologically. But I just probably won’t use the word care. I really do mind what people say about my hair in terms of using offensive words but I have never for one second thought or felt intimidated by opinions or perceptions of my hair when I find myself even in the most hostile or unusual environment.
I always ask myself this question. I don’t have to think about it twice. Because the answer is even in the question itself.
”How can something that grows that out my own head be so unfit?”
”It can’t be unfit! It grows out of your damn head!”
I’m not here to point accusing fingers at Mr. A and seek judgment on him. I’m just here to share with you all that Mr. A is my own fare share of the undying reality that some people just don’t and would never appreciate some certain thing about you like hair texture and we need to accept that truth whether we fancy it or not.
If Mr. A in any way stumbles upon my blog ( which I hope he does) I sincerely want him to know this.
”Gentleman, It’s okay if you just can’t appreciate natural hair. It’s okay to voice out your opinions because everyone is entitled to them. But it’s not okay is trying to pawn off your personal preferences as the universal truth. That wouldn’t be a personal preference anymore, it would be ignorance. Ignorance means summarily judging a style as unattractive without any room for variance.
If you can’t appreciate something, there are others who do. Learn to respect the opinion of other people.
There’s no such thing as the universal truth/beauty/fashion/hair/face/*insert a criterion for acceptance here*”
”If a man prefers straight- haired ladies to afro texture- haired ladies, then that is his preference. But if he cannot see beauty in afro texture – haired ladies under any circumstances then he is ignorant!” – Nafisat.
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Until Next Time,
May your fro grow and your skin glow…