Featured Hair Life as a Black Girl

Does It Hurt?

By: Kyra Brusch

“Does it hurt?” my mother asked with a certain sadness in her eyes.

Just like her and many more before her I was getting a relaxer; otherwise dubbed the black women’s rite of passage, our passage into the mainstream society. Did it hurt? OF COURSE IT HURT! A relaxer is a mixture of lye and perm salts, a mixture known to destroy coke bottles and on this particular day, destroy self worth. Yes it hurt, but as the relaxer destroyed my natural tight curls to produce unnatural bone straight hair, I had never felt happier.

“No, it actually feels good,” I answered back with the biggest smile on my face

I was happy. I was happy because I finally felt I was going to be accepted in my predominately white school. I was happy because my hair finally matched with the woman on the cover of magazines.

What I did not know back then was that my happiness was fueled by internalized hurt, hurt stemmed from being told that black was lesser. Hurt from internalizing that being black meant not being beautiful. I remember that if I ever articulated a sentence in a clear concise manner someone would always state with an ignorant smile, “ It’s like you are not even black” or “ You do not even act black”. It was not just at school. At home I also felt that the skin I was in was lesser.

In my brother’s room hung all his teen heartthrobs; not one of them black. I did not look anything like Britney Spears, Kirsten Dunst, and or Natalie Portman. I began to associate being black with being ugly and dumb. I officially began to hate my skin and hair.

I felt the relaxer would solve all my problems, but it did not. I began to get 18 inch weaves put into my head to try to compensate for the inadequacy I felt from within. I believed the weave made me happy but all it did was cover up my hurt with 18 inches of bone straight hair.

One day after getting my weave put in there was this little black girl in the salon. She was brushing a Barbie doll’s long blonde hair. In her eyes I could see she was admiring it… longing for it. I sat down next to her. She had this gorgeous curly hair propped up in two afro puffs and sadness in her dark brown eyes. Out of nowhere I felt someone combing through my hair… it was she.

She said one sentence that still echoes through my mind till this day “ your hair is so pretty; it’s just like Rapunzels”

I froze. The only thing that I could think in response was “ Does it hurt, does it hurt feeling inadequate, does it hurt feeling as if you are not pretty, does it hurt feeling as if you were born worthless, does it hurt?”

The only thing I could muster to actually say in response was “thank you” in the faintest way possible.

I never knew that girl personally, but I can see in her eyes it hurt just like it hurt me. In the process of trying to mask my pain, I participated in causing another little black girl’s pain. After the 15 second exchange I had with her, I decided to stop getting weaves and to cut out the unnatural bone straight hair. I want my natural kinks back. I finally realized I have a duty to be a leading example to young black girls so they will never have to feel inadequate. I will do whatever in my power to make sure young black girls know they do not have to change to stop the pain.

So does it hurt?

Not anymore

—————————————————————————————-
Written By:Kyra Brusch © 2014
Follow Kyra on Social Media:
Twitter: kyyraa_
Instagram: Kyra.brusch
Tumblr: kyyraax
Email: kyrabrusch@gmail.com
—————————————————————————————-

Leave a Reply

35 Comments on "Does It Hurt?"

Leave a Comment


Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Guest
Anonymous
2 years 2 months ago

This is beautiful. and has inspired me to go back natural.

Guest
karen
2 years 27 days ago

wrong hair in the picture. you should be showing off your beautiful black curly hair.

Guest
2 years 24 days ago

Thank you so much for sharing such a personal experience in such a positive manner! I’m a white adoptive mother to six grown kids, three of whom are black or biracial. Hair hasn’t been as much of a challenge for me as for many other adoptive mothers like me. Only one of my three is a girl. Her hair is a perfect blend of her Haitian birth father’s and her Filipina birth mother’s. It was gorgeous, just combed through, wet, well conditioned, fluffed and left to dry. When she became a teenager, however, flat ironed, straight, hair was the rage.… Read more »

Guest
Kay
2 years 16 days ago

I can relate to every bit of this. Took me to my 30s to stop getting relaxers, and to finally admit that I was putting potentially dangerous chemicals on my head because I believed my nappy hair was bad, and good hair was straight like white women. I went to predominantly white schools and was the only black girl in my honors classes, ignored and shunned by classmates. Black men (at least the ones Ive been exposed to) are obsessed with long straight hair on women. They barely look my way now that I wear my hair natural, and that… Read more »

Guest
2 years 15 days ago

Brilliantly written.

Guest
shell
1 year 10 months ago

i almost wanted top cry with yah. I loved the way this was written and conveyed

Guest
mbali
1 year 2 months ago

Love the article.

Guest
2 months 3 days ago

mammut outlet store

Id should check with you here. Which is not one thing I normally do! I enjoy studying a post that will make folks think. Additionally, thanks for permitting me to comment!

Guest

Roberto Cavalli outlet online

I like the first point you made there, but I am not sure I could pratcially apply that in a productive way.

Guest
2 months 10 hours ago

keen shoes sale

My sis informed me about your website and the way great it is. She’s proper, I am actually impressed with the writing and slick design. It appears to me you’re just scratching the floor by way of what you may accomplish, but you’re off to an excelle…

Guest
1 month 29 days ago

buy Lafuma jackets

the majority of People are bound to find this really important. I really like the point you are making with your last paragraph.

Guest
1 month 28 days ago

buy hunter

Just wanted to say really well done. Superb job.

Guest
1 month 27 days ago

store moncler

inordinate entry youve take in

Guest
1 month 25 days ago

belstaff online

I think this blog is swell.

Guest
1 month 23 days ago

patagonia black friday

Smart stuff, I expect reading more.

Guest
1 month 13 days ago

discount Pierre Hardy online

Ive been meaning to read this and just never acquired a chance. Its an issue that Im really interested in, I just started reading and Im glad I did. Youre a fantastic blogger, one of the ideal that Ive seen. This blog absolutely has some information on…

Guest
1 month 11 days ago

chanel store beverly hills

Just like the other person said. Get rid of the spammage!

Guest
1 month 11 days ago

discount Rene Caovilla

Weird I just discovered your site by looking for South Park figures on Google. But I cant find any articles on that topic on here?

Guest
1 month 9 days ago

Roberto Cavalli store

This website is pretty cool. How was it made .

Guest
1 month 6 days ago

discount cole haan

I discovered your site on bing and read a few of your early posts. I hope you will continue the very good work. I just added your RSS feed to my MSN News Reader. Im seeing forward to reading more from you later on!

Guest

coach factory outlet online sale

Your site is awesome! I found it on Bing and couldn’t resist reading it. You have some good information here. Thanks for posting!

Guest
27 days 13 hours ago

lancel outlet

As a Newbie, I am always searching online for articles that can help me. Thank you

Guest
25 days 8 hours ago

ecco sandals online

The best of all the Star Treks? Well it certainly isnt Enterprise!

Guest
23 days 18 hours ago

cheap Lafuma sale

I like the look of your blog and I’m going to do a similar thing with mine. Do you have the theme or where you get the theme from please?

Guest
21 days 23 hours ago

louis vuitton outlet new york

Hi nice post you got there keep up the good work!

Guest
20 days 7 hours ago

Rene Caovilla outlet

Sometimes I question the internet and what is posted? The internet never used to be like that, recently though it has turned around. What do you think?

Guest
18 days 12 hours ago

patagonia backpack sale

I have wanted to post something like this on one of my blogs and this has given me an idea. Thank you.

Guest
16 days 19 hours ago

discount marmot outlet

Valuable informations here.Thanks for sharing.sincerly, Kristine, indianelite.com, 145 Bosepukur Purbapara, Kolkata, WB 700078, India 9748001647

Guest
15 days 18 minutes ago

patagonia outlet

Ive been searching on the net hoping to get some ideas on how to get my website coded, your general style and design are amazing. Did you code it yourself or did you get a programmer to get it done to suit your needs?

Guest
13 days 9 hours ago

moncler outlet

I enjoyed seeing this, i’ve been thinking about this for a while.

Guest
11 days 16 hours ago

canada jacket sale

I was just chatting with my coworker about this today at lunch . Don’t remember how we got on the subject in truth, they brought it up. I do recall eating a wonderful steak salad with cranberries on it. I digress

Guest
8 days 21 hours ago

Millet online store

We like your post, the point that your web site is definitely a tiny bit diverse makes it so fascinating, I actually get fed up of seeing the same outdated tedious recycled stuff almost all of the time.

Guest
8 days 4 hours ago

millet聽korea

Smart stuff, I look forward to reading more.

Guest
3 days 13 hours ago

buy birkenstock online

If you really want you can look the other way and not talk about it. Dont give up your morals for anything. This will lead to a sad and unfulfilling life.

Guest
1 day 5 hours ago

belstaff clothing sale

Can I put some of this on my page if I include a link to this website?

wpDiscuz