Hair

Kinky Hair is Good Hair

By: Aaliyah Gray

Growing up in a Caribbean community presented me with many complications such as:

1. The idea that curlier hair textures are more beautiful than kinkier textues
2. The idea that kinky hair is unkempt and “nappy”
3. The idea that kinkier textures should be relaxed or chemically altered.
4. The idea that kinky hair wasn’t acceptable.

These formulated ideas programmed me to believe that there was no room for my kinkier hair texture and if there was it still wouldn’t be accepted. I remember the exact date I decided to quit the “creamy crack”. It was on October 6, 2014 and on that day, I decided that I would no longer swallow the amnesia fed to me by people that believed that my hair was a negative aesthetic in my community.

The moment I decided to join the #naturalhairmovement a light inside of me ignited. I was young but cognizant at the time, my mother fully supported me but my community would soon react otherwise. Although I am considered “light skinned” and others assume that I am biracial or mixed, but my hair would prove otherwise.

This was a huge decision for me, the decision to stop swallowing poison and to stop hiding in the shadows, the decision to be free! Almost instantly I went to find some websites for black women that would help me with my journey and understanding. I watched so many youtube videos and got so excited that I decided to “big chop” after four months. The decision to cut my hair was fine and dandy until I came to the realization that I had to go out in public with a short thick afro, and that was when I broke down.

At this stage in my life I was dealing with with anxiety, social insecurity, depression, and introversion my decision to express myself with my hair caused me to internally shut down. I distanced myself from my friends, never went out, and felt like no male would ever find me attractive or ever glance at me again. I strayed from social media, and any social interaction that I could’ve avoided and refused to take pictures.

The view of kinky hair in my community cause me to believe that my hair was unattractive, therefore I believed that I was also unattractive. Imagine a young woman dealing with this circumstance, mainly because her hair isn’t deemed acceptable because her curl pattern isnt “loose enough.”

Sure it wasn’t a big deal, I could have worn braids or weaves, but In my case I couldn’t because my school, at the time didn’t allow weaves, braids, or extensions of any sort. It was at this point that I realized that I was screwed. Almost a week into my journey I was teased, tormented and insulted. Peers called me names like “Mama Africa” “Queen of Sheba” ” Nappy Head” and young men said things like ” You can go to the barber with me now.” These things really hurt me, but after a while I decided that that I would no longer allow society to tear me down, to label my hair because they didn’t understand it.

I decided that I didn’t give a rats ass about how they felt about my hair because I felt exhilarated by it. I felt on top of the world, I felt like I was defying gravity, I felt like I stood out. It took me time to come to this realization, time for my hair to grow out and show its real true purpose, to beautify, to tangle the air, to caress the air, to be the air. Through my journey I discovered that I am beautiful young black queen, a woman that is not afraid to be natural, to show her roots, and to be proud!

It may have been a tough journey to accepting my hair; but today I would never trade my hair texture for a curlier or straighter hair texture because I am different. Kinky hair should not be demoralized, and curly hair should not be praised because all black hair is beautiful.

Currently, in my community I am still facing struggles with individuals because of my hair, dealing with people wondering whether I combed my hair or if I’m going “rasta” (where is the correlation here?!?!?). Curiosity is a natural thing, and just because people do not understand something doesn’t mean that they don’t genuinely admire it.

My hair is absolutely beautiful and I have matured to understand that I am beautiful no matter how my hair looks. So to those individuals who demoralize and scold kinky textures, just because you can’t have it doesn’t give you’re the right to hate it.

Our Hair is History, Our Hair is Freedom, Our Hair is Curiosity, Our Hair is Power, Our Hair is Different, Our Hair Type Doesn’t Define How Beautiful it is, OUR HAIR IS BEAUTIFUL.

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Lecia
1 year 10 months ago

I can definitely relate to this, i am not Caribbean but i am African and my hair is pretty hard or my friends and family to accept, they have the euro centrism persuasion.

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