Empowerment

The Road to Self-Love A Natural Journey

By: Nia Knighton

I recall the delicate flutter of my heart tapping against my chest as my dark brown hair fell like a feather riding on a windy current, until its adventure came to a halt at the bottom of the sink. My hands sweated as I gripped the dull scissors and began chopping away the lifeless straight hair I had permed and straightened for so long.

Going natural was not a beautifully spiritual journey for me, but an awkward whim of anxiousness, and hesitation. My hair was two inches long when I finally put down the scissors. I could feel the knot in my throat begin to form as I looked at my reflection in the mirror.

I wasn’t pretty- or atleast I didnt meet eurocentric standards of beauty. I wasn’t an African queen, I didn’t look like the curly hair tumblr girls or eccentric trend-setters on pinterest. I looked like me. For a while I tried to drown “me” in straight weaves, makeup contouring, and fake nails.

It’s been two years since I’ve chopped away the straight hair from my scalp. It has also been quite a journey. You never grow accustomed to the snickers and jokes of your close minded peers.

You never get used to the looks. But everyday, my own hair teaches me a lesson on self-love. I will never live up to Eurocentric notions of beauty. I will never have baby hairs on fleek. My kinks and coils are as unapologetic as the melanin in my skin.

There is a story in each curl that subjects itself to gel and water. I am still learning how to love myself without boundaries. Going natural is not just a snip and a twist-out, it is a journey that is experienced differently by anyone who has the patience and courage to walk it.

There will be times where you don’t feel pretty. There will be moments when you wish you could go back to your permed hair. There will be days where you yearn for acceptance. However, there will also be instances where you are reminded of the godly work of art you truly are. I am still learning to love my hair completely and honestly. Each day I grow less worried of the opinions of others, and more of the confidence in myself. Eventually I will reach the nirvana of self-love, and never hesitate to look at my reflection again.

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