The Life of a Ladybug

live with intention. walk to the edge. listen hard. practice wellness. play with abandon. laugh. choose with no regret. continue to learn. appreciate your friends. do what you love. live as if this is all there is. -mary anne radmacher

Monday, July 25, 2005

Say it loud! I'm nappy and I'm proud!

So, this past weekend, a close family member of mine decided to tell me that she doesn't like my natural hair. It came out of the blue, since we weren't talking about me, nor were we talking about hair. I let her go on and on for a while (you know, giving her enough rope to hang herself and all). Finally, she managed to say what I'm sure she's been keeping bottled up for the last year - "I just don't like you with natural hair. Only people with small heads should have natural hair (mine isn't small). I keep praying you'll perm it again." After I got finished laughing, I let her know in no uncertain terms that she's wasting her prayer time and she focus on something a little more important . . . I don't know, like, world peace. Turns out, some of the family folk have been talking behind my back. It figures. I mean, I'm not all that surprised. I know that people are going to have a reaction to my hair - some positive and some negative. It's no big deal. What is a big deal is having a loved one go on and on about her disapproval of what is a personal choice. I understand she likes straight hair - that's why she gets her hair relaxed. But it's not my duty to stick to her beauty standards. That's just stupid. I don't know whether to be angry, sad, offended, hurt or amused. I think I'm a bit of each. I'm angry that there are those who really think it's their place to make my hair decisions. I am offended because people who love me should continue to do so regardless of whether my hair is nappy. I am hurt that this should be such a big deal to them. I am amused that there are still people in 2005 who would rather wear a wig than be nappy. But mostly, I'm sad. I'm sad because it's 2005 and people are still afraid of who they are. If you choose to perm, do so because it's a conscious choice - because you don't want to have 'deal' with your kinky curls. Don't do it because you think nappiness is ugly. Because if that's your reason, then your problem goes way deeper than having nappy hair, babe. If nappy is ugly, then Black is ugly. And isn't that what we've been fighting against?

6 Comments:

At July 25, 2005 11:18 AM, Anonymous Londa said...

You have a good point Toyer. I was talking to a co-worker of mine and mentioned I wouldn't mind getting kinky twists and she responded, "I saw those before, are you sure you want that?" I said, "Yeah." To which she responded, "Oh, it just looks nappy, that's all." I mean come on. I was a tad taken back by the comment, but I do realize there are many sisters who just don't want to wear their hair natural because they think it's ugly. You are so right Toyer! I've been wearing my hair in cornrow styles for the most part of the summer and people are all,"So are you going natural now?" I don't know and I haven't thought about it. I just don't want to comb my hair in the heat! It's that simple :o) Just continue to be you Toyer Boyer! If your family has issues, that's your family's problem, not yours.

 
At July 25, 2005 11:22 AM, Blogger Toya said...

Thanks for the encouragement, Londy!

 
At July 25, 2005 11:37 AM, Anonymous Rachel (Hadara) said...

Ya know Toya, this whole hair thing has been an issue to the days of being in chains and old habits die hard I guess. The concept of having hair that moves .. or doesn't ("good" hair or "bad" hair) I think will always be an issue. I wouldn't waste too much time on being hurt about it because their feelings come from a very dark place that is hard to let go of. Wear your hair in the way it looks best on you. As long as you like what you see when you look in the mirror than that is all that matters. You're family still love you, they just think you have crazy hair! They could however, be more tactful.. ahh well.. you can't pick your family...

 
At July 25, 2005 11:44 AM, Blogger Toya said...

That's exactly right, Rachel. I think that's what I'm saddest about - that the issues we had when we were in chains are *still* our issues. The enemy has won when he no longer has to beat you down - you do it yourself.

I know they still love me and I still love them. It smarts, though.

 
At July 25, 2005 1:11 PM, Anonymous tonyette said...

Well, it may not help the situation, but I for one, LOVE your natural hair Toya!! You are one of the people who are inspiring me to get brave enough to go natural! (I only say "brave enough" because I feel like for some reason, I'll have to maintain my own hair more because the beauty stylists in my family--who are my CHEAP or FREE beauticians--wouldn't want to "deal" with my natural hair. They have one set of ideas about hair and I realize, like in many other areas, I have another) And as for family, people in general, unfortunately, there will always be someone with something negative to say. I realized that there will always be those of us who don't know how to talk openly about what we are afraid of. In your fam's case, maybe they equate natural or "nappy" hair with some kind of militancy and think you'll eventually change or will expect something from them. Or maybe they think it means you've got more pride than them. Whatever it means, don't let it get you down! Continue to be PROUD of your hair and of who you are! And just remember to pray for your family, that their eyes be opened, that they'll realize that there's no need to focus on small things like your hair choices, but bigger issues like unity!

 
At July 29, 2005 7:35 AM, Anonymous Rachel G said...

I'm sad for her, too. I think her comments have everything to do with her 'issues' and little if anything to do with your hair. For those of us with more confidence and openness, you are an inspiration to be our true selves! xoxo

 

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