An honest dialogue about love, life, and everything in-between...

Sunday, January 13, 2008

I Am Not My Hair

7:15 PM |

...exploring the obsession

As I sit here underneath my hood dryer trying to think of a topic for which I can re-join the blogging world, it hits me. Hair. Long, medium or short all of us have our own built in preferences for what we prefer our hair to look like. Even men have their own preferences for hair as well. How many times have you heard a man include in his description for the "perfect" woman the length or texture of her hair? But why does it matter?

At this point I could go into a lengthy conversation about the European beauty aesthetic and how this has influenced all cultures' perception of beauty. I could say that many African-American women looking to process and texturize their hair are looking to achieve that aesthetic. I could also say that those who "go against the grain" and let their hair be natural are embracing their true cultural heritage. I could say all these things, but I don't personally believe it has to be that deep. I mean of course no one can deny the impact of European beauty values has on society. I mean all of the "great" works of art depict it and it's so embedded in our heads that it's hardly recognizable anymore. However I don't think that just because you decide to relax your hair you are feeding into that idealism. Nor do I think you have to be overtly socially conscious to rock a fro or dreads. And even when you do decide to go natural or wear dreads there are so many rules on the "proper" way to do so (twist, don't twist, texturize, moisturize, blah blah blah) that you're falling into more rules and ideals. (And just as far as that whole societal influences on our behavior goes, I personally don't think that we as a people will ever be able to achieve as long as we worry out fitting in or fitting out of the white man's ideals. We tend to get so wrapped up in things of that nature that we forget to focus more of our energy on the more progressive things.)

I've gone through a lot of hair styles. Long, short, medium. I've tried the extensions and the braids. I've even considered going natural. After all of this I have decided that I'd be much happier if I just cut it all of and rocked either a pixie cut or hell even a guys black ceaser. Being a darker skinned sister when I tossed out the idea of going natural I immediately got the "yes sister let those chains of oppression go!" Like the white man was really controlling my ideals with a no-lye relaxer. When I wear it short I get the looks of surprise from those who can't believe that a girl of my complexion could actually have short hair by choice. As if we can't grow our hair long. And when it's long I get so tired of the "I can't believe that's your real hair" comment. I've had guys lose their minds when I tell them I'm cutting my hair. I've had family members tell me I look like a boy with my hair short. And after all of this I've decided, I don't really give a fuck what people think. It's my hair. It's not me, but it's mine. I can do whatever I want to with it and it doesn't change who I am as a person.

Who cares about the length and texture of a girls hair so long as it's healthy and she rocks the style with pride? Wouldn't a confident clean cut woman be just as sexy as a long haired chic? I used to consider playing the game until I got a significant other or a husband. But whatever on that. If you want to be with me you're going to want me bald or long haired. I personally feel I look good either way :D

Now playing: India Aire Ft. Akon - I Am Not My Hair (konvict Remix)
via FoxyTunes


Anonymous said...

You are asking alot for the alteration of your hair style as a Black woman (of any shade) to mean as little as it would to a white girl.
It is going to take a long time for the generations to forget the significance of Black hair texture and length and why it was so important - but they will - probably not in my life time - but they will.

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