Tuesday, May 22, 2012

That Awkward Moment When Everyone Wants You To Straighten

Growing up, I remember everyone hounding me to straighten my hair. Even in the best twisted style, or colorful hair with box braids, no one seemed satisfied with my hair because they were dying to see it straight. I too wondered what my hair would look like and it was a welcomed change, until I started becoming dependent on it because I thought my hair was too crazy any other way.

Hair is hair and can be changed whenever and however you want. But why does it seem like people are so invested in naturally curly/textured hair being straight? I will never forget this girl I knew freshman year of high school who had beautiful curls; everyone complimented how nice and long her hair was but immediately suggested that she straightened her hair. When she did, they ooo'd and aaah'd over it and said she should wear it like that all the time. I notice when I started putting pictures up on Facebook of my hair straight, I'd get tons of comments of how I had "good hair" how long and pretty it was, how I look more "Indian" and folks wondering why I didn't do it more often. I notice a different grade of comments when I post pictures of my hair curly, the comments are either fewer, or I get comparisons to "insert-random-black-celebrity-I-look-nothing-like." I pretty much made it a thing not to post anymore straight hair pics because of this; now I post poofy fros and my hair fresh after washing. You all know that I have no issues with straight natural hair and I enjoy it every so often, but the comments are not about "oh look you changed your hair" but more of an admiration of what my hair is not. And that's what seems problematic to me.

SP and I were talking yesterday about how people who are mixed are expected to look a certain way, and I've blogged about this before. People act downright shocked to learn SP is Brazillian unless she dyes her hair a lighter color; folks want me to look more "Indian" (or do they mean Native-American? Which is what I actually am) and wear my hair straight. I find it both silly and frustrating that in this day and age, people think that the hair that grows naturally out of your head is "wrong." Again, I don't care if you have a relaxer, my preference is not to have one because I don't need it. Wanting and needing are two different things, and honestly no one needs a relaxer, even if we've been conditioned to think this way.

So, here's to big poofy hair, embracing the way I look and having the freedom to change it whenever the hell I want to!

Straight hair 2011

Night out sometime in 2011

Just washed, Summer 2011

Poofy hair, April 2012

Early 2012

There you have it folks! Basically, wear your hair the way you want and don't let anyone tell you that you need anything! That's all!


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