25 February 2015

Your Hair Doesn't Define You

bullying about hair

Hello everyone! 

I hope you're all well. So.....I am super nervous. Today, I'd like to address the topic about your hairstyle being a definition of who you are. This is especially common when referring my afro-caribbean girls out there.

Having lived in different places around the world, including the USA, Asia, Europe and Africa, I've had my fair share of comments, both positive and negative, regarding my hair. These comments have made me want to try all sorts of things to make my hair look "normal". 

I'm not writing this post to talk about me, but to talk to you. You may have heard, recently, of a comment that was made about Zendaya Coleman's dreadlocks, suggesting they smelt of patchouli oil or marijuana. 
How are we supposed to live in a world where girls as young as Zendaya get bullied by older people about something like this

zendaya dreadlocks
Image source

zendaya dreadlocks response
image source

When I had dreadlocks as a child, I used to get many stereotype-based comments that I just shrugged off. For example, "you look Jamaican", "Are you a smoker?", "You never wash your hair" and so on. 
Once I had cut my locs off, I felt relieved in a way, that I wouldn't have to deal with negative comments about my hair anymore. And boy, was I wrong.

When I lived in Africa, it was a bit different, as there were many people like me, so my hair type wasn't uncommon. But when I was in a more international environment, I felt out of place. 
Please don't do that. Don't feel like a weirdo because your hair is kinkier, curlier  or shorter than the girl next to you. You are just as human as anybody else. 

I know that the media's version of perfection is long, silky soft, wavy hair, a size zero, 5 foot 10 girl. And sometimes, at my age, I still believe that. And the truth is, not many people are like that. 

Despite what the media or your society tell you, remember: 

  • If you have an important event like a job interview, don't feel like you're obliged to straighten your hair 
  • Having dreadlocks doesn't mean you're a smoker
  • An afro doesn't mean you're wild and crazy 
  • Braid extensions, relaxed hair and weave don't mean you're fake and ashamed of your natural hair 

The best thing about afro-caribbean hair is it's versatility. You can switch up hairstyles in the blink of an eye without even having to cut or dye your natural hair. Protective hair styling is fun! 

So how are you supposed to overcome the negativity? 

I chose to embrace it. I used to mess around with the straightener or stay indoors until it was time to braid my hair again because I believed it looked "nappy". It was not long ago that for the first time, I let my little afro out. Some people loved it, but I still got comments like "Your hair looks like a giant furball" or "Your hair feels like a pot scraper". 
And what did I do? I laughed and agreed. I, too, jokingly refer to my hair as a pot scraper because of it's texture, but what matters is that I love it and I wouldn't change it for the world. Yes, I hate fighting through my tangles with the comb in the mornings, and yes, sometimes I feel like my hair is just a mess, but we all do, right

I see this whole natural hair movement on social media and I often feel inspired by natural hair beauties on Pinterest and YouTube. There are people just as inspiring with relaxed, braided or weaved hair.
Those people should be a constant reminder that your hair or what you do with it does not define you.  You define you. 

Not only talking about hair texture, because the same applies to  anyone who's different in any way. Don't let your "difference" make you feel bad about yourself. Embrace it and love it! 

Here are some examples of people from Pinterest who are not afraid to play around with hairstyles: 

cool dreadlocs
Image Source

beyonce hair
Image Source

solange natural hair
Image Source

Rihanna short hair
Image Source

box braids pinterest
Image Source

You know when you feel really cheesy after writing something? That's how I feel right now, but I need to get that message across and I mean every word.

Until Next Time, 

Peace and Love 

© From 18 To Life | All rights reserved.
Blogger Template Created by pipdig