Friday, April 29, 2011

Identity - Not 100% Anything

With my natural hair journey comes a lot of research. What products to use, the proper hair routine for bed, different protective styles for gaining length, how to prevent shrinkage on a wash and go, etc. With lots of research comes lots of images. Images of African-American and African beauties with large Africa earrings on, wooden bangles, head wraps and the such.

I have to admit, I'm falling in love with a part of me all over again that I was introduced to in my former days as an Essence of Africa program graduate. I love the eclectic nature and the boldness of what I'm seeing. So much so that I actually got the guts to wear a head wrap today. I haven't worn one since I graduated from Essence of Africa at the age of 13.

When I came home from the movies today with my head wrap on, my husband and I had a conversation about 'the look' that I was going with today. While he's okay with 'the look', he let me know that he doesn't want me to go all the way to the left and turn into a different woman than who he married. I'm actually not mad at that at all. I think it would be a shock if I started wearing head wraps, wooden earrings and African inspired clothing all the time. It was an interesting conversation in which I ended by saying that I'm not 100% anything. In fact, I am all about different styles. I love Hollywood glam. I love bohemian. I love Jackie O conservative. And I love the dark cutting edge Rihanna look just as much as the romantic girlie one. I need it all.

That leads me to say, it's amazing how much a hair style can dictate who we are. I've kinda talked about this in my previous 'going natural' blog, but it's interesting how naturalness automatically becomes associated with Afrocentric things. I know this doesn't have to be the case, but in all of the images I've seen over the past month, (and this bugs me a little) not often do I find a naturally curly African-American wearing a Jackie O or Audrey Hepburn style shift dress with pearls around her neck. And because of what I'm taking in, it's hard to think to match my curly bush with Michael Kors stilettos and diamonds studs. To be honest, it can be a challenge to take in these images and remember to stay true to who I am. But having the conversation with my husband made me remember that who I am is a little bit of everything.

When I take on a style, whether it be American sweetheart or hard core rocker, I like to go all in. Hair and everything. Since I don't know my naturally curly hair that well, transforming it to be what I need it to be is difficult right now. I feel like I'm ruled by my hair and not by my mood for the day. Hair is supposed to be an accessory and not who I am.

I say all this to say that hair and identity are two words that I'm fighting to keep separate during this phase in my life. But now that I've identified this issue, I'm sure I'll work it out. One thing is's the greatest thing to know who you are and own it. That's individuality at its best.

Here's a thought written by Moptop Maven... It applies perfectly.
"In a world that will seemingly forever pit curves vs. thin, light skin vs. dark skin, relaxed vs. natural, blondes vs. brunettes and black vs white; we must always hold on to our individuality. Staying true to our individual value system fosters a deeper sense of self-confidence that holds more weight than the praise received from trying to fit the mold. 

We must remain separate from thoughts of insecurity, inadequacy, and any fear we may experience; or else we risk the consequence of being consumed by these momentary feelings. We can separate ourselves from these feelings by developing a stronger "center" that always reflects our "true" selves, and remains undisturbed in the face of adversity. - Don't be afraid to be you. Let your love for yourself flow freely; let it feed your soul, let it carry you down the path of conscious freedom. 

To be content with your true self is to live in richness, truth and love. Whether you are dark skinned, light skinned, or completely lacking melanin; you were created in Divine Perfection."

1 comment:

T.C. said...

I really like the end is important to understand that we are beautifully different and unique in our own way...i always say i am like an onion...with many different layers to me, i don't fit into any ONE category or box of anything...I am not the loud ghetto girl, i am not the quiet intellect, i am not the around the way girl or the square...i am ALL Of those things and much much more...

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