Reclaiming Our Way promoting the well-being of African American children & families

11Jan/140

Personal Message about My Love of Natural Hair: “I Am Not My Hair” – India Arie ft. Akon

I learned many years ago the dangers of men (even politely) suggesting that women should abandon the perms and relaxers and go natural. Those were always spirited conversations on Howard's campus. I've come to appreciate that sisters have many reasons for taking on different hairstyles... some of it as simple as wanting to mix it up.

I still absolutely adore sisters with natural hair, though, and can't figure out the obsession with the perms, relaxers, or even the wigs, weaves and extensions.

I'm very conscious of this dynamic these days because my pre-teen daughter is right up in the thick of it. She's very aware of how much she stands out among the many other girls who get their regularly scheduled perms, etc. While I try to talk about the politics of beauty, oppression and the like, it ain't easy given the sickness of the world we live in.

What's consistent, though, is that the conversation always ends with a clear message that daddy's love for her is unconditional, and transcends anything she does, says or wears. I love her because her very existence makes her a beautiful princess, and worthy of everything good that exists within the universe.

So here's to the sisters out there who are still holding it down.

Be you, be courageous and be proud, however that looks!

We absolutely adore you!

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