Thursday, August 20, 2009

Ashamed to be nappy...a true "aha moment"

Well my grandmother called my mom today and in the car and she was talking about fashion and such. She was on the speaker so I could hear everything they were saying of course. Just out of the blue my grandmother told my mother just straight out " Destiny going to to wear her hair nappy like that now?" I was so shocked by the statement I became really angry and then sad that that comment came from my grandmother but she has also called my hair words that were less than desirable before. I mean my hair is a big part of my identity, I've always wanted it longer and cherished the fact that it was curly although that it was on a tighter curl. I was very proud of my hair this morning because it was thick and curly like I wanted it to look but then this afternoon that comment made me feel so bad about myself I almost wanted to cry and then my mom being the mediator told me that that's just the way older people from the south think and its not me who she wants to personally put at fault.
My mom told me how the "good hair" thing is still a hot topic and important topic among older and unfortunately some younger African Americans who especially have roots in the south. Sometimes people tell me I have good hair and then they tell me I have bad hair so I don't know what I am sometimes. To me my hair looks however I do it that morning and If I put enough time into it. I'm very proud of the way my hair looks being more African and why should I be ashamed of it?
It's ashame that one of the first things I was told about my father, since my parents had divorced when I was a baby and I had limited contact with him, was that he had "good hair" and that he was mixed. I mean, I knew absoluteley nothing about his personality or his likes and dislikes and I believe psychologically having curly or especially LONG hair for me was a way of feeling that I was apart of him. If my hair is nappy then I have even less to do with him than I do at the moment, in consequence with having zero contact with him or his family. I felt that If I had long hair some of the teachers would make a big deal out of me like they did around the other little girls that were very light with long hair. Now I was ALWAYS very lightskinned but I could never be the full package without my hair being straightened and long. My grandmother was always so worried about my hair being short in which it had grown to be very long when I was a pre-teen in which she then worried herself about girls at school cutting it off. However, myt natural hair was never adored in my later years but it possibly was in my younger years when my hair was in the "2s" and manageable. I almost felt like I wanted to go back in time when I saw a picture of me as a little girl with my straighter hair and felt a little bad about the person I had become.
It was ridiculous to think that way however because I know that I've become and becoming something great. I was always the smartest girl in class, and a straight A student and have dreams and aspirations that reach beyond these worthless strands that sit on top of my head. I don't even care about my light color, I'm just a successful Black woman who is trying to change the mindsets of those younger than me. The mindset that was thrown upon us by those who wanted to keep us underneath them.

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