Last week I had all the relaxer cut off and I am now rocking a short natural hair style. I made the decision about a couple of months ago to do this just for the summer. Although, everyone I have said that to tells me I will become so accustomed to the ease of it that I will not go back to the relaxer. However, I beg to differ – today.
Let me explain why.
I didn’t realize that I associated my femininity/attractiveness with my hair. I have worn both long and short styles and everything in between – all with permed/relaxed hair though.
I no longer feel feminine – I feel as if I have lost that feminine edge. Looking at myself in the mirror, I don’t see that fly fashion forward funky woman.
Now I see, and know, women, beautiful women, with short natural hairstyles who are uber feminine but that is not how I am seeing myself at the moment.
When speaking to a close male friend about this, he asked “what can you do to feel more feminine?”. To which I replied, not much more than wearing lip gloss everyday and large hoop earrings. He assured me that my femininity does not reside in my hair but rather in my demeanor, how I carry myself, and my attitude – that fact that I have boobs and bootay doesn’t hurt either. Yeah, he’s a funny guy. 🙂
I mentioned the same thing to a girlfriend who had a slightly different view. She thinks it’s because of the social/cultural conditioning to which many black women have fallen prey – our natural hair isn’t beautiful or good enough. Subsequently we spend most, if not all, of our lives and a large sum of money in the pursuit of that European standard of beauty.
I have had my hair chemically treated since I was fourteen years old and had forgotten what my “natural” hair texture was like. Fortunately, I am getting re-aquainted with my waves and curl pattern. But I have to be honest, I do not see “me”. Or maybe I do see me, naturally, but I am not quite comfortable with her – yet.
Have I been brainwashed to think my beauty/femininity lies in my chemically straightened hair whether long or short? Maybe.
Will I keep it this way? Not sure.
Do I regret the decision to cut my hair? No, because it has forced me to peel back yet another layer an examine myself again.
I know I will, along with my hair, grow from this experience.