Two New Series. Yay!!

July 22, 2011 Oyibo Princess
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My Cousin, T, and Me! Albeit, before I knew what I was doing.

Hey all.  I have something to tell you. So when I first released my hair blog back in June of this year, I received a lot of positive feedback, including from that of my cousin.  She called and said, “I love your blog!! You have inspired me to go natural.”

I said, “Really?”

I was so surprised.  My cousin has a relaxer and always wears weave.  Not a nasty looking weave.  Her shit always looks tight. (Sorry for the cursing, but there is not other way to say it. I mean “It always looks good” doesn’t have the same effect or maybe I have just been hanging out with too many sailors lately). Hehe. The reason why I stopped getting a relaxer was because I could not deal with it, did not really get the whole relaxer thing, and did not think it looked good on me.   Plus my mom kept telling me the relaxer was going to spoil my hair (even though she herself had a Wave Nuevo, which is a slightly gentler version of the same process). The list goes on and continues to grow the longer I stay natural and the more research I do.  But I was surprised to hear T tell me that my blog made her consider going natural.

My cousin recommended that I write some blog posts about how to mentally prepare oneself to go natural and that a lot of women want to look like Kim Kardshian because the media sends the message that KK is the standard of beauty. (Come to think  of it, my cousin is the black Kim Kardashian. Whoa!! I hope that means I am the kinky-haired Sade. hehe. They don’t know each other but if we get to chose what celebrity we want to be, I want to be Sade.)

It has been a while since I have taken the step to “go natural” so I asked some friends who still have a relaxer about what keeps them from going natural in order to address common concerns.  I actually do not remember what they said (sorry Chantel), but I know from researching websites like that of Motion’s (a relaxer company), hearing an interview from Andre (Oprah’s hair stylist), and reading other blogs that a lot of black and blackish (mixed or kinky-curly) women do not go natural for a wide range of reasons, but there seem to be several common themes:

  1. Many are worried that they will not get a man or that they will lose the one that they already have.
  2. Many are concerned that they will not get a job or they will lose their job.
  3. Many are worried that they will not be able to manage their hair.

What I have learned from this job search/career building process is that it can be damaging to one’s self to act on assumptions only without doing any real research or exploration.  So I am going to do the research for you.

I am hoping that my hair growth series covers number three (even if you do not want long hair, it should tell you a lot about managing natural kinky-curly hair).  So I am starting two other new series.  One on men and what they think of kinky-curly hair.  The other will be on natural hair in the workplace.  I have already gotten one of each from two people, but I am currently working on getting photos of interviewees who helped me.  The second one is being done for a semi-selfish reason, because I am personally looking for jobs at the moment and want to know how I should do my hair.  Do not really need to do the man thing for myself, because I already know that the fellas love it! =) haha. No shame.

Many people are under the misconception that natural women do not care about what people think. Haha.  I cannot speak for other women, but I do care.  [Gasp] [Surprise] [Shock] In fact, I started wearing an afro because my college roommate freshman year said that the fumes from my flat iron were making her sick, so I put the hot comb down and have not looked back ever since mainly because people loved the afro so much.  I always have cared what other people think and I do not see it as a sign of weakness or immaturity.

Mom: Stop being so senstive.

Me: Do you want me to be insensitive, Mom?

At the same time, if I have to choose between pleasing others and my own health, I would choose my health.  Dr. Deepak Chopra, MD  says that the happiest people don’t spend money that they don’t have trying to impress people they don’t like. I want to be that person.

However, I have actually for the most part always gotten positive feedback for my afro and other natural styles.  I am a little annoyed when people say it is afro-centric (do they even know what that means?), but aside from that, out of all the comments, less than 1% have been negative or degrading.  I do not want to risk my hair or body health just to please two or three people. It is not worth it.

T and Me again. Her camera always washes my skin out. EWWW!!

I realize that a lot of people are not aware of that the natural really is not looked down upon as much as many might think, at least not in the United States of America.  (Definitely do not think Nigeria is quite there yet or even close.  No offense.  I still love 9ja. I will however say that the Yoruba men have a proverb that goes like this, “If you want to know how  beautiful a woman is, examine her when she wakes up early in the morning.”  I will also say that Nigerian weaves are beaucoups of fun, so why not use them?)  Or maybe I should say at least according to my own experiences, the  natural hair journey is not as treacherous as people may think, but of course do not trust the perspective of one.  I am bringing you the perspectives of many and I am hoping people will be honest.  The natural might not be as acceptable in Utah or Montana, but then again, who knows?  I hope to find out. So get ready to get into the minds of men and into the mysteries of the workplace.

Bad pic of me again, but it's not about me. It's about T.


Entry Filed under: Men,Workplace

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