She wakes up every morning to the same thoughts scenery, the only thing that has changed is what’s underneath her slightly sunken in satin cap. She stands in front of the mirror boldly releasing her hair from the clutches of the cap. Small tightly curled morsels of hair cover her head and she notices the true beauty of her natural hair for the first time. She reaches for her coat and steps out onto the street preparing for a brisk walk to work in icy weather. A woman walking a dog turns the corner and an awkward repositioning of their paths happens. The woman with the dog looks at her and smiles as she crosses in front of her and to the other side. She carries on around the street corner where she sees a group of girls sitting on a park bench aimlessly staring at their cell phone screens. One girl on the bench looks up to meet her gaze and giggles. She nudges the other two girls and points her finger slightly upwards in her direction. They all begin to giggle sending her in a frenzy of thoughts, she knows that it’s about her hair and immediately begins to feel self conscience. Her smile fades as she hurries her pace to walk past the girls feeling her confidence sinks lower with every step. She meets the two front doors of her office and pushes them open a stranger in the waiting area looks up at her with a smirk and looks away before she believes she’s noticed. She gulps hard as she heads to her cubicle for her big reveal of her new hair style and begins to plot an early start home for later. She places her bag on her desk and gives eye contact to no one as she shoots down into the confines of her cubicle. Taking off her coat she turns and meets the eyes of one of her colleagues forcing her to fake a smile. She greet on another and her colleague drops back down within her cubicle and begins laughing. Anxiety ridden she stands up and looks over her colleagues cubicle and notices that she’s going through her hand bag. Her colleague looks up and notices her angry stare. “Something funny?” she says attempting to dull down the anger in her eyes. Her colleague giggles again and hands her the mirror. She cocks her eyebrow as she reaches for it preparing for her next comeback at whatever ridicule will surely follow this gesture. She opens the compact in front of her and stares deeply into the mirror. The look of disdain on her face is prominent and leaves her feeling regretful. Her colleague motions for her to move the mirror higher and she does so. In doing this she notices a small crumbled up piece of tissue standing directly up in the middle of her hair. A smile spreads across her face as they both burst into laughter. She thanks her colleague and hands the compact back to her. Staring at her reflection through her blank computer screen she smiles and notices the beauty that she’d seen this morning realising that she could see it even clearer now.
Many black women have been in this woman’s shoes at the start of going natural. Seeing a woman with short hair is different but give her thick kinky hair and it’s interesting. There are several reasons why I use the word interesting, one being that curiosity ties into the word interesting. Through curiosity we find most of our revelations and form our own opinions. So what is the revelation of many when it comes to very short natural hair? Of course it varies but the very root of it will spawn from life experiences linked with personal choices, some unique and many generic. How your hair is viewed boils down to one thing, your genuine feelings. Being confident simply isn’t enough, even the most grounded people break. It’s about disregarding what has been presented to you as the truth. The ideal woman derived from the media is a lie and we all claim to know that but why do some people still indulge in it? Could it be that the fear that is felt about wearing natural hair derives from comparison to what is ascetically acceptable beyond our own homes?
There are many things that you can choose to do, not for anyone else but for yourself and this should be one of those things. Whenever I decided to begin wearing my natural hair for the first time I couldn’t even put into words how unsure I felt. My mind kept racing and going over every possible scenario of what could happen but as soon as I stepped outside I felt something. That thing I felt was a liberation I’d never experienced before that changed my whole life. Although I felt this amazing thing I was still wearing my paranoia like a bad weave. I couldn’t help it, but as time went on I began to evaluate why I felt like this. I discovered why during a casual visit to a Walmart makeup isle. I looked for my favourite tube of mascara and began looking at the pictures of the models. They all had straight, wavy or heat induced curls. Even the black model had a relaxer. At that moment I realised that we as women in the world actually set the standard. The people posting the ads can only present what they know will be accepted. I challenge you, whoever you may be struggling with your confidence and anxiety to set the standard and release your cares because you’re worth as a woman embracing her natural form is so much more than you’ll ever know. You could walk by the right person and change their day by the confidence and the dance of your tightly curled short hair.
The bottom line is if we tell the world what the new norm is they have to sit down, swallow it and shut up. I don’t know about you but in case you haven’t been paying attention to any of the new beauty ads the black women are curlier and more relaxer free than ever. Progression comes in many forms and it could start with you. So rock your TWA and do so fearlessly.