This is directed at one of my friends in particular... you know who you are, but for now we'll just call her Jo...LOL! We had an intense conversation about textured hair yesterday and I don't believe that I said everything that I really wanted to say for fear of being pinned as a "radical natural". She knows that I'm putting this out there so... for the record I'm NOT putting her on blast! LOL.
The conversation went a little something like this.... (btw not all verbatim... more like my best recollection, but the statements in quotes are verbatim LOL)
Me: I like being natural. I feel like there is so much more to me now. What's funny is 5 years ago you would have never heard the word natural come out of my mouth... well in reference to me anyway.
Jo: Yea, your hair is cute, but girl everybody ain't growing hair like that... "You know I got that nappy *expletive* " [laughs]
Me: "No, I don't know... explain."
Jo: "My hair doesn't grown like that. I think you got white or something in you, cuz regular black people don't have hair like that."
Me: "Wait, so regardless of my ancestry... black people don't have curly hair or wavy hair? I actually thought black hair was typically defined as tightly packed curled or coiled hair?
Jo: "Girl that's just another way to say nappy." [laughs]
Me: "WOW! Are you really serious right now?"
Jo: Yes, all I'm saying is that most black peoples hair doesn't grow like that. "Think about most of the black women you know. It's either short and spiked, shoulder length, or weaved up."
Me: "Okay, so then why do you think that is?"
Jo: "I don't really know, and to be honest I don't really care."
Me: No seriously, let's talk about this... I'd like to know why you feel the way you do.
Jo: "Why, so you can try to convert me into a nappy zulu dashiki wearing chick?" [laughs] (the way she said this was *HAAAALARIOUS* spelled wrong on purpose)
Me: "No, I just think it's interesting." I mean I can understand where you're coming from because I used to perm too, "but I don't ever think I thought that my hair wouldn't grow. I knew that growing it could be more of a challenge, but I don't think I ever thought my hair wouldn't grow."
Jo: "I wasn't saying it like that. I meant it won't grow like that. My *expletive* grows straight nappy!" [laughs]
Me: "Oh, so again... you're saying that black people don't typically have waves right? Well then what about dudes? Remember when guys used to brag on their waves... Unless they're rocking texturizers [laughs]... that's all natural. How do you explain that?"
Jo: "That's different."
Me: "No, it's kinda not."
Jo: "Whatever. All I know is dealing with 1 inch of hair is different from dealing with 10."
Me: "That's true, but the point is that it does grow like that it's all in how you care for it. Remember how the guys used to walk around with their brushes. They slept in the wave caps, kept their grease in the car? [laughs] It's the same thing, only it's longer. You have to learn to pamper your hair the same way. I spend more time with my hair now than I ever did before. That's ALL I do."
Jo: "Okay... like I said... your hair ain't regular. You can keep talking, but that's real."
Me: "Okay "Jo"" I'm not even about to go there with you tonight [laughs] Matter of fact Imma put this up on my blog. I want to remember this conversation when you're natural [laughs]"
It went on a little further, but that's the jist of it.
I want to keep this really short, but I do want to make this point...
Those feelings of inadequacy are much deeper rooted than your hair. I wish that you and others who feel this way would truly wake up and see that. You say that you see it. You talk about it like you know it exists, yet you do nothing to stop it. I personally don't think you notice it. I think you have been conditioned. You are conditioned because your ancestors were conditioned. Feelings of inadequacy have been passed down through generations of our people. I for one will NOT continue that "tradition". This feeling is NOT inherent...... it is learned, and it is up to you to recognize it so that you may change it. Change it for the betterment of yourself, but most importantly for the betterment of your children. We as a people HAVE to wake up!
Forgive me for getting all preachy. LOL
*Call me radical if you'd like... I speak the TRUTH! If you won't say it... hand me the mic; I WILL!