I am not my hair… Or am I?

#BLACKHAIRPOLITICS

morgan

When I turned 16 and was eligible to obtain a worker’s permit, there was one thing I was often told by my family. That was… natural hair was not considered “professional”.  Business Insider created a top 20 list of components that create a professional appearance. Let me know when you find “Natural hair for black is not professional”.

  1. Make sure your clothes fit.
  2. Don’t be too sexy.
  3. Wear glasses that fit.
  4. Dry your hair.
  5. Pay attention to your bag.
  6. Don’t wear strong perfume.
  7. Wearing nude pantyhose is hip.
  8. Wear well-kept, polished shoes.
  9. Avoid ankle socks with slacks.
  10. Get regular pedicures.
  11. Don’t over-accessorize.
  12. Your jewelry shouldn’t make noise.
  13. Pay attention to your watch.
  14. Facial hair shouldn’t overwhelm your face.
  15. Grow facial hair on a weekend or vacation.
  16. Trim your beard.
  17. A goatee is rarely a good idea.
  18. Wear rich colors to portray authority.
  19. Avoid neon colors and overly flashy clothes.

Sadly, my family was right. When I turned 18 years old, I decided to “test the waters” and where my hair natural without it being straight. I was treated differently than when I had my hair flat ironed. I remembered walking into the room and all eyes were on me and my hair. I was bombarded with questions about how I got my hair that way? Was it mine? Why did you do that? and comments in a negative tone like, “that’s different”, “you look like a chia pet”, “when are you going back to your straight hair?”. Unfortunately, I allowed their ignorance and negativity affect me. But I will no longer allow ANYONE to determine my choices.

princess hair

Throughout the #BlackLivesMatter course,  I learned more about who I am as a Black woman. We did an exercise that helped us mapped out our identity and I realized that I am not defined by hair. My hair is only a component of my body that enhances me not sets me back. Now, I can proudly go back and forth between my straight hair and my natural curls. Both styles only compliment to the strong Black woman I am and does not diminish my creditability…. I LOVE MY HAIR!!!!!!

 

rp