Sunday, October 15, 2006

WTF, or Why your opinion about my hair matters

It is 2006. October of 2006. Why is a black woman's hair still such an issue?

I carry dreads. My locks are pretty long; they come to the middle of my back. Since they are long now, people compliment them. People stop me to tell me how beautiful they are. They make a point to tell me that MINE look nice and clean.
It is 2006.

I started my locks in 2000. I cut my shoulder length chemically 'relaxed' hair off and started my locks with about 2 inches of hair, which looks like an inch once twisted.

People looked at me like I was crazy. I expected some people to stare, but the worse group, by far, was black women. At first the reaction hurt me.

Sistahs looked at me like I was trying to cut their hair off. They reacted as if I was trying to take away their relaxers and make them go nappy. Brothers tripped too, but most brothers trip when they see a woman with short nappy hair. I could not believe it. THIS IS MY HEAD.



Not that it mattered anyway. I was ready for my locks. I was happy. I did not lock my hair to please anybody but ME.

So now, when I am shopping or walking, and someone stops me to tell me that they approve of my locks I really want to ask them if they hold an opinion on what the president is doing.

I want to know if they talk to their children about things going on in the world.

I want to know if they read.

I want to know what makes them think that I give a care what they think about MY HAIR.

I don't care!

I mean, OK, Thank You for the compliment.

But, I want SOMEBODY to walk up to me and ask me why politicians think black folk are a herd of homogeneous, brainless cattle.

Or, why is it that if a black woman doesn't fit a European margin of beauty she is only worthy of disdain.

I want someone to look at me, see the fire burning in my eyes and know that I am the real deal.

I want SOMEBODY to see the beauty that is me.

I want people who only care about 'dressing to impress' to impress me by shutting up.

Maybe I should walk around singing India.Arie's 'I Am Not My Hair,' even if no one gets it but me.

**The exception to this are those people who are locked, were locked, or whose lover is locked. I bask in their attention. People who have cut their locks often say I make them miss their locks. THAT is a compliment**


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