Everyone Ain’t Supposed To Be Natural
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Did I really just hear someone utter those words? Am I really even surprised?
“Everyone ain’t supposed to be natural” I heard this acquaintance of mine say as a woman in all her nappy glory walked by.
“What do you mean, I said?”
“Well some people just look better with straight hair” was her reply.
I felt my blood pressure going up and reminded myself to breathe. This comment, from this newly natural convert herself, was just a confirmation of what some of us already know. We have a lot of personal and collective work to do around mentality and acceptance when it comes to our kinky, coily, nappy hair.
The prevailing thought even among a lot of Naturals is – the straighter (or curlier) the better
“How can that be”, I calmly said. “That is who she is… naturally. She is being exactly who she was meant to be by wearing her hair that way and it’s the viewers eye that needs to adjust and conform, not her hair style choice.
She looked at me, entertained the thought for a second, then made a quick aside joke and changed the subject.
It would have been easy in this situation to get upset and respond in a way that would have made the person making the comment feel small. I’ve been there and done that. Part of helping anyone else shift their mentality is to shift my own and hopefully lead by example.
“When you always do what you’ve always done, you always get what you always got.”
Education through correct information is always key
We all have the ability to educate starting with numero uno. Then, when we find ourselves in situations with others who are not honoring the truth, in this case, respecting and accepting another woman for her choice to live authentically as The Creator made her to be, we can respectfully educate others.
I saw the woman who made the negative comment recently. She was proudly sporting an afro about 2 inches taller than when I saw her last. She commented on how great my natural looked. She had never done that before. It dawned on me in that moment, that her comments some months back about the other woman, were more about her. I smiled and said thank you.
I can’t help but think my statement and calm demeanor that fateful day prior, shifted something in this person that allowed her to embrace her own hair change, from relaxed to natural, enough to where she now gives compliments to others (and I assume herself) instead of having non-affirming thoughts and negative commentary.
What could have turned into an ugly moment between the two of us became a mutual life affirming, esteem building moment. For this I am grateful.
Instead of getting mad at the ignorance or worse ignoring it, let’s continue to affirm, inspire and educate one another.
As the late Maya Angelou said “when you know better you do better”.
|“Changing attitudes about natural hair” is what we do at Natural Haircare News. Through informative articles, podcasts and videos, we go beyond just sharing the latest advice and tips on kinky, curly, wavy haircare – We shake things up and focus on the realities of wearing our hair natural.|
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