Im an artist right. I paint little girls and young ladies with natural hair right. I know the importance of imagery and their power to alter the perceptions of one’s self worth. I didn’t see what I paint when I was growing up. No symbols of affection and love for my “kind”. And I get it. Every black girl needs a super hero, an alter ego like the boys have with their Transformers, G.I.Joes, Batman etc.
But what do we really have?
I hate that we even need so much reinforcement for something that is supposed to be “natural”. The heavy campaigning and push for natural hair is nothing more than “behavior modification” to make us “on the fence gals” turn the other cheek in favor of our hair. Yaay! I have a club to join where I can whine about hair shrinkage and mix goat milk and vinegar to make my tight coils looser without feeling like a sell out. I can now say “Oh! I only wear weaves as a ‘protective hairstyle.’ When did a weave stop being …ummm a weave? My point is that the hypocrisy is very much woven into the “movement”. And to blanket assumptions that a woman’s self esteem is higher because she wears her natural is uh…. Not smart at all.
I don’t know…
I feel like the natural hair crusade is a blessing, but it has also caused some divisiveness too. I see the You Tube All Stars of the natural hair movement and there is a “type” that gets the most hits, the most fans, the most sponsors.
Beauty to me, comes from health. And mental health should at the top. How do we foster true self esteem? Will having natural hair equip a young girl with the tools she needs for self love? Is self love encapsulated by vanity? Look how many beauty woman destroy themselves in the pursuit of beauty they already had to begin with! My thing is this, if you only eat nutritious food sometimes, if you only drink water sometimes, if you only workout sometimes, if you only do the things required to sustain a healthy body “sometimes”, but you keep your hair appointment like clockwork, plan your weekends around your takedown and co-wash, then something in that is awry.
I want the self esteem we are looking for to come from within, not alter egos that we transform into when we “glamorize” ourselves. Not from living vicariously through super heroes. Artistic Symbolism should be used as a representative of what is within you, or what you are becoming, not as a replacement for the lack of self esteem. And sad to say, a lot of glamour is about replacing what is non existent in terms of self worth. I’ve been bald, weaved, afro’d, locd, relaxed, blonde etc.. Done it all, but how I felt about myself internally didn’t vary much. The self loathe was still there, the wishing I was: prettier, thinner, lighter, smarter, richer,sexier was pretty much a “ride or die chic” of my very own to cracked her whip steadily throughout all my enhancements. It wasn’t until I got clear about “how and where” I wanted my beauty to come from, that I was able to break away from the what I believed to be burdensome rituals to look “lovable”. All I wanted was to be lovable. But you got to love yourself to truly be lovable. And grooming is a part of self care; as far as self love goes, its just not the entire pie.
Do you “Get Me”? Do you want to get more of me? Well, subscribe to stay in my world and be sure to mosey on over to my art gallery and get more to love today! 🙂 🙂