(this picture is literally a seven month old instagram picture)
I would pick an incredibly controversial topic for my first real post. Idk I just feel like these are some things that kinda need to be said.
I got my very first perm in the fourth grade. I was what, eight or nine at the time? My parents never should have let me dictate that decision, but I wanted that perm so bad. You see, by the fourth grade, just about every black girl I knew had a perm, and every other girl I knew was white. I was surrounded by people with silky smooth hair, and so, that's how I thought my hair was supposed to be. At eight years old, my only goal was to make sure I fit in, because that's what every eight year old girl wants; to fit in. So, they permed my hair.
I spent the next six to seven years burning the heck out of my hair with chemicals, forcing my hair to lie straight and flat. For a while, I was happy with it. Everyone's hair was straight and so was mine. But then I got to middle school, and it was all about weaves. It was another way for us black girls to have our hair be as close to the caucasian standard as possible. It was about getting our hair to be as long as the white girls, as straight as the white girls, as perfect as the white girls. None of which is realistic.
Now, don't get me wrong, I am not against weaves or perms. You can do what you want with your hair, and don't judge what I do with mine.
So when I started noticing these things, I slowly started weaning myself off of perms. I spent a lot of time with my hair in braids, really unsure of where I was going with it. I just knew I didn't want a perm and I didn't want a weave. I wasn't even sure that I was going natural until mid-2011. I decided then that I was done with all of the bullshit of trying to "tame" my hair, and that I'd let it do what it wants.
In 2012, I cut my hair and started wearing it natural. I wish I could remember the actual date, but I sure as hell remember what that day was like. Some people hated it, some people loved it, and some didn't give a shit either way. There were the kids who gave me those sideways glances, and the teachers who looked at me like I was some kind of hood. There were my friends who were super supportive, and told me how brave I was, and how awesome it looked. And there were the assholes who made fun of me.
Why I chose to focus on them is beyond me. They didn't deserve my attention, didn't even deserve the time I spent feeling bad about myself over the things they said. I gave it to them anyway. There was a time when I hated my hair and the decision I made, because it felt like no matter how cool I thought my hair looked when I did it in the morning, I could never impress these kids. For a while I was so hellbent on getting them to accept me that it took me a while to realize that I didn't need them to. Going natural had been my decision. the only person who's approval that mattered was mine.
I've never been a very confident person, I've always seen myself as ugly (another long story for another long post). Going natural has been a part of discovering how beautiful I actually am, both inside and out. So even if I'm not the most confident person in the world, I'd say I at least have a pretty good start.
If you actually read all of this, bless your heart.