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PS: Thank God for Essence magazine.

At 15 I was started noticing fashion, what was trending and what was in style. At that point in time I was skimming through fashion magazines like seventeen and  Teen Vouge. NB: please  bare in mind I was not accessible to these magazines all the time so I would re-read one magazine over 100 times reading all the fashion tips I missed when going through it the previous time. These magazines where cute and informative in a 15 year old teenage girl kind of way. However, I never ever got why the fashion tips I read never got to work for me.  Being a girl with kinky locs I never got my hair to look the same way as the white girl’s hair looked at the end of the tutorials. I always thought I was doing it wrong, I was not pinching my cheeks long enough to get the natural blush they talked about, I was not using the right conditioner to get my hair to look as silky; in my head I was doing it all wrong. It did not help that all the black girls I saw in music videos and High school musical had straight, silky, full volume hair.

mum and meLet’s be honest, every black girl grew up with the sense that they had the worst kind of hair; that their nappy kinky locs were somewhat of a curse cast upon them. All the dolls were white and had silky hair. My idea of amazing hair was Britney spears, J.Lo heck even Beyonce had silky long hair. How was I to know my kinks were the bomb when all I knew was that every morning my mum would brush my hair with such force, like she was thor and the brush was her hammer. I remember my evening consisting of mum with the old school press comb; the one that all mums in the 90’s had, were they would put the comb on the stove first then literally burnt our holes through our heads. That press was pretty much the only reason I cried growing up.

Fast forward 2011; the year I fell in love with the natural hair, i don;t remember how and when it happened but I just couldn’t get enough of the youtube clips of naturals and pinterest with it’s amazing pictures. October 2012 was the year I decided to join the movement, so I went ahead and carried through with the BC (Big Chop). It took me a whole year to commit to cutting off all my hair; the transition stage. Most people asked me if I was fine/okay, as if cutting off your hair automatically means your not mentally or emotionally well. That surprised me a lot. I was mistaken for a lesbian (as if rocking short hair was only okay if you were a lesbian) some went as far as asking me if it was political. Even with all the questions and social limitations that girls with shirt hair seem to face, I fell in love with my TWA (Tiny Weeny Afro). After my first year natural, I suddenly started noticing a lot of girls were going natural, embracing their kinks. Even one of my best friend, who used to give me grief every night as I did my twists went natural last year.

froI want to give a shout out to Essence magazine for being the only magazine that documents and given beauty tips for Black naturals. I honestly wish I had read Essence when I was still going through my teens. I would have learnt a lot on how to love, embrace and take care of my natural hair, instead I pinched my dark skin harder to get a natural blush and applied chemical to my hair just so I would look like the white girl on the cover of the seventeen magazine.  One thing I would urge all mothers out there with black and biracial baby girls is to teach them; teach them how to love their hair and when they are old enough to know how to style their hair be it permed or natural, that will be completely up to them. But until then, love your natural curls, twirls, naps, kinks and locs my tiny earthlings.

 

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