Pain is common when it comes to styling Black hair but it does not have to be. I grew up in my mom’s salon – the salon that fed and clothed me and put me through school. All the while I was in that salon, I questioned why Black women did all sorts of manipulation to their hair. I did not understand that nor did I understand the mask of makeup. I boiled it down to self esteem issues caused by the history of racism and anti-blackness that has caused dysfunction in my community in many ways.
These days though, I see things a lot differently. My old feelings are still true but there is also another perspective.
From the book of Genesis, God gave us free will and choices. Eve had the choice to eat the apple or not and so did Adam. The mere fact that the tree of knowledge and the tree of life were both in the garden is a testament to having choice and free will from the beginning.
This is God’s love. God’s love says you choose and I will support you in the end even if I don’t agree with your choices.
My spiritual journey is to ultimately be God’s love in this world, which means instead of standing in judgement of other women and their choices, I support their freedom of choice and meet them where they are.
I made a choice to continue to wear my hair natural after leaving my mother’s care. I made a choice to put my hair in locs and then cut it short and now wear a fro. I have been blessed to never have that affect my ability to financially provide for myself and my family. I also did not put much thought into other people not accepting me for the way I look. I feel because it was not on my mind, it never manifested in my reality.
It is a big deal to folks that I have a fro. To me, I just have hair growing as it naturally does. My biggest concern is maintenance as always because it is time consuming. Anything longer than 0 minutes on something I don’t care about is time consuming to me.
Nicole Phillip and Jermell Prigeon said in a recent article “Black female beauty standards and the societal pressure to accept that beauty is pain.”
It can be painful to expect others to accept you as you are not. It is easier to love yourself enough where you don’t seek validation from others on how you look, talk, think, feel etc.
God is your validation.
People will disappoint you regardless of their race or gender or position/relationship in your life. The true constant is God and God’s love.
Love you so much that it does not matter what society thinks and what the media is doing and saying. These things change like the weather.
I have heard Black women advising me and others before getting braids to take Advil and ibuprofen which adds another level of alarm for me because these pharma drugs are not benign.
Self love and self preservation has me not wanting to harm my body for the sake of some one else’s amusement. When you spend $500 on braids or whatever style is in fashion that is causing pain or adding to the chemical load on your body, other people enjoy it more than you unless you spend your whole day in the mirror. Other people are just not worth my pain.
Trying to fit other people’s expectations only puts you in a box when God wants you to be free. Black girl joy. That’s what God wants for me and I know He wants that for you too. You are valued in God’s eyes because you are the child of the most high God.