The “chop chop” “snip snip” moment is a big one for many black women especially if you’re transitioning from relaxed hair to growing a natural afro. Firstly, it’s a big responsibility to take on because let’s be honest, growing a natural afro is a hassle, time consuming and sometimes a bit costly. Secondly, you need to let your creative side come to play because hiring a stylist to make your ‘fro hairdos look golden isn’t an option we all have. But let’s get back to the “snip snip”.
Let me take you back to when I decided to go under the knife with my silky, straight and a little over-the-shoulder length hair. I cried. Well just a little. Okay, you want a more tea than that, it was the end of my first year in college and I must say, I needed a change of scenery or a change in something. Something had to give. Because the bob was in the time, I decided to pull off a Rihanna inspired bob cut and if I may say so myself, in Miss Wendy Williams’ voice “it was a slay-ation”. Eventually though, I grew tired of it and stopped delaying the inevitable and chopped off everything! And so, I cried. My main reason though was because I wanted to go natural. Have an afro. Be that proud black girl with a rich, bouncy afro that defies gravity. Don’t take it for granted though, it’s not easy having and being that black girl with a rich, bouncy afro that defies gravity.
The battle begun by being black. Me vs society. My blackness would now shine through brighter than ever and be in your face. And that’s a bit tricky in our modern society. The irony of the term “modern society” when what’s meant to be modern isn’t seen as normal, or whats meant to be normal isn’t seen as modern. As a black women, we are targeted. For our hair, our body, skin colour etc. Our beauty undergoes so much scrutiny. And when it comes to our hair, it’s always about its texture, the colour, “it’s too difficult to manage” or simply because “it’s too ‘black’”. And we always hear how beautiful it is when it’s straight or relaxed. At the workplace, in schools etc. That the black natural state of hair is “unprofessional”.
Weirdly enough, we hear that a lot from other black women too. Take the black girls of Pretoria Girls’ High who were told they needed to “fix” and chemically straighten their hair to the point where they had to protest for their hair, to keep their hair natural. At what point do little girls have to cry and protest for their hair? And to that I ask, where were the black female teachers? The notion of conformity and making society comfortable and happy has been thrown into the world and made to seem normal. But we so often forget that we, too, are society. I’m society and you are society. So, since you and I, black child, are society too, why not then not make ourselves comfortable? Made ourselves happy?