|15| “I AM My Hair…”

Thursday, 11.3.11…

Once upon a very recent time, India.Arie sang out to the world “…I am not my hair.  I am not this skin.  I am not your expectations no.  I am not my hair.  I am not this skin.  I am a soul that lives within…” 

At the time, this was an anthem of sorts for us women & little girls who felt as though we were judged simply based on our external presentation versus the internal reflection of our soul and heart.  This song’s message at the time resonated with me, because I truly believed for ONCE, there was an “entertainer” who looked like me, who was able to be herself, and spoke to how I felt about my own perception of me, who FINALLY was receiving as equal amount of attention as the industry standard R & B/Pop “artists” of the time.

A few years later in 2011...One day recently, this song popped in my head and for the first time, I started to look at the lyrics in a different way and gravitated towards another line of thinking that actually challenges the “I am not my hair” mantra.  Don’t get me wrong, I still love the song and its intent, but as I have continued to flourish and grow in this natural hair relationship, the one thing I do know now is, I AM my hair.  This hair has completely transformed my acceptance of self in "as-is" first (i.e. sans make-up, sans ideal weight, sans not trying to live to other people's expectations, etc.), this hair has given me a deeper sense of pride of my gene pool, and this hair has given me a drive in helping people of color reach the collective level of awareness & acceptance of this afro-textured hair that sprouts from our heads and abandoning the negative imaging that has been conditioned in us for centuries.

There is not a day that goes by that does not entail some sort of interaction with the crown of coils that sit atop of my head and more importantly, an interaction that is not based solely in “vanity”.  This labor of love is embraced & expressed daily in a variety of ways.  Be it a moment I’ve looked in the mirror and simply smiled at myself for making the choice to accept a natural-headed me, or learning something new in how to care and maintain it then feelin’ giddy to share the information with ANYBODY willing to listen, or watching someone walk in a store, rockin’ a natural do’ and wondering what THEIR hair relationship has entailed, or me simply putting fingertips to keyboard and expressing a thought I’ve had concerning all things natural hair.  This hair, frankly, is a physical representation of my on-going progressive mental and emotional growth and I am PROUD to say…

I AM my hair…(period)

Afro-texturally Speaking,


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