The Straight and the Narrow
Sometimes I look at the pieces of my chemically-straightened hair that are scattered around my bathroom floor, and I wonder what it would be like if things were different. What if relaxers were never invented? What if having afro-kinky hair was okay?
I’ve been getting my hair chemically straightened since I was around eight, and before then, I got my hair pressed with a straightening comb each week. I have no idea what my natural texture looks like besides from what I can guess from childhood pictures and the tiny bit of roots that grow out before I straighten them again. My hair is at my shoulders and will not grow past them because of breakage.
The answer to my dilemma may seem simple: just go natural! But here’s the thing—I’m not a big fan of natural hair. (Am I even allowed to say that?)
At least, I don’t like natural hair on me. I cannot see my hair being anything but straight, straight, straight.
The question then becomes why. Why can’t I accept the way I am? Why do I try to change this thing? Will there ever be time when I feel different? Can’t I be beautiful even with even a shaved head? How nice it would be if the answers to all these questions were yes.
Often, women haves been forced to rely on their beauty to get anywhere. Soft red lips, small waist, thin fingers, and long, silky hair are measures of “success.” This is the ultimate image that’s been created for us, the rocky,mountain that we must climb in order to succeed. Times have changed, you might say. It’s not that way anymore. Yes. I would have to agree with you. Now you have to be pretty and smart.
But what if I’m not beautiful to the majority of the world? What do I do if I don’t look like this: