Friday, 25 September 2009

One Happy Natural : Creating My Own Reality

***Edit - The very very juicy stuff can be found in the comments. Don't forget to read them!***

Welcome to the debut of my new series. This is just a snapshot into the working of my mind and why I am always smiling. Today I want to discuss creating a world of my own within the real world.

Step 1: The real world in my eyes is not my creation nor my reality.
What does this mean? It means that when I decided to go natural and people said to me that my hair is very African my response was to smile and say, 'Thank you, I am.' The sad part about this statement is that it actually came from fellow Africans but I don't get invested into the workings of their brains but rather I tweak my own and say, 'I am normal.'

Step 2: I welcome those who wish to enter my reality.
I recently attended a friend's wedding and her husband was very fascinated by my hair. He is white and my friend is black. He kept asking why my friend's hair doesn't look like mine. I actually had a two hour conversation with him on the difference between natural hair, chemically straightened hair and weaves. No, he didn't know the difference because frankly nobody ever told him. In the end, he asked his wife why she didn't wear her hair natural, she said 'it is hard to take care of.'

Step 3: I do not let others distort my reality.
On the actual day of the wedding above, I wore my hair in a bantu knot out and I couldn't beat off the compliments. I realise that the reason this is because a bantu knot out makes 'understandable curls.' I had the same type 4 hair for a week and apart from the groom, nobody was openly interested in my hair, curious about it clearly, but not sure what to make of it. Suddenly stretch it out, make some 'normal' looking curls (meaning type 3 curls) et voila compliments galore.

In my reality, natural hair is normal. Black women rocking straight hair are normal too, they just don't wear their hair naturally. In my reality, there is no hierarchy, my type 4 curls make just as much sense as type 3 curls so I rock my shrunken curls 90% of the time. In my reality criticism about my hair is irrevelant as it comes from lack of knowledge or ignorance or stupidity or a combination of the three.

Tell me, what is your authentic reality? I don't want to hear about the 'evil looks' that other people give you , this is the 'real world' . I want to know about the much more important utopia in your mind!


  1. - I love kinky hair texture and i prefer it

    - I can go anywhere with it without shame (work, marriage...)

    - I now tend to find straight hair and curls somewhat boring (lol no offense i know they are not but that is how i feel)

    - I still have a hard time with the majority of voluminous styles on me. My face is wide. I guess i have not done the mind transition of the out-styles that are more adapted to our hair. Hence i'm happy that my hair is fine cuz my fro can hang a little but the styles do not hang enough for me (lol). I've noticed that when i have a twist or a cornrow bang i like it so that problem is being solved (lol)

    - I do not want my protective styles to look like the ones some women sport in my country. No no no. I don't find it pretty on them. No!!!! I want to look modern lol. So i adapt the styles

    - I think cornrows do not fit me cuz it shows my scalp . It fits those who have more hair/inch square and most 4C's do not have that. I tend to do the big ones or partial ones. I think cornrows without extention do not fit MOST of African light skinned woman ( like me) bcuz of the light scalp. Yikes!

    - I like kinky extension styles but i do not wear them cuz i tend to find them prettier than styles without extension becuz of the volume it adds, volume that 4C type stretched and haired woman rarely have in twists or braids or cornrow. I'm like an alcoholic that do not drink anymore but should not drink at all if he do not want to start drinking again. I avoid extensions at all cost and i can't wait for the day i will find our thin twists prettier then the kinky twists.

    I'm still meditating on what you wrote. I do not know if i was off topic or not. Just my thoughts and pls remember my questions on the ''don't get it twisted'' post.

  2. In my authentic reality, I'm awesome and my hair is awesome-er. My hair always looks fly, even when it's under a scarf because I stayed up all night finishing a pset and it's kind of droppy matted. There are no bad hair days, only unexpected hair styles.

    The "traditional hierarchy" is reversed adn 4zs are envied for their defined twists that last WEEKS and still look clean when I can go 2 days at best.

    I always get "evil looks" because my hair is too awesome to not stare and go, wow, where is she going? She can't JUST be going to the grocery store!

    I encourage discussion about my hair. I let people touch it because they're geninuely curious about it. No one just up and grabs me. I talk about relaxed and natural hair. Neither is harder or easier or more high maintaince or low maintaince or sexy or plain or normal. It's all just hair and the woman wearing it determines the above.

    *keeps dreaming up good things*

  3. this is very interesting! i have not really thought up a hair utopia...maybe it's because i hardly get evil looks or i may just be an optimistic individual!

  4. I'm in love with my type 4 curls. To the point that is is almost unhealthy actually. LOL. Thankfully, I have weaned my myself out of my hand in fro disease after about 5 years but I just love to LOOK at it, especially when it shrinks.

    In the last 7 years I blew out my hair once and did NOT like it. It looked like I was trying to hard if that makes sense. I washed it the next day and haven't done that again since. (not trying to offend the straigteners but you asked about my reality :0 )

    In my reality, I do see black women with straightened hair as an oddity. Just like I would think it odd if 80% of white women tried to turn their hair into afros on a regular basis. They are still beautiful but is it not normal. I too was abnormal and I'm proud that I no longer bear that burden.

    I feel like when people meet me and I interact with them, they really have to see ME. Not any image that will wash away or has to be maintained. It's just me.

    I feel in love with my hair overnight and from that day onward it has became the most normal thing to me. There really is NO alternative hair texture I experiment with. Straightening (by any means) is not an option for me. This is it and that's perfect.

    I've never took to referring to myself as a queen but I literally feel like I'm wearing a crown.

    It's like when you have someone special and you're walking down a street or at work and have this little happiness,this peace and fullness within yourself. I always thought I was an attractive person but I trully feel BEAUTIFUL. In my reality that is undeniable. How can people not look? I look at other type 4s myself. They look great!

    If someone tries to touch my hair in such a way to give both a compliment and also to say that this hair is in any way strange, different, odd, new. I just move along with a big smile on my face. My hair texture is just as much a part of my ethnicity inheritance as my skin is at this point. I wouldn't bleach my skin or straighten my hair. I wouldn't let someone poke my skin out of curiosity, why my hair.

    If someone tries to have a conversation with me about my hair with any negative angle, I'm always confused and it shows on my face. Because my hair is one of the best things about me (among many other great things ^_^), I honestly just don't get it.

    I hear "hard' and think she can't be talking about my hair.
    I hear "difficult to manage" and think once upon a time when I was relaxed or didn't know what I was doing, yes, but that was temporary.
    I hear "unfeminine" and think did you SEE the guy I came in with, hello??
    I hear "unprofessional" and think do we live in the same galaxy? If you read english, take a look at my resume.

    I think Zora Neale Hurston mastered the art of living in her own reality as well because she said: “Sometimes, I feel discriminated against, but it does not make me angry. It merely astonishes me. How can any deny themselves the pleasure of my company? It's beyond me.”

  5. My authentic reality is that I no longer look for others to approve of or accept my natural hair because I have embraced it and love it for myself.

  6. Hmm not sure JC. I don't think I've really built one but when I do a puff in my mind
    "I'm fly, Don't touch me LMAO!!" (pops collar haha j/k)

    I feel like a different person when I wear my hair out. I actually become more stylish versus being just a drab dressed mom. I stand outside mentally and I feel as if in a way there's a secret I know or a realization I've come to that others aren't aware of yet.
    I also will smile when I hear a comment that seems to be directed to me about my hair positive or negative. If its positive I hope i've helped them to try and adopt a natural lifestyle. If negative I assume they just don't get it or wished they could do it. I do think I have a type of alter ego when I wear my hair out now that I think about it LOL.

    In reality, I just dressed more differently since my hair appears shorter. *shrinkage* I am not perfect and far from the confidence level I show off since I sometimes get self conscious about my skin or something. *though it seems fine now*

    Love your utopia JC lol.

  7. @ Alice- I love your authentic reality
    @tracyata- the Zora Neal quote is priceless

  8. Thank you all for contributing and I hope the opinions keep pouring in. I love and live that Zora Neale Hurston quote.

  9. This just make me realize even more that, as adults, peoples negativities only make us vulnerable when they correspond to the ones we have about ourselves in our own realities. So instead of focusing on others we should focus on ourselves to solve the unhappiness. Girls, you're awesome.

    I do not like relativism much, but i like the idea of ones reality concerning beauty cuz beauty is so subjective ( it is in the eye of the beholder). Not taking into consideration oneself in that definition of beauty is like not giving value to oneself or ones taste to even think of listening to it.

    '' I don't get invested into the workings of their brains but rather I tweak my own and say, 'I am normal.'(...) I welcome those who wish to enter my reality. ''

    This remind me of something i'm suppose to be practicing but that i have failed to apply in this area ( and others lol): ''Do not try to change the others (you can not), just love them.''

  10. I grew to love my hair over time - maybe 'cos it was so jacked up for years.
    I love it to bits. When I wear it in a twistout I feel like the flyest woman on earth. More confident, slightly edgy, always different.
    It did matter to me that my hair was generally accepted though, once I nearly cried because a 10year old white kid said I looked odd..;0)- so glad I got past that issue. Now I realise I will never relax again.

  11. I have recieved mixed comments about my hair. I have heard the, "Oh, everyone can't do that style, but you can." My response to that statement me is, "Well, I'm just embracing what God gave me." I have the heard, "Why did you cut off all of your hair, You look better with long hair, and Are you a lesbian," as well. My responses to those are, "Because I wanted to, Oh really, and Where did that come from!" Dang, why are a majority of the people in this world so negative about natural hair. I mean, it's mine. I love it and case closed. I haven't been natural for a full year yet, but I know that I will enjoy it for a lifetime.

  12. I like your outlook. I luv my hair and don't see myself relaxing anymore. My hair is just naturally me. I don't think it is better or worse than straight hair. It's just my hair. It's just me. I don't know how else to describe it. People don't say bad things about my stretched or shrunken curls (and I'm type 4). They really like my hair but if they did, I wouldnt care b/c like you said, a lot of those comments come from ignorance and no knowledge of how to properly care for and style natural hair.

  13. Here in Dallas GA, USA this past week we had rain, torrential down pours, Floods. The Natural in a complementary hair style was ideal. I typically wear a short Afro and it maintained its look throughout my attendance to a wedding and running my errands. We need to love ourselves and who we naturally are, it is so convenient.

  14. This is an awesome post- I especially like that you are so proud of yourself and promoting natural air without stepping on the toes of others :)

  15. Thanks for saying this..
    I'm glad to see you throwing up the metaphorical Type 4 fist!


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