The day I sat in my hairstylist’s salon chair expressing how I was ready to take a break from braids, ponytails and weaves marked the day I courageously became NATURALLY ME. If you had told me a few months prior to that moment that I’d be wearing my own naturally textured hair, I would have considered you delusional!
For a good portion of my life, I felt like my hair wasn’t good enough. Have you ever heard the phrase “good hair”? It has been used so extensively in the black community that actor and comedian Chris Rock used it to title his 2009 documentary. Well, no one ever pointed to me while uttering those words! And why would they when my hair was the exact opposite of what was deemed good?
For years I struggled with the notion that I didn’t have long, silky hair. However, by the time I reached adulthood I let the dream of having “good hair” go, choosing instead to embrace and appreciate the hair God had given me. As a part of my growing process, I even joked about having “nappy” hair. I was learning to love me for me…………………… or was I?
I was accepting of my “nappy” hair as long as I was getting those touch-ups every 4-6 weeks. Yes, I said FOUR! RIDICULOUS! It’s a wonder I still had hair!!! Although I was over the idea of wearing long hair, I still greatly depended on relaxers. Despite the hair breakage, hair shedding and even hair loss I endured, I believed there was no other way! I had a chemical dependency to the ever-popular “creamy crack”!
I quietly entertained thoughts of becoming NATURALLY ME, but fear stifled me. What was I afraid of, you ask? I feared being criticized and ridiculed. And let’s be honest! As human beings, it feels good to be accepted, to receive compliments and have people like you. However, I had to realize that in this imperfect world, some people are just not going to approve of you, no matter what you do!
As I stood in my mirror staring at the TWA (teeny weeny afro) my stylist had just carefully coiffed, I finally was able to recognize my God-given beauty. “Who told you that something was wrong with your hair?” God asked. I didn’t answer. “It wasn’t Me,” He continued. I still didn’t respond. How could I? God was right! He didn’t make a mistake when He created me! Nevertheless, human standards of beauty caused me to believe that I had been cheated. After God finished speaking to me, I immediately repented for all the years I wasted criticizing myself. Ultimately, I wasn’t criticizing me, but My Creator! In that moment I was set free to be NATURALLY ME!!!
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