Tuesday, June 28, 2011

I am NOT my hair..Seriously

I've never been into "anthems" but as corny as it sounds, India Arie's "I Am Not My Hair," really rings true for me. I've probably had every hairstyle under the moon and while my exterior may change on a daily basis, my character always remains the same. The funny thing is, I've noticed that I'm definitely treated differently depending on my hairstyle. When I had bleached blonde with hair down past my shoulders I would get approached my men who sold drugs or committed other crimes and thought that, "going to kick it at their homies crib" was a great first date. They seemed astonished when I opened my mouth and, SURPRISE, this girl reads books, travels, and watches more than reality TV. When that same hair was dark brown I was only approached by men in the corporate world who thought I was a wild child for regretting not bungee jumping with my friends in South Africa (I chose to explore Paris alone which was great but I will bungee in South Africa one day). The Halle Berry short cut attracted a variety of men with a variety of approaches. My "favorite" was the older White men who wanted to act out their Monster's Ball fantasies, **shuddering at the thought.**And then of course, there was the natural. Now most of the women I know don't actually perm their hair so they can all attest to this one. When I rocked my afro, I would get nothing but, "Hey Queen!" or, "Beautiful Soul Sista," blah, blah, blah. Most of these men had dreads or an afro, preferred not to eat meat and only wanted to listen to, "real hip hop." They were astonished to realize that I love meat (fried chicken is a weekly staple in my house), I drink alcohol, and while I love Common and Mos Def, Lil Wayne's Mrs. Officer was the ring tone on my phone for over a year!And when that same natural hair was flat ironed straight, those same men (and women)would give me the side eye as if I had grown a third arm or something. Gone were the friendly greetings and head nods. I was no longer a member of their exclusive group. Since then I've had short cuts, mo-hawks, weaves, and braids. Depending on the style I've been approached by professional athletes, musicians, accountants, and yes, even a professional BMX biker. What these men, and honestly women too, fail to realize is, hair is nothing more than accessory. It by no means reflects my inner character or the journey I am on. Because my hair is currently permed it doesn't mean that I'm trying to be White or fit into any one segment of the population. It simply means that this hair is the accessory that fits at the moment. So let's all sing it together, "I Am Not My Hair...."

1 comment:

  1. Girl girl girl! So true! The BMX biker... I'm sure that is not the point of the story but it still brings back very many FUNNY memories! As far as having natural hair, I don't relax my hair, but when I straighten it, it gets straight, and I hear often that it's the same as relaxing! Blah! So then I ask... WHY ARE YOU WORRIED ABOUT WHAT I HAVE GOING ON WITH MY HAIR AND SINCE WHEN DID MY HAIR COME WITH A LONG LIST OF DEFINITIONS OF CHARACTER?! Just saying... you hit the nail on the head!