Saturday, November 3, 2012

Turning Heads . . . and Changing Minds

Photo shoot by KID Images & Sound.  His only request . . . "wear your hair in an afro puff."
It's rare for me to go anywhere without someone commenting on my hair or having women ask questions about what products I use and pulling out a piece of paper to take notes or a cell phone to google the products I use.  I stopped in a store one day to grab something quickly.  I was walking really fast because I was in a hurry and this lady literally ran after me with her shopping cart and two kids to ask me about my hair.  I forgot why I was rushing that day, but after seeing the trouble she went through to get to me, what I was rushing for no longer seemed important.  After talking to her, she thanked me for being so nice and her two kids hugged me.  I then turned around to get the items I came in the store for and there was a lady on my other side patiently waiting to also ask me questions about my hair.  That's when I realized that I was Turning Heads and Changing Minds . . .

Monday, January 2, 2012

"Please Stay Natural!" - Challenges, Encouragement and Inspiration

In St. Kitts, November 2011

I walked towards the ship after having a great time on the island of St. Kitts and as I walked by, a guy yelled "Please stay natural!!" My response was "I wouldn't have it any other way!"  It was an amazing cruise - 6 islands in 7 days and the response was the same on the ship and on every island - People loved my hair! However, this was the first plea to stay natural, which made me think about some of the frustrations I encountered that could have caused me to run to the nearest beauty salon for a virgin relaxer.  So I thought I would have a little fun and talk about 4 challenges that were the most difficult for me to handle and hopefully offer some encouragement if you're dealing with some of the same issues. Also, since I don't post very often, I thought i would share a collage of some of my favorite hair pics.  Maybe they can be helpful for those who may be struggling with whether they want to stay natural.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

It's All About the Hair, but Don't Forget About the BODY

I have been fortunate enough to have never struggled with weight.  The problem with that is I never really concerned myself with what I ate because I associated diets and meal planning with the need to lose weight.  I never thought of it as being something I needed to be conscious of for health reasons.  I ate out a lot, but I tried to select healthy options . . . at least half of the time :-)  I knew it was better to cook at home, but I had every excuse in the book why I couldn't do it.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Tale of Two Grandmas & My Journey to Cultural Awareness

Until recently, I never compared and contrasted my two grandmas.  Each one was special and dearly loved so I never saw anything more or less than that.  Now, with all the talk of "good" hair and "bad" hair and light complexion and dark complexion, I'm beginning to realize that my grandmothers were on opposite ends of each spectrum.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

"Fancy Naturally"

Oh you fancy, huh?

Thanks to Marsha J for being the inspiration behind this post!

During my early natural days, I would get really nervous when it was time for me to attend a formal event.  I had to deal with my own apprehension of whether I could wear a fancy hairstyle without straightening my hair and I had to deal with people asking me, "what are you going to do with your hair?" So I guess I felt I had to do something really special for my hair to be presentable for the evening.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Our Brothers and Our Hair

Stretched Fro for the party
Last night, I went to a house party with a friend.  Earlier that day, I wore my hair up and by the evening I was getting a headache, so I decided to take it down and wear a stretched fro to the party.  From my experience, my twistouts and pulled-up styles get the most favorable reaction, but I generally don't get many compliments on my fro styles from the average guy.  I get more stares and people shaking their head as if I really need to DO something with my hair.  It's only the deep brother that will express appreciation for seeing me embrace my natural roots when wearing fro styles, so I really wasn't expecting much of a positive reaction when I walked into the party.  However, when I walked in, the guys instantly began complimenting me on my hair, my style and my vibe.  They were actually impressed . . . hmmmm . . . interesting.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Let's Talk About the "N" Word

Taken in 2009
Are you offended when someone refers to your hair as "nappy" or are you one of those "happy to be nappy" folks?

Personally, I don't necessarily embrace the word although I love my "My Hair is Nappy My Life is Straight" t-shirt.  I embrace that shirt primarily because of the message it sends.  People tend to think that wearing your hair naturally is supposed to complicate your life, so I love the powerful message of the shirt, which plays on the word "nappy."  

There's no doubting the power in the texture
I also understand that many people do not intend to be offensive, but use the word to describe the 4 a/b/c texture.  Some naturals who chose to avoid the word, use "kinky," "curly," or "coily" to describe this texture.  However, I recognize that a lot of non-natural people would not recognize my texture as "curly" (they probably would laugh at the thought!) and coily is a word that was introduced to me by the natural hair community, so I'm sure they wouldn't use that word either. Additionally, "kinky" is often used to describe "kinky twists," which I'm not wearing, so what's left?  Nappy.  When my mother talks about nappy hair, she's referring to the texture and that's the only way she knows how to describe it.  How can I get mad at that especially when that was how I used to describe my own hair?  Now, I can give my mother a list of PC words to use in place of "nappy," but I don't feel the need.  I understand what she means and I take that approach with others who use the word to describe the texture.

On the other hand, there are people who use the word in an offensive way and follow it up with a strong suggestion for you to straighten or relax it.  I'm not a fan of combating ignorance with ignorance, so unless that person catches me at a bad time, then I try to be sophisticated and strong and let them know that I love my hair as is and have no intentions of changing it.  With that said, I'm human, so if they catch me at a bad time, then they get what they get!  LOL

What are your thoughts on the word "nappy"?