Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Naps or Curls?

I never had "nappy" hair. I never had "coarse" hair. Nobody ever talked down on the type of hair I had growing up. Why? It was always long (for the most part). From my days of presses to the infamous relaxed days I always had "nice" hair. Nice meaning that my caucasian friends often made comments to me like "Why isn't your hair like other black people's hair? Your hair is more like ours..." and I'd actually smile & feel so good about myself because I wasn't like those other black people. I had nice hair. White people would run their fingers through my hair & exclaim "Oh its just like OUR hair. You're not really black. Your hair is too nice.." Once again I'd smile & say something like "Well you know we do have a little bit of ____ in our family." & that would make my white pals think that I was a tad bit more like them. Yes, Bee was one of those girls who were always told "You have GOOD hair" and I believed it. With my flat iron in hand, my hair was good. I'd go to the beauty shop & the hairstylist would all LOVE to do something to my hair. It was nice. Not too thick. A little bit thin but took semi-permanent dye so well. I could go months without relaxers but I preferred to relax every 6 weeks. Sometimes I'd stress it to two months.
This wasn't just a white friend thing, some of my black friends where the same way. Guys would play in my hair & ask me if I were mixed with anything. Especially in the AUC. Maybe it was because of my green contacts that seemed to look so good against my brown skin.. Every guy I talked to asked "So what are you mixed with?" After awhile I said that I was part Asian-- my mother being half Japanese & Black. This worked for a long time. Especially since I have such shapely eyes. It just made sense. "Oh Bee. With the green eyes? Yeah, she's mixed".
One day I was tired of people thinking that I was something that I wasn't. So many rumors floating around about me. I didn't even know who I was anymore. I felt like a huge fake. No, I'm not mixed.
I'm black. My hair is NAPPY and I love it. Nappy is not a bad word. Kinky is not a bad word. I embrace both of them the same way I embrace the word nigga. Once negative but I've stripped it of all negativity myself.
It's a daily battle. I know that my hair isn't really as coarse as others & I sometimes have the urge to say I have "good hair" but I feel bad for thinking these thoughts. I feel bad to know that I'm really not 100% African and I don't always represent for my Black people. I feel bad that I sometimes wish that I had a different type of hair, more silkier than kinky with a looser wave pattern. At least I'm being honest.
I don't always LIKE what I see in the mirror. Some days I wake up and look at my hair and think about getting a relaxer. Some days I wish I had porcelain veneers. Some days I wish that I had a chemical peel on my face to make my skin smooth. Some days I want to change everything about myself. But then there are those days where I look at my reflection and I'm in love with what I see and I am proud to say that those days outweigh all of my insecure days.


Fourborne said...

I just came across your blog. I enjoyed reading this. I'm natural too and I love it.

naturallycurly said...

Bee this post pretty much sums up what the debate is, concerning your post on BGLH. What the white folks first off had the audacity to say to you, your acceptance of it with a smile as if agreeing with them on their I'm better than you status and your reaction by calling yourself mixed and some admitted struggles you still have which I guarentee is linked to those early years.

Not downing your post, replace hair with nose and white with black and these are some things I'd heard in my youth, but I hated being told I had a white nose because I'm not a fan per se BUT I still took that as I had an acceptable nose so different thing but same reaction, but saying as it relates to what BGLH is asking about straigthening, this is exactly why these discussions comes up and why some people take issue with doing any altering to their hair. And it's not just a hair thing as many say it really has all to do with the mind and the lies that it hold, it just shows up on the head.

Bee Michelle said...

You're right. I wrote this after reading the topic on BGLH. I can't help how I thought as a child. I always grew up with the notion that I had good hair. My hair wasn't AS nappy as others. My hair has curls. As a natural I still get these comments from people so I feel like I'm a fake natural at times.

I agree with your comment though. Its a much bigger issue than just hair. Its skin tone. Its facial features. Its level of education. Social Status. Everything.