I planned on doing a completely different post today but something happened along the way. On watching Doves Love Your Curls campaign for the hundredth time (Oh My Hat did you cry too?? Every damn time!! ) I rediscovered Tracee Ellis Ross’s Hair Love video and it occurred to me that this conversation needs to be had.
Tracee is unwittingly one of the forerunners of the Natural Hair Movement in the USA. I say unwittingly, because she had no wish to start or be part of this movement. She simply started falling in love with her true self. She embraced her natural beauty and thereby gained a following of like-minded women. Only problem is, majority of them wanted her hair – I was one of them.
Like Tracee, I am mixed – where I’m from I am classified as a Cape Coloured. Coloured girls hair comes in all different types. When I was younger I was referred to as a kroes kop (bushy haired) coloured. My hair wasn’t naturally straight, so technically I was frowned upon. My tresses needed to be kept neat which means I had to chemically enhance it to look like the coloured girls with the straight hair. My hair was unmanageable, unruly, thick, bushy, wild and I hated it. I wished it was less curly or even straight. The struggle was real!
Admittedly, I did enjoy pretending to be Diana Ross just before my 4 monthly relaxer. I guess I was always a natural at heart.
Back to 2015, I’m in the second year of my return to natural and I find that I am still being judged by some for my bossiekop. My response is different now though – I puff my fro bigger when people start staring, keep my back straight and I strut my damn tail feather!
I’ve stopped envying those with a looser curl pattern and started appreciating the gorgeous hair that springs from my head. I’ve noticed that the more I did that, the more my daughter appreciated her own natural hair and it is all about her realizing that she is “practically perfect in every way” (yes that was a Mary Poppins reference. I’m such a nerd) It’s all about self love people – it works. Let’s start practicing it, if not for us then for our kids.
I’d like to end off with Tracee’s video and a proposal to start our own Hair Love campaign.
Let’s start talking about why we love our own hair instead of why we love the next persons hair. Here goes: