I’ve heard the phrase, “being natural isn’t for everyone” so many times in various forms and it’s one of the wildest things I’ve ever heard because it’s coming from people who look like you and I. Some people are under the impression that “being natural” can only be accepted if you have a looser texture of hair, which only perpetuates the age-old need to assimilate to European standards of beauty. You would think there would be more support within our community, but sadly, there are still those who have been brainwashed into believing our features aren’t beautiful, which couldn’t be further from the truth.
I have had the esteemed pleasure of growing up natural–and by esteemed pleasure, I’m referring to the initial feelings of hating everything about myself because I wanted to “fit in”, to now loving every facet of my being that is unique. I grew up feeling like an outcast because I attended predominantly white schools, where most of my classmates looked nothing like me. If by chance, I stumbled upon another little black girl, I was faced with the reality that we did not share the same curls, coils, or kinks. The vast majority of the black girls I met growing up, had relaxed hair. Their chemically-straightened curls in no way, shape or form mirrored the silhouette of my fro. I was one of those little girls that used to beg and plead my mother for a relaxer, but she always refused. It wasn’t even up for debate, so huge shoutout to my parents for understanding the importance of not conforming to other people’s standards of beauty. It allowed me to love and accept myself in my truest of forms. It also lead me to the conclusion that ultimately, YOU SET THE STANDARD.
So, whether it be your hair, your body, your personality…don’t let anyone try to shame you from being who you are, naturally. I want us to get to the point where “being natural” isn’t a thing, you know? Just be…