I didn’t think I would start talking to you about your hair so early, but in light of recent events I figured I should get a head start.
See, you’re going to grow up and one day people are going to start taking issue with your hair. They might call you names, ask you why it looks the way it does, ask if they can touch it and if they’re especially ignorant will ask you to change it. But you’re not alone in this my love, this has happened to thousands of women and little girls. I’m not going to bore you with the ‘back in my day’ type of story that’s why I’ve decided to write this now during ‘your time’.
In the past few weeks there’s been a whirlwind of negative attention directed at two young girls and their hair. Their names are Tiana Parker and Vanessa Vandyke. These beautiful little girls were told that they needed to change their hair in order to adhere to their school’s policies. They were told their hair was distracting and in short, unacceptable. Doesn’t that sound ridiculous Ren? Needless to say these little girls parents and entire communities local and global have rallied around them. Unfortunately, Tiana had to switch schools and Vanessa is being encouraged to style her hair differently.
But why all this negativity around our hair? Because our hair was/is not considered beautiful, not because we don’t think it is but because we’ve been brainwashed to think it isn’t. But it is beautiful Ren, it is. All its kinks, coils, curls and all.
We’ve been told we need to straighten it, press it, weave it and basically do everything to avoid it staying and being seen in its natural state. Does this mean you can’t weave, straighten or braid your hair? Absolutely not! You can do whatever you want to your hair because YOU want to, not because anyone has made you feel less than, bullied or told you to.
So what is the moral of this story? You are beautiful just the way you are. Wear your hair however you want because it’s just hair. As India (Arie) sang you are not your hair. And as Melissa Harris Perry said it’s not what’s on your head but what’s in it.
And remember, Black.Girls.Rock.
I love you.