A Natural Hair Story- On the Couch with Tammy

 
What An Accidental Hair Cut Taught Me About Self Esteem – A Natural Hair Story 

by Tammy Goodson of CurlyChics

Growing up I was never a standout beauty. With odd facial features and short stature, I was teased a lot as a little girl. Many kids experienced teasing and strikes at their still growing self- esteem during their grade school years, true enough, however, some handled it better than others. I lacked that healthy dose of confidence needed to circumvent the harsh criticisms from my peers. What I did have was a head full of long hair. I didn’t know it initially but it became my one desirable attribute. It was not so common for little brown girls to have long hair so it was the source of envy for many. Because of my low opinion of myself, I didn’t flaunt it; in fact, I didn’t want the extra attention it brought my way. Even that was used against me as I was taunted by such remarks as “she thinks she’s cute” or “that’s not her real hair”. I was plagued by the “too” syndrome. Too short, too dark, too something, whatever the “too” was it represented” not good enough”. As I entered middle school, I began to use my hair as armor or a way of hiding my face and compensated through academics. Fast forward to adulthood and while I have overcome certain insecurities, my hair still served the same purpose; hiding my face. This all changed in the blink of a salon visit. What started out as a simple trim ended up a lopsided catastrophe. The butcher/scissor happy stylist continued to cut in her failed attempt to “even” it out. At the end of it all, I ended up minus 4-5 inches of hair than when I walked through the door. Yes I cried #dontjudgeme. I know for some it’s “just hair” but for others, hair represents something much more; a crutch, a sense of identity. For me, it was my source of happiness growing up and for the first time in my adult life, I realized it was still a huge part of contentment for me. It forced me to truly look at myself and do some self- reflection. Not having long hair forced me to find other things I liked about myself. I now had no choice but to appreciate my eyes, learn to adore my funny looking nose and most of all, draw on who I was on the inside. Who knew what a day in the salon would bring?! I am a work in progress.

Did an unlikely source help you discover something about yourself? 



Sharing hairstories and life experiences from a curl’s perspective. Find Tammy at her blog, Curlychics, on Twitter, and Facebook.

10 Weigh in!:
Sey said...

I wouldn't say I discovered my hair on accident, I learned to embrace it out of frustration. After years of perms, pressing, coloring, weaves... I simply gave up. I realized I would never achieve someone else's look. You know, the flawless beauties and celebrities you see in magazines and on tv. Then I really started focusing on making my beauty shine from the inside out.

Taylor said...

Its silly how little brown girls with short hair want long hair, yet they tease other girls with long hair and try to say its fake (whatcha gonna do if your hair suddenly grew?)

I have always used bangs to hide part of my face, and I always wore my hair down and pressed to hide my sideburns (thanks alot genetics). Now that I no longer use heat its a struggle getting over the shrinkage and having my face exposed. Its sooo weird! But I guess we cant hide behind our hair forever huh? (c;)

DeAndra said...

OMG…. You are telling MY story!!!! According to my parents and other family members – I have always been vain. I was always concerned about my ‘looks’! My hair, my nails, my skin, my shoes, etc.. I thought that I was beautiful! But, as you stated, the kids in grade school and beyond aren’t that nice and shattered my self-esteem! I mean stomped on it! I all of a sudden was the ugly duckling! I was constantly being teased because I was too dark, too skinny, too tall (I started walking humped over to attempt to be the same height as the girls who did talk to me), my butt was too flat and my nose, too long (in fact, they called it a witch nose or white people nose-whatever that is) and the only thing that “SAVED” me was my hair!!!!! UNTIL THIS DAY I AM STILL CONFUSED ABOUT WHAT MY HAIR “SAVED” ME FROM…. Further degrading?! As I sit here today, over 40, I STILL struggle with self-esteem issues! And, it doesn’t help that my security blanket, my hair, is falling out due to health issues and alopecia! My hair is natural and has been for more than 10-years, but I was wearing weaves and my hair is now severely damaged – so it had to be cut. NOW, I AM BEING FORCED TO ACCEPT MYSELF FOR WHO I AM AND WHAT I LOOK LIKE BECAUSE THE HAIR IS GONE. As you said…. I too am a ‘work in progress’!

LaToya said...

Thanks for sharing your story.

Naeema said...

Definitely been there. I, too, was one of those little girls who put a towel around her head as a little girl and pretend it was my own. When my hair was permed, I felt as if I could never get it much past my shoulders. Every sing time it would grow past my shoulders during my stints awaw from home while in undergrad, I'd come home just to have it chopped right back off! GRR! I'd come home from the salon pissed and shed a few tears every time!!

....It wasn't until I watched my mother go through chemotherapy while she suffered from cancer, and bravely watched her lose then shave off the rest of her thinning hair, that I realized that it's all JUST HAIR. After that experienced with my mom, I soon realized that there are other things far more important.....then came my BIG CHOP *yay* Thank God for life experiences and growth.

Erika A. said...

Great story. Thanks for sharing.

BnNappy said...

So how are you adjusting to loving other parts of yourself. I think it's very important to appreciate/love every part of you. Losing 4-5 inches may be the best thing to ever happen to your life. I'm glad you're learning to love your eyes and nose and other features I'm sure. Wishing you the best. Come back and update us, I'm sure you've been getting all kinds of compliments.

Brooke B. said...

When I first did my bc I was so insecure because I had never cut my hair above my ears & on top of that I was pregnant with a rounder face than I was use to. It took me almost 8 months to really start to appreciate my hair & not care what others thought about me or my hair.

Ashley Ross said...

My hair was an unlikely source for me as well. For me, it was my double edged sword. When I did my big chop, I was left with maybe an inch or two of hair. I realized then how much guys were attracted to me just because of my hair, and I also realized that I was attractive without it. I attracted a different type of guy when I had short hair (mind you this was before this epidemic where people are becoming natural left and right) then when I did when I had long hair. At first I felt sad, I thought that I was ugly, then one day I looked in the mirror and realized my face didn't change and I am still the same person. I had to teach myself to love myself. I no longer could hide behind my hair and I had to accept my face for what it was. I had hid behind my hair for years as well, but now it has made me a bolder person. The cut changed me, and so did the twa period.

Megan Montgomery said...

I was made fun of in school all my years for not having,wearing this that etc. I hanged out with the others who were made fun of as well. My own race ( black) always made fun of me or wanted me to be their way or they do not say a word to me. I can relate when you said that girls says she think she cute or her hair is fake. Even this day I have no friends because I am not in the in crowd. I ate lunch sometime even now I am in college by myself. I was known for my long hair so I cut it to express that I am not stuck or think I am better because I had long hair. I was sad I even dyed it but it did not prove anything I still have no friends and people just do not like me I am not rude or mean. So I just bury myself in my academics and read and write poetry and read the Bible because I was baptized my sophomore year in high school I told my class Because it was a discussion people said I probably spent my new years locked up in the church
. I was so hurt even the one friend I had neglected me for popular people from high school. I tried making friends at my job in college it is no use people say I am conceited because I talk about myself and not others meaning (talk about others to gossip about). I have grown to realize I can only be me not someone else if you like me then good if you do not good luck to you.

Megan Montgomery

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