Adrien’s insightful recommendation hit home for me– ‘…even if you have to fake it a little bit at first… wear your natural hair with confidence.’ I truly believe she hit the nail on the head. That’s exactly what I had to do! Like other things in life, you must tell yourself the lie (in this case, your hair is beautiful, when you feel it isn’t due to societal standards), until it becomes the truth!
I remember attending a Kappa party my junior year in college. I was new to curly styles and was not yet sure what to do with my hair. So, I washed it, conditioned it, rinsed, applied a drying mousse and *combed* it through my wet hair. Can you imagine?! As it dried, it swelled to monumental proportions. I thought it was kinda cool, but I was still very self-conscious. When I arrived at the party, I rushed to the kitchen and posted up in the corner… there were fewer people in there so I could get my bearings before braving the crowd (it was also where the alcohol was kept, lol).
One of my besties (and fellow Kappa girlfriend) complimented my hair and told me she’d be right back. I felt a little better as I watched her make her way across the room to her boyfriend. She whispered something to him and looked my way. He immediately looked in my direction, shook his head no, puffed out his cheeks and raised both of his hands to his head… I guess imitating and showing his disapproval for my hair. Neither of them (to this day) know that I witnessed that interchange. The music was loud, the room was crowded, and we were all drinking. But I definitely saw it… and it stuck with me. Although it hurt my feelings, something sparked in me and I set out to prove that I could be just as beautiful (or even more beautiful) with my ‘swollen’ hair. At a later date, she expressed her desire to go natural, and also her boyfriend’s total rejection of it. Duh, LOL!
So yeah, I faked the funk, held my head high, and would kick across campus with my headphones blaring, usually some angry Eminem song, Jay Z (Dirt Off Your Shoulder was big then), or Kanye. Pretty soon, the real confidence came in, and not only did I notice, but those around me did too. I’d still get the ‘why won’t you straighten it’ comments, but most were compliments and expressions of solidarity. I had finally made it, and I never looked back.