My little girl is growing up in a household where mommy walks around the house with a lopsided kinky twa while simultaneously doing laundry, feeding the unwanted guinea pig, and furiously tapping away at her computer. Her view point of natural hair will be totally different because it is pretty much all she knows. She has never seen mommy perm her hair nor have I ever straightened her hair or complained about her kinks. Mommy has a different mindset towards curls and kinks and it’s one of acceptance and appreciation. So Kenzie is less likely to view her natural curls as a burden or as something that should be altered.
It is my hope that she will view her curls as simply another feature of her appearance, something she appreciates (like having a nice smile).
I remember when I was in junior high, I constantly felt limited by my press and curl and later by my perm. There were so many things I couldn’t do.
I had to avoid sweating too hard and if I got a press right before a holiday, that meant no playtime at all or else my style would be ruined and my mom would be LIVID.
Even once I got a perm, I had to carefully avoid scratching for a full week before my touch up just so my scalp would still be intact after the dreaded application. I just didn’t feel free with my hair at all, there was always something I shouldn’t or couldn’t do.
With my natural hair, there are pretty much no limits. Sweating just makes my curls pop more and I’m free to wash my hair or get my hair wet from swimming as often as I like. There are no dreaded trips to the salon for painful perm touch ups and my hair is always ready to go because all my curls need is a little bit of water and some gel to be on fleek.
Deciding to go natural turned into something much bigger than a dose of hair freedom, it launched me on a journey of self acceptance. Shoot, it made me realize that self acceptance was indeed a journey and not a destination (like I previously assumed). When I big chopped, all I had was a face and no hair to shield me from the world.
So I learned to be confident, to think confident and LIVE confidently.
It really is a decision that you can make and I decided to love me because the alternative was too grim.
The lesson my daughter will learn is that change is okay and that being different just makes living that much more fun. I think that by watching mommy try this and that hairstyle she might even develop a sense of fearlessness that could empower her to be a change maker later in life. By deciding to be a natural hair mommy I hope that Kenzie understands that loving yourself means loving the very core of who you are without any frills or glitter and for mommy it means feeling comfortable with a lop sided crunchy fro while flouncing through the house in mis-matched jammies.
I want Kenzie to grow up seeing me embrace me.
Christian Byshe’ pronounced buhshay