Thick Skinned

22 08 2009

solangeI was repeatedly warned by my You Tube goddesses. Their messages were clear for me to grow thick skin when I decided to cut my hair off. Well I’m here to report that they were absolutely correct. I’ve read so many scathing comments about Solange Knowles regarding her recent big chop and it’s disheartening to witness people (black folks in particular) pass judgment on her. She is clearly a beautiful woman. I’ve gotten the same negative feedback about returning to my roots, mostly from my male counterparts; my brothers. I’ve closed my eyes to the sneers, ignored the jeers, and refused to explain my decision of cutting the relaxer out my hair. It’s darn right shameful that the conception of beauty for many black people is for a woman to have long, straight tresses. It’s so narrow-minded. Beauty comes in various forms from the texture of your hair (natural or straightened) to the shape of your body (thin or thick); we are all created in God’s likeness. Our loveliness is limitless.

eduarte24 on flickr

eduarte24 on flickr

Back in the early 70’s, it was clearly an empowering movement for black men and women to sport afros in conjunction with celebrating their black pride. James Brown resonating song, “Say It Loud – I’m Black and I’m Proud” was the anthem about our racial equality. Afro picks with the black fist were a hot commodity; a definite keepsake if you could find one nowadays. So I’m naturally embracing my culture and the beauty of my hair. I stumbled across numerous pictures of my beautiful mother modeling her afro in various stages of her life. I feel so honored to be part of her and realized that I’m now emulating her looks from her earlier years. I even found some photos of myself with my afro puffs…rocking! I can tell she’s proud of my choices and her warmed-hearted compliments are dear to my heart. Her approval is the only one that matters to me. The naysayers can step to the left.

Me & Mom

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19 responses

22 08 2009
1cent putting in her 2cents

I feel that being Black period- you have to be THICK SKINNED!!! Which by the way we are by the melanin in our skin. Just something to ponder over. :0)
At an early age, we were brainwashed with images from magazines and television that anything Black was not pretty or accepted. Those pictures become indebile in our minds and shape our thoughts. Until we realize that our race is extraordinary and there is no specific standard of beauty. That will be when we can discard negativism and appreciate our differences. Whether your hair is natural, permed, braided or even non existent- BLACK WOMEN ARE BEAUTIFUL!!

22 08 2009
sanona

Liking your 2cents and you are completely correct about our self-image. Black women are beautiful and its time that we realize it. Discard negativism, like your choice of words…its encouraging!

22 08 2009
rasheddagirl

I do agree that we but especially our black brothers are brainwashed that permed straight hair is the best. I love to see our sisters rockin afros and twistes. I think that we need to celebrate who we are and embrace our differences as a race. I love our people our style and our afros! 🙂

23 08 2009
sanona

Brainwashed is the word Rasheddagirl…shameful is another. Its time for us to renew our “Black is Beautiful” cause and make sure that our new generations are aware of the unique qualities of being black. Thanks for your comment!

23 08 2009
A Man Of Truth

Aight well I have been on the this for years my sister Miss Anona… Black people don’t know our history so it’s hard for them us to follow what we don’t know… we struggle in relationships because a black man doesn’t even know what his black women should be like… he is looking for a girl with a big butt and flaunts it… he wants a women with long straight hair… he wants to find a women in the club… this may not be every black male but it is the majority… we are the leading candidates for aides leading candidates to go to jail leading in deaths by murder… so in my opinion… the average black persons opinion… shouldn’t effect u at all… i got 2 letters u can give to the haters… F and a U….

23 08 2009
sanona

Wow, Mr. Truth thank you for your empathy with my and unfortunately many other black women situation(s). Your compassion is evident with the two letters I could give the haters…it makes me upset and disappointed when I’m constantly asked about my hairstyle choices. Thanks for your thoughts.

24 08 2009
Kirkaldy

I must say that as Blacks living in the United States there is still alot of conditioning that we must overcome as a people. We still at times look to be validated by the standards set by Whites. But I feel encouraged because of sisters brave enough to take a stance of being true to their “roots”. A sister with natural hair has always been appealing in my eyes! Why? Their energy is always different, I can’t explain it but maybe it’s a certain level of confidence that I see and love. Sisters! Be encouraged and stay true to who you are! The first steps of change begin with people who made the choice to step into unfamiliar territory! Blessings!

25 08 2009
sanona

Kirkaldy I love the point that you bring to the forefront about the energy of the natural sisters. Being so that I’ve been on both sides, I have to say I feel a new aura that I didn’t have before during my relaxed years. And I feel so beautiful. Thanks for sharing!

24 08 2009
Shani Dowdell

I started growing my perm out earlier this year and for four months I was permless. My hair got so hard to manage that I finally repermed it, so that I could gain some control back of the situation (lol). My goal is to grow this perm out and do some locks!! Maybe I’ll brush myself off and try again, who knows.

But in all seriousness, I see no problem and even the beauty in wearing our hair natural. And I’m sorry to have to say it, but our men that don’t get it are not good indicators for what’s black and beautiful. Let’s just say they are crossing over in huge numbers showing definitively that their definition of beauty doesn’t lie in the black race, any longer, if you know what I mean.

25 08 2009
sanona

Hi Shani, another marvelous one! I too had tried the transitioning thing for three months and like you felt conflicted between my two hair textures. I retreated to a relaxer too! This is what prompted my big chop on my second attempt. It was a brave act but since I had cut my hair numerous times, I adapted quickly. So I encourage you to try again at the locks!

24 08 2009
Dee

Hear I go leading the opposition but hey…
A I am a proud member of the mans club that loves hair on a woman. I think sisters have been pacified so long and pacify each other that they even confuse themselves when formulating a TRUTHFUL conclusion to many situations. This debate reminds me of the recent article by Usher’s ex wife where she asserts that she was hated on cause she was dark-skinned and foolish sisters rally around her. She (the ex) and sisters neglected to realize she was hated on cause she had a bunch of kids, nowhere matched his success, was rumored to be friends with his ex girlfriend Chilli, etc NOT CAUSE SHE WAS DARK.
Which leads me to this hair thing. I am not blinded by mainstream opinions of beauty, I do not dislike my sisters who chop their hair off, I am as conscious as you can get and I am fully aware of the sported woman afros of the past, etc. I just think a woman is more attractive with managed hair. I also see it as a terrible progression of a lazy mentality of my sisters that starts with not cooking anymore, leaving TV and DS to raise their kids, over /out manning men in action and speech, and ending with chopping off their hair. The opposite of these are what was attributed to women of the past. I mean really, what is totally attributed to the essence of womanhood anymore????
Now culture aside the VAST majority of woman I know that went Kojack was unapologetically because they were “tired” of managing” their hair. That to me is lazy and a man who does not find that attractive should not be made to feel like less of a supportive brother because of it. If I decide tomorrow to never shave again and I have a afro on my face, is a woman wrong not to want to be involved with me? Like doing your hair, it is a societal expectation in MOST circles for me to be shaven.
Even if it is styled it has a modicum of acceptance but the short nappy thing is not attractive to SOME man.

25 08 2009
sanona

Dee, thank you for your soliloquy…I meant comment. LOL. I respect your opinion although I disagree with it. Rock on!

25 08 2009
dblkmoses

Dee, natural hair is MANAGED hair. Do your homework next time before you raise your hand to be acknowledged.

25 08 2009
sanona

dblkmoses, thanks for your response to Dee’s comment. It was short and sweet but heavy and potent! Love it!

25 08 2009
joy

You are absolutely right – straight or curly, thick or thin, we are all made in God’s likeness. May I say you look soooo adorable in the pic with your mom! GBU mami.

28 08 2009
sanona

Joy, you brought so much joy to my heart with your compliment! Thanks so much for that. I’ve learned to appreciate my uniqueness that God has bestowed upon me. He gives this blessing to each individual.

26 08 2009
LeAnne Dolce

Sis, I completely agree with you that our people are sometimes the worst offenders in putting down natural hair and the beauty that GOD gave us. But don’t fret because they have chosen to stay in the dark and continue to be brainwashed. I chose to take the green pill about 12 years ago, and I will NEVER go back.

Now Solange looks so beautiful with her short hair. I attribute the negative comments to those that are jealous because not everyone can pull off a short cut like that. I personally get so many compliments from black people and especially my brothers about my extremely short hair.

But first and foremost I am confident in myself and I KNOW that I am beautiful and that my natural is beautiful! Just know it, rock it, love it and stay NAPTURAL TO YOUR ROOTS!!!!

We have a magazine dedicated to YOU! Naptural Roots Magazine! check us out on FaceBook!

28 08 2009
sanona

LeAnne, thanks for your words of encouragement. I went out last night in the City and I must say that I felt so good about seeing so many women sporting natural hairdos. It was such a beautiful thing. I even discovered a few styles that I’m going to try out soon. Love Naptural to your roots!!! Empowering! Will definitely check out your magazine which by the way I’m so delighted to hear it about. Essence and Ebony doesn’t represent us with their one paged articles about natural hair!

2 11 2009
I’m Not My Hair « Shani Anona's Blog

[…] Normally I’d let unsolicited or negative comments just roll off my back since becoming “thick-skinned” but since it was served from a relative, it caused me to wonder; am I being judged by my […]

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