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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Going Natural

In the past few years I have a seen a big hype about going natural, being all organic and keeping those nasty chemicals away from our bodies. I bought into it, after deciding to only shop at Whole Foods or Publix, organic section only, I have noticed a big change in how I feel. I feel much better with more energy for the whole day. So I took it a step farther, not only do I only eat all natural and organic, I started using organic and all natural skin and hair care. My skin is clearer than ever, and stays soft and moisturized. Now even though I started using all natural hair products, I was still going to the salon and getting a relaxer to make my hair straight as possible, and easy to manage. I thought about how I wish I had the choice of either wearing curly hair or straight but I was always told that if I wanted to "go natural" I would have to cut all my hair off. Of course just like a lot of African American women, this idea totally freaked me out, and it went totally out the window.  Then a few weeks ago a friend told me she was going natural, I expressed my concern of unmanageable hair along with having to cut it short. She showed me several clips on Youtube of other women that have taken the plunge and stopped using relaxers. Some of them didn't even cut the relaxer part until their hair was comfortably long enough, laying my fears to rest. Not only did these women have beautiful curly hair, but it was long, thick and healthy. This is what I always wanted for my hair, so as of yesterday I'm going natural no more relaxers or harsh chemicals in my hair.

After I was alone last night, I really started thinking about the psychology behind relaxers, weave, and other products that make African American hair straight; along with other lies throughout the years that we have been told about our hair. One thing is that we can't get our hair wet, we should only wash it every two weeks or longer, it has to be straight or it doesn't look good. It's because still to this day, the society thinks that if our hair straight then we are more presentable, or easier on the eye. It's to keep us in a bubble that makes "them" feel comfortable. What about the stigma that we can't get our hair wet, making water our enemy. I learned that this rumor started because white people back in the civil rights era didn't want us in "their" pools. So they craftily started this rumor. Sadly African Americans still believe this down to this day. What about the "being presentable"? It seems that white and Hispanic girls can wear their curly locks, but when an African American does it, it's immediately frowned upon. This would make anyone feel insecure, and that is exactly what they want, they want us to feel bad so they can feel better. The thing is though, that we should be able to do whatever we want with our hair and our bodies. This shouldn't offend anyone, everyone should have the opportunity to be their natural beautiful selves. That is the exact reason why I decided to go natural, I'm tired of trying to live up to everyone's expectations an leaving what I want to do in the background. I want to be who I am, and if someone doesn't like it, that is just to bad for them. Maybe some of you are reading this thinking "damn girl your kind of late", but I thank all of you that have gone against the grain and did what they felt was good for themselves, not worrying about what other people think; that's what all of us that are being stigmatized or held down in anyway should do, come together and rise up against racism and sexism.

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