AFROPUNK

... the other Black experience

Freedom... It’s hard growing up in a world where people judge you by looks and stereotype you. A world where beauty is depicted by covers of magazines. Living in a world of materialism and society having an expectation of you being somebody OTHER than yourself; which kills the essence of being an individual. Everybody was made differently, and that’s why LOVING yourself as you are is BEAUTIFUL. That’s freedom! Freedom of loving myself as I am and not having to conform to society’s definition of “beautiful”.

Freedom is what my hair expresses. Being able to look at my thick nappy roots and say “I’m beautiful” even though I’m not rocking 3 bundles of 18” Brazilian hair, is such a beautiful freedom! Going natural is truly a mentally challenging conquest; especially after you’ve been conditioned by TV, magazines, and the internet (along with social media) to develop this vain concept of beauty and reality. People are confined by this false reality and don’t even realize it. They see the weaves/extensions, fake nails, the fake eyelashes, and all the rest of the ostentation and kind of forget that everything they’re seeing is a fantasy and NOT reality. So since people are seeing this fantasy of beauty so often, they start to develop their own reality subconsciously. This is where people loose their “natural” sense of beauty and themselves.

I don’t fit society’s definition of beautiful but that is one of the best freedoms I can possibly have; ACCEPTING MY NATURAL BEAUTY, BEING MYSELF, and LOVING MYSELF. Loving myself as I am is so liberating, which is one of the pros of going natural. Some people think it’s just so easy to go natural. “WEAR YOUR REAL HAIR” and that’s it. Yes, the physical aspect is easy, but nobody thinks about the mental:

“OMG how do I look without long hair?” “What will people think?” “Does my hair look good?” “Why does my hair act like a sponge?” “Why does it look shorter than what it really is?” “My hair doesn’t fit my face.” “I don’t feel as pretty.”

You really don’t realize the amount of insecurities you have about you’re natural beauty until you decide to go natural. For some, it’s not a big deal; for others, it takes some getting use to. The greatest part of being natural is when you finally get to that point of comfort with your hair. After that, there’s no turning back! You start to fall in love with your hair and with your self because you forgot how beautiful YOU are, “naturally”. You realize that you didn’t need the weave to look this damn good! Not only do you stick to the natural hair, you start to develop more natural taste. You start to look for more natural products to grow your hair, some start taking natural vitamins like biotin to help keep their hair healthy. Some start to use products like coconut oil and caster oil, which not only benefits the hair, but benefits your skin, nails, and body.

Growing up in a vain world is hard, especially if you’re not looking like Angelina Jolie or Beyonce. It’s extremely hard when a black woman has been conditioned to think their natural features are not beautiful. It’s kind of hard when some of us don’t know much about our own hair. My mummy (mother) grew up in the late 40’s, so her view on hair is “If you can’t run a comb through it, it’s no good.” She use to run this small-tooth metal comb through my hair that I called “THE EVIL COMB” because I would be in tears from the pain it caused me. Now, I can’t expect my mummy to know any better because she came from an era where she was conditioned to think like that. But if she knew the history of how combs like those were used as agonizing tactics to demonize the spirit of the black woman during slavery, I bet she would NEVER use it again. Going natural has taught me to enjoy the essence of well, BEING ME. It also taught me to love my roots and to be more proud of them. Not only did it make me become more accepting of my natural beauty, it also humbled me and helped me discover a more profound beauty that I didn’t know I possessed. Nobody wants to be themselves anymore, people are always wanting to be like someone else. Why though? Simple; accepting someone else’s fantasy is easier than living your own reality.

Come back to reality folx, don’t lose that freedom of being yourself. That’s what makes YOU so beautiful; NATURALLY BEING YOU!

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