All Articles Tagged "black women self-love"
Just recently, I had a rather interesting conversation with another natural haired woman. And according to her: “If your hair ain’t natural, you’re full of self-hate.” Mind you, this woman was also wearing colored contact lenses and acrylic nails.
I’m a natural haired woman, and I have a problem with her statement- mostly because it’s rather judgmental and a flawed attempt to psychologically breakdown every relaxed haired black woman. For many little black girls, getting our first relaxer is an indoctrination. It’s just like going to church: You may not know why you’re doing it- you just do it because Mommy said so. At least that’s how it was for me. I got my first relaxer in kindergarten. And the whole experience was never really something I thought about until I hit my teenage years. I certainly didn’t hate myself- at least not more than the next insecure teenage girl. But I’ll tell you what I did hate- doing my hair. It was a constant conundrum because I wanted to look good (as most budding young women do) but sweat, water, wind (actually all the elements) were my biggest adversaries. And for someone who loves working out, going to the beach, fishing, and generally anything that involves water and warm weather, relaxed hair started to work my last nerve.
And then of course, there was also the spiritual aspect of going natural. Years ago I was in Jamaica- surrounded by tons of beautiful, brown-skinned, natural haired women. And I literally had an epiphany- kinda like being unplugged from The Matrix. I was in the bathroom, looking at my frizzy, salt-water matted hair in the mirror, and I thought: ‘What the heck am I doing to my hair? Why am I trying so hard to look like this?” It was a profound moment for me, and I made the decision to go natural right then and there.
I love my hair now. And for me, natural hair offers wonderful flexibilities and freedoms that I didn’t have with relaxed hair. Personally, I’m pro natural hair and wouldn’t go back to a perm. But that’s my experience and my choice. Every woman is different.
It bothers me when natural haired women make statements like “if your hair ain’t natural, you’re full of self-hate.” Basically, it’s been my observation that there are two types of natural haired women: the “aggressive, judgmental” type and the “live and let live” type. I admit that my decision to go natural did revolve around a newfound self-acceptance and self-love. But I’m not about to make a blanket psychological analysis of every women that relaxes her hair. I’m my own person- and my experiences and decisions don’t apply to every other black woman.
So if you’re a natural haired woman that takes an aggressive, judgmental stance on natural versus relaxed, I would advise you to chill a bit- especially if you boast about “natural” equating to self-love, but then proceed to wear other kinds of fake out. Every woman has the freedom to express her beauty the way she deems fit- whether it’s natural or enhanced. Ladies, oftentimes it’s hard enough just learning to love ourselves. And we should all encourage each other, regardless of what’s on our heads.
What does natural hair mean to you?
Do you think that women who wear perms have issues with self-hate?
If you liked this article and want to know more about our writer, Dr. Phoenyx Austin, fan her on Facebook! Dr. Phoenyx is a physician, writer, & media personality. She is a young woman living passionately and truthfully- hoping to empower, educate, and entertain women through her witty, straightforward commentary on love, relationships, sex, and hot topics. She is also currently working on her first fiction book- a psychological thriller.
In a bedroom or dressing room near you is standing a sista burdened by a battle with the woman in the mirror. She’s wondering why the women she sees on glossy magazine covers mock her with their flawless features, unaware that they’re merely of figment of PhotoShop’s imagination. She’s wishing her waist was smaller, her breasts were bigger and that her hair swept across the crevice of an ample behind. She may even be cursing her skin color and feeling like it’s to blame for a majority of her misfortunes.
Tags:black women self-love
Focus Your Thoughts, Change Your Life.
China: What causes women, in general, to lack inspiration and/or self-confidence?
Lola: Even though we are supposedly equal to men, there are still so many messages that undermine who we are as women – messages about how we are supposed to look and how tall we should be or how thin we should be, or what it means to be a woman today and so on. It is easy to absorb these without even being aware of it. Look at the cover of any magazine and you’d think that being a woman was all about being a certain size, airbrushed, no blemishes, perfect teeth, perfect hair and so on. That is a hard standard to live up to – even the women on those magazine covers do not look like that all the time. And, when they are not looking amazing, some gossip magazine is pointing out the cellulite on their thighs or the one spot on their face. Nowhere do I see the message that says ‘you are perfect as you are’. Self-confidence is ultimately about accepting yourself as you are, and I think in general in our world, that perspective is lacking.
China: What are some of the self-image issues plaguing women, and how should they deal with those?
Lola: The main one I find seems to be “I’m not good enough.” This is something I have dealt with too and it seems to be common to most women in one way or another. I don’t know if I’ve ever met a woman who is totally at peace with who she is and how she is right now. I can think of perhaps one or two. This manifests, destructively, in how women feel about their looks or hair or bodies or careers or relationships – there’s just this constant dissatisfaction with oneself. It’s very pervasive though and is almost seen as normal.
How to deal with it…. Well, it first of all requires us to develop a knowledge of who we are in our essence. Too many of us believe that we are our job or our looks or some external thing. This provokes fear because anything external is also changeable. Your looks will change, your body will change, your hair will change, your job will change, your relationship will change. We have to come to know ourselves beyond our [external] identity because none of those things are who we are. Those are things we have. This means [we have] to tap into who we are in our essence, to start ask some soul-searching questions like “who am I really?” Who we all really are goes way beyond the physical or the external or even the visible, and when we tap into that – when we know that we are a life force – and that our bodies/appearance/jobs/cars e.t.c. are all just physical manifestations and vessels for the expression of that life force, [much of our insecurities] can start to fall away.
Stay tuned tomorrow for Part II of our motivational speaker series with Lola Adesioye. For more information about her e-book, feel free to visit her online store at: www.LolaAdesioye.com/Store.