Confessions of an African Naturalista

Being a naturalista, I have gone through many ups and downs with my hair. This relationship I have with my tresses is indeed what I would call a roller coaster ride. Some days I wake up absolutely loving my kinky coils, elated and surprised at the amazing things the texture can do. Other days, however, I just want to cry and slap on some of that “creamy crack” to end all the turmoil.

I have been natural two years now and I have gone through my fair share of helpful and informative videos on YouTube regarding the care of natural hair. What I have noticed overtime is that there is a large number of “sistas” on YouTube who have confessed that they get a lot of negative responses about their natural hair from a lot of the black men. It may be a boyfriend, a brother, a father or just a friend. Needless to say, I am not implying that all black men are the same and all black men often display negative reactions about black women with natural hair. I am only discussing the large percentage that are against a woman flaunting her natural curls.

I am an African living in Canada and most of the negative reactions come from African men. Through my experiences and other African ladies, I have come to believe that they seem to prefer women with long straight hair as this is what many of them perceive as beautiful.  Can we blame our black men? I mean, magazines are still only displaying women with long straight  hair and many black artists and actresses have long straight hair. It would be nice to see more people like Solange Knowles being featured on magazine covers, fashion ads, movie roles and music videos.

The whole process of becoming natural can be very hard for us women. Often, we feel ugly, frustrated and our self esteem can be affected greatly. We are on a journey to love ourselves with our natural hair, so when there is some negativity coming from our “brothas”, it becomes disheartening. Hopefully, due to the increased number of naturalistas, this closed perception of beauty will be widened to include ladies with long, short, straight, kinky or curly hair

To the boyfriends, fathers, friends and strangers who feel the need to tell us to relax our hair…open your mind. Straight hair is not the only hair that can be perceived as beautiful…

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