I may have not been verbatim in my reporting of what Judge Marilyn Milian said on a recent episode of The People's Court, but I sure did capture the irony in the struggle for Black women to love their hair.
Trying a case where a black woman admitted that she had worn weaves her entire life, she had, after attempting to remove one such weave after several months of wearing it had lost all of her hair on the crown of her head to the forehead. She decided that it was the fault of the last stylist who had done the weave.
It was a pretty ghastly sight as the plaintiff removed her hat to show the Judge the damaged that was caused, according to her not by the weave, but by the stylist. But even though she accused the defendant of malpractice, she could not be awarded anything as a result of her own doctor's testimony- tension alopecia.
The constant wearing of weaves had guaranteed this oblivious black woman a life where one day she would not have the one thing that she had tried to deny for so many years- her own hair.
The story is not uncommon in the black community at all, and that is not what shocked me truthfully. What did was what Judge Milian said, re. the title of this post.
And why should it? Why would I, a black woman be so taken aback by a white Judge proclaiming her love and admiration for black natural hair to the point that she wished that she could have it because it is "so beautiful"? Perhaps because since black women have failed to see the beauty in it, the thought of someone else doing so is almost absurd.
I have embraced my natural hair even when the cost seemed too much to pay. I lost my job when at the behest of my employer I was told not to return to his establishment until I had my hair processed, straightened. I never did. Mind you, I was not wearing a 'fro or cornrows. I tried to appease the employer's disdain towards natural hair by pinching the thick uncontrollable mass into a tiny scrunchie and wearing it in one- the employer's preferred style for women- black women.
I could not turn back. Truth be told, the only time that I do feel beautiful is when my hair is natural. Straightened I just feel so damn ho-hum. Like I am just like all the 'others'. With my hair natural I feel a certain level of uniqueness, because even though three black women could have the same natural hairstyle, there is something about natural hair that means that everyone looks different. It is their style, not mine and not yours to wear.
So, as I have taken the stance to promote the concept of self-love on this blog, it is my sincere wish that women of the African Diaspora would embrace the beauty and the strength found in their own natural hair. It is not a sin to do so and by any standard- even the ones today, you can and you do look absolutely mesmerising sporting your natural hair do's.
Take a look for yourself: The hairstyle that I am sporting at the present moment.
I will probably do a post on a variety of styles or even start a series along with talking to some natural hair stylists. At the end of the day ladies, be inspired with the level of creativity and individuality that natural hair offers you. Embrace it! And this is not an indignation on those with straightened hair. It is just a reminder of a black woman's true beauty and the crown that God and the Universe had always intended for her to wear.
Petra Marie…Inspired Be