I can count the number of times I have done "bob marley" or "braids" in my life. I am lucky, I have enough hair to work with and I think one should always try to work with what one has. So I try to take care of it and treat it right. I eat a lot of vitamins and food with that particular thought in my head, that I have to accept my hair as it is. Also, I am an extremely impatient person so just thinking about sitting for hours for anything puts me off. I am very impatient. I do not do weave ons either. The itching and the heat is totally crazy!
However, I know many women that use weave ons and wigs and for real, some of them really need it. I remember one of our neighbours, mama Frank, the day I saw her without her wig...I almost had a heart attack. She had a huge patch in the middle of her head. She was bald. If na me wey bald, I swear, nothing no go make me no wear wig... haba!
Then, there are those that might not need it but just think they look better in it. Nothing wrong with that either. I love long hair and I have always admired women with long hair. If I had very short hair and there was no hope of it growing longer, then I swear, nothing will stop me from wearing weave on or wig. Lai lai, una no go fit hold me.
Now, unto people wey dey use "natural" hair. I applaud every woman that takes the time and energy to continue working with their own hair, no matter how hard it is. This goes for both black and white women. Do you think anybody wakes up in the morning and their hair is naturally glowing and flowing? lai lai. No need to look far. Turn on your Tv, you will see them washing, blow drying, spraying etc. By the way,it is not only black women that have problems with hair. My friend Agi, if you see her curly hair wey dey break comb...you go bow.
Then there are others who do not wish to comb their hair anymore. It is also called "dread locks". Although, I just call it "people that do not want to comb their hair". I have been tempted many times to go this way because I really hate combing my hair. As a child, this task was left to my mum. I hated combing my hair. I still do. As an adult, I am always happy to visit my family because sooner or later, someone will not be able to stand the sight of my hair and offer to comb it out. I have a couple of friends who have gone this way, Andre from Ukraine, Vedrana from Croatia, Marcin from Poland and Chichi from Nigeria. I am always jealous when I see them because I know they don't have to ever think of combing their hair again. By the way, of these four people, only one of them is a rasta.
Now, so how do I look at this thing called hair? For me, hair is just part of your body, its just something that is there, like your fingers or bum, or nose. Some might not even say so. Some might say they are dead cells. You look after it because it is part of your body and it can be beautiful like all parts of your body. I particularly enjoy taking care of my hair because that's the part that is easiest to do. The rest parts need much more hard work. You have to work hard to have muscles here and there, lift weights, bend here , bend there. The face is much easier to work with it cos u don't need to do anything...u are pretty much stuck with what you have...
Now, to my point.
I have been following with amusement a particular argument that seems to be cropping up here and there on blogville. It is a strange one for me because my idea about identity is quite different from a lot of people. First of all, I do not base my identity on the normal race, nationality, religion, etc, the usual common factors. Over the course of my life, I have realized that being ME has more to do with my character and principles in life than being Nigerian or Christian or whatever. From a very early age, I already knew that that is what I want to be defined as. What I stand for in life, is who I am. That's it. Simple.
Of course, I understand people having national pride, or pride in their colour, etc. If that is something that defines them as human beings, then, enjoy.
Now, to the point.
How the hell does hair become your identity?
But lets say, being African is very important to you and you will like to make that statement loud and clear for all to know,
Is it your hair that defines your identity as an African woman?(you can replace "african" with black/black american/ afropolitan/whatever)
For me, it is very hard to understand because I do not see anybody's hair and think "oh, she is a proud African woman" or "that's not a proud African woman". I might admire your hair if I think it is nice, but I swear I won't get any further impression on who you are as a human being until I get to know what you stand for in life. That's where I'll know if you are truly a proud African woman or not. I won't make that assumption based on the fact that your hair is "natural'. Also, there are many afro carrying human beings who totally despise being African/black. They might just have an afro because its easier for them, or because they have no choice.
Hair is just fucking hair. It does not make you any better or worse than you already are. At least I do not judge anybody based on how they wish to carry the damn thing.
I can not understand how anybody can be making a statement with hair. It's just hair. When I talk to my friends, it is their character I see, not their fucking hair. You can be "morro morro" for all I care. E no concern me. You fit carry hair like mammy water all the way down ya back. E no concern me.
What I am concerned about is, Are you a good human being?