Happy To Be Nappy?

Last week I had all the relaxer cut off and I am now rocking a short natural hair style. I made the decision about a couple of months ago to do this just for the summer. Although, everyone I have said that to tells me I will become so accustomed to the ease of it that I will not go back to the relaxer. However, I beg to differ – today.

Let me explain why.

I didn’t realize that I associated my femininity/attractiveness with my hair. I have worn both long and short styles and everything in between – all with permed/relaxed hair though.

I no longer feel feminine – I feel as if I have lost that feminine edge. Looking at myself in the mirror, I don’t see that fly fashion forward funky woman.

Now I see, and know, women, beautiful women, with short natural hairstyles who are uber feminine but that is not how I am seeing myself at the moment.

Chocl8t's Mom

When speaking to a close male friend about this, he asked “what can you do to feel more feminine?”. To which I replied, not much more than wearing lip gloss everyday and large hoop earrings. He assured me that my femininity does not reside in my hair but rather in my demeanor, how I carry myself, and my attitude – that fact that I have boobs and bootay doesn’t hurt either. Yeah, he’s a funny guy. šŸ™‚

I mentioned the same thing to a girlfriend who had a slightly different view. She thinks it’s because of the social/cultural conditioning to which many black women have fallen prey – our natural hair isn’t beautiful or good enough. Subsequently we spend most, if not all, of our lives and a large sum of money in the pursuit of that European standard of beauty.

I have had my hair chemically treated since I was fourteen years old and had forgotten what my “natural” hair texture was like. Fortunately, I am getting re-aquainted with my waves and curl pattern. But I have to be honest, I do not see “me”. Or maybe I do see me, naturally, but I am not quite comfortable with her – yet.

Have I been brainwashed to think my beauty/femininity lies in my chemically straightened hair whether long or short? Maybe.

Will I keep it this way? Not sure.

Do I regret the decision to cut my hair? No, because it has forced me to peel back yet another layer an examine myself again.

I know I will, along with my hair, grow from this experience.

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12 thoughts on “Happy To Be Nappy?”

  1. Hey Chocl8t! I am going natural again for the third time. I can’t wait until it grows and i have enough to cut off the relaxer. My hair is very nappy, but I love the nappy texture of my hair…it is so unique. We are the only race of people with hair like ours. Although I find having a relaxer MUCH easier, I just love the fact that my natural hair makes me unique, makes it clear to all who see me that I am a Black woman…not Asian, not Hispanic! I think that you look beautiful! You ever notice, we are the only race of people that have to “Go Natural”? I’m just sayin! Side Note: I received the most compliments on my hair when it was natural (well, the only compliments) LOL

  2. Hey Chocl8t!! Long time lurker, first time commenter here šŸ™‚ I think you look beautiful. It does take time to “get used to” seeing yourself with this type of change. I let my hair grow out (didn’t big chop voluntarily; my hair chopped itself, lol) almost 3 years ago but that first year was rough. I went from getting some attention from men (when I was constantly wearing hairhats) to nothing; I felt invisible. I forced myself to get used to my hair but I did get my hair braided a few months later. On the flipside, I hated the attention I got from people because it seemed to be tied to the length and style of the braids. I know some women who will wear hair extensions *all* the time because they don’t think their hair (even if it’s relaxed) looks good. Seems that a lot of people still equate beauty to long hair.

  3. I understand where u are. Women totally wrap their femininity up in their hair. No lie, the first time I went natural, I ended it all after 4 years because I was suddenly feeling FatBlackAndNappy. No bueno. All I can say is if u find a way to love your hair and how it looks, it will be easier. Gel, wet setting, ‘fro-shaping bands could all help. Just do what will make you feel the best.

  4. Hi Chocl8t! I love your site. I have been natural since 2005. I love my strong Black shinny hair, with deep waves and tight curl pattern. But most of all, I love how healthy my hais is , now that it is natural, the way that the Lord made it. I feel just as beautiful now, than I did when I was wearing a wrap. As I look back, I was in pursuit of that European standard of beauty. I guess I was really trying to take away from my dark skin. But I have grown to love my caramel complexion, which glisten when the sun light hits my skin. Not to mention how my natural hair adds to my beauty of being a strong Black Beautiful Woman. Soooo, I guess I would say, that I will never cover up this God given gift, with any relaxers again. Oh! and about my feminity, I feel soooo feminine.

  5. Welcome back Choclat8! You look adorable! Seriously… I LOVE IT!

    You had to know I’d swing by on this having done the big chop years ago! (smiles) Let me tell you right now… you look absolutely amazing! I can identify with how you initially feel, having permed hair since i was 8 years old. I now realize just how misguided we’ve been when we associate our hair with femininity. And we’ve truly been encouraged to damage our hair to fit into this warped society too. It’s all wrong! This is how we were meant to be… natural and chemical free so KUDOS for giving your hair a break. I personally hope you won’t go back to perming either cuz this really works for a sista! šŸ˜‰

    If you stay with it, you might be very surprised by how super fast your hair will grow! AND when it does, this is a product I highly recommend for detangling– this girl worked miracles with her formula! http://www.growafrohairlong.com/afrodetanglerhalfgallon.html

    For all the sisters (and brothers) who know that God didn’t make a mistake on our hair, can we just say AMEN?! (smiles)

  6. “Or maybe I do see me, naturally, but I am not quite comfortable with her ā€“ yet.”

    I’m gonna roll with (or, at least, hope that it’s) this. Given some time, I’m sure you’ll see your sexy shine through once again.

  7. Hey Chocl8t!! Long time lurker, first time commenter here I think you look beautiful. It does take time to “get used to” seeing yourself with this type of change. I let my hair grow out (didn’t big chop voluntarily; my hair chopped itself, lol) almost 3 years ago but that first year was rough. I went from getting some attention from men (when I was constantly wearing hairhats) to nothing; I felt invisible. I forced myself to get used to my hair but I did get my hair braided a few months later. On the flipside, I hated the attention I got from people because it seemed to be tied to the length and style of the braids. I know some women who will wear hair extensions *all* the time because they don’t think their hair (even if it’s relaxed) looks good. Seems that a lot of people still equate beauty to long hair.
    +1

  8. Hi Choc,
    Your Mom told me about your decision to go natural recently. I hadn’t seen the picture until today. My first thought was you look just like your Mom now. My second thought was no matter how I’ve seen you wear your hair, I have thought that you rocked all your (do’s) this one included. Your (commentary) was very honest and insightful. My third thougt was, have she always been a columnist? lol. Now reading this showed me another side to you that I hadn’t seen before with all of my years in the family. (Your intelligence) made me realize that I have not engaged you in any lengthy conversations in all of these years to know this. I have basically watched you from afar and in our many encounters over the years have always deemed you someone I admired. I have always liked your spunk, brutal honesty, diva (persona) and your ability to sift the bull and deal accordingly. Lastly, none of that has changed due to the new hairstyle. It takes great confidence, to take that particular route. I know many ppl who have. What I like is the way you have worded again (honestly) your feelings about it. That I’ve not witnessed before. U STILL ROCK!

  9. I think it’s just gonna take some getting use to for you. It’s new is all, it just has to grow on you. I think it looks great on you and you still look sexy.

  10. Your femininity has nothing to do with your hair, as ive seen sisters with no more hair on their head than a peach does and they were without question … beautiful women.

    what defines a woman is not her hair, her breast size, her ass… etc. it’s about how she carries herself and how she lets that shyt shine.

    so shut up and shine, girl.

  11. I think your hair looks wonderful and healthy. I know when I first cut my hair, I felt the same way. It was like I had to meet the new Samantha, who wasn’t tied to her hair. I played that India Arie song for support. I began to realize that underneath the hair, I was still there. At first I was a little intimidated by other peoples hair, but I began this love relationship with loving myself, and soon I didn’t care what other people thought about my hair, because I knew that it was beautiful. You define yourself, it comes from within. Girl once you learn to love your whole self, nothing else matters. It has been two years since my big chop. I love my hair, and I feel more feminine then I did when I was relaxed. I am more in touch with my whole self. I work out, I eat better, and I just take better care of myself. I think it makes my hair look better too. Good luck and keep your head up.

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