Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Teach black children to appreciate black beauty - lead by example

So WRONG! But too cute... in a scary way...

Okay so I have been rocking my TWA (look at me all clued up on the lingo... *patting myself on the back*) for nearly a month now and to be honest I think I have pretty much settled into it as my default hair style... for now. However, for those of you who have been reading this blog from its birth back in April, you will remember that it started out as a wigs blog... How times change... 

Anyway, so I started this blog as a little side hustle where I sell wigs that I really like - still do if you are interested - check out the BC 'Likes' tab above. As part of my expanding wigs empire, I was speaking to some salons in the motherland (Nigeria) and was looking through some pictures of hairstyles that are currently all the rave out there. To my shock and horror I saw a picture of two little girls, probably around 8 and 10 years old respectively, that both wore waist length weaves in the hair!!!!! My mouth is still open as I type this! I mean... come on... I wanted to save the image and share with BC readers, but something tells me that it wasn't a good idea to put the two little angels on blast like that so... sorry guys no pic. But really... it does beg a question. At what age, if at all, should black girls be 'allowed' to wear weaves? ...

This whole weave/wig/relaxed hair vs natural debate is becoming like religion where people would die (not literally of course) for their strongly held beliefs. Only today I was giving a 'sermon' on Facebook about people letting others make their own choices and that people should just stop being hair moralists/dictators (I know... I'm opinionated... ). I mean if a grown woman has to come on Facebook to ask her natural hair community if they would be upset that she had 'let the side down' if she wore a wig for a bit of respite... come on?! Has it come to that? Like I spewed on Facebook (as one does) ... live and let live o! Provided you love the real you, and you aren't harming anybody... what really is the big deal? I don't get it. It's not hair wars! Geeees *roll eyes in a big circular motion*.

Okay I can feel myself preaching again... the point is, as adults, who is anybody to tell you how to wear your hair of all things. However, when it comes to children... hmmm! I dunno... something just doesn't sit right with me when I see little girls with relaxed hair and/or wearing extensions (braids), not to think of a weave! I appreciate that women are busy and hair takes time, effort and (especially here in the UK) money, but apart from potentially damaging the child's hair there is an important issue here of teaching black children self-love/worth whilst they are young..

Taken from Pinterest

I guess having said that, we as mothers, older sisters, aunties etc, have a huge role to play. It's pointless us trying to teach our little girls to love their natural selves and appreciate their God-given beauty in a part of the world where the average black women is at best 'invisible' (at worst denigrated), especially if we as their role models do not set an example. For me, this is part of the reason why I chose to let go of the wigs for an extended period. You see, I don't have daughters to teach from birth about how amazing and beautiful they naturally are. Life saw fit to bless me with two amazing, bright and loving young sons. I am the first woman that they will ever love. I might go as far as to say that I am the woman they will learn the most about women from. For want of a better expression, I am their first understanding (model) of what a woman is/should be.

One day, when I was getting my son ready for school, I did not put on my wig, and my son exclaimed... 'No mummy you have not put on your hair yet! Put your hair on before we go' WOW! Now for some that might seem like a cute statement by a child just telling his mum that she wasn't quite ready as per normal. However, therein was the HUGE problem. For my son, my wig was normal and my natural hair underneath was SUPPOSED to be covered up! It was at that precise moment that I started to feel a little uncomfortable wearing wigs ALL the time! That combined with advice from some wise young naturalistas (Oya J - that's you if you are reading) firmed up the decision in my mind to leave my natural hair out and ONLY wear wigs for short periods, for respite and a change. So, like I said in earlier posts, now my natural hair is the norm and my wigs are just fun accessories that I wear from time to time. Now, my sons see a woman in her natural state as standard and can appreciate that as the default and as beautiful (hopefully).

Taken from Pinterest

So I guess what I am trying to say, somewhat incoherently, is that whilst we are free to make our own choices about personal grooming (and I defend that vigorously... I sell wigs for crying out loud), we also have a responsibility to the little eyes (male and female) looking up at us to promote our natural features. And whilst we are free to make our own choices as adults, those adult choices that we make are heavily informed by the knowledge and understanding that we acquire as children.

So ladies, if you have daughters and even sons... is it worth thinking about leading/teaching by example? Show them that black women are naturally beautiful... we don't need anything to beautify us, lighten us, etc... we just are... and when we do decided to have fun with wigs/weaves/extensions etc... it's just that...  not a necessity but fun! Just my thoughts... but I am open to hearing otherwise.

Stay confident and beautiful,


1 comment:

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