The New Natural
There are those women for whom the term natural is a term of endearment, and wear it like a crown. These women seek to enhance the beauties they know already exist in them, however unrecognized. However, this post is not about these women. This post is about someone else. You have met her: natural on the outside, processed on the inside. These are the natural women who want to be natural, but only a certain kind of natural–meaning possessing a certain texture. It afflicts all naturals at a certain point in the transition period, but can manifest later into a more devalued self worth. For instance, in the transition period it is healthy to feel frustrated with the curl pattern that develops. You have never had to deal with multiple textures on your head at once, and after relaxing it can be a challeng. Right? Even afterwards though, it is natural to question the curls you have as beautiful, given that the entire process of going natural is about first combatting the failed sense of beauty of black hair has evoked in all our consciousnesses. The problem occurs when one does not fall in love with the texture. One attempts to change the natural state into their then perceived notion of what beautiful natural hair is. What this post proposes, and what I argue is that one does not truly go until one falls in love with the texture of one´s hair.
This is extremely important for the growing of the self and resistance to a perpetuation of hegemonic beauty standards. Or in layman terms, you cannot dismantle the master’s house with the master´s tools. The same narrow ideas of beauty exists in both people: someone who rigidly wants relaxed hair as well as in someone who rigidly wants loosely curl pattern; and for that matter for someone who only wants natural women to have kinky hair. I have heard it all.
¨Its not kinky enough. I want it like yours.¨
¨What do you really put in your hair?¨
¨But I can´t do that. My curl pattern is not like yours¨
¨See, look at my texture in this baby picture. I need it like that again¨
¨But your texture is not like mines, are you mixed with something? I wish my hair was like yours¨
We have probably all been guilty of saying things like this. I am. And lets not get into good and bad hair. Suffice all this to say that loving the texture of your hair is a key part in being natural. It may even be the essence of it all. Without it, you are still confined to the narrowness of beauty standards that compelled you to begin your journey, only now you fill your perceived inadequacies with olive oil and Miss Jessie´s rather than relaxer and Remy Indian.