…And Making it a Race
When I was around 6 or 7 up until my teenage years, all I ever wanted was long, straight, dark brown hair. I imagined myself throwing it up into a casual pony or curling it as it dangled down my back. It being straight as oppose to it’s naturally nappy state was an easy fix with a perm but how to grow it long was going to be the challenge. Long hair in my mind meant beauty, validation, health; it meant “hey, look at my hair! I am black with long, straight hair. My beauty is obviously validated because of it”. I thought, man I would be so much hotter if I were the black girl with long hair in my group of friends.
Clearly, I already thought I was hot.
My dreams of having long hair, lighter brown eyes, and a few shades brighter skin, was a dream to be further removed from being black and more racially ambiguous.
A bit of self-hatred? Absolutely.
I share that tid bit because I know my long hair dreams, though straight hair specific, is one that a wealth of natural hair women run into when they decide to go natural. Length checks are all the rage and it is seriously ruining the natural hair journey. Instead of embracing our natural textures, long or short, we are so completely mesmerized by length and obsess over it that everything else that is important in this journey fades into the background. There is nothing wrong with having long natural hair and there is nothing wrong with having natural hair that is an inch long. It is a journey not a race.
In our community length translates into beauty, validation, and proves that we are some exception to the rule that black women cannot grow long hair. It isolates women that do not have long hair making them feel as though something is wrong with them. Nothing is wrong with you, length is not everything, hair grows because that is what it does, if you aspire to long hair then grow it but don’t feel like you have to in order to display that your is healthy or your journey has been successful.
So how about we do some of these checks:
A health check
An edges check
A stop being a natural gangster check
An I am my own hair crush check
A my hair doesn’t have to be racially anonymous check
A my hair is nappy and what check
A split ends check
A stop buying a million products and swearing by each one check
What kind of checks are you trying to do?