Tag Archives: Self-Image

I Am Not My Hair!

Today is my birthday!!! I’m excited about being a year older, and infinitely wiser.

As usual, my birthday has led to great moments of introspection. This led to me reflecting on my hair journey, and my own voyage into self-awareness and fulfillment.

My issues with self-esteem have already been talked about in a previous post! Yet that struggle was tied to my struggle with my hair. I was never a girl who cared about my physical appearance, mostly because I didn’t think I was beautiful. I couldn’t put on makeup, couldn’t do my hair, and honestly, didn’t care to do either. I was more comfortable playing basketball or reading a book.

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I would often tell my Mom, as early as high school, that I would love to cut all my hair off! I never felt comfortable in my own skin, or with my hair.

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The struggle continued from high school, all the way through undergrad. When I first moved to Atlanta to pursue my Masters degree, I saw all these beautiful Black women embracing their natural hair. I was inspired to do the same, as I was embracing my own inner beauty. So I did the BIG CHOP, and begin the natural hair journey!!

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While I was more free, there was still the part of me that didn’t see myself as attractive or beautiful. I was too!! Too black, too fat, too quiet, too boyish; just too!!! I discovered that no matter how I chose to wear my hair, until I dealt with the internal dialogue I would never see the real me.

It didn’t happen overnight, matter of fact it took a long time. It happened gradually, day by day I begin to change my language. I was beautiful, I was pretty, I was smart, I was created in the image of God! My language changed, my mind changed, what I saw in the mirror changed.

Eventually, I reached the point where I kept saying I want to cut my hair, and so with the encouragement of my twin and my BFFF taking me to the salon, I cut my hair again. In the chair that day, I finally made the decision that I had wanted to make way back in high school.

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This decision was not a rebellion, instead it was the final embracing of who I’ve always wanted to be. A woman free of the stereotypical standards of beauty. My hair doesn’t define me, instead it’s a reflection of my freedom to be my true myself. As I finally decided to free myself of my hair, I freed myself of negative thinking.

I encourage everyone to be free to be who God created you to be. I am, and I’m loving it!! I am free, Praise the Lord, I’m free!!!

India.Arie said it best, “I am not my hair, I am not this skin, I am not your expectations. I am not my hair, I am not this skin, I am a soul that lives within.

Happy Birthday to me!!!

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I’m Beautiful D***it

Don’t be thrown off by the title, I won’t be lacing this blog with harsh profanity! Those who know me are aware that I don’t use profane language in my everyday vocabulary. This title is actually taken from a song that I was recently introduced to by my bfff ! The song is one of self-affirmation that encourages all people to recognize the beauty that lies within us. Check it out!

I’m using this song to shine a light on the evolution of my self-image. When I was younger I never felt comfortable in my skin. I was more likely to be playing basketball with my brothers rather than playing dolls with my sister. My daddy is an avid fisherman, and we would take family fishing trips on the weekend. During these family trips I was most often found inside the truck reading a book; preferring the escape of fiction to actually fishing! I have a twin sister, and although we are not identical, people have always found it difficult to know who was who. My sister and I are different in many ways, most specifically in our body type. Thus, people deemed it easy to call her the skinny twin, which made me the FAT twin! While I know that there were no malicious motives behind this distinction, it worked to destroy my personal esteem.

I was not a part of the “in-crowd” in school, preferring the close circle of friends. We were all Band geeks and we loved being different. Yet, even with my circle I was still different because I was not interested in losing the big V, and instead of parties, we would most likely be found in church. I didn’t consider myself one of the pretty girls, and never thought I would be noticed by any of the guys whom I found attractive. I was not happy with any part of myself; my glasses were too big, I was too dark, and yes, even FAT!

There was no epiphany moment in which I recognized my worth; instead it was a slow progression into self-awareness. This self-awareness grew into self-knowledge which ultimately led to self-fulfillment. The more comfortable I became in my skin, the more my self-esteem grew. Truthfully, I have reached the point in life where I am so Happy Being Me! I love ME, even the things that I seek to improve upon. When people tried to question my femininity because I chose to wear my hair faded; it was cool because I was happy. I may not ever be supermodel thin, but I am so comfortable in my skin that it no longer matters. So whether other people recognize it or not, “I’M BEAUTIFUL DAMNIT!”

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