Younger, I would always pull my hair in a bun, and would use the scarf I was wearing to cover my throat to hide my hair as much as I could.
Even though I didn’t feel comfortable with my hair I never relaxed or straightened it. My mother always forbidden me to do so as she remembered her negative experience with these techniques.
She always had curly hair and after years of extreme straightening she completely lost her curls, which is something she now deeply regrets.
The other side of my family is Mauritian, and natural hair is not something they are yet ready to accept. Straighteners, relaxers, buns or turbans are go to’s.
For my cousin’s wedding, all of us bridesmaids had to have sleek buns. When I asked if I could leave my hair out she responded that everyone needed to look presentable, which clearly meant that my natural hair wasn’t.
This deep-rooted mindset is in my opinion influenced by the media.
When you see a mixed-race girl on TV, she is always tall, thin, and has loose, golden, and perfectly defined curls.
This doesn’t look like real representation to me…
Such lack of representation leads to stories like the following: even though I was very young at the time, the concierge of our building used to believe that I was using curling products on a day to day basis to have this curly result.
To me, it almost is an indication of people’s incapacity to believe that physical features and characteristics other than theirs exist. How sad!