My hair is part of my personality and I see it as a clear representation of who I am as a person.
I am mixed-race, half white and half black, but don’t know my black father, which resulted in me growing up with no black relatives around me.
I believe this had a strong impact on how I perceived myself as a person but also how I perceived my curly hair.
I grew up seeing straight hair all around me, in movies, on dolls’ heads, in magazines…
Such a uniform level of representation sent a strong message to the younger me and encouraged me to believe that I was stuck with a hair texture no one knew how to manage, including me.
Noticing that I didn’t like my hair, my mother once suggested that I could relax it.
I was so excited about it and happy to eventually have a hairstyle that was seen as the norm.
As soon as this happened I started to receive compliments which I thought were validating the decision I took. Now looking back, I can tell that I received much more praise when I had my hair straightened.
My mother always tried to encourage choices that she thought would make me happy. When I decided to go natural, she was very supportive, as much as she was when I wanted to relax my hair. Her suggestions were simple signs of her not knowing how to deal with my hair, but wanting me to be the happiest regardless.
I am glad to see how vocal she is now when it comes to her love for my curls!