I grew up in Algeria where women have an obsession with straight hair and prefer to have their curls 'tamed', probably to look more European.
I wasn't any different as my mother started to blow-dry my hair from a very young age. It made me very happy at the time as my hair was longer and I could run my fingers through it. In short, life was easier!
It became an issue when this blow-drying process became a ritual. I would spend more time with straight hair than with my natural curls.
I was obsessed with straight hair, obsessed with this blond classmate whose hair could move in the wind, following each of her movements… It was heartbreaking for me to love something that I wasn’t able to have, and seeing my favorite celebrities on TV with long straight hair fostered my insecurities.
Now an adult, I am annoyed at the fact that the representation issue hasn't improved much.
You can see one black curly haired girl from time to time but you will never see an Arabic girl, and when you do, she will be from the Middle East, with long black straight hair and European features.
In spite of this I totally embrace my hair now. I straighten it very rarely and feel weird when I do. I feel like this isn't me anymore.
There is nothing wrong with the fact that we want to try different hairstyles but we need to be careful with what we make our hair go through.
What are we hiding our true nature from? We need to ask ourselves if it’s really worth it.