In the past, I used to see my hair as something to cover, to hide. Because everyone around me was disguising it, it simply felt like the right thing to do.
While doing so I wasn't thinking about what hair alteration was implying socially, or how it could impact me mentally. I just went along with what everybody was doing.
Working as a journalist, I was led to read a lot about African history and colonization. This really had an impact on the way I perceived myself as a black woman navigating a global world. Progressively, representation and beauty ideals started to be topics of interest to me.
I grew up in Nigeria but moved to Britain, where I became more aware of the way I looked: my hair, my lips, my skin color and even my voice.
But now, I am fiercely protective of my hair! It is me, and it's a clear representation of my heritage. I am proud of it everytime I am leaving it out! It's beautiful - look at this texture, witness the multiple things I can do with it. What could I complain about?
When I started to embrace my hair all my brothers were very supportive. They love me so no decision taken by me in regards to my own beauty is questioned by them.
They are fierce advocates of natural hair! One of them wouldn't even date someone who isn't natural! This is probably linked to all the conversations we had on this topic!
As black women we have to be more aware of the beauty narrative and what it entails. By knowing how it works we will then be able to challenge it and create a narrative that serves us. It's also important for our kids.
I am showing my daughter how confident I am, if she sees it she will also believe that she has a right to be that confident too!