Wearing my naturally curly hair is almost a form of active rebellion towards people who aren’t comfortable with the way I look or with what I represent as an individual.
My hair is a reflection of my mixed heritage and I am not planning to change it to make some people more comfortable around me.
My mother is black and grew up surrounded by all these negative messages and wrong ideas about curly hair: unmanageable, hard to tame, unpresentable…
As a result, she would pull my hair a lot, as much as she got hers pulled back when she was a kid. Progressively, this tedious process made me associate curls with pain from a very young age.
I know people don’t necessarily have bad intentions, but for many, my hair is so fascinating that their behavior become annoying. They repeat how ‘different’ my hair is, they want to pull it to see the spring, they want to touch it without asking…
I really feel like you get treated differently when you have curls, as people make a point of highlighting how extra special you are because of that.
As a mixed-race woman, I am aware that my hair type and light skin will be seen more positively in society compared to the thicker hair of my dark skin counterparts, supposedly harder to manage.
Colonial mindsets and attitudes are still deep-rooted within our society.
With all the prejudice that resulted from it I still feel like we haven’t learned enough from it.
These are still ruling the way we see each other and value each other. It is still impacting beauty standards, telling us what’s the norm and what isn’t.