I am not my hair’s biggest fan.
In my younger years, most of my friends had straight hair so it was difficult for me to look at them and not want the same thing.
Teachers didn’t help, telling me how messy my natural hair looked, how unpresentable I seemed… I felt pressured to relax it, even though I knew it didn’t suit me at all.
In order to fit in, I would do more than just relax my hair. I would avoid sunbathing, would wear lighter skin foundation and blue contact lenses. I would do anything to look like my mother, a beautiful blond white woman.
At some point in my life, I lived at my grand parents’ house in Brittany, France. My grandmother used to hate taking care of my hair, always complaining about how difficult it was, making it look like it was the main problem of the household.
It wasn’t easy being the only Arabic kid around.
I started to understand my hair only two years ago.
I believe that there is not enough education in regards to curly and kinky hair. Our straight-haired peers knew from a very young age how to deal with their hair as it has always been considered the norm, while we are still struggling as adult women.
Representation is also a considerable issue! When I look at French Arabic public figures they always have straight hair. As soon as they have to make any type of official appearances, they alter their hair nature.
What type of message is it sending to all of us?