So this post was inspired by a couple of articles I just read about certain hairstyles defining a group of people. The articles point to the fact that some black Americans believe that they own the sole right to braids and cornrows and every other “natural hairstyle” (feel free to guess what natural hairstyle means… me I don’t know)
Well I can’t claim I understand where these women are coming from. I have never been or lived in America among whites. I am surrounded by people that majorly have the same skin color that I have, so I can’t assume I understand what it feels like to be a minority. Maybe they have a point. Maybe not…
However, what I want to address here is that my outer make up or what I look like should not be ALL that defines me. I pointed out something similar earlier on here … but it seems 1 post (or even 29) will not be enough to address this issue. In fact I dare say, what I look like should not be my major defining factor.
I know this is hard to swallow in the image conscious society we presently live in, where people are accepted based on how they look. This mind set is what has led to low self-esteem in people, especially the teens…
People put themselves in harm’s way and face near death situations just to be accepted. I exaggerate? Well, what would you call bleaching the layers of your skin which exposes you to skin cancer and unsuitability to undergo a potentially disaster averting surgical operation (say Cesarean Section)? Is that not deliberately putting yourself in harm’s way? All for what? Because you heard that men prefer yellow girls? Like, seriously??? Sister, you want to be with a guy who’s with you only because he’s interested in the shade of your skin? Really? *sips cold water to calm myself down*
It’s not even just the bleaching palava. This keeping-up-with-the-Jones’ syndrome has led some down the rabbit hole of debt. All for what? Just because they want to buy the latest designers or pay for that aso-ebi that costs their 3-months’ salary! All for what biko? Acceptance shebi?
But come o… these people that you are clamouring for their acceptance sef, should they be the ones you should be hustling to be accepted by? I mean anyone that will only befriend you or “love” you based on your clothes and the price tag on your bag… Tell yourself the truth, is that person really worth the trouble?
Please don’t get me wrong. I am not saying that it’s wrong to invest in how you look. I am not saying that you should not wear fine clothes. I am not saying that you should not use make up. I am not saying that you should not fix weaves. I am not against your dreams to own the latest car or phone.
I am saying please do not become OBSESSED with all of these things that only fix you on the outside!
Have you invested in your mind? When last did you read something that developed your mind? Or engaged in a mentally stimulating discussion that led to you learning something new or unlearning some old debilitating thought patterns and lifestyles?
I don’t know about you, but I’d much rather be described with words that qualify who I am on the inside than what I look like. You can call me beautiful… but I would want that beauty to ALSO be an adjective for my mind not just my body shape. I’d choose to be known for my integrity any day over being known as the girl that has the “on fleek eyebrows or weaves”. I would want to be known for my kindness than the lady that has the baddest Louboutin heels or Chanel bags…
Abi? How una see am?
Now whistling India Arie’s *I am not my hair…*