Dear curl moms with or without little curl girls…
I need you to wear your curls. Some of you have waves. Others have curls that hang. Still others have tight coils that create beautiful untamed afros.
The natural hair community obsesses over curl patterns, products, and porosity, but today is not my day for that discussion. I could not care less what type of wave or curl you possess, I just need you to wear your hair in its natural state…
…because my daughter is “yellow” with a self-proclaimed pink face that looks “yellow” in pictures.
And I am “chocolate.”
When I was complimenting her beautiful curls one morning as we prepared for the day, I asked her if she loved her hair, and at four years old, she said, “No. I want straight hair.” My heart proceeded to break on the spot.
I delved deeper and asked, “What is wrong with curls? Mommy has curly hair.” Her response? “Yes, but mommy is chocolate.” And she is yellow. People who are yellow have straight hair.
As I began to rack my brain to find a Disney character, or child celebrity, or superhero or “yellow” person that may appeal to her, I came up blank. I googled Disney characters with curly hair, and only ONE popped up…a long-maned Merida whose fiery red hair flows to her waist. I searched for other celebrities and came up with a handful – none of which would have any affect on my daughter so now I am reaching out to you because she needs to see all people…”yellow” people, and “chocolate” people, and “pink” people.
Last year, I did it for my daughter. I started to wear my hair in its natural state. I cut the remaining straight pieces and let my hair grow FOR MY DAUGHTER!
I have grown to love the hair that now grows out of my scalp, but I have never forgotten that I did this for my daughter. Yet, when she looks at me, she does not see herself.
Do not get me wrong! The genes are strong!
(Side note: That would be my sister as a child on the left and my daughter on the right. I used this picture because my sister and I have the same face, and her picture was more readily available.)
I know eventually she will understand. I know I have to teach her that hair is more than “yellow” and “chocolate.”
But what I need you to understand is that I will do ANYTHING for my daughter…including writing to a society that is slowly beginning to embrace curly hair, straight hair and all patterns in between.
This letter is my plea to put a rush on that process. That way, when we go to church, school, or baseball practice, I can point to all the kids with hair like hers…to all the moms with curls like hers.
Today they have salons dedicated to curl girls. They have product lines dedicated to curls girls. They have communities and movements dedicated to curl girls.
So for all my natural curl girls, please take a long look in the mirror.
I am not here to tell you not to die your hair purple, or sew in a weave, or blow it out, or chop it off, or crochet it. What I am asking is that, on occasion, could you wear your hair the way it grows out of your scalp naturally?
Can you find a way to accept the hair God have you?
Again, I am not here to judge. I love a weave as much as the next. I wear braids, sew-ins, and faux locs. I twist it out and make sure my wash-and-go’s never lose their curl defining freshness. I re-wash when my go looks a little too much like a fro. I re-wash when my wash and go has come and gone. I am still learning this thing as well. I waited 35 years before I took that long look in the mirror…
I understand that we are all just trying to make it.
Consequently, I would like to thank the women who paved the way for me to look in the mirror…the women who paved the way for us to make it…for me to make it…by embracing their innermost authentic selves.
So that we can embrace our innermost authentic selves.
So that I can embrace my innermost authentic self.
So that my daughter can embrace her innermost authentic self.
I write this letter for every mom who just wants what is best for her children.
May we find the moms that have the courage to be their truest selves. May we cherish the moms that have the courage to be their truest selves. May we be the moms that have the courage to be our truest selves.
This way, my daughter can choose whether she wants straight, curly, wig, color, or weave not based on “yellow” or “pink” or “chocolate,” but instead on the basis of her own truest self.
What are some ways you work to make the world a better place for your children?
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