As I walked down the narrow hallway, the aroma of warm sweet potato pie fill my nostrils, I heard the distant sounds of the football game on TV and the banter of children playing video games. It was Christmas day and everyone came together to fellowship. I big chopped the February prior and this was the first major holiday gathering I had attended since. I knew I would be bombarded with questions. I was prepared for it. As soon as I walked into the room filled with family members someone yells, "Hey Angela Davis!" Everyone bursts into laughter. I chuckle and return the salutation. I wasn't trippin, this was a compliment to me. I had heard worse. My brother started calling me Krusty the Clown and Side Show Bob (ya know from the Simpsons!) as soon as I began transitioning so this comparison was actually nice.
As the night went on some relatives complimented my hair, a few were mum while others probed with questions and littered me with comments. They were a mixture of funny, annoying and inquisitive. It really didn't bother me because I was prepared for it. I had encountered similar reactions from people who asked me questions. The only difference is family tends to be a bit more candid because they have a personal relationship with you. Here are a few tips on how to handle your natural hair being the center of attention this holiday:
1. Take the rude comments with a grain of salt. Some people just don't understand or see the beauty in natural hair. Many individuals will discover it later but it is not your job to convince them.
2. Answer questions your family may have but when you feel like you are having to continually defend your decision to wear your hair in its natural state, you may want to end the conversation. It could end in an argument and hurt feelings.
3. Be proud and confident about your hair. It may help open up an aunt or niece's eyes about the beauty in their naturally kinky hair.
Enjoy your presents and delicious treats on Christmas and remember your kinky, curly, coily hair is one of God's many gifts to you. Happy Holidays!