The kinkiness in her curls could make a room full of people stop and stare. People probably tell her to fix her hair, straighten and whitewash her hair. The sound of a comb ripping apart every bit of her family’s culture blows at her tender head. She has vivid curls that represent strength and America tries to find ways to erase that culture out of her memory. They want to erase hair that breathes off years of struggle, strength, triumph, love, and rituals. People hope she would rather swallow everything her being breathes off rather than fully embracing her melanin and authentic sense of self.

#UMDMelanin Define Your Blackness

As she sits there waiting for her stop, her curls blanket her from the world. Her kinky curls shield off the negativity because she has hair of reclamation. Inhabitants of the streets reek of condemnation, as if her hair smells of a wicked odor. Her hair sends off aromas of shea butter and argon oil that mask their hatred. Why fix her hair when it was never wrecked? In all of her hair’s evolving stages, it will always be beautiful.

She minds her own business, so stop policing and disciplining the hair of a Black woman. She has no fear of accusations that she is not “presentable.” So, don’t treat her like a petting zoo. She is a black woman that holds power in the palm of her hands. You will look her in the eye and know that she is entitled to boundaries.

Accepting My Kinks: My Journey to Natural Hair

Many don’t care about the pain deep in her curls. And although the world is against her, she will sit there with a tall posture and shine a smile. A smile that will make us feel like we are standing in the middle of summer, but yet it feels like the middle of winter. A cold day to match a cold time, but she is resilient. You will see the joy in her face of the legacy she is going to leave on this world and the territory that she deems as hers. This is a territory where she recognizes that she will be stigmatized by society at every turn she makes, but she will rise above it.

She does not want that European aesthetic. She wants it raw. America teaches her to conform to unrealistic ideals and images of what a black woman should be. Embracing her kinky, smooth, soft curls meant redefining beauty. It meant taking the time to feel comfortable in what her ancestors had to offer.  It meant knowing that she owns her Blackness and no one can take that from her.

Logan Nelson (@logantylerr) is a senior Communication major at the University of Maryland. She is extremely passionate about being an advocate for women of color and takes pride in her creative generation.

 

You May Like