Every weekend as I’m scrolling through my feed and Insta-stalking the celebrities and influencers that I fangirl for, I come across something interesting and inspiring in the beauty space. From jaw-dropping transformations to drool-inducing hair, there’s always something that I can’t stop staring at or watching, and it instantly garners a double-tap.
Tennessee-based content creator and founder of Curls and Canvases, Alesha Faulkner, dropped a gem on us this week. In an Instagram post where she’s sporting her natural 4C hair, she muses about how beautiful Black hair is. But she also calls out the absurdity of calling it courageous to wear our natural curls.
“I guess we’d been taught to conforming for so long that going back to the way it was supposed to be seems like an act of courage and radicalism,” she writes.
She brings up a very valid point about the perception of the natural hair movement from people outside of the community. We often go along with these terms “courageous,” “empowering,” and “heroic” to describe our decisions to wear our hair as it grows out of our heads because to some degree they are. But those terms don’t really come from us, do they?
The relationship between Black women and their hair is complicated as we’d been taught to hate our curls, coils, and kinks for so long. So loving and embracing them can come across as an act of rebellion to some.
I love this post because it made me think about this in a way that I haven’t for a very long time. I’ve been natural (in texture) all my life, so the idea of embracing my curls isn’t foreign to me, and yet I’ve still given women props for doing it. I won’t stop praising newly minted naturalistas because I welcome anything that encourages Black women to love their beauty. And for many women afraid to go back to natural, seeing their sisters do it can be inspiring. But this post has made me think more deeply about accepting such descriptions and titles from those who don’t understand exactly what all of this means for us.
White women, Asian women, and Indian women are not called daring for wearing their hair straight or for foregoing their usual blowout. At the end of the day Black women should be able to wear their hair however they want—natural or otherwise—and no fanfare should ensue. So along Alesha’s point, all of our hair changes should only be out of choice, not necessity.
And it doesn’t hurt that her Afro is dope and her beat is impeccable, making me want to stare at this picture for hours and praise her crown.