Tuesday, March 1, 2016

TRESSES TUESDAY: I am not to be tamed

Don’t try to tame me.            
: Not wild: trained to obey people.
:  Not excited or interesting
All queens, no matter the pigment, have felt pressure to tame themselves in one area of life or another. From sexuality, to the boardroom, society tells us who, what, and how we should be. Because we all know how a woman should speak, groom, and behave, right? TGIQ. Thank God I’m A Queen. I make my own rules and I create the plays. I create my image and forge my own path. This one is for my Brown Queens, the melanated royalty. If nobody shares your pressures, sister, I do.

While we face many pressures, for the sake of time and attention spans, let’s focus on one: hair. Has this topic been beaten to death already? Does thinking about it cause your shafts to split and single-strands to knot? Hair has been a hot topic in recent years as Brown Queens have battled with the decision to QP or let it kink. Brown Queens have chosen one path or the other for various reasons. Let’s make this clear now, I honor them all. I also understand that a large influence in the decision to return to our uninhibited state is society, pressure, and the world at large trying to tame us. To that, I say, “I can’t be tamed.” Seriously, I can’t be tamed. You can’t either. Think about it. Have you ever done a bomb twist-out, and then stepped outside on a humid day? Have you ever gone for a jog after a fresh press? Have you ever taken down your twists before they were fully dry? Lord have mercy. Come on, somebody! Touch your neighbor and say, “Neighbor, I’ve traveled that road and wrote the book.” I know you can relate. If not, I have traveled the road and back enough for us all. The point I’m making is that no matter how many “taming” processes we put our hair through, at the end of the day she and nature have the final say. And while I may be able to tame her temporarily, there’s nothing that I can do to keep her from being who she is, and I don’t want to. There was a point in time where my curls had to be defined to the gods. *inserts snap* I would wash, protein treatment, deep condition, ACV rinse, leave-in condition, coconut oil, fully detangle, carefully rake that good old eco styler gel through (You know, the olive oil kind), twist, and let dry. And the next day? You know you have to coat those finger tips with oil before taking your twists down. You don’t want frizz, do you? After unraveling, separate your twists once, twice max! This is how you get ‘dem curls poppin’ like Orville Redenbacher. It wasn’t long into my hair journey that definition became something I put on the back burner. Actually, it wasn’t even on the stove. I cared not about a curl. If you “hair type,” my hair is a big mixture of 3c in the very front and straight down the center, and the rest 4a/b. Lots of kinks and curls to love. Before I knew it, I fell in love with big fluffy fros, and I would pick my hair until every curl was unrecognized. I realized my desire for curls that were “on fleek” stemmed from a less than desirable place. It was all society induced. Once I freed my mind from the ridiculous notion that my natural hair had to be full of cylindrical curls in order to be beautiful, I could fully embrace Erica. All of her. Not just the eight 3c curls in the front.
This is why I will never fix my lips to ask a Brown Queen why she won’t flat iron her hair, bantu knot, or retwist her locs.  Outside of the fact that it’s none of my business, I’ve entered a space where I can see the beauty in a Brown Queen for who she is and where she finds herself in her journey. Be it under the dryer with a roller set, or free-forming it. Sister, whatever your choice may be, know and own the underlying reasoning. This is why you may see me with a fresh retwist, or locs that have been untouched for three months. Because it’s my choice, I own it, and rock the hell out of it if I do say so myself. (Jay Z voice) *drops mic* *flips locs*


1 comment:

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