The inspiration behind this post was Courtney’s blog post titled Letting Go Of Pretty, where she says
that being pretty should not be the first thing that defines us as women. I’m a firm believer in that as
well as in the fact that we shouldn’t be judged just based on our looks. When writing about such an
image conscious industry, we bloggers have the unique freedom to really be ourselves outside of our
clothes and makeup, showing the world that we aren’t shallow and in many ways, changing the industry
conceived definition of what is pretty. That’s one of the reasons blogging is so special to me as it allows
me to be a part of such a powerful movement.
I’ve confronted the issues that the fashion industry is starting to address, such as embracing women of
all sizes especially when it comes to trends and runway shows. I still have my days when it’s frustrating
but as I get older I’m getting more comfortable in my size 16 skin and I can deal. On the beauty side
though, I’ve been dealing with a different battle, one that I never thought in a million years I would ever
have to fight.
And it all has to do with my hair.
relax their hair when I was talking about hair products. In a nutshell I wrote that how I wore my hair
didn’t matter and the only thing that was important was the brain underneath it. It’s an accessory to
me, a way of expressing myself and my creativity and it held no weight in how I perceived myself and
therefore shouldn’t be a factor in how people perceive me.
Then last summer I made the decision to stop relaxing my hair, let it grow out, and rock my natural curls.
I wasn’t trying to make a political statement or but rather trying to get my hair healthy again. After 16
months of transitioning, I cut off the remaining random strands of my relaxed hair and I was back to the
natural head of hair that I was born with. It was a drastic change because I never had my hair this curly
or this short but when I did it, I felt liberated and excited, which didn’t last too long.
I was having too many days when I didn’t feel pretty.
I felt more self conscious when I went to work. I found it hard to take a compliment when one came
my way. I spent too much time in the mirror trying to make sure my curls were” just right” frequently
unsatisfied with my hair. I kept thinking it looked too wild or too messy. I was constantly in the mirror
during the day trying to fix it and always asking my husband if he really and truly liked my hair this way.
Why is that? Why did my hair all of sudden have a say in my self-perception?
ads telling us that straight, sleek hair is beautiful while a bad hair day consists of frizzy curls really did get to me. Sure, natural hair is definitely a trend but it still isn’t mainstream and what is considered pretty by the masses straight, tamed hair.
I have to learn to let go of that type of “pretty” and accept the MJ version of Pretty. The version I had
before I stopped relaxing my hair because the core of me didn’t change. It’s easier said than done
though, letting go of the Industry Pretty. But I have to remember that I didn’t make those rules so I
shouldn’t have to pressure myself to follow them. My hair is still an accessory and a source of creativity.
I have to keep telling myself that I am pretty because (and only because) I’m staying true to me, taking
care of me, and being me – curly hair or not!
What about you? Have you had any hang ups when it comes to your hair? How do you deal with those times when you don’t feel so pretty?