Monday, February 4, 2008

Beauty and Our Babies

Hair means everything to the african american community, especially hair texture. For generations we have judged one another by the texture of each others hair. The straighter the hair the better we considered it. It is shocking that even to this day in 2008, we still buy into the good hair bad hair concept. There was a time when many people even chose their partners based on that person's hair texture. More thought was put into producing kids with "good hair" than good character.
I was also personally guilty of this. I am an african american woman who comes from a family of by all standards beautiful hair. My grandmother had long, flowing, silky hair that hung down to her butt. Most of my life was spent wishing that I reached back and got her genetics. When I was pregnant with my daughter, I deeply wanted her to inherit that "good hair" dna from her great grandma and when she didn't I was disapointed. Because I love my daughter far more than these ridiculous standards that were passed down from one generation to another, I let that go. Deciding to celebrate her natural beauty wasn't hard at all. What I want for her is to be confident and to love herself. She should see the beauty in her caramel skin, curly hair and full lips. I want her to know that she determines her self worth and not worldly standards. In a world that does not value black females, we should encourage, uplift and celebrate our children's natural beauty. Encouraging inferiority is what we some times do without even realizing it. There are many beautiful, natural, alternatives to chemically altering curly hair. There is a line of products by the name of Miss Jessies that really brings out the beauty in curly or even very kinky hair. I have decided to keep my daughters hair natural for as long as I can and allow her to decide at an older age what she wants.
I hope no one takes my decision the wrong way. By no means am I saying that deciding to straighten your hair automatically means you feel inferior. I just encourage everyone to celebrate their children's ethnic beauty in a world that rarely to never does.

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