It wasn't always so easy to feel good in my own skin. When I was a little girl I felt very awkward and embarrassed about the way I looked. I grew up in an a predominantly white neighborhood. I went to predominantly white schools. To this day, I am often look around and find that I am the only black person. This alone is not a problem; the problem is the inferiority I felt. I felt inferior because my hair didn't move like the little white girls, my hair was oily and left a mess everywhere. Not to mention, it was clear that we didn't have enough money. Looking around and seeing everyone on TV and in magazines happened to NOT be my color had a profound affect on my confidence. TV in America has to be the most toxic thing a young black child can consume. We are constantly portrayed as less than. Constantly struggling, poor, haggard, thugged out, ratcheted out and mammied. I absolutely hate TV.
It was only when I realized that I had been programmed to feel bad about the very person that I am that I woke up. I suddenly realized that I don't need to approximate the white look ever again. I also realized that my perms never looked authentically white anyway. The misery and expense of perms seemed silly in my awakened state. My friends wholeheartedly agreed with me. It seemed the whole world had been waiting on me to wake up and see my own beauty. Feeling my "naps" for the first time since I was a kid was indescribable . I can't imagine longing for any hair but my own. It needs nothing. My hair, African hair, was made to beautiful all by itself. It literally needs nothing other than to be kept clean.
Dreadlocks do not need to be manicured, twisted, redone, tightened, interlocked or maintained. Our hair is so strong, so regal and so fantastic that people can't help but say something about it.
Yes, I want to sell books. But more than that; I want my people to wake up. I want little black girls to love themselves so that they will make better choices. Starting with the hair seems trite, I know. But to a black woman, it is everything. As a black woman, I'm proud of my "naps" but am I really as rare as the dodo bird. Pray not.