*pulls up chair*
This is the first of a three part series of FAQ’s that will deal with hair (or the lack thereof), teetotalism and deleting my facebook account.
December 26th 2006 marked the day that I cut my hair off. I, me, moi (not the hairdresser or barber), cut my hair off. I went into my room, pulled my hair back into the tightest ponytail that I could manage just to make sure that my head wasn’t a funny shape and then SNIP SNIP!
When it was done, the longest section which was towards the front of my head, measured about an inch long. I cut it pretty short.
What did you do that for?!!!
Because I wanted to. Dazzit…that’s it.
I wanted to.
No, I wasn’t cutting off my permed ends, trying to get rid of a relaxer (my hair has never been permed). No, I didn’t have heat damage. No, I wasn’t auditioning for the Halle Berry Biography. I had no socially acceptable
reason for cutting my hair. Was I stressed, was I depressed? People kept looking for an excuse for what I thought was a well-thought out, logical decision. My hair takes quite a long time to comb (time that I was most unwilling to dedicate to vanity), it’s hot in Trinidad and I just plain ole WANTED short hair!
And let me tell you…I looked goooood…I looked dam good. And I felt good too! It was the most confident I had ever been in my life up to that point. Mind you, it’s not only my mirror that confirmed that I was fly…people told me that I looked good, but in the same breath they would ask disapprovingly why I did it. As a result of my decision to cut MY hair, some people cried (I kid you not), others gave me the silent treatment, I got called ‘stupid’, ‘jackass’, ‘crazy’. What?! That’s it?! That’s all I have to do to be considered crazy…cut my hair of??? Ummm, ok. Pat your weave girl.
I’ll never forget, my first day back to school from the Christmas holidays, before I could even get to my class, one of my classmates greeted me at the top of the steps with loud, jeering laughter. She literally stood about three feet in front of me and laughed mockingly to my face! #shorthairisnotfortheweak
It was definitely a turning point in my maturity. I don’t want no beef BUT lemme just point out that some of the same people who rebuked me for cutting my hair off, supported my sister when she cut hers. Why? Because my sister had a socially acceptable excuse: she was cutting off her locks.
To conclude. I have a full head of hair which I love. Tomorrow, I may wake up and decide that Trinidad is too hot for me to be carrying around so much hair. I may cut off my tresses and you know what? You are going to be ok with my decision, for several reasons;
1. It’s not your hair
2. It’s not your body
3. It’s not that serious
Since that ‘drastic’ decision over 6 years ago, I’ve had aunts who TELL me never to cut my hair again. I think the fact that I didn’t ask their permission the first time is not an explicit enough clue that it is not their decision to make.
Let’s hear from Jada Pinkett Smith the actress and mother of two who took to Facebook to post an open letter to the critics of her daughter’s hair, and the end result was a beautifully eloquent letter liberating Willow (Jada’s daughter) from her hair.
A letter to a friend…
This subject is old but I have never answered it in its entirety. And even with this post it will remain incomplete.
The question why I would LET Willow cut her hair. First the LET must be challenged. This is a world where women, girls are constantly reminded that they don’t belong to themselves; that their bodies are not their own, nor their power or self determination. I made a promise to endow my little girl with the power to always know that her body, spirit and her mind are HER domain. Willow cut her hair because her beauty, her value, her worth is not measured by the length of her hair. It’s also a statement that claims that even little girls have the RIGHT to own themselves and should not be a slave to even their mother’s deepest insecurities, hopes and desires. Even little girls should not be a slave to the preconceived ideas of what a culture believes a little girl should be.
More to come. Another day.