Oct 10, 2011

Toya's Hair Diary: Reason #56 That Some Women Won't Go Natural

Ok maybe it's not technically #56 but there are many reasons why some women don't think they could go natural.  I was reminded of these reasons this week as I was going back in my journal from last April when I started my mission to "Get Back to the Natural Me".  It took me nine months to finally go natural again and I want to talk about the reason why.

I could easily rattle off ten  reasons off of the top of my head why some women are apprehensive about gong natural.  Some of them would include "I don't have the right kind of hair", "I work in corporate America" and "I don't want anyone to think I've suddenly turned militant (because you know when you go natural you are immediately "blacker" than everybody else right?)  But the reason that I want to talk about in my hair diary today is one that a lot of women deal with and it is "I need to lose weight before I can even think about going natural".  Trust me, I get this one.

The picture of me cheesing above was taken immediately after I cut all of the relaxer out of my hair one night.  Almost a year before this picture was taken I decided that I needed to lose at least 20 pounds before I went natural again.  At my best weight, I was about 30 pounds lighter the first time I went natural. After gaining weight and switching to a relaxer,  I kept my hair straight because I have always had a round face and figured that my chin length straight bob made my face look more slender.  Going natural and cutting my hair down to a teeny weeny afro, I thought, would only make my face look rounder.  Ok...fatter.  I'll be honest.  I was really scared.

Hiding behind straight hair was making me miserable.  It was making my social life miserable too because I love to dance and roller skate and my straight hair was NOT having it pass two hours of doing either.  Committing myself to get in shape has never been easy for me.  It's been a lifelong battle.  Looking back now, I was losing this battle to my insecurities and they were holding my happiness and my curls hostage!  I was basically saying that I didn't get to go back to being myself until I lost at least 20 pounds of myself.  That is no way to live.

I took the risk of cutting my hair before reaching my goal weight and the risk of the result not being the most flattering. These were huge risks to me. There was no telling what my hair was going to look like after I cut it myself.  I am no hair stylist, trust me.  But as you can see by the picture above I was more than happy to finally be natural again and all my fears were gone.  It reminds me of this scripture actually:

 "A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit." Proverbs 15:13

As of this week  I've decided to try to get in shape...yet again. But the difference this time is that I'm not holding my happiness hostage.  And yes I wince every now and again when I see I've been tagged in a picture on Facebook and I think my face looks a little too chunky. Nevertheless, I am smiling a lot wider now with my natural hair than I ever did when I wore it straight and that's because finally I am much happier. Most importantly, I am back to being myself.
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