Apr 3, 2013

Discussion: The Cookie Cutter Natural Phase

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What is a cookie cutter natural? This is the natural who has been on all of the websites (that we know and love like CurlyNikki) they read and take notes. Then taking those notes and they reinterpret them putting them together and binding those notes to a leather scrapbook. The Cookie Cutter Natural keep this special notebook next to their heart, touching it throughout the day  to make sure that it is still there. And if you ever ask the Cookie Cutter Natural for advice, you can bet that the answers they give will be almost verbatim from their favorite site and often the most generic result in a Google search.

Unlike the #TeamNatural soldiers, the Cookie Cutter Natural does not operate out of a sense of loyal attachment - she acts out of a sense of enlightenment. I know this because... *sigh* Ok. I confess. I WAS once a cookie cutter. I'm willing to bet that most of us were at some point. Once I found out that I could have looked online (and learned not to attempt to dry comb my kinky hair), I was determined to learn more about natural hair. I was online and on YouTube until I felt satisfied with my knowledge. So I took my list and kept it handy:
  • Don't do this to natural hair. 
  • Natural hair always needs this. 
  • This is good for hair unprocessed hair. 
  • This is bad for black hair.
Notice that my notes reference "natural hair". Not once was MY hair in the notes. I was a typical cookie cutter. Someone gave me a list and I just assumed it would (or not) work because someone told me. And not only that, I made sure that EVERYONE else knows the 'do's and dont's' of natural hair. I  gave unsolicited advice because THE WORLD needs to know these guidelines so they can do the right thing - like me.
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Really, the Cookie Cutter natural stage as the puberty of the hair journey; similar to when your younger cousin hits 14 and their nose stays turned up in the air and they begin to assert their knowledge of life and everything is so dramatic and serious. The Cookie Cutter Stage is where you learn that there are hair rules, but you've only scratch the surface.  

You can only go so far learning the "what" without knowing the "why" or the "how"? You don't put any and everything in your hair anymore, but you will never learn that every now and then. Like, a little petroleum grease CAN work wonders and will not have you wake up in the morning bald-headed. You won't learn this in the cookie cutter stage because you are afraid to try anything not in the rules you've just learned.

Thankfully, I've grown from this stage. I've learned that my hair is - MY hair. So many of the rules don't apply to my hair. I have actually ended up doing more harm than good sometimes because I was following natural hair rules that my hair just wasn't made to follow. Now, I've done more research. I'm something of a science buff, so I quickly became interested in gaining a deeper understanding of the biological ins and outs of my hair. I think that for many of us, this is definitely just a phase.

Did YOU ever go through the Cookie Cutter Natural Phase? Do you know anyone who has been stuck in this phase for far too long? Talk to us in the comment section.
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