If you could see yourself now, I wonder what you would say? I would think it would be, “ I could never cut my hair! It’s so long and I don’t know how to do my hair.” All those thoughts are obstacles. The culture is changing, the movement is different. People of our community are having an awakening that is being shared all over the world. Black women are becoming business owners in haircare, makeup, skincare, you name it! Mental Health is the Black community is slowing being talked about more and more. Support systems are forming and thriving in the glorious sun.
So, how does this affect your hair, Sterling? As I sit here and write this letter (“an Ode to…”), I have realized how much the African American community values our hair. It’s an outward symbol of not just mental appearance but mental and emotional growth. As my curls grow more and more and my straight, dead ends are cut off, I feel something growing. I am growing in knowledge here at SCAD and learning how to appreciate myself more.
|The portrait was taken by Frogirlginny|
I know hair is a big deal in our community. (“Don’t cut your hair! I wish I had hair like that.”) Before, we all catered to the latest trend of hairstyles and covering ourselves with the image of others. We love to elevate and imitate women of color that we all love like Beyoncé (with her blonde hair) and Rihanna (with almost every hairstyle she has done). Now, we are freely growing into selves while appreciating what it means to be a woman, especially a black woman. I have become to myself in my skin and search within myself to take care of myself better.
I know you use your hair to hide from the world. Soon, there will be no reason to. Be more present than ever. Enjoy the simple years of your life. You never know where your life will take you (soon you’ll be at SCAD). Appreciate the people in your life and never stop learning.
If you could see yourself now, what would you say, Sterling?
P.S. I saw this poem and thought about you.
What’s the greatest lesson a woman should learn?
that since day one. she’s already had everything
she needs within herself. it’s the world that
convinced her she did not.