Defining Individuality With My Natural Hair
As I have grown older, how I have defined myself has gradually changed with the experiences and the emotions that I have garnered along the way. After I had begun to unpack the vast socialization, or social stigmas, that stood in between myself and the world, it was easier to see the things that I liked about myself. Because of how quickly my hair began to sprout, I paid close attention to how I expressed myself through my makeup and my clothing. I wanted everything to match the velocity of my hair, or the thought that I could be seen and others would know that it was me because of its voluminousity. I loved decorating my lips with dark, plum-like purples or fiery reds, and mixing eye shadows with Urban Decay eyeliners. In the mornings, I created a set ritual where I would wake up in the mornings before everyone and indulge in self care through the expression of makeup without having the presence of someone rushing me.
I liked that I was forced into taking care of my hair, because it forced me to spend time with myself. I used to roll my hair with sponge rollers, and have a spray bottle off to the side and I used to love the the thought of my hair soaking; it was like my own plant on my head and it required nourishment from water in order to grow. Most of my teenage years, I used products such as OGX shampoos and conditioners and would switch out with Shea Moisture. I allowed myself to be the sun, no matter where I went and no matter what others thought of me. Suddenly, washing my hair became less of a burden and more so a way that I could gauge the progress I was making towards having a healthier outer appearance.
I credit Pharrel’s album, GIRL, for most of the confidence that I have today, since most of the mornings were spent in solitude and looking inside of myself for the answers that I had always been seeking. There is also the ongoing pressure to look like or to act like everyone in the world, and that is not true. One of the most important lessons that I learned from stripping a major part of myself away from the public eye was that I was gifted the opportunity to finally say and do as I had always wanted to. And in those small actions, there were a plethora of chances to learn more about myself. For instance, I had developed this insane amount of love for myself and seeing myself in photographs which was something that I had struggled with for a long time because I didn’t really like the way I looked. I learned that in order to be able to even exist on this large Earth, that I had to at least learn to love who I was in the mirror, first and that the rest would follow over in that image.