Embracing Who I Really Am with a Full Afro (Not easy)

This past mother’s day weekend, I found myself in sort of a mess. My kids were sick and I had a ton work to do (both around the house and freelance work). My plan A was to set my hair in twist for a twistout on Saturday night for Mother’s Day. Well, that didn’t work out. Plan B was to get up early on Sunday morning and figure out something cute to do with my hair. I did get up early, but the kids did too. Instead of fussing over my hair and neglecting the kids I decided to enjoy what this day is all about and that is being a mom. So, I played with the children, enjoyed my cards and flowers and moved on to plan C–The Afro. You might ask, why do I say it this way. It takes a lot for me to wear a full afro and I’ll tell you why.

I’ve always admired natural hair icons like Afrobella and Rachel O who seem to be able to rock their signature full afro worry-free and with style. For me, wearing an afro is usually a last resort. I think like many women, you don’t go to the salon and say can you “style” my hair in an afro. Oftentimes, women won’t even wear a full afro. They tend to tie it back with a headband or scarf. There’s something about an afro that sends a strong statement. It often commands attention both positive and negative. The afro is the proverbial “F- you” to society’s standard of beauty.

To this day, it still strikes an unnerving chord in many blacks and whites. For whites it’s an instant reminder of the struggle for blacks to obtain civil rights. For blacks, and black women in particular, it’s a reminder of what lies “beneath”. The afo says, “look at me, I’m on display for the whole world to see how African hair really looks,” There’s also the issue of differences in hair texture. You have the cute fluffy/curly fro and then there is the latter, (which I have) the kinky fro. The kinky fro yells, “I don’t give a ____! Say something else, and I’ll pop you in the mouth…” Okay, maybe not… I’m not trying to turn this into a political or racial  issue. However, for me and lot of women, these are just some of the issues that we have to work through in order to embrace natural hair.

So, back to Mother’s Day. I’m standing in the bathroom mirror, like, “crap. I’m late for church and my hair is a mess.” Then it dawned on me, what better way to celebrate Mother’s Day than to celebrate who I really am? As a mother and a nurturer, I chose to nurture my soul by embracing and displaying the beauty of my hair–in an afro.

Tell us, what do you think of “the afro”? Have you ever struggled to wear one? 
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2 thoughts on “Embracing Who I Really Am with a Full Afro (Not easy)

  1. The fro is beautiful! I’m glad you have embraced who you are. When you do you realize it’s just hair and you can do any style you like with comfort and grace. Welcome to the Afro fold!

  2. Thank you Alison! I think it’s something I’ve always known. I’ve been natural on and off since 2001. I guess the turning would be when my hair fell out in 2008 after testing a bad perm for the first time after I had been natural for a few years prior. I also let go of wearing wigs as a go-to cause I have nothing to hide. How about you?

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