I was tickled by filmmaker Zina Saro-Wiwa’s humor as she describes the uncertain feelings of going natural in her Op-Doc, Transition This is a terrific video on the New York Times website that sort of summarizes the natural hair movement. The state of going natural is called transitioning–cutting out the relaxed hair and wearing the hair it in its naturally curly or kinky texture. Zina Saro-Wiwa decided to document her own transition along with that of others. As the stylist shaves her head, she jokingly says, “God, I can just feel myself getting uglier.” The results of her transition completely contradict that statement, for she looks absolutely stunning. Like most women who go natural, I feel like I can really “see” them for the first time.
Zina was identifying with the feelings that many newly naturals have stating,
“I was forced to confront my real hair and doing this changed me. I had unknowingly transitioned”
As a friend of mine so eloquently stated, “natural hair” is not just a state of hair, it’s a state of mind. For many of us, confronting our real hair challenges our view of beauty and ultimately how we see ourselves as women. “Pretty” takes on a new meaning. Going natural also spurs on a desire to address other body “issues” such what we eat and physical activity or the lack thereof.
As Zina explained,
“Transitioning changed my relationship with my entire body” Going natural is really an awakening of health consciousness as we rid our bodies of chemical relaxers, unhealthy foods and other toxins.
Though most women do not see the natural hair movement as political and are just enjoying the journey, Zina believes otherwise. She characterizes the movement as a quiet internal shift toward self-acceptance, which in her mind is “the most potent political act of all.” I would have to agree.
Do you identify with the sentiments in this video? Please share your thoughts about the video in the comment section below.