|This is not my son…lol|
So, I’m having a conlict with my husband. Our oldest son has my hair texture. What does that mean? It means that when he gets a hair cut the hair starts to grow back beaded up. My husband, who has hair that lays flat and has a loose curl pattern, is like “Ugh! It [our son’s hair] doesn’t lay down when I brush it” Stating, “You know yo’ hair is nappy when you go to the store and say give me the hardest brush you got.” LOL. Of course, we had a good laugh at that one. So then, we started talking about his childhood and the stigma of being “nappy-headed.” You see, the nappy-head little boy was the bad boy. He was the one who couldn’t sit still, was always acting up in class. “Oh, you talking about James, that little nappy-headed boy down the street.”
When, my husband sees my son’s hair start to bead up, it makes him want to go get the hair clippers and shave it off. The conflict is that I don’t want his head bald. When my husband gives him a mohawk, he cuts the sides practically bald. I’m like, “Bay, why do you have our son looking like Mr. T?” His reply, “so that the hair won’t bead up as fast” He keeps going back to the stigmas of his childhood and he doesn’t want our son to be “that kid.” “Little boys, black men need to be clean cut.” Or, at least, that’s what society has told us in order to be something in life.
This is very aggravating. Though, I know that he is not alone in these sentiments. Growing up if you were arguing with another little girl you could usually win the battle by ending off, “wit yo nappy-headed self.” We’re not children anymore, but these deep-rooted sentiments have carried over into adulthood. To this day, when a little Black baby is born everyone is waiting to see if the hair is going to “turn.” Mothers are still smothering their baby’s hair in mineral oil hoping prevent the inevitable.
I’m thankful that my husband and I can laugh about this. It does not hurt any more to think that there is a part of me that he would prefer different (or, at least, tamed). These sentiments are just a part of our culture and history that comes with the territory. I will not stand in the way of my husband training our son to be a man. I will however, give our son the balance of loving self that a mother gives. I believe that as more of us embrace our natural hair and define beauty on our on terms, those old stigmas will not be an issue anymore.
Share your thoughts…whatever they may be…