Self acceptance is full acceptance.
A good month ago now i decided to cut my hair off, down to about 4 inches of hair. Although this happens all over the world all the time for many women ever since miss farrow way back when, i was returning to a state of hair i hadn’t seen in over a decade. To some reading this it holds no significance what-soever but as a woman of colour it holds alot. On a regular basis i would use a sodium hydroxide based formula which strips my afro hair of protein to get it to fall ‘straight’. This chemical is referred to as a ‘relaxer’ or ‘perm’. The relaxer is alkaline and can seriously burn the scalp- i know because i’ve suffered many a burn to the point that i was going bald. I then decided- but what am i doing this for? WHO am i doing this for?
Much like we try to combat the stigma of certain body types in the media i have come to realise i thought straighter hair was ‘prettier’ for a similar reason. Take a certain frizz serum advert: it has a lovely model with soft loose curls talking about ‘taming her unruly hair’ using said serum and battling frizz. The beginning shot is often of a comb struggling its way through her hair or her hair in a big state. So what was i to do with my hair that for the most part grows only skyward? and is so tightly coiled it always looks frizzy? i don’t think ive ever seen a woman with an afro in a hair care commercial talking about products that helps define her curls, soften and aid in retaining length; and they do exist.
I’m not protesting as i’m aware the world i live in has an unattainable standard for even the woman modelling said standard, i don’t need to. I am simply accepting myself now. A true self. There is a power in acceptance that leads to confidence, happiness and the dove commercials i’ve come to enjoy. When one can find it in themselves to say “roll your eyes at my stupid laugh” or “you can think i’m awkward all you want” and “tell me to diet but i’m just not going to” you gain a power. We are different, and thank God we are. Yes the hippy is back again but its true. I think your blue eyes are gorgeous, i think your short stature is adorable i think your big boobs are amazing and i think your religion is fascinating, how wonderful is your laugh and peculiar your outlook on life. You want to be a doctor? thank you. You want to be a painter? Thank you too. Relax or weave, whatever your want, so long as you’re healthy and happy.
I am truly learning to accept all of myself and now i have this power to really attack anything i want. I had an audition and had to send a new picture to the director as they had only seen one with straight hair i said i should let you know in case this isn’t what you’re looking for. She said my hair was fantastic and i had a really good audition. Funny how we always think we’re changing ourselves to seem better to others.
Thankfully im learning this young. I am fantastically made, not conceited, everything from my outside to my inside has something special and something i can bring to the world. The commercials will still be there but we dont live in a TV set so lets accept that. I have accepted i am 5’5, black, afro haired and english and that i am beautiful. There are 7 billion people and counting why shouldn’t you, as you are, fully accepted, not be beautiful too?