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Modern Day Mental Slavery Over Natural Hair

I watched the movie Stuck in Love this past week, which happens to be a really good love movie on writers, love and heartbreaks. Nonetheless, I fell in love with this quote from Raymond Carver, “I could hear my heart beating. I could hear everyone's heart. I could hear the human noise we sat there making, not one of us moving, not even when the room went dark.” That quote sums up my emotions as I was getting ready for work today, and realizing how anxious I was.

I arrived at work early, anticipating the arrival and reaction of my fellow workmates. The irony that I was watching an African city with MaameYaa Boafo’s fabulous natural hair, and so much Pan-Africanism being truly embraced. As 9:30am approached, I was more anxious, and I could feel my heart literally bursting out of my chest. Trust me, this was worse than doing 100km/h on a highway whilst listening to extremely loud rock music.

However, in the midst of being so nervous about revealing my natural hair to my workmates, it all played out really well. Nothing was as bad as I played it out in my head. With the modern day expectations looming over us, I never thought that I would be entrapped in such mental slavery. Being fully aware and 100 percent confident with who you are is something that has to be consciously built in time.

Seriously, I now understand why girls say natural hair is a journey. Don’t get me wrong, I love my hair, but I have muzezuru (proper African) nappy hair, kinkiest of all muzezuru hair as my mother would jokingly tell me. Hence it’s so much maintenance and I honestly can’t keep it up. So over the past year I’ve been going through my natural hair journey under wraps in my braids.

To end this, here is a thought provoking quote from Teyonah Parris on her reaction to going natural - “I cried, I cried… it was such an emotional experience and it wasn’t just about hair. It was what my perception of beauty was and had been for all of my life and then I look at myself in the mirror and I’m like, ‘That doesn’t look like what I thought was beautiful.”

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