The Right to Choose

Sandy - Gulfport, Mississippi
Entered on December 9, 2008
Age Group: 30 - 50

What I believe is that I have the right to choose. I was given those chooses when I was born. Living in the Caribbean I had a challenge with my hair, not from anyone saying or looking at my natural gift, but by myself fighting with the coarseness of the nappy hair when washed. It became a trend to wash and styled at the same time before the hair got dried. My hair was worn several ways, braided, twisted even the 60’s afro. Although my hair was natural I loved it.

I saw no difference when it came to my hair, because all my thoughts were – my hair is not who I am. I was made a lair when I came to America. Feeling out of place is not a good thing and that is how I felt at that time. Americans have their hair done every week or every other week. No one had nappy/kinky hair like I did, twisted hanging to my nape. In my mind people was looking at my bad hair.

I’ve fell into the same routine as Americans, perm hair and styling every week. For the last eight year I have fell victim to the chemicals of processed hair. Still stuck into what everyone likes and not what is right for me. But I am seeing the light of day not fully converted as yet, but my mind is been made up as the economy is getting harder and harder and my dollars bills is lesser and lesser. Every so often my husband would say to me- go natural, by the way he has dreads. My response would be “in time”. When would in time really come, I don’t know as yet but it is coming.

I can revert back to my old way. My change has been to accommodate my new American culture. I had not been living for me, but for what I think everyone wanted of me. No one said to me you have to straighten your hair and look like us. I took it on myself to change with the times. I have grown to the point where I can stand on my own two feet and say enough is enough. This is my time for that 180 degrees turn around. My hair is my beauty if it is not styled and looking right I am neither coming nor going. I have finally reached that point in my life where I can truly choose natural hair as part of how I am. That is my choice.