FEMZINE: On Falling In Love With My Crown

On Falling In Love With My Crown

It took a great deal of time, growth and actualisation of self for me to learn to love the kink in my crown. We spent many a night trying to understand each other- But neither of us could ever figure out why there had to be so much pulling, tugging, breaking and fighting.

For years I chose to strip my dense garden of coils of it’s natural lush volume. For years I forced it to lay down straight. The ever so precise and intricately woven rows of deep black coloured wooly strands my ancestors donned as crowns were somehow reduced to nothing- when compared to the bone straight flaxen fibres fixed on the heads of the women that were routinely projected from the television screens everywhere my eyes lay still. Growing up an African woman, with African hair, even in Africa was no easy task. The maintenance, the lack of representation in the market- the feeling of not being enough. The feeling of not being WHITE enough. This kept me pacing about what felt like a tightly spaced room, with no windows and no doors.

I was lock, stock and barrel deeply conditioned and blinded to the beauty in my nappy crown. In turn I was spoon fed the bitter to swallow standards of Eurocentric beauty. Which I, without the bat of an eyelid or a single question asked, absorbed and adhered to. In a room full to the brim with people, smells and sounds, the humming of the blow dryer and the sizzling pops of burning hair brought the feeling of familiarity to me as would a softly sung lullaby, nonetheless entwined in barbed wire. Familiarity. Not love, not acceptance, but merely the feigned feeling of comfort and ease. Often, on either side of me, sinking into the salon chairs would be two women, skin as black as mine, tangled in the very same cycle. One with mounds of relaxer smeared across their scalp, eyes tightly shut, lips pursed. Another, cupping their ears to avoid the hot strike of the flat iron.

You see, nothing comes pre-programmed or perfectly organised in a little pocket handbook. Awareness of self and the dynamic processes of actualisation are anything but blunt, comfortable or easy. Imagine the journey of a sunflower emerging from the rubble, yet remaining resilient, face towards the sun. Arduous but worth it. We black women on our journey of growth, in many aspects are the embodiment of the sunflower. Falling in love with my crown and rejecting the pervasive spoon fed toxicity stemmed from intricate and intertwined processes of growth. I see the awareness of self as a continuum, we souls are constantly and continuously evolving.

Falling in love with myself, as a black woman took a great deal of time and energy but was every bit worth the spring in my step and the spring in my coils. My hair taught me resilience and strength, my hair taught me nurture and patience. My hair grew me. I watered it, it watered me. We grew together.

 

Love and Light,

B

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