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Hi!, I started this blog quite selfishly and yet not. I had just become a new mum and I needed a space to air out my thoughts. I’ve neve...

Jun 10, 2012

"I Am Not My Hair!" -India Arie ....Or am I..

I love India Arie, she is in my top five favorite artist so I have followed her, her music and her hair journey without giving it too much thought. Her song " I am not my hair" however made me think a lot about my Hair Identity. In fact I will start by sharing the lyrics with you, just the verses:


"I Am Not My Hair"

[Talking:]
Is that India.Arie? What happened to her hair? Ha ha ha ha ha
Dat dad a dat da [4x] Dad a ooh

[Verse 1]
Little girl with the press and curl
Age eight I got a Jheri curl
Thirteen and I got a relaxer
I was a source of so much laughter
At fifteen when it all broke off
Eighteen and went all natural
February two thousand and two
I went on and did
What I had to do
Because it was time to change my life
To become the women that I am inside
Ninety-seven dreadlocks all gone
I looked in the mirror
For the first time and saw that HEY....

[Chorus]
I am not my hair
I am not this skin
I am not your expectations no no
I am not my hair
I am not this skin
I am a soul that lives within

[Verse 2]
Good hair means curls and waves
Bad hair means you look like a slave
At the turn of the century
Its time for us to redefine who we be
You can shave it off
Like a South African beauty
Or get in on lock
Like Bob Marley
You can rock it straight
Like Oprah Winfrey
If its not what's on your head
Its what's underneath and say HEY....

[Chorus]

[Bridge]

[Verse 3]
Breast Cancer and Chemotherapy
Took away her crown and glory
She promised God if she was to survive
She would enjoy everyday of her life ooh
On national television
Her diamond eyes are sparkling
Bald headed like a full moon shining
Singing out to the whole wide world like HEY...

[Ad lib]

Initially her words just rang so true in my mind. I totally started wit ha press and curl and here I am now all natural, perhaps the woman inside me had finally found her way. Or does it matter? India was actually saying to me by the end of verse3 that it doesn't matter If I choose to weave or relax, its whats inside that defines who I am. I love her message and confidence , about accepting who I am regardless.

In a way it does make sense, part of my Hair Identity is my Identity. However after a few years of tossing this around in my head, I am going to choose to disagree with my India.
Personally my hair is like my smile. A bad hair day or comments about my hair go right to the core of me ( i know i am a sensitive soul :)). My hair is my pride and its strength directly correlates to my feelings of confidence. Having discovered and accepted that I cannot then see myself losing the naturalness of it.
My hair is like my face, a little makeup is ok but total plastic surgery including skin bleaching is just not ok. ..for ME.It is ok for everyone to find thier own Hair Identity but such is mine.

Todays hair tip then is just a little more about how I feel about hair, to prompt others to make their hair journeys and understand what their hair means to them. Because once we understand those feelings we will then be able to care for our hair a lot better. very simply you wouldn't hurt what you loved.Think then how that relation will be passed on to your children as you would extend your knowledge and feelings to them.

looking forward to your thoughts!



5 comments:

  1. So many young black women and girls that I teach have such insecurities about their "natural" hair. I think artists like Arie promote a strong message but are too easily over shadowed by other black female rolemodels that have their fame not from talent alone, but because they meet the industries standard of what is conventionally beautiful. I wish more women thought less about what is "considered" beautiful and just focused on feeling beautiful inside out. We are conditioned to not feel like this though because the industrious needs us to consume consume consume!
    Right, I need to do something with MY hair ;-) X

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  2. i guess i just thought you had dredlocks because it was easier for you to manage but, thinking about it, people's hairstyles do evolve depending on their sense of identity. i love your hair at the moment and glad you don't feel the need to have expensive and uncomfortable weaves. i wish more women thought like you and didn't feel insecure about not having straight, western-style hairstyles. agree with selina that advertising and fake role models have led many girls to feel the need to cover up their natural hair...it's all about natural beauty!

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  3. I woke up this morning and had a flash back of how distressed i was after i permed my hair because i broke up with my ex. He was a Rasta and i grew my hair natural for 2 years so I permed it to spite him and get rid of the person i became when i was with him. My hair helps me to express myself like an artist I go through my rebellious phase with red tones and my depressed phase with blue or black, does this mean my hair has an identity crisis?

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  4. I woke up this morning and had a flash back of how distressed i was after i permed my hair because i broke up with my ex. He was a rasta and i grew my hair natural for 2 years so I permed it to spite him and get rid of the person i became when i was with him. My hair helps me to express myself like an artist I go through my rebellious phase with red tones and my depressed phase with blue or black, does this mean my hair has an identity crisis?

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  5. Ebony, I think your hair is just one of the way you express what goes on with your emotions..not a crisis more like an outlet

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