We spend so much of our lives on self-acceptance.
Looking in the mirror and loving what you see looking back at you.
Fighting societal norms, accepting our differences and learning to LOVE those differences when we see them.
I have found this to be true in every area of my life, but I have seen it play out in a very interesting way around my hair.
Finding beauty in hair started very early. Figuring out how to love hair that wasn’t straight and wasn’t completely curly, was not easy. At times my hair was “unmanageable”, I compared it to what other people’s hair was like and what they had always seemed better than what I had… UGH!!
I had to learn how to appreciate what I had, and I had to believe that my hair was perfect for me, even if it wasn’t what I would of chosen for myself.
That was my hair journey, but I think in a big way, it has also been my life journey.
It took time for me to realize that God didn’t make a mistake when He made me. My hair, my completion, my shape, the way I thought, etc…all was done on purpose. When I look back on this experience I think why was it so hard for me to just accept me…
Shouldn’t accepting yourself be easy?
You would think so…but, surprisingly it’s not. As I am coaching and counseling people I find that a lot of people struggle with accepting themselves.
I remember being young and wanting my hair to be straight and long like the women in magazines and on television.
Then short hair was in.. so of course then I got a short hair cut.
Halle Berry’s hair cut looked great on her. The look was simple and sexy, and what women doesn’t want to look effortlessly beautiful every single day.
But, me and Halle don’t have the same texture or the same stylist, so what was effortless for her was incredibly expensive and frustrating for me.
There always seems to be some look that you had to have, and no matter what that look is, it always meant something other than what I had naturally.
I don’t know about you but I have spent countless hours and tons of money straightened my hair, or trying to change it in some way. I stayed in the hairdresser to keep it up styles hoping they would last more than a day or two, and I did just about anything to my hair to get it to look “just right”.
In the meantime, I found myself sacrificing my hair health to have the right look.
I remember how difficult it was to finally decide to go natural, to stop perming and to embrace my own hair, but that was only the beginning.
I started off with two strand twists and then migrated to lovely locs.
It took years for me to make that decision because I wasn’t sure what other people would think.
I mean what if they didn’t like it, or how would it go over at work, or at family or social outings.
Taking that plunge was hard, but I did it. At times there were stares and sometimes there were questions.
But, I took them all in stride.
During that time, I learned to love my hair and I saw things about it I had never seen before. I began to love and appreciate the texture, the swirls, the color… I began to love what I had which was something I never would of done if I had not decided to take that journey to natural hair.
I decided to let go of other peoples idea of what beauty actually was, and create my own. Most of all, I never allowed myself to forget that real beauty comes from within, it is not based on what you look like or what you have. It is you without the make up, without the perfect style.. you.. with all of your flaws and imperfections.
My hair was only a small part of my journey, but it was an important part. Your challenge may not be hair it might be something totally different. I invite you to stop and take notice and appreciate your gifts, your talents, and your own beauty. Look inside and work your way out.
This is my story, but I can’t wait to hear about yours…today is a great day to embrace the beauty that is inside and outside of you.
About MBIB: My Black is Beautiful celebrates the diverse collective beauty of African-American women and encourages black women to define and promote our own beauty standard — one that is an authentic reflection of our indomitable spirit. MBIB initiates one of the largest online community conversations with African-American women. Join the movement, define your own beauty standards, help ignite a national conversation and share your extraordinary beauty with the world.
FTC Disclosure required: “I am a Niche Parent Network & Conference influencer and received compensation for this post and to attend Essence Festival as a My Black is Beautiful Social Media Correspondent. All opinions are my own.”