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The Natural Woman


Me!

Me!


There’s a struggle being natural. There’s a struggle being a woman. It’s just hard managing sometimes. It’s hard facing societal “norms” not only from “outsiders,” but from your “own” as well. I just don’t understand, what’s so bad about being natural? Why has being natural become the most unnatural thing in the world?

Why is it OK to condemn “white people” for judging our skin tone, yet display the same venom of hypocrisy when we judge our own? How can we see hair and assume anything about a person based on the length or texture that it is? How do we place so much emphasis on the least important part of who we all are?

Why does not wearing make-up or not wearing your hair straightened determine who you are on the inside? Why is it OK to say, “Oh, you’re going to look like a princess when you get your hair straightened”? Am I not regal with my afro? Are my twists not entangled with royalty in every strand? For my family, do your own genes not make up the genetics of this thick head?

The Natural Woman gets it a little worse than most. She gets men who won’t date her because of her hair. She gets companies that won’t hire her because of her hair. And she gets a community that won’t love her because of her hair. What, you didn’t know that love, ability, and acceptance were hair-related?!? For her it is. She gets everything and the in-between.

Yet, instead of buckling under it all, she learns to embrace the glorious in-between. The in-between is the opportunity in opposition. It’s the strength in the struggle. It’s the joy in the midst of judgment. What people don’t realize is that being natural is more than a hairstyle or look, it’s an empowerment of beauty. It’s a movement that all should be a part of, whether “nappy” or “straight.”

You are no less empowering because your hair is straight, nor am I any less empowering because mine is not. Women need an empowerment of the beauty of their natural personhood based on who they are on the inside. And if you can’t see that need, then I fail to believe you’re a natural woman in any sense.

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