Now that I’m older and more informed, more confident, and secure; I wonder why “good hair” was ever a term or standard that black women held themselves to. I decided to write this post after having two of my younger girl cousins say “ I want hair like yours.” What is hair like mine? Why don’t you love the hair that you have? It’s just as beautiful. It broke my heart and I’m sad to say that according to these young girls; “good hair” is still a thing.
I genuinely thought the #teamnatural movement trickled down a generation and encouraged little girls to embrace their hair. Apparently, I thought wrong.
The first incident occurred when I went to visit my Caribbean family in Antigua. One of my younger cousins, fell in love with me on sight. The feeling was mutual. One day I was sitting by her and she randomly says “I like your hair. You have good hair.” I say thank you and think nothing of it. It’s just a wash and go, nothing special I thought. She then follows with “Where were you born?” I reply “ I was born in Germany.” She then smiles and seems highly satisfied with that answer. “So that’s why your hair is like that!” she says loudly.
At that moment I gathered she believed I had a loose curl pattern and baby hair because I was born in Germany. I’m not sure how the two relate, but I could tell it was enough reason for her. By the end of that conversation, I made sure to relay that her tight curls and warm brown skin were just as beautiful as the next girls. I hope that I made enough of an impression on her to believe she was beautiful because that’s exactly what she is.
The second reminder that “good hair” was still a thing came from a different younger cousin. She’s a beautiful girl with a head full of tight curls, an outgoing personality ,and a whole lot of sass! lol She quite honestly reminds me of a young Tiffany Renee. I love her more than she probably knows, which is why it broke my heart to hear her say “I want hair like yours. Can my hair look like that?”.
Since this was my second time needing to offer some positive reassurance to a young girl, I was quick on my feet. “Well, I want hair like yours!” I replied. “It sucks that I can’t wear box braids or crochet styles because they slip right out of my hair. Your hairstyle is super cute.” She smiled and began moving the conversation to her box braid hairstyle. Again, I hope that I made enough of an impression on her to believe she was beautiful because that’s exactly what she is.
I remember being a young girl who wasn’t sure of herself.
A young girl who wished she looked like this or that, wished she had this or that. Believe it or not, I used to hate my hair and began relaxing it as soon as I got the chance. To this day, I remember the people I encountered that offered me positive reinforcement. Those people made an impression on me and I’m thankful for them. After reading this post, I hope I have encouraged women to offer support and encouragement to our young girls, EVERY chance that may arise. Yes, mainstream media may paint the picture that one curl type is better than others. My point is, it’s not mainstream media’s job to uplift our young girls. That’s our job. Our job is to let these girls know all we see is beauty, no matter the texture or curl. We should be examples of self love and self worth. You never know who’s looking up to you or who wants to be like you when they grow up. That’s why it’s important to emphasize, there’s no such thing as “good hair”.
As usual, thank you for reading. Share your thoughts on this topic in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you! Be sure to check back here for more post from me @iam.tiffany.renee and if you enjoyed this post please share for your friends and family to enjoy as well!
Cover photo courtesy of Google: www.carriefayphotography.com
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