Does embracing your natural hair mean embracing your "Blackness"

Does embracing your natural hair mean embracing your "Blackness"

         What does it mean to embrace your natural beauty?  How do you embrace your natural beauty? Or better yet what is natural beauty? Natural beauty can be defined as your natural state, independent of cosmetics. Embracing your natural beauty means despite your appearance, accepting who you are and being confident of that. The act of embracing your natural beauty is simple, accepting who you are in your most natural state and presenting your true self to the world. But what does this look like to women and more specifically African-American Women? It seems to me that many women fear going natural or fitting into the natural hair community because they believe that you must be “Afrocentric”. It also seems as if women associate embracing their natural beauty with embracing their “Blackness”.

           As women of color when we begin to embrace our natural beauty we begin to accept our bodies, our hair, and our skin tones. We accept our curves, our curls, the depth in our skin tone, and all the features that make us women of color. However, these features are normally discouraged by mainstream media in society as “beautiful”. The effects of social media are strong and women begin to alter their features to be categorized as beautiful. Their natural beauty is sheltered and they hide their curves, curls, and the color of their skin away behind weight-loss, relaxers, and cosmetics.

             Embracing your natural beauty means embracing your blackness! Being a woman of color means that you have distinct characteristics that make up your natural beauty. You do not have to be “Afrocentric” to embrace your “Blackness.” It is not mandatory for you to wear Nefertiti earrings, a dashiki, and listen to neo-soul to be accepted into the natural hair community.

             This does not only apply to black people, but applies to all cultures. Each culture has their own specific characteristics that make that culture beautiful, which in turn makes that individual beautiful. Once you take away the natural features you are born with you are not embracing your beauty, but you are celebrating others. By accepting and presenting your natural hair to the world you are showcasing what black beauty is! On this journey you then begin to become curious and more interested in your own culture and background. You begin to see your culture in a new and brighter light and want to share its beauty with the world. By embracing your natural beauty you are celebrating what makes your heritage beautiful! Your “Blackness” is an essential part of you and an essential part of why you are beautiful.