A Recent Comment on Youtube...
I recently recorded and uploaded a video on my YouTube channel about my experience with overdosing on natural hair videos. I expressed my love for hair that is kinkier than my own. What I didn’t say in the video is that when I began watching YT for the purpose of finding natural hair styles, I found countless slide-shows and pictures of beautiful women whose hair was clearly a different texture than my own. Their styles were so beautiful. What I found especially beautiful about them was, when I looked at them, there was no room for doubt in my mind that I was seeing a “natural” beauty. And that is what I wanted. I wanted to be able to style my hair in the same cute styles as them and be obviously natural!To this day I still love me some kinky hair!
My hair, on the other hand, is different from this texture I love so much. Many styles these women can accomplish would come out not as cute on my hair …
I went on to say I had to limit the amount of time I spend admiring those styles and watching those style tutorials. To reduce the stress and frustration over my hair not doing what their hair does, I sought out women with hair closer to my texture.
Yesterday I noticed a comment on that video which said something like:
“You come across as arrogant…like you think you are better than women with kinky hair because your hair is curly…sounds like hatred on your end.”
What?!? Seriously?!? I was really shocked by the comment. Where did that come from? I have no idea how anyone could watch my video and walk away with the idea that the main point and vibe of the video was my feeling of superiority over kinky hair.
Clearly the person who left that comment knows nothing about me or my purpose in making YT videos. So I am not concerned with him or her, but, for you dear reader, I wish to share what got to me the most about this persons comment. It was them projecting on to me their apparent issues concerning ‘grades’ of hair. An issue that unlike them, I do not have.
As I began growing my hair and “going natural” I was doing it as an outward sign of my freedom from society’s definition of beauty. I was growing out my “nappy” hair so I could say to others through my appearance, that I loved myself just the way God created me and that I did not feel the need, any longer, to change myself in order to fit in. My natural hair symbolized my security within myself. I wanted others to look at me and have no way to deny that natural hair is and can be beautiful. I wanted women to know that they had a choice.
With that as my goal, I was not too thrilled when I realized that my hair wasn’t quite kinky and was more curly. When I would try different styles, I was a disappointed when my hair didn’t look “natural”. I had a non- natural girlfriend tell me that my hair did not look natural at all. That if she didn’t know me, she would not look at my hair and associate it with natural hair. This was very frustrating to me.
I guess you would have to know that my chief aim in life has to do with encouraging women to embrace their natural selves. And for African American women in particular, I hope to be one of the people who help them to see the beauty in the hair God gave them. I do not believe in “good” hair and hair “grades” and any of that foolishness. That type of thinking is sick and counterproductive to the overall self esteem of African American people. I want them to know that their hair is perfect. Just the way it is. As a result I love kinky hair and wished I had it so that I could proudly wear it and proclaim to all who saw me, my comfort with it.
Although I do not have the kinky hair I craved, I do love the hair God gave me. I love it! After all, that is the purpose of the Natural Hair ACCEPTANCE Movement. To love the hair YOU have! This does not mean however, that I am not human; from time to time I do lust after someone else’s texture. The texture I lust after (shockingly to some!) is kinky hair.
So with all that being said, for me to get a comment suggesting that I think I am better than someone because their hair is kinky and mine is curly, is irritating because it is so far from the level of thinking I am operating on. I am done with that petty “good” hair “bad” hair mentality. I am on something else. I have a mission in life and I sometimes wish my hair was nappier so I could really get my point across.
Black women, all over the world, count yourselves blessed that the creator saw fit to make our hair very unique and gave us features that make us stand out among all the people on the Earth. Natural hair is beautiful and we need to express that in our personal style choices. We have to be the ones to find the beauty in our hair before anyone else will.
Side Note: I was very excited about this experience with this comment. Over the year and a half that I have been making Youtube videos, I have had to deal with my personal emotions surrounding rude or otherwise unpleasant comments. In the past I have allowed myself to feel hurt or some other negative emotion over unpleasant comments and dislikes on my videos. But I prayed that God would deliver me from those reactions. And he did which was evident to me yesterday. Yesterday, I didn’t bother to comment back, or anything. I promptly deleted the comment, didn’t bother to entertain their obvious issues which they were attempting to project on to me and I kept it moving.
In the past, I would have had thoughts like “Am I showing weakness by not letting the negative comment stay on the page? Should I say something back? How dare that person not "get" what I am all about. Maybe I am coming off as arrogant. See, I am shining too brightly.”
Not anymore! I didn’t allow their issues to become a sign of there being something wrong with me. I know who I am. I know what my intentions are.
Thank you Father for blessing me with courage to stand on the talents you have blessed me with. Thank you for the strength to not be ashamed of who you made me to be even if others don’t “get” me, or approve of me, or take me the wrong way. I thank you for those you have chosen to hear what I am saying and benefit from it. Amen.