Three Tips to Help You Take the Leap and Transition to the Naturally Beautiful You3/08/2013
Like most women, I relish a day filled with splurging. When the seasons change many of us put a little more emphasis on keeping things t...
Like most women, I relish a day filled with splurging. When the seasons change many of us put a little more emphasis on keeping things tight and right, just as we should. There's really nothing like getting a great massage, a mani and pedi, stopping by the makeup counter and letting your favorite maestro of makeup work her magic, and my absolute favorite, the pleasure you experience when you let the salon hook up your hair... pure heaven!
However, there are some women who are taking things to the extreme. They're paying far more attention to how the package is wrapped than to what's inside. Maybe this is someone you know: Going to bed with full face makeup on and then before their mate gets up, they sneak into the bathroom to touch things up before he, god forbid, sees their real face. Sound familiar? Could be a friend, or it could be you.
Maybe it's someone you know, and you're baffled by their behavior. You repeatedly assure them that they look fine without makeup on. Furthermore, you remind them that going to bed in full makeup is bad for their skin and their pillow case, but they can't hear you. They'd rather be boiled alive than be seen without makeup.
For all intents and purposes, makeup is an illusion. A mask that we wear throughout our day. We all know that none of us really looks the way makeup says we do, but we wear our mask, and for some of us, we start to feel that our mask is who we really are. Our makeup, our multi-textured weaves and wigs, our clothing, our spanx, our implants, our perms and all other such accoutrements start to take front and center in our lives and we become a partner in the system that designates that we be relegated to preordained roles of beauty versus non beauty.
It goes without saying that in a society bombarded with ever changing imagery regarding what is deemed beautiful, sexy and desirable, the job that women and girls must do around what bell hooks calls "resist socialization in order to construct healthy self-esteem," is an ongoing difficult and challenging one.
Read: I Love Your Hair: Letting Go of Kinky Hair Anxiety
Seventeen years ago I became acutely aware of this challenge when I decided to "un-mask" my natural hair and in one fell swoop I cut off almost 20 inches of perm and went natural. This was long before the popularity of the "natural movement" of today and I was one of very few black women who were un-masking their natural hair. I cut my hair to a quarter of an inch in length and the reactions were interesting to say the least. In fact, the first barber I went to refused to cut off my permed hair. They said that I might regret it and try to sue them. The second barber shop agreed to do it but tried to get me to cut it in stages, four inches at a time over the course of a few months. Finally, after I assured them that I knew what I wanted and that I'd just go home and do it myself it they wouldn't, they agreed and gave me a cute buzz cut with tight edging.
But let me be clear, before I took the leap, I was a lot like the woman who wore her makeup to bed and feared that her mate would see her real face. I used to be appalled by my "kitchen" when it appeared at the nape of my neck. I was preoccupied with my new growth. I would "touch up" my hair religiously lest any of my naturally curly new growth ever be seen by others. I was convinced that men would not think I was beautiful and worthy of their attention if I did not alter my hair and get it to be as straight as I possibly could. I realized that I did not arrive at these thoughts in a vacuum. That without stopping to question or challenge the wisdom of the thinking I accepted the inheritance of a "race consciousness" or way of thinking that is supported by a mass of people.
Afterwards, both men and women asked me why would I cut off my long pretty hair because it was so beautiful. They were perplexed and confused as to why I would choose to go against the imagery that was the accepted definition for what was beautiful. I cut off my perm because I was sick and tired of being bound by an unspoken unwritten message that said to be accepted in society I needed to mask my hair or risk being ostracized. I finally got to the point where I was willing to take that risk.
"Eventually I knew precisely what hair wanted: it wanted to grow, to be itself, to attract lint, if that was its destiny, but to be left alone by anyone, including me, who did not love it as it was." ~ Oppressed Hair by Alice Walker
So, if you're ready to take the leap and make the big chop, here are three affirmations that will help you get your mind right and set forth on your journey. For as long as you need to, meditate on these affirmations for 60-90 seconds each day:
- I choose to love and accept my natural hair.
- My natural hair is a celebration of beauty.
- I am naturally beautifully me.
I encourage you to honor the calling that's asking you to own your identity and express that identity through choosing to wear and share your hair with the world naturally. Don't apologize nor hide any longer
5 Principles of Transitioning Your Hair and Your Life
Testimony: My Natural Hair Journey
Denise J. Hart, known as The Motivated Mindset Coach, is committed to helping women KICK fear to the curb and Rock their Mindset Mojo 24/7! She's the author of the forthcoming book, "Your Daily Mindset Mojo - insightful messages from the heart helping women experience more meaning, fulfillment & joy!” Receive your own free daily Mindset Mojo Messages at http://www.365daysofmindsetmojo.com