Mug Shot, Really?

Mug Shot, Really?!
Before traveling to the Dominican Republic, I had my hair braided in cornrows so the heat and humidity would not expose my half natural and half relaxed hair.  It was wonderful to wake up each morning and just be hair ready.  No brush or comb needed.  Just get up and go.  Well, let me correct that.  There were the spritzes of oil sheen in the crevices of my hair that itched and called out my name to be scratched.

After two weeks of braids, it was time for them to come out.  I started unbraiding them while driving down the street.  I finished while watching a reality show on TV.   I didn’t look in the mirror during the process, but once I went upstairs to look I saw a full head of hair – and I loved it.  Although there was no true style, hair products or anything on it, I loved the potential that it could have possessed.  So what did I do?  I took a photo of it and put it on Facebook.  I received some interesting comments –

“Oh my. That could be a mug shot picture!”  “From all the glam pics this is truly different. All you need is a name plate with a number.” “Time to DEEP condition, straighten it out, and trim! Hey now!”

Wow, I was pretty caught off guard by the comments.  Who would have known that a picture I admired would be seen as so horrendous and negative by others.  It wasn’t until I posted a comment about liking the photo that others started writing positive comments.

I hate that so many people see natural hair as such a negative and ugly thing.  It’s a good thing that I don’t do things in order to impress other people or else I would have run as fast as I could to get a “Just For Me” Kit.   By the next morning, my hair was back to straight and I looked “acceptable” again (see below).

I don’t know how people will treat me once I am completely natural and let all my hair do whatever it feels like doing.  Who knows, I may cut it tomorrow.  I may flatiron it forever.  I may rock an afro puff cocked to the side.My hair does not define me.  Whatever I do, I hope people will still love me for being me.


M.Y. June 2011

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