I’m not ashamed to say that I have cried… yes cried over my hair before. The final episode of hair related weeping and corresponding indignity hasn’t occurred since achieving the age of maturity. I still get the piss-jitters when remembering that a not so secure, pre-pubescent me wailed (in PÙBLIQUE) over my hair! Gasp! I was 12, giving a speech, and my relaxer didn’t set right. A hyper-self-conscious me 'died' as all those eyes looked at me in what I determined was a state of complete disrepair. The reality was that no one was any the wiser and the audience thought (as many told me after) that I was overcome with the emotion of my "powerful" words. HA! Fooled ya!!! My vanity was the only thing that was overcoming me at that moment.
When watching a hair related segment on ”The Real” yesterday, I was again reduced to sniffles. After a brief introduction, the hosts aired the Dove Hair Care campaign Love Your Curls commercial. When asked the question, “Do you like your hair?” Several young (YOUUUNNNG) girls featured in the commercial gave emphatic “no’s”. When prompted further as to the reasons why, Ugh… the responses broke my heart. My younger self would have said exactly the same disparaging things.
According to “The Real” hosts we need to be careful about the messages we send about good or bad hair to our daughters, nieces, kid’s friends - all little girls. While I completely support that, I think the message needs to be a little deeper. Perhaps we should be more aware of making the comparassions that say this type, color, texure, of hair is more desirable than... and by the same token another hair is less desirable.
I don't think my own mother ever said a negative word about her hair but it was different than my tightly coiled locks and I constantly compared. My mother was Diahann Carroll/Dynasty fabulous while I didn’t see how that could ever be me. I browbeat myself with images, commercials, splashy magazine covers, when all that hairology is mostly extensions, lighting, silicone and Photoshop.
Perhaps more than the words we say, lets stop the slow death by comparison that we all unwittingly buy into, and accept and care for what we have.
See the Dove 'Love Your Curls' campaign