My daughter is so proud that I am no longer relaxing my hair. And I am so blessed to have her in my life.
A little background
As I mentioned in my first post here, my daughter is my natural hair inspiration. She is the inspiration for every change I've made in my life since she was born...since the moment I knew I was pregnant with her. I never fully grasped how much I could love a person before she came into my life. And now that she's here, there TRULY isn't anything I wouldn't do for her. So when she (at the age of 9) started to feel like her hair wasn't beautiful, that she wanted straight her like me (insert shocked face) so her father's family wouldn't treat her like she had "the worse hair in the whole house," (insert angry face) it was a split second decision for me. I was done with relaxers, in that moment! It was as simple as that.
I had always told her how beautiful her natural hair was (and it IS!), but I was sending her mixed messages. And when I realized it, I was filled with guilt! *tears* I was so angry with those members of her family that made her feel that way (anger is not even a strong enough word!!) and disappointed in myself. I thought that I could instill a pride of her natural hair in her while having my own relaxed without any problem at all...never even gave it a second thought. But when the rubber hit the road and "society" started to weigh on her she needed a mother that was leading by example. A mother that was "walking the walk" AND "talking the talk."
*Drifts off into thought*I didn't even have a "good reason" to relax my hair to begin with. I've been on "auto pilot" since I was in middle school. It was just what I did. *shrugs shoulders* My hair was very different from my mother's fine multi-ethnic hair and she didn't have a clue what to do with it. So when my friends started getting relaxers she jumped all over it!! ...and my aunt jumped all over HER for "ruining that baby's hair!" I thought I was cool and loved it....until that summer day in 2008. As I sat there and listened to MY baby's heart breaking I realized it wasn't cool...at least not for me.*Snaps out of daydream and continues the story*
Happily ever after? ....
Now, she LOVES her hair once again and REFUSES to let anyone flat iron it. I thought she would have "length issues" after her decision, but she has told me that she likes the way it shrinks and doesn't care if other people don't realize how long it is. She usually wears it in twists, styled when wet, so her BSL (bra strap length) hair shrinks up to her shoulders. Her classmates who are accustomed to seeing her with "long hair" say they love how "boingy" her hair is and they are always touching it. LOL Gotta love kids!
Neither of us have had direct heat on our hair since last summer. So here we are, approaching one year "post trauma", and we're as happy as two pigs playing in the mud. :<) I'm so proud of her I could just burst!!
My challenge to ALL mothers (and mothers-to-be):
Take some time to think about the messages you are sending your children, especially your daughter(s) about their hair and their beauty. PLEASE understand that I'm not judging anyone for their "styling" decisions, but for US, it was bigger than a "styling" choice. It was becoming an "esteem" issue and I wasn't having that!! Now, I have my daughter back and she believes me when I tell her that her hair is beautiful and that it's just the way God intended for it to be because He doesn't make mistakes. She knows that:
Good hair is healthy hair. Nothing more, nothing less!