“What do you mean you can’t braid her hair? It’s normal hair.” That started a conversation in our home. A dialogue between my husband and child that I silently sat at the table and watched the frustration on my child’s face. Normal hair? Hmmmm….what is “normal” hair? Cause, girlfriend, mine is ALL the way normal.
You see, my daughter braids her hair in different styles. She loves wearing her hair in different styles and changes it up almost daily. She’s finally embraced her natural locks. Oh, it warms my heart to see this. She may rock a mini fro on Monday, a twist out on Tuesday and Wednesday, possibly afro puffs Thursday and some twists with hair jewelry Friday. From time to time she will do two braids going back or any other random styles she sees fit. Weekends are sort of her experiment days to find something fun and new.
Before coming into her crown, she wanted to flat iron her hair. Yo, nothing wrong with this. Heck, I flat iron mine sometimes. However, this weather just doesn’t allow it. Beach, sand and humidity year round just doesn’t mix well. And I refuse to sit back and watch her fry her hair due to heat damage. This mom preached and encouraged her regularly to love the hair God blessed her with.
Raising black females, they watch TV and attend school with girls that have the “perfect” or “normal” hair. You know, the straight, silky, swinging hair. Ok, let me just say it….anything but “BLACK Girl” hair; thick, kinky, and curly. I found that many times we want “good hair” cause our hair is “bad hair.” Yeah, roll your eyes, go ahead and roll. Mine has rolled to the back of my head several times just typing this.
Ok, let me get back to the point. A child asked my daughter to braid her hair. She agreed but explained it might not look good because she couldn’t grab the hair as she does her own. That’s when the comment was made from another voice…..” that looks horrible. What do you mean you can’t braid her hair? It’s normal hair.”
Now let me tell you something. That comment made my blood boil. Why? Not because my daughter’s work was criticized. Heck, she said that didn’t bother her, but because as my child stood there trying to explain hair texture differences and that her hair is normal in her eyes, ignorant comments were made. Comments that could’ve been avoided if others took the time to listen to understand instead of wanting to tell an individual about something they are trying to explain.
So, I’ve said it before and will say it again; we need to learn to listen, not hear but listen to what others are sharing with us. Don’t dismiss their experiences because you don’t experience it or because of your “normal.”
Why did I share this? Two reasons…Honey, if you are raising a black girl let her know that she is BEAUTIFUL and to rock her crown. Secondly, have discussions with your children about race. Yes, we may look different, our hair may be different, but certain comments are UNacceptable! PERIOD! One can only claim they don’t know for so long. Can one just not know? Yes. Can one ask questions? Most certainly. Can one open mouth, lift foot, and insert? Most certainly! However, one can only be forgiven so many times for pure ignorance.
And one last thing before I go…My hair just isn’t hair; it’s MY crown! Watch this video; it says everything in under 5 minutes.
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