Come As You Are

On Monday evening, I did more research on maintaining natural hair. Once again, I popped by one of Naptural85’s YouTube channels. This vlogger is becoming my top favorite quickly, because I get a lot of ideas for managing Baby’s hair. It also makes excellent background research for when/if I take the natural plunge.

Last month, Naptural85 posted a personal video introducing her Brazilian husband, Filipe. Quite a charming pair, these two are. They acknowledge their interracial relationship, and do so in a really refreshing way. No angst, preaching or zealotry for Black women to—quick!—grow their hair natural and get a white guy! Just a couple of married younguns having fun together.

At one point, Naptural85 said it was her husband who prodded her to go natural. He agreed, explaining that women should work what they have instead of dousing—my word—their hair with so many chemicals that are really quite damaging, in the end. How nice it must be to live like a guy, and see the world in very simple ways!  LOL.

And yet, it reminded me of how Black women often fail to appreciate natural beauty in themselves and each other. We all know the colorful terms that Black folks toss around for natural hair—nappy, peasy—but white men and other guys who are not Black don’t see it that way.

Guys from outside my culture have complimented me on my short coils and twists and short textured styles far more than any other permed or pressed style I’ve ever worn, if at all. (As Hubby points out, textured styles can’t really be considered natural. To which I hotly retort: ‘Of course they can! What do you know about it, white man?’ Every time I want to trump him—it could be about the weather—I say that. He is a patient man.)

Black women have no idea, collectively, how attractive men of other cultures find them to be. And even in less social situations, they judge themselves much more harshly than those guys. I see it almost every day at work, and out and about. And no, we don’t have to dress like some trollop on BET or be bi-racial or very light-skinned. We are fine the way we are, and by fine, I mean fetching. Slowly, we are realizing that. And we’re realizing that we don’t have to totally banish our natural textures to have ‘good hair’.

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