Monday, 23 February 2015
A few days ago, I walked into a certain high commission's offices to submit a visa application. The receptionist took my passport, looked at my data page, raised her head up to look me in the face and this (to the best of my recollection) was what ensued:
Receptionist (R): Is that your own hair? (pointing to my picture in the passport)
R: Are you sure?
R: You looked nicer like this (pointing to my picture in the passport) than now.
I must say at this point that now was me in a natural haired pony.
I only smiled and willed her to go on with the reason why I was standing in front of her. She got the hint and got on with her job - which was to review my documents ( why does that have to be the job of the receptionist though?) but it seemed like my present looks were haunting her and she couldn't hold it in any more. So the dialogue restarted.
R: I'm sure other people have told you same.
Me: Told me what?
R: That you looked nicer with your hair like this ( referring to picture in passport)
Me: No, no one has. ( I still managed to have a genuine smile on my face)
R: Why? Have you gone to join some church? (implying that I was wearing my hair in it's natural state as a result of religious compulsion)
Me: No I haven't.
This was when she resolved to get back to her work.
When all was said and done, she handed my documents back to me and repeated something along the lines of
"You looked nicer with your hair permed"
I replied "I wish I had the time to show you all the pictures of me in my natural hair for you to decide yourself", thanked her and walked away.
The week before this encounter, I had another natural hair dilemma. I was to be a bridesmaid for a very dear friend. When she told me that she wanted us (the bridesmaids) to wear a certain kind of hair weave, I told her NOTHING was going to make me wear a weave and that I intend to wear my hair natural. She accepted my decision. My interaction with one of the other bridesmaids however confirmed my suspicion - that they were all worried I was going to "spoil" the day with my hair. No, she didn't say this in plain words but she was making snide remarks like "Madam NATURAL Hair" "So what are we going to do to our NATURAL Hair for the wedding?"
All this just made me ask myself - when are we going to accept ourselves as we were made? I have said it and I'll say it again, that I have no issues with perming one's hair or wearing weaves. I wore my hair in perms for 5 years and I've worn weaves a few times and will wear if I FEEL LIKE wearing. That means I'm not a natural hair nazi. But when I have permed hair and weave nazis acting all superior, then I feel like tutoring them on self acceptance. I do not need straight hair to look and feel beautiful!!!!
In fact, I'm going to attach a picture of me in my natural hair to this post :p ...make that 2!