*TWA stands for teeny weeny afro. This piece has been edited for BGLH.
By Asia Martin via Strawberricurls.com
I was in the lobby of a company I was applying to when a woman approached me about some job position I had no idea about. Once we had established that we were not waiting on the same business she started a discussion about my hair. “So how long have you been natural,” she asked. I let her know that I had been natural for about two and half years and shared how I had made the big decision to become natural. She continued to inquire about my natural-ness, but when the conversation turned to her she made a comment that kind of disturbed me.
This woman was tall and thick, she was still getting relaxers, was wearing a sew-in, and I thought she was a pretty girl with a fabulous skin complexion. She expressed that she wanted to wear her hair natural. She wanted to be a wash-and-go woman but feared that she wouldn’t look right because people had told her that short styles don’t work well on big girls. EXCUSE ME! I immediately informed her that it was a lie from the devil.
I am not a big girl, but I know that any hairstyle you have has nothing to do with your weight. I told the woman that hairstyles have more to do with your face shape since they have the ability to enhance certain facial features and hide others. However, after remembering that TWAs bare all aspects of your entire head, I now think that having natural hair is a style that you have to figure out how to make work for you.
I hid my transition to the natural life because I was afraid of what it might reveal to the world. But when I finally got tired of hiding behind hot combs and braids I went to a salon and had the stylist cut every last relaxed piece of hair off. I was so happy and felt so liberated that I didn’t even notice how crazy I looked. Even though I would do it all over again, I laugh at my past self. The first six months was the roughest part because I knew nothing, my hair had been reborn, and I had too high of an expectation of my hair texture.
Once I got through that first six months, found some styles, found a great support system of friends, family, and some strangers, I had more confidence in my personality and my looks. Being natural was my self-discovery and self-creation.
Whether you are big, small or in between, having natural hair is a journey about discovering your true beauty and not being stuck in popular belief.
Have you ever heard someone say that big girls can’t wear short hair? Share your thoughts and experiences!
Gabrielle Allen is the editor of Strawberricurls.com.