Saturday, October 31, 2009

Naked In Its Natural Essence

NAKED adj. devoid of elaboration or diminution or concealment; bare and pure (Google)
NATURAL adj. free from affectation or constraint (

What is it to be natural?
Why all this commotion about celebrating pure freedom in self and culture?
Why did Chris Rock produce "Good Hair"?

These questions are relevant to the discussion of "being natural." In the Black community, to be natural is to strip yourself of western influences and make a connection to your African ancestry through your hair, dress, and/or mindset. After much speculation, I have decided to join the grassroots movement in being comfortable in my own skin; appreciating what God has given me--kinky hair and all. Of course this is a surprise to many because they cannot fathom why I, blessed with long, lustrous locks, would want to go back to "naps and beadie beads" as they call it. But i get it--I get why they are skeptical and distaste such a controversial decision to move backwards.

In middle school when my mom finally approved of me getting my first perm, I was ecstatic. Having straight, smooth, refined hair was all I wanted for Christmas. I did nothing with my natural hair but where poof balls and braids. Oh, those sessions on my butt for hours were dreadful. I remember my sister tugging at my tight curls as if it was a sin for my hair to be so thick. Oh the pain! Thus, why wouldn't I get a perm? I would be accepted, guys would finally look my way (at least I thought they would), and I would look forward to communal ownership over my hair because I represented the few Black girls with long hair (everybody wanted in; to live vicariously through me). When the day for my first perm finally came, I felt like I was inducted into the pool of American beauty.

Now 10 years into being a "creamy crack" addict (relaxers, lol), I would have never imagined that I would decide to go natural. It took really understanding true beauty for me to make this decision and Chris Rock's movie helped manifest my acceptance of what God made me to be--an all naturel! Because so many other women are starting to love their kinky curls, it makes it so much easier to make this decision. Saving $60 every 2-3 months is a great motive also! No more worrying about getting my hair wet, limiting my adventurous activities (jumping into the pool), or dreading the wash/roller dry/flat iron process to get my hair straightened!

There are so many natural products to help enhance kinky hair and websites/books dedicated to teaching you how to appreciate and take care of your natural hair. I highly encourage my sisters to consider being "naked for Jesus", in the sense of being free in your own skin as He intended. God made us with curly hair for a reason, but we have been manipulated to believe that having long, straight hair like our counterparts is what makes us beautiful. If being Black wasn't a good thing, scientists wouldn't be conducting studies on why we have such unique hair texture, or why we have more melanin in our skin, or why we're just more deeply intense culturally.

So if you are thinking about going natural, I encourage you to find a support group of people who are going through or have been through the process. Then ask yourself, are you ready to stand out of a crowd? Can you handle a transitioning stage or are you more bold and ready for the "Great Chop?" Here are some great websites (research is a good thing):

I will be sure to post my journey! I hope that I can be an encouragement to someone else who is considering such a drastic change. But I am sure it's going to be worth it!

NAKED for Jesus!

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