Good night to all my readers,
Today I am starting the first part of my self-discovery series. In this first part I will be focused on self-discovery through the physical; hair, clothes, shoes, accessories, etc. These are the things that people see when they look at us and we dress and style our hair in ways that express who we are. However, if one doesn’t know or have a clear idea of who they are, their physical can send mixed messages and leave them and others confused about who they are. So, today I will start with the first thing people see when they look at you, your face, or more specifically your hair.
According to sociologist Rose Weitz, “hair is a powerful indicator of identity.” (as cited in StyleList) The fact is that the way we wear our hair says a lot about who we are. Some people like long hair, some like short hair, and others just like to wear what’s ‘in style’. Women who like there hair long may be more in touch with their feminine side or see it as a way of identifying their femininity as opposed to masculinity. Women who wear their hair short, on the other hand, may be more embracing of their masculine side or may feel that they are more free without excessive hair to hold them back. Meanwhile, the women who constantly change their hair to suit changing styles may define themselves as modern and trendy, keeping in touch in the times. While these are not hard and fast signifiers, they are general ideas held by people about a person’s hair. As Cara Stevens from Lifescript stated, “our identities are intricately linked to the face we show others.”
Personal style coach Susan Sommers declared that a person’s hairstyle reveals who they are at a glance and allows people to express themselves non-verbally (as cited by Stevens). My hair is one of the main ways in which I express myself. For a person of mixed racial heritage my hair has never fit into a neat category and I never learned to style it other than in a ponytail, which as I child I despised. It was plain and boring. I wanted something more fun and expressive. I want to leave my hair out. Unfortunately, due to my thick kinky-curls, I was always told that I didn’t have the kind of hair that one could leave out. It hurt. For years, I tried to fit into society’s expectations of what ‘good hair’ was and how a woman should wear her hair to look mature and no like a child. It was hard. When I was about 20 years old I made the decision to cut my hair boy short and let in grow back out naturally. I was done with chemicals and I swear to never go back. Since then I’ve been embracing my natural hair because it is ultimately a part of me.
I am proud of my mixed roots and I feel proud every-time I look at myself in the mirror or someone asks about my hair to know and be able to say that it is 100% natural. I am not a conformist and this is represented through my hair. For all who have ever felt like you have to wear your hair a certain way and have longed to wear it the way you want to, take courage and embrace who you are.
Stevens, Cara. “What Your Hairstyle Says About You?” Lifescript. 03 Dec. 2011. Web. 27 Feb. 2015. <http://www.lifescript.com/well-being/articles/w/what_your_hairstyle_says_about_you.aspx>
StyleList. “What Does Your Hairstyle Say About You?” StyleList. Web. 27 Feb. 2015. <http://www.stylelist.com/read/what-does-your-hairstyle-say-about-you/>
Thompson, Cheryl. “Why Do Black Women Fear the `Fro?”. The Star. 31 Jan. 2008. Web. 27. Feb. 2015. <http://www.thestar.com/life/2008/01/31/why_do_black_women_fear_the_fro.html>