Photo Credit: Pinterest
The beauty and versatility of a Black woman’s hair are undeniable.
It comes in many colors, textures, and styles. From cornrows to crochet, our hair can do it all. I am proud of the hairs on my head, but this was not always the case for me. In the late 80s and early to mid-90s growing up in New Orleans was not the easiest as a young brown-skinned girl. Being around women and girls with paler skin, longer softer hair, and bright eyes were quite intimidating. Rarely did I see women or girls of darker hue or textured hair seen as beautiful. I rarely saw characters that looked like me in books, televisions, or movies. So naturally, I did not think I was beautiful. My family did the best they could with positive affirmations, but I wanted affirmations through the lens of popular society.
And then came the tennis phenomenon Serena & Venus Williams.
I still remember all these years later, the feeling in my heart seeing beautiful popular Black young ladies on television whose hair adorned beads. Colorful, powerful beads are all I saw as a young girl watching championship tennis matches. I was enamored. I never even liked tennis until I saw the way their hair captured my attention. “They look like me, look at their hair, beads on TV, I can’t believe it.” These were words that I would sometimes scream out loud and whisper to myself. I walked with my shoulders back and prouder each time the sisters won their matches but wore their beaded braids.
Hair acceptance is a phase that many Black girls and women go through.
We see so many images of beauty that do not reflect our natural selves. When you become “woke,” you realize that embracing every curl and kink is necessary for holistic mental health. It is with great pride that I know my toddler daughter will have many images of herself reflected in literature, social media, and other avenues. We are living in a time where it is okay to be Black, Bold, and Beautiful. The Williams sisters’ hair beads had so much of a positive impact on my self-image. Their confidence in the beads provided the foundation I needed in life to form my belief that my cornrowed, threaded, beaded, and natural hair is beautiful. Thank you, Williams sisters.
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