Saturday, May 21, 2011

i don't get it.

and i'm pretty confused.

it has taken abt two days for me to get into a quasi-argument with my family about my appearance. and i'm trying to look at it objectively.

1. fact: i should take care of my hair. i will do my best to handle that. for me, that means making sure i use a good shampoo and conditioner, keep it moisturized, etc. this is something i look forward to. every once and a while i also twist it, whether dry or first after i wash it. that's cool.

2. i don't have a problem with my afro. in fact, i love it. i think abt altering it, as in it looks cooler when i first get the sides and the back trimmed. i like my little angular look. this is an aesthetic pleasure for me, i like angles on faces. apparently my family does not.

3. if i hear, "you need to dress it up." one more time, i may lose it. and it feels pretty pointless talking to them about it, because they simply do not agree with me.

4. "you don't even wear funky earrings. you don't even wear makeup. you don't even..." "you look lackluster." "you have beautiful hair and a beautiful face but you do nothing to enhance it." "if i looked at you, i would just say she's pretty she has nice hair, but it's just sitting there." "and sometimes you look like a tom boy. you don't even make your outfits appropriate to your hair."

5. sigh. i love my hair, as it is. i love me, as i am. i wear makeup when i want to. i change my hair when i want to. apparently, this will leave me in danger of being unemployed and alone (boyfriendless). sigh. "i'm sorry, but sometimes you have to play the game."

6. i'd honestly rather be alone.

7. seriously.

8. objectively, yes, i am attracted to people whose physical appearance i enjoy. what this looks like can vary.

9. fact: i do realize that some people, boys and girls, put a lot of work into their appearance. their look is "a product" as I've been told. i understand that now. and sometimes i even appreciate the fruits of their efforts, but it bothers me that my family wants me to do the same. i'm not saying there is anything wrong with putting effort into the way you look, i mean hell, i put on a nice outfit every and a while (read: i like my style).

10. i just don't get it. people seem to be tiptoeing around the idea of wanting me to overhaul my look, and i don't see a real justification for it other than being in opposition to what i like. and i have to walk around in this body, so why should i try to please other people?

11. this all came up because i'm actually supposed to be going to dinner with my dad right now, to celebrate my graduation. my sister warned me that my dad is going to bring up my hair, and do it gently, something like, "if i paid for a hair appointment, would you go?"

12. my dad is the one who, upon me returning home for the summer (last year) just having cut off my locks, after unpacking all of my stuff and saying goodbye, told me i "went from A class to C class" by cutting my hair. just what every woman wants to hear from her father when she makes a change she's happy with. actually, i wouldn't know what the desire for your father's approval would look like, i've never had that. he's not really around much for me to seek it. his criticisms of my appearance started first with him telling me that, "ladies always wear earrings" in high school.

13. on the issue of me never getting a job because of my hair, i throw my hands up. really? not any job? not any artsy of nonprofit job will have me? so the issue of hair and career always reminds me that my family has some other idea of what i want to do. or rather, no idea. i'm still figuring it out myself. i just have a problem with a group of people that have been "realistic" and are now, at their core, unhappy telling me what i should do with my life. i walk out of the room because i can't take it seriously. right now, my dream is to be taken as i am, and who I seek to be, not adjust to what is "realistic."

14. on the issue of me not finding a quality man because of my hair. well, damn. if a bit of eyeliner, a red lip or dangling earrings is keeping a man from seeing me as someone worthy of paying attention to then, damn. i just don't know what to do about that. i know that, for the most part, what we first see about people is their physical appearance but i find it extremely hard to believe that my light is that dim. my light shines much too bright. i agree i should smile more. i agree i should strive to live my life in a way that makes it rather easy for me to smile. this is a beauty aesthetic i am willing to conform to. smiling suggests some beauty coming from within, some happiness. make-up & a feminine haircut is not the key to happiness. and neither is a man that wants me to perform in a way that i'm just not interested in performing. period.

15. so, i will learn how to count to ten when my family speaks about this, once and for all. i will make changes that i want to make. i will wear make-up when i feel like it. i will wear funky earrings when i want to, which is actually often.

16. my life is my life. and living in someone else's house impedes that. so the key is to get out. i trust that will happen soon enough. i have to figure out what and how i want so i can set myself up to where i want to be. 


  1. You're beautiful. Your hair is beautiful. Family isn't always going to agree with the things we do, even if we feel good about these things. Even if the things are positive things. We tell them our point of view and tell them to respect that and not talk about it anymore. No one's perfect, remind them of that. And whatever idea of perfect people may have, remember that it's not realistic. Love you lots girl. I hope you have a great summer and that I get to see you a few times throughout it. <3

  2. Pri, I love you. You're so kind and everything you just said I needed to hear. I hope you have a great summer too and I'm pretty sure we'll be seeing each other, unless you're globetrotting, or Lord willin, I am :)

  3. :) You too my love. We shall see each other very soon. You should come thru to Yung's Book release party. You can stay at my house. let me know! :)