How Going "Natural" Forced Me to Accept Myself + Forever 21 Striped Skirt
"Natural hair? Uh no."
Sometimes it takes being in very uncomfortable situations to lead you to overcoming your insecurities and accepting them. In my case, I didn't even know about some of my insecurities until I was face-to-face with them. I decided to ditch perms back in 2013. Honestly, it was not by choice. I was pregnant with Layla so pretty much that is what comes with the territory. Prior to pregnancy I almost always had either extensions, perms, or both. I didn't even know what natural hair pattern was and I was okay with that. I was comfortable.
I transitioned into #teamnatural and oh boy... it was HELL. I hated it. I tried to find ways to hide it under hats, extensions, and protective styles. I was so uncomfortable - so much so that I started to doubt my beauty. I felt so nappy-headed and ugly. My favorite line was "natural hair is just not for me." I would have much rather wore fake hair and manipulate what God has given me. You could not tell me I was not Beyonce in my extensions and my natural hair just made me feel... gross. I guess you can say I was ashamed. Little did I know was that I was faced with one of the biggest challenges of my life.
Identifying the Insecurities
I was uncomfortable with the REAL me. I did not accept myself without all of the glitz and glamour. Who would have known?! Pshh... earlier I said you could not tell me I was not Beyonce. Uh yeah, I wasn't joking. I had so much confidence in my perm and extensions. I felt so beautiful. Without that, I didn't even know how to find the beauty within myself. People around me did not understand. It was always, "You're crazy! You're beautiful" or "You can rock it," but the mirror told me otherwise. All I saw was nappy hair that brought attention to my double chins and it made me look fatter. No judgement.
Shortly after Layla was born, I had the choice to perm my hair. I made a promise to myself that I was not. I was going to challenge myself to feel beautiful no matter how the hair on my head was. I had to learn to accept my naked self. No make-up, no extensions, and no perm. I wish I could end this story by saying "and today I am super comfortable all natural." I cannot. I can say that I have made EXTREME progress over the years with being comfortable with myself accepting the fact that I have 4b-c hair that does not swing down my back. Each day I love my kinks more. Do I still wear extensions? Yes. I do not think I can ever kick that habit, but I do not have a problem taking it out and letting the fro loose.
Overcoming & Accepting
I can say I finally feel free. I'm moving closer to overcoming my insecurities and loving my naked self more. Going natural even helped me find out more about myself. It directed the focus to other parts of me. I am also more health conscious. I take that extra two minutes to read what I am putting on or in my body. I even realize how harmful all of the chemicals were and thanked God I was not immediately affected.
Wearing my natural hair is challenging my bravery. It gave me confidence to say this is who I am and I accept that. I was forced to face a challenge that I did not expect... a challenge that changed my life for the better.