We now find ourselves in a time where many black/colored ladies are going natural with their hair for several reasons; some to fully identify with their roots, others because they can’t stand the relaxer torture anymore, some others because it’s in vogue and so want to join the trend.
I’ve recently come across photos of brides who decided to celebrate their big day makeup free going viral on social media as if it is some strange behavior being brought to people’s attention.
Whiles some are proud of their dark chocolate skin, others prefer to lighten it so they would look fair. I sometimes wonder who they are trying to look like; African Americans maybe?
Nail painting has evolved into a whole new beauty/cosmetology on its own; it has grown into an art and therapy of some sorts. Whiles some still patronize the one-color trend for all fingers, others have moved on to two colors being swapped intermittently and there is the emerging ones with particular details/designs of all or some fingers. As I said, it’s an art now.
Some prefer to stay ‘natural’ by growing their own nails and leaving it polish-free; others would use neutral Cuters to add a little shine to their natural look. At the end, no matter what choice one makes in terms of hair, nails and makeup is to make one feel beautiful and confident about herself.
I admire those who have cut off their permed hair to start afresh knowing how much time and care is required to grow and keep the kinks in good shape. Some look really good wearing them; others look scruffy. But I find it quite unfair when comments are made to suggest that perming your hair is betraying your roots; that hair was not meant to be relaxed and the like.
It’s neither here nor there when one calling herself a natural girl because of her kinks wears artificial nails instead of keeping them bare just as they are. The same goes for the one who doesn’t wear makeup and yet decides to wear hair extensions. What about those who choose not to wear artificial nails but prefer continental dishes to the local ones because eating them makes them look modern and sophisticated?
The point is, it is most likely that although some of us are claiming to go natural in one area, we are using some products in other areas though there is the choice not to use them. So why rub your true African–ness into the faces of others when some other beauty or lifestyle choices defeat that claim?
The world as one global village is evolving and fortunately/unfortunately some individual cultures find themselves being swallowed up by the western ones. It is not practical to resist change absolutely; we are likely to be influenced by it in more ways than one. So let’s embrace the positives of change and be wary of the negatives.
Let’s not reduce the identity of one’s culture or race to the beauty choices one makes. You are not a true African just because your hair makes you look so; you become one when you imbibe the values that have passed down to you. It is pointless to have a ‘naked’ face and naked fingers under the guise of being natural when you utter and type invectives all over when you want to make a point. Polite speech and a general decent attitude is what should qualify you as African; not your outward appearance.
So to all the ‘natural’ girls out there, you are respected for the choices you make; but please don’t declare yourself comparatively superior to another because of them. We are all natural in one aspect and so not in others so let’s move on from there and work towards making Africa great, what do you say?
© Josephine Amoako 2017
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