Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Playing Catch Up

Good morning everyone!  This is just a brief note to address a few things:

1. I'm playing catch up as far as posts and replying to comments. I'm finally done with school (yaaaayyyy) and since it's slow at work I have a little time to play over here. In the coming year, I will try to plan my posts a bit better so that they won't be so sporadic. You all can help play a major part in this by submitting your stories, questions, pix, etc. to toridblogs@gmail.com. I want this to be as much about you as it is about me!

2. I have some ideas for this blog that will (hopefully) be implemented soon and I would LOVE input from you all about what type of content you'd like to see more of, less of, etc.

3. There will be a Thank God I'm Natural giveaway soon. As in, next week soon. This will be specifically targeting transitioners and natural newbies (six months or less since the big chop). Go on and get your follow on now if you haven't already, and if you know someone who is transitioning or recently did the BC, spread the word.

4. If you want to see what I'm up to when I'm not procrastinating posting here, you can always hit me up on Twitter or The Good Hair Photos (which features fashion, makeup and of course natural hair).

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Six Months Natural!!

This post should've been posted several weeks ago. My apologies!

December 1st marked six months since I cut off my permed hair and could say that I was completely, 100% natural! Initially, I planned to straighten my hair to do a length check. However, the plans for this past weekend prompted me to postpone that. However, I still wanted to share my length so far. Of course, when I straighten it, I'll have more pix up to actually show the length without any shrinkage. But for now, we'll have to make due with a good ol' taut pull of the hair.

Not really sure why I didn't measure my hair after the BC (probably because I was still in shock)... Major fail on my part, I know! So I can't say how much of this is from the 10 months of transitioning and how within the last 6 months. But at least I'll have something to compare with the 1 year mark!

I will be measuring different sections of my hair, since I know they are all probably different lengths. And once I get my hair straightened, evened up and cut into a style, I'll lose a bit more length and have to measure all over again. But anywho, here are the front, sides, back, and crown of my hair as of today ("today" being December 8).

Front: 8.5" stretched, 3" with shrinkage
Crown: 8" stretched, 3 5/8" with shrinkage
Left side: 7 2/3" stretched, 2 1/5" with shrinkage
Right side: 7" stretched, 3" with shrinkage
Back: 5 2/3" stretched, 2 2/3" with shrinkage

Of course, the length will be a lot easier to see once I straighten my hair. I guess that's pretty good for about 16 months of growth and after one trim. Can't wait to see what the one-year check will look like!

Friday, December 10, 2010

I "broke up" with my bestie because of my hair.

Admittedly, we had grown apart due to some other issues, but my hair is what sealed the deal for me.

Up until a few months ago, my best friend was a guy I'd gone to high school with. Our relationship was weird, but I wouldn't have had it any other way. I loved him because he forced me to be honest with myself on a number of things. We butted heads all the time though, and I was always quitting him over something he'd said.

A couple of months ago I was out at some little event, not really being social. He called (or did I call him? I don't remember) and I told him what I was up to, so he decided to come by. This was the first time he'd seen me since I did the BC. I knew he would have something to say, because he fussed when I cut my hair into a bob. He likes long hair and was used to seeing me with almost bra strap length hair. But I was not expecting the severe reaction I got. As soon as he saw me, his face scrunched up. "What did you do to it?" he asked.

"Well, I told you I was going natural... I finally cut off the perm."

"Hmph. I don't like it. I don't really care for the natural look. It's not you." [I will spare you my inner commentary on how ridiculous that statement was.] "It's ugly."

I was crushed. At the gathering I'd received comments from other guys--strangers and distant acquaintances--saying they loved my fluffy lil fro. But here was the one guy whose opinion mattered the most to me--more than anyone, including my BF who was just a potential at the time--telling me I was ugly. He and my dad were the only people who had said that. I was beyond pissed. Then I got to thinking "Why the hell does his opinion of beauty matter?" He's always had a thing for white women and light-bright-almost-white black women. Of course he wouldn't think something so unmistakably black to be attractive! The long straight hair seemed to be my redeeming quality in his eyes. As we sat there barely chatting the rest of the evening, I got over it and him.

I'm not saying he had to like it. There have probably been plenty of people who haven't. But he had to call me ugly? He couldn't have said something a little more positive or supportive like, "I liked the long hair better but maybe this will grow on me," or "If you're happy with it that's all that matters," or something! But that opened my eyes and made me realize that there were several things that he had not been supportive of over recent years. This was the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back. I have not spoken to him since.

And that, dears and sirs, is how my fro caused my bestie to become "ex-bestie."

Monday, December 6, 2010

On why I could never be a natural nazi

The day I hit my six month nappiversary, I took to Twitter because I was excited that I'd made it this far without going back to the creamy crack. After congratulating me, one of my cousins tweeted the following:

I'm glad none of my #naturalhair family/friends hv tried to convert me. That the [sic] journey is made on an individual basis. #no1forallsHERE

I completely understand and share her sentiment. One thing that kind of turned me off from going natural sooner was the fact that I was encountering "natural nazis," those sisters who assumed that because my hair was relaxed I was attempting to be white. Women who assumed that I didn't love myself. Folks who deemed themselves better than me because I didn't do to my hair what they did to theirs. People who were defensive because they thought I thought I was better than them because of my hair, even though I was envious of the women I saw rocking big beautiful fros. Eventually I realized that I couldn't let a few abrasive people determine what I did for and to myself.

Having that kind of experience, I myself refrain from pushing my opinion on others about their hair. I know some people that I think would be so fierce with a fro or lovely with locs (ya like that consonance dontcha?) but they also look gorgeous with their hair permed. There are a few ladies I know who I really want to tell "Your messed up edges and ragged split ends are horrid! Go natural or let someone perm it who knows what they are doing!" but I don't, I hold my tongue. Now of course, if someone asks my opinion I'll certainly give it to them. I'll let anyone know that they too can go natural and be beautiful, but only if they ask. Just like I don't like the "advice" I get from some that I need to go back to the perm, I don't give advice that others need to get it go.

A person's hair is theirs, just like their face, boobs, butt, whatever. Who am I to tell someone they need to change their nose or lips or a little bit of belly? That is their decision, and whatever changes they make should be their own. Hair included.