Three weeks ago I cut my hair. I mean I. CUT. MY. HAIR.
The reactions I received were exactly what I expected. There were my "ride or dies" who loved it, and who probably love anything I do as long as I'M happy. Then there were the people who left comments on my instagram like "oh..why...noooo! *crying emoji*"
& last we had the mourners. Mourning over MY hair that will grow back.
1. I cut my hair because it was something I was afraid to lose.
When I think about how I've felt about my hair all these years I've realized that to a certain extent I've used it as a crutch. Who would Tamara be without that crazy afro, that "Hawaiian silky" , or that long Peruvian (when I straighten it)? I've ALWAYS had long hair. & I'm not saying that to flaunt the fact that my hair was long. I'm saying it to let you know that it was a big part of who I was. I remember the excitement I had when my Nana would hot comb our hair for Christmas. It was something about my hair flowing that even at such a young age (5 or 6) made me so confident (you all know you diva walk when your hair is straight).
2. I've been wanting to cut my hair off for the longest time (about 5 years) but I was too afraid. *refer back to point number 1*
3. I cut my hair because I was "over it" and wanted to get rid of all the damage from dyeing and frying.
4. After I cut my hair and shared my photos on my various social network sites & that's when I began to realize that this was bigger than hair (haha, get it?).
I've grown up in a society where we are taught to adhere to European standards of beauty. I've been accused countless times, from blacks and whites, of not being black due to the simple fact that I had "good hair". I don't know how many times my sister and I had to defend and explain our blackness to white and black people alike. I've been an object of fascination due to my curls. I've been privileged when it comes to men because I have "good hair" and a lighter complexion. After reflecting, me cutting my hair was not simply cutting my hair. It was challenging all these social constructs a majority of us believe are acceptable.
I cut my hair because I want to show my sisters, my niece, my cousins, my friends, and family that our hair is not the only thing that defines us (see @charmsie and her #hairstrike2014). I cut my hair because I wanted to face my fears straight on. & guess what.
I don't regret it at all.
Now. Time to pay tribute to my hair.
Oh & my fro is f*****awesome (fro photoshoot coming to your electronic device(s) soon).
& for those of you who were wondering I donated my hair to Locks of Love. xoxoxo
*this post was originally written on February 25th, 2014*