June 29, 2009

Influence vs. Encouragement

I saw one of my aunts last week and it was her first time seeing me since I cut off my straight hair. She said she liked it and it was nice but then she said "you went off to college, cut your hair and became Afrocentric." And to me this was really funny. I know that people go off to college and their families become scared that they'll come back doing some crazy stuff. My mother told me not to go off and come back home gay, and my other aunt told me not to dye my hair green. While I do understand their concern, its just funny to me. I guess what the real issue is that people go off to college and find themselves. Lack of the influence and distance from family plus the liberation that knowledge brings leads to self discovery.
Influence isn't really a positive word to me. I don't like to be influenced because to me that screams not knowing who you are. Instead of saying I was influenced, I'd like to say I was encouraged. I had been thinking about going natural for years. Not many people know this but I always knew I would go natural during college cuz to me its a great time for it. I've always loved seeing people with natural hair and yeah I had a perm but it wasn't my choice initially and then I just kept doing it just cuz. Anyway, I'm wiser now and loving my natural curls and coils way more than that limp shit I had on my head before. I'm glad that I went away and found all these beautiful women that were not afraid to have their hair natural. Seeing for myself just how beautiful natural hair is was my encouragement.

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