July 13, 2021

“We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.” -Maya Angelou

I don’t remember the time before I was self conscious about my hair. I don't even remember when the insecurities started to process through my young mind. I do know that some events in my life have marked a remembrance for me that helped create the person I am today.  Like for example, in second grade, I went to a school where the kids wore uniforms and looked clean and pristine without a hair out of place. That’s when I first started bugging my mom to straighten my unruly curls so that they would be smooth and tame too.  

In third grade, I owned crazy hair day and showed the whole school my hair’s true form. Then one crazy hair day a kid claimed my hair was a wig and from then on I never let my hair out for the rest of my elementary school years. I began to fear my hair and the unwanted comments it could bring. Being so young, I was unable to recognize that it’s okay to be unique and wear my hair as a statement of who I am. I allowed a childish comment to dictate how I view my hair and turn my pride into shame.  

When 5th grade came around my hair was thick, long, and unruly. It was then that I feared that I would be unable to control my hair and so that’s when I cut it all off. After I realized what I did, I cried at the fact that I had let my insecurities get the best of me. But from that moment on, I realized I never lost the ones I loved and cared about, they saw me for me no matter how I wore my hair. I began to listen to what they really said, and I learned that I am my harshest critic, and I have a God given beauty that deserves to be shown. These affirmations allowed me to slowly began to wear my hair proudly. My hair began to grow again to the point where I realized I could style it in multiple ways, and I took full advantage of that. I began to feel beautiful when I let my hair dry to its wildest state or twisted into coils of perfection. I felt good when I wore my hair high instead of my regular slicked back ponytail. However, that's when I started being called names and was looked at weird with every new hairstyle I wore. I had thick and beautiful hair that was still growing from my big chop all those years ago and I wanted it gone.  

In high school though, far from those who called me names, I began to love my hair again. I came to the realization that no matter what people saw, I am still beautiful. That I can style my hair however I want instead of being held back by others opinions and insecurities. Perhaps what helped was that the people I now go to school with are more accepting of how I style and wear my hair. This change of how I viewed my hair didn’t happen overnight. My internal metamorphosis on how I see myself is an ongoing process. I have days where I face the challenge of fully accepting myself, but I try to make it a point of seeing the beauty in myself and others everyday. By doing this, little by little I become closer to loving myself more than I did yesterday, I have reclaimed my hair, and become closer to “ReMembering,”the true me.