About this Blog

The title of this blog, "I'm About to do My Thing," was inspired by Jill Scott's introduction to her poem "The Thickness" from her live album Experience: Jill Scott 826+. In this intro, she warns that the content to follow is "real" and proceeds to deliver a beautiful message about self-esteem in young black girls, what can influence and damage that self-esteem, and the entire village's responsibility--"it takes a village"--to elevate its children.

In a similar way, I want this blog to be a space for fun, spirited and light-hearted discussion on issues regarding black females, our bodies, our hair, our men, and our images. But I also want it to be a forum for intelligent and respectful dialogue as well. Like Jill's poem, this blog will tackle some real topics, and they won't always be light-hearted. They will, however, be about lifting each other up. I welcome such discussion, but if you have nothing positive to contribute, please don't participate. Otherwise, join in!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Power of the Perm: Don't Underestimate It

Before reading this post--really, before watching this video--I would encourage you to read the description of this blog. If you don't find that you're part of the intended audience, you may not want to proceed. You've been advised. :-)

I have to give a shout-out The Sistah Chick, who shared this video on her blog. Thank you so much for spreading the word! As for me, I've been preaching about the need to encourage the beauty of black females' natural hair texture, especially for our little girls. This video illustrates that correlation. Didn't think it mattered that much? Think again...and spread the word.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Explosives in the Curls? An Airport Security Story

In our post-9/11 world, I think most of us can agree that a few airport inconveniences (e.g., long security lines, taking off shoes, under-3 oz. carry-on liquids, and occasional pat-downs) are worth it to ensure our protection. I did not expect the following, however, during a recent security scan at ATL's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.

After sending my carry-on items through the scanner and preparing to walk through the metal detector, I was told that I needed to be patted down because I had on a baggy sweatshirt. Cool, that makes sense, I thought. The TSA officer then told me that she needed to check my hair. Er? Is this chick really about to put her hands in my hair? OK. Here we go...She then proceeded to briefly fish around in my hair--for a razor? A bomb?
 
This was a first for me. I've never heard of hair being checked before (except for my homie's recently patted-down headwrap. She was none too thrilled about that). Granted, my hair is "big"; I get that. But are we really suspecting that folks are hiding WMD in their hair now? Well, after some recently foiled terrorist plots, the amped-up security is widespread.
Sandra Oh, of ABC's Grey's Anatomy

This Reuters story reports that travelers and pilots alike are very unhappy with the increasingly "personal" pat-downs. One father had a hard time trying to explain to his 8-year-old son that it was appropriate for a TSA officer to "check his genital area," after having taught the child that only his parents and a doctor could touch that area. (I wasn't too comfortable with the boob-area treatment I got, either.) As for pilots, some feel downright uneasy about the extra-touchy pat-downs.

Is hair one of those "personal" areas? I don't know. It was definitely surprising, and I'm certainly not used to having total strangers put their hands in my hair. I also had to wonder what the criteria are for search-worthy hair. Does it have to stand more up and out than down? Who decides hair that's not "big enough" to be checked and hair that is? What if I had hair like Sandra Oh's, full and thick--but long? Whose hair is getting searched, and whose is clearly not a threat? I'm all for increased security to keep us safe, but I have to wonder if some lines aren't being crossed in the process. The jury's still out on this one, at least for me.


Monday, November 1, 2010

"Sesame Street" Teaches Kids AND Adults to Love Their Nappy Hair!

I don't know if I'm alone in this, but I've been walking around singing, "I love my hair! I love my hair..." ever since I first saw the now-viral video of a 
Singing, "I want to make the world aware: I love my hair!"
cute, happy little Sesame Street
muppet singing about how much she loves her hair--her kinky hair. :-) (Shout-out to Brenna, Paul and Dubose for sharing!) During the video (clicking the image to the right will take you to the YouTube video too), she's ecstatic about all the things she can do with her hair: wear it in twists, let it fly freely or rock a 'fro, among other things.

This video has inspired so many women (and some men too) with pride in a muppet who doesn't "need a trip to the beauty shop 'cause [she likes what she's] got on top." It made me wonder who the real audience is for this song. Sesame Street historically has been geared toward pre-schoolers, but I can't count how many comments I've read in which grown women reflect on their girlhood days, wishing they had seen a such appreciation and embracing of natural hair on TV.

If you were coming up in the '90s and earlier, you just didn't see or hear ideas like this in the mainstream. Nappy hair was destined to be pressed, Jheri-curled, or relaxed past a certain age. I think I just hit it: braids and twists and afro puffs are markers of girlhood--at least they have been. If I'm right, though, this precious video (the brain-child of a head writer for Sesame Street) is a symptom of changing times. Increasingly, it's becoming acceptable for females of all ages to "love all the things their hair can do." I hope it keeps up in high school, in relationships, in the business world, on job interviews, in academia, and in the mirror.