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.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Hair Length: Who Does it Hurt?

"Every time a woman cuts off her hair, somewhere a little black girl cries!" 
-The Game's Tasha Mack

Tasha Mack uttered these lines when Melanie spontaneously chopped off some of her famously long hair. I grew up with a similar sentiment, in that I was threatened by friends and several family members throughout the years regarding my hair: "I'll beat you if you ever cut your hair!" That kinda thing. Of course, I never took these threats seriously, but they were meant to communicate that my long, "good" hair was important to people other than myself. That hair apparently meant something, and I dared not touch it.

Well, on November 1, I did touch it, after thinking about it for a long time. The experience brought those old threats back to mind and made me reflect on the various do's and don't's surrounding black women's hair. If I had long hair, I owed it to other people to maintain that length, but it only reinforces--in my humble opinion--more problematic standards of beauty that many black women have internalized: this idea that we have to strive for straight hair or long hair. I'm just going with healthy hair.

While I don't completely agree with the idea that "I am not my hair," I do believe that cutting my hair doesn't harm me or anyone else. It was, in fact, a liberating (if slightly scary) experience. More importantly, it was my experience to have, and I captured pictorial evidence of the whole thing! 

Freshly shampooed and conditioned hair

The actual length of my hair--some serious shrinkage!

It's about to go down.

First cut, off the top. I cannot lie, the result (considering shrinkage)
was shorter than I intended. My heart picked up pace at this point!

All the cut-off hair...that's a lot of hair.

The finished look

Back view of the finished cut

Conditioner rinsed out and leave-in applied, I headed out for the day
with the least amount of hair I've ever had in my life. I'm liking it!