These are photos of my first natural style, that I actually liked. I tried to wear the afro before for this. Everyone else complimented me. My biggest cheerleader my Mama even came over to give me grooming tips and more encouragement than I knew could exists. My identical twin sister took pictures. (I will post them tomorrow). She said later when you look back, you will see that indeed this afro does look beautiful on you. My husband made references to me looking like Angela Davis and the women of the 1970s. Everyone that mattered complimented and encouraged my first step to wearing my hair without my braid extensions. However there was so much, built up NON-LOVE, when I looked at my reflection in the mirror, I did not like the image looking back at me. What a shame, Shame, SHAME! I am so glad my identical twin sister took the pictures. I now am able to see the beauty in the natural me, Me, ME! (I promise I will post them tomorrow.)
These three pictures on the post today, are the sytle I was wearing when my "little mirror" said, "I don't want pony tails. I want to look like you. Pretty." My heart melted and my courage to be natural (without braid extensions) grew. I remember seeing a girl in this graduate program I am in, being natural. She radiates joy, confidence, beauty, and a comfortableness with herself I am yet able to describe with words. Well a positive habit, I had taken on was to compliment any woman I saw wearing her natural hair. I did not have the courage to do so for myself yet. But I wanted to, if I could, encourage them to keep doing what they were doing. Because, one thing I DID understand was being natural took boldness and it is also so very different from our current cultural standards. I wanted these ladies I complimented, to hear at least one person say something good to them that day about what they were saying to the world by simply being as God created them to be-- natural. This ended up being a reciprocal blessing, because the more I confessed to these sisters that I wanted to be natural but I was afraid, Afraid, AFRAID! They turned around and gave me advice, positive words, etc. But the girl, from my class said, "The day you are ready, I will help you style your hair." I surprised her when eight weeks later, I took her up on her offer. She said she thought I was not serious when I first mentioned my interest to her.
(Creyole, she was just as excited for me to be natural as you are for me to be Sisterlocked™. And the world truly is small, because she is also a member of my over 17,000 members church. I now see her at church and we encourage each other spiritually as well.) Oh, how the Lord has blessed my in my self-LOVE Experience. Thank you God. I give all of the glory, to you Lord.
The thing I found most facinating, was although I have not put any chemicals in my hair in over four years. The young lady from my class had been wearing her hair natural for a year and a half and she has more length, more volume, her hair is healthier. And she showed me pictures where her hair grew from being a TWA to the abundant mass of coily, kinky, wavy, natural strands they are today. I know, Know, KNOW that everyone hair is unique to them. However, I now realize that hair without the braid extensions are better. I also now realize, that Sisterlocks™ are an even better option. One major experience of freedom was when I went to the gym with this hairstyle. I work out consistently 4 days per week for two hours and I sweat like I've been in a shower for two hours. Well, I did not have to worry about my blown out afro shrinking. (Note to BlaqKofi-- I love volume). It was kind of disappointing to me when I first got my hair in TwoStrand Twists because it was done while my hair was wet. My natural hair is very "springy" and it just curled right up. I felt there was no volume and I felt like I looked like a boy. My girlfriend, from class said, " No. I like the way your hair does that, I wish mine would do that." Of course, I wishing my hair would do as her hair is doing. (Note to Ms Stella -- are you still out there? Did you have any similiar experiences with your hair?)
okay, Okay, OKAY! I really could talk to you forever and ever, Lord. But you know, I must go get the twins ready for school. Lord, I want you to know that I adore you, I confess all of my sins on to you (the ones I know of and the ones I don't know of), I am thankful to the many ways you exceedingly and abundantly bless your servant and her family -ME, I come to you in supplication for all women who are in bondage to the chemical treatments, the beauty salons, the self-HATE. I ask in Jesus's powerful and anointed name to release them from bondage as you did the children of Isreal. I also ask that in Jesus's mighty name they be release with a renewed and restored anointed love for self, a love for the God in them that is you, a self-Love! A-C-T-S!
In Jesus's Name, Amen.
If anyone out there besides God is listening, feel free to share and post a response.