I came across this picture on Twitter earlier in the week. Then saw it again on Instagram. It hurts to look at it, the poor girls look uncomfortable. They have on such heavy hair that even adults would struggle carrying.
While it's very easy to see what's wrong here, they are not the point of this post. I would like you to focus on you; on that thing that you are doing just to fit in and be seen as trendy. Obviously the carers of these little girls were more concerned about a popular hairstyle and gave little thought to its fitting.
So you think, especially about the non-obvious things that would not draw the attention of outsiders. Like certain hairstyles (natural or weaves), piercings, styles of dressing...basically 'normal' things that were you to decide for yourself, you'd deem as not true to your personality.
I have battled with acne for years and struggled with my image. I could not do much about it and sorta gave up and turned to my hair. The thing was I didn't really know how to care for that either. As a kid my natural hair hurt a lot and my mum, fed up of the many tears whenever it was time to do my hair, decided to relax it. Oh the joy!
The thing is relaxed or not, hair not properly taken care of will break. The local hairdressers apparently had no clue about relaxing only new growth. My hair started breaking and thinning. Then my family moved abroad and I learnt to do my hair myself which only made things worse. I got my hair relaxed very often, bought wigs and hardly did protective styles. I ended up hating my hair and my face!
So here I was, a teenager in a new environment, struggling with my image and being so self conscious. At the same time I was not mindful of my struggles, I just drifted on. Fortunately for me, I stumbled on natural hair videos from channels like Naptural85 and SimplYounique on Youtube and my interest was piqued. I transitioned from relaxed hair to natural hair and I have never looked back.
It isn't like dealing with my hair in its natural state is easy but something in me clicked. I felt real.
My struggle with acne has been on and off but seeing a full head of hair (God please touch my edges!), all mine, always does something I cannot fully explain to me. Like in this place, far away from home, I could still be me. Eurrgh *rollseyes* hair shouldn't be that deep I know but for real, once I started paying attention, I realised how important it was to my inner self for me to have something that grows in its natural state.
As a young girl, moving to another country that I struggled to connect to took its toll on me. Everything changed and kept moving and not being able to like myself in the mirror made me even more unsettled. Having my own curls made me feel more me. If anyone had told me, hair was such a big deal, I'd have laughed so hard, but now, it's my truth. It's huge.
Not being mindful of my choices when it came to my appearance and repeatedly wearing straight synthetic wigs as they were quite common hurt more than I realised at the time. So for me, it was my hair. For you, it could be school/degree subject, relationships, place of worship etc. Did you mindfully choose? Can you connect? Or are you only existing to look normal? To just fit in?