|Me in a Senegalese dress.|
i wrote about it before , after i took off my veil, it was such a difficult decision everyday how to style my hair. because my hair is a very visible variable of my identity. so if i have a meeting, i can't let my curls free and i rather collect it in a pony tail. and also if i am wearing a colorful top, i can not let free, because i look like an African American woman and i spare myself the hassle and i collect it also. in addition to that i waned to braid it in crown rows, my ex did not like that and also my friends said the stupid people will attack you, because i will look like a Sudanese woman. so it is about my varified identity as an African, Egyptian and professional women. so i need to put all this in consideration, and i know that i suffered because codes and stereotypes i hate.
bur recently i reached a point that i really do not care, and many dialogues with me female friends taught me that however i dressed, i will be harassed anyway. so i will enjoy myself regardless the stupid people opinion. and today i saw this great documentary " Black Woman's transitions to their natural hair" . it is tackling the issue of Black women embracing their natural beauty as a way to resist the commercial beauty standards, which never celebrate the Black identity, unless it is conforming with the " unified" beauty industry standards. it also should that the kinky , curly hair is associated with been rural, uneducated and poor. till it changed to be a source of pride and power in the sixties.
the documentary called celebrating the natural texture of the African hair "transition", although i think it is a return. transition should refer to using the chemicals to straighten the hair. and this is a video of a journey of transition to natural hair texture .
i still remember my fights with Mama because she does not like my curls and she argues that i will be prettier with a straight hair, i did it a lot and always i felt i am fake and something is wrong. and i had the same argument with the popularity of Kriatin, with friends and family members. however, as much much as i did not like the straight hair , i adore braids, i still remember also how i love braids, and how Nubian it is for me, i still remember my Grandma, may she rest in peace, when she braids my hair, telling me stories and it was such a joyful time with hair, when i sit on the carpet and she has all the authority, yet with love and mercy. i still remember her sweet smile when she finishes, saying you are such a pretty girl , Batta... P.S Bata means duck and it is popular nickname of girls named Fatma.
|a woman braiding a girl's hair, Old Nubia|
i really like this topic and i like its intersection with race, identity politics, culture and social construction of beauty.