tHE OTHER DAY, I OVERHEARD A BLACK MAN SAY, “BLACK WOMEN AREN’T EXOTIC”. I WAS A BIT TAKEN ABACK BY HIS STATEMENT MOSTLY BECAUSE THE DEFINITION OF EXOTIC IS A CHARACTERISTIC OF A DISTANT FOREIGN COUNTRY.  IN MY OPINION, WE FIT INTO THIS CATEGORY BECAUSE OUR DESCENDANTS CAME FROM AFRICA AND OUR FEATURES AND PHYSICAL ATTRIBUTES ARE IDENTICAL TO OUR AFRICAN FAMILY. I BEGAN TO THINK ABOUT THE TIMES I HAVE HEARD OTHER MEN REFER TO WOMEN AS BEING EXOTIC; NOT IN ONE INSTANCE DID THEY MENTION A BLACK WOMAN. MOST OF THE TIME, THEY WERE GUSHING OVER THE EXOTIC BEAUTY OF HISPANIC, ASIAN OR BRAZILIAN WOMEN. WHAT ABOUT US YO?

BLACK WOMEN HAVE THE MOST UNIQUE FEATURES OF ANY RACE OF WOMEN. OUR COMPLEXION, CURVES, AND FEATURES ALL SET US APART. BUT COULD IT BE OUR HAIR? IS STRAIGHTENING OUR HAIR TAKING AWAY OUR EXOTIC BEAUTY? IT IS THE ONE THING THAT IS THE MOST UNIQUE OF OUR PHYSICAL ATTRIBUTES. MANY BLACK WOMEN CHOOSE TO STRAIGHTEN THEIR HAIR BY PRESSING OR RELAXING IT. NO OTHER RACE HAS THE VARIETY OF KINKS, COILS, AND TEXTURE THAT WE HAVE. AFTER I WENT NATURAL, A LOT OF PEOPLE BEGAN TO ASK ME WHAT COUNTRY I WAS FROM AND STATED THAT I HAD AN EXOTIC LOOK. THE ONLY THING THAT CHANGED ABOUT ME WAS MY HAIR. JUST YESTERDAY IN THE CONVENIENT STORE, AN ARAB MAN ASKED ME WHERE MY PEOPLE WERE FROM. HE ASSUMED I WASN’T AFRICAN AMERICAN. I SAID I WAS AFRICAN AMERICAN AND HE LOOKED AT ME AS IF HE DIDN’T BELIEVE ME. WHEN I HAD STRAIGHT RELAXED HAIR, NO ONE EVER ASKED ME THESE QUESTIONS. I HAVE HEARD SEVERAL NATURAL WOMEN SAY THEY HAVE HAD THE SAME EXPERIENCE SINCE THEY’VE GOTTEN RID OF THEIR RELAXED LOCKS.

 

I PERSONALLY FEEL THAT MY BEAUTY CAME TO LIFE AFTER I STOPPED RELAXING MY HAIR. I BELIEVE NATURAL, AFRO-TEXTURED HAIR COMPLIMENTS AFRICAN FEATURES THE BEST. IT WAS MEANT TO BE TOGETHER, RIGHT? THE THICK, KINKY HAIR BRINGS A BEAUTIFUL BALANCE TO OUR UNIQUE PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS. I DID NOT BECOME NATURAL TO LOOK EXOTIC BUT I WANTED TO LOOK THE WAY GOD INTENDED ME TO LOOK. NOW, I AM NOT SAYING THAT I    WAS UNATTRACTIVE WITH RELAXED HAIR BUT I DO BELIEVE I TAPPED INTO A WHOLE NEW SIDE OF MY BEAUTY BECAUSE IT IS AUTHENTICALLY ME. TO ME, LOOKING EXOTIC MEANS I LOOK MORE LIKE MY AFRICAN ANCESTORS AND I TAKE PRIDE IN THAT. FOR SO LONG I DID NOT WANT TO “LOOK  AFRICAN” LIKE SO MANY BLACK WOMEN. GROWING UP, IF SOMEONE SAID YOU LOOKED AFRICAN IT WAS MEANT TO BE AN INSULT. A FEW YEARS BACK, I REMEMBER TELLING THIS WOMAN THAT SHE LOOKED LIKE AN AFRICAN GIRL I KNEW. YOU SHOULD HAVE SEEN THE LOOK ON HER FACE! YOU WOULD HAVE THOUGHT THAT I TOLD HER SHE LOOKED LIKE A PIT BULL! SHE LOOKED INSULTED WHEN IT WAS MEANT TO BE A COMPLIMENT BECAUSE THE AFRICAN GIRL WAS DROP DEAD GORGE.

IF YOU’VE WATCHED DOZENS OF YOUTUBE VIDEOS OF LADIES’ NATURAL HAIR JOURNEYS, YOU’VE HAD TO  ENCOUNTER A WOMAN’S  BEFORE AND AFTER SHOTS THAT MADE YOU SAY, “WOW!”. TO SEE SOMEONE’S THIN, STRAIGHT RELAXED HAIR TRANSFORM INTO BIG, TEXTURED HAIR IS PRETTY AMAZING. THE HAIR COMES ALIVE! FOR YEARS WE HAVE BEEN FORCING OUR HAIR TO DO SOMETHING IT JUST DOES NOT WANT TO DO. BLACK HAIR WAS NEVER MEANT TO BE STRAIGHT. FORCING IT TO CHANGE BY THE USE OF CHEMICALS AND HEAT ONLY CAUSES DAMAGE AND IT IS VERY DIFFICULT FOR OUR HAIR TO FLOURISH. WHEN I WAS RELAXED, I NEVER WOULD HAVE THOUGHT THAT I WOULD LOOK OR FEEL MORE CONFIDENT WITH “NAPPY” HAIR. IN FACT, I WOULD HAVE TOLD THE PERSON WHO BELIEVED I WOULD, THAT THEY WERE CRAY! I JUST WANT THOSE OF YOU WHO WOULD NEVER THINK ABOUT GOING NATURAL TO CONSIDER IT. YOU MUST RETRAIN THE WAY YOU VIEW BEAUTY AND EMBRACE THE AFRICAN ATTRIBUTES WE WERE TAUGHT TO HATE. LET ALL YOUR EXOTIC, AFRICAN BEAUTY SHOW. NO MORE HIDING. THAT’S FROM MY HEART TO YOURS.

 

THICK LIPS, WIDE HIPS, CHEEKBONES HIGH UP THERE AND A HEAD FULL OF KINKY HAIR!

 

CHECK OUT THESE PICS OF BEAUTIFUL NATURAL GALS!

 

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