This new year started with a couple of changes. First one being, I cut my hair for the first time in 17 years. When I was six, I begged my mother to cut my hair – I was tired of the traumatic experience that was getting my hair washed. I hated the pain that came with getting my hair braided. So one Sunday, a friend of hers cut my hair. I remember looking in the mirror and smiling.
I went through something similar on the 2nd of January. I looked in the mirror, looked at my new very mini-fro and smiled. “Let the natural hair journey begin.”
My first week was near-disastrous. I was almost late for church on Sunday. I almost missed a meeting the next day. I’d underestimated the care that would be required. Sure I’d read the articles and all but “I never esperrerit”.
So I resorted to wrapping a scarf around my head. I’d don one every now and then in 2013, but it was never that serious.
Fast-forward to the 8th of January. I had a photoshoot. Someone had offered to take headshots of me.
My Friday started off disastrously. I overslept. I was about to miss the bus to school. I quickly put something together, wrapped my head and left the house. I’d forgotten about the shoot until the photographer messaged me. I wanted to cancel it immediately.
When we’d planned to do the shoot, I imagined that I’d rock a wig, an awesome outfit and ask someone to do my make-up.
Now there I was – sleepy eyes, not-so-awesome outfit and my bare (usual) face.
I was bummed, I won’t even lie. I didn’t feel pretty. I wasn’t feeling well, either, so things really weren’t going my way.
While I was sitting in my class, I remembered something I’d written late last year.
“You can make as many changes to yourself as you want, but if you don’t love yourself, if you don’t see the beauty that you possess, if you don’t believe that it’s there…well, dear, all those changes are meaningless.”
I’ve had issues with my appearance for years. From my weight, to my hair, to my skin, to the way I walk…it’s endless.
But from the beginning of last year, I resolved to love myself, and anything I do to my body, my face, my hair, let it be out of love.
Not to fulfil someone’s standard. Not to appease someone. Not for anyone but me.
As I remembered that, I smiled slightly. I decided to go for the photoshoot, the way I was. And as I walked by a window or something, I looked at my reflection and I felt good.
The photoshoot went well, too. When I was shown the photos I didn’t see the flaws I’d always point out before.
I took a look at the photos, looked at the woman staring back at me in those frames and I said,
“Damn. She’s beautiful.”
And oh yes, she is.
Photocred: SpeedLight Studio
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