Yes, our textures are diverse and unique, but we all have something we can learn from each other. We've all had our struggles with out natural hair whether we're Caucasian, African, Asian, Native American, etc. It's those struggles and the story of how we overcame them to embrace who we were created to be that makes us a community. That's why I started my blog. I wanted to reach those who felt left out because they didn't fit the natural stereotype. My natural sisters or brothers don't have to look like me or sound like me in order to be my sister or brother. Our bonds are strong and our experiences inspiring. The problem comes when we shun those bonds because the other person "doesn't know your struggle". You don't know theirs either. I don't believe in good hair or bad hair. I believe in healthy hair that you can't keep your hands off of because you love it. I believe that different textures are just that... different...not better just different.
I apologize for the length of this post, but this topic has been on my mind and my heart for a while. Recently, I joined meetups.com in order to find a group of fellow curlies that I could hang with and swap ideas. The ones in my area were for Black hair, kinky hair, and African-American hair. Just one problem...I don't have Black hair. I am Senegalese, Native American, Irish, Jamaican, and French. I am not one or the other. I am all of them. Looking at the members of the group and the description, I didn't think I'd be welcome and it made me sad. I don't live close enough to make it to NaturallyCurly or Curly Nikki meetups where the pictures show curlies of all shades and textures, so I suffer in silence. If you think I'm exaggerating, I leave you with one more story. I had to make a return to a major retail store, and the worker had to call her supervisor over. Her supervisor was a young woman with a beautiful head of Afro-textured hair. Even though I was the customer and she asked a question that only I could answer, she refused to talk to me or acknowledge my presence. Yes, I'm the only one in line that she treated like that then or since. Maybe it's where I live (the Deep South), I don't know. I do know that I'm probably not alone. Whether someone's curls are looser, tighter, coarser, finer, or longer than yours, it doesn't make them any less a natural than you are or vice versa. If you're reading this and you say "well, I don't treat anyone like that", good for you...pass it on. You may just stop someone from returning to the creamy crack because they felt more accepted with relaxed hair.
All the stories in this article are true and yes they happened to me. It just so happens that one of my dear friends has just big chopped. Now, I can actually say that I finally have a natural friend that I didn't meet on the interwebs. It's sad but true...don't let it happen to a curly near you. And if you see me around, just say hi. I'll be glad you did and I promise I don't bite :)
Later Days, Curl Chasers