By: Ameera Rouse; *Ameera is a writer living in New York City who is a Healthy Relationships and Beauty contributor for ww.paparoxi.com
Prior to leaving the house, on the day of my engagement, my hair was the last thing on my mind. Having been natural for a couple years, I've embraced those carefree Saturdays when I can just wash-n-go not having to worry about coworkers or corporate America looking at me like I had just escaped the Bronx Zoo. I literally just hopped out of the shower, palmed some leave-in conditioner on my hair and that was all: my hair was free to kink and curl the way that God had intended it. I left the house feeling a little insecure, as I caught a glimpse of my wild tresses in a car window, but quickly dismissed those feelings because I wasn't going anywhere special-- or so I thought.
Had I known that this was the day that my man was going to pop the question, I would have pressed the life out of my hair so it could have blown dramatically in the wind as he got down on his knee and proposed-- this is the way that I would have wanted to remember that moment. But, I guess everything really does happen for a reason, because in that moment as he knelt down to profess his love to me, he looked up and saw me in my most natural state: no make up, natural hair and against the backdrop of a beautiful waterfall. To him, I was at my most beautiful.
I'm not going to lie, looking back at those pictures I cringe a little at how wild my hair looks but I can't help but wonder: why are we (women of color) so afraid of our natural hair? Perhaps its because mainstream media is flooded with images of black women in long silky hair weaves... when was the last time we saw a mainstream celebrity wearing her natural hair? Kelly Rowland? Ciara? La La? Eva Mendes? And the list goes on.
For the longest my hair routine was wash>> condition>> blow dry>> straighten;I would get out the shower and barely let a drop of water escape from my hair before I had my blow dryer plugged in and was ready to conquer. My man would always tell me that he preferred my natural curls but it took for my hair stylist to tell me I was straightening my hair to death, to finally put my styling tools away.
At first, it boggled my mind that despite the media being over-saturated with images of women with straight, silky tresses, that my man prefers it when my hair is natural. But as I thought about it a little more, it hit me-- there is nothing more sexy than a confident woman who has embraced her God given beauty and rocks it with integrity. Admittedly, I still have my natural hair woes but there is nothing more satisfying than owning my natural hair (kinks, curls and all) and knowing that my man is loving every minute of it.