This Is My Hair

This Is My Hair

It all began in the summer after a nice swim in the sea.
The water brought out my natural curls.
“Why can’t it always look like that,” I thought.
It looked good.
But it couldn’t stay that way.

Washing my hair as a child was a tiring and exhausting feat.
Having to wash, comb and twist it so it could look acceptable enough.
No one liked my curly hair at home.
“You can’t go out like this,” my parents would tell me when there was a family occasion.
It would be considered a disgrace if I didn’t burn my hair enough to make it straight.

Going out with curly hair is a whole other story.
“Need a brush?”
“How come you don’t brush your hair?”
“Who electrocuted you?”
I sometimes put flowers in my hair,  which makes me look even weirder and gets more people to comment.

Even my college professors didn’t spare me.
“A doctor shouldn’t look like that.”
“You need to brush your hair, dear, or it’ll collect dirt.”
I would straighten my hair just to make the comments stop, especially during my oral and practical exams.

The thing is, most girls struggle with their hair.
People should stop making it worse.

This is my hair.
I don’t care whether people like it or not.
I only brush it when I’m feeling depressed.
But when it’s curly, it means everything is okay.

There are girls that reach out to me to talk about the comments they get about their natural hair.
They’re usually surprised at its frequency and intensity.
They don’t understand why it happens.

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