Would I still feel beautiful with short, kinky hair?
16 July 2012
By Trey Anthony
Special to the Toronto Star
Iíve been told constantly by women over 40 that once you hit 40 you become a no bullót magnet, you just donít give a damn about what others think, you become a master of self love!
Thus, I declared a few years ago to anyone who would listen that when I turned 40 I was going to shave my head and sport a sexy, short no-hassle do. Iíve always been an admirer of ďmatureĒ women with short hair; it appears to me that the short hair is symbolic of their lives . . . donít mess with them! No more bad hair days . . . they are FREE.
Now that Iím seven months away from the big 4-O, Iím not so sure. Itís taken me nearly seven years to grow my long beautiful locks. Yes, black hair really does grow at an alarmingly slower rate than other cultures. To finally have long hair has been a dream come true for the impressionable black girl trapped inside this 39-year-old body. The same little girl who used to stand in front of the mirror wishing for long, straight hair, not impressed by the kinky mass upon her head that seemed to grow at one inch per year.
Now I proudly strut, swinging my long hair wherever I go. I can whip it back and forth. Style it up or down. My hair has become an artful masterpiece and I love all the wonderful things that I can do with it. People compliment me constantly on my beautiful long locks.
I realize that, to me, long hair represents beauty. I feel more beautiful with long hair, I receive more attention and the world responds to me more favourably. Maybe itís the same thing that blondes experience over brunettes: Society just treats you differently.
I love my long locks, so Iím not going to cut them. But my feminist analysis knows there is something deeper. Why does having long hair make me feel more beautiful? What message have I been given and absorbed, that short kinky hair is not to be admired or valued?
I have spent nearly twelve years of my life writing and producing stories that celebrate black women and our hair, and as I slowly inch closer to 40, I wonder . . . could I love my own kinky hair, short?