Romeo has brought up insecurities regarding his hair on several occasions. When he comes home upset about someone laughing at his hair, I immediately get upset and go into full on #MamaBear mode! Recently he came home begging me to get a hair cut because he was tired of other kids talking about his curly hair. I said, "Absolutely not! It's one thing, if you want to get a haircut because YOU want to but it's another thing if you want to get a haircut because people are talking about you and making you feel insecure. Never change your appearance just to make others happy! You are handsome just the way you are!"
I felt so accomplished and like I just gave him the best uplifting speech ever but Romeo rebutted, " Mom, if you tell me to be proud of my curly hair, why do you hide yours?" As you can see from the Gif I was completely caught off guard!
Romeo is always stopping me in my tracks with these simple yet super deep questions. I began to contemplate...
Why do I wear weaves all of the time?
Why do I chose not to wear my natural hair?
Am I hiding who I am for the corporate setting?
Do I not see my natural hair as beautiful?
I realized that I am not leading by example. I am going by the motto of "Do as I say and not as I do" which is the most ignorant philosophy ever created! I removed my extensions and began to wear my natural hair that following day and Romeo was so surprised; as was I!
I felt so powerful with my afro out yet so paranoid about what people would say when I left the house, especially in the workplace. Once I arrived to work, every woman of color that I ran into complimented me on my natural hair. I felt like they welcomed me with open arms and that I was now a part of this amazing tribe of Shea butter and Curls!
Taking heed to the conversation Romeo and I had and deciding to lead by example is one of the best decisions I could have ever made. Challenging my fear of what others think of me was so empowering to me. Taking the power out of people's opinions about my hair really gave me the freedom to start living an unapologetic life which in turn showed Romeo that he should be confident and proud of who he is as well. My three lessons learned from Romeo teaching me to wear my natural hair are listed below.
1.Never change anything about your appearance to please others! As long as you like it, that's all that matters. Your happiness is more important than anyone else's. This is your life!
2. Embrace your self in your natural state often. Go a day here and there with no make-up, no fake nails, and no weaves; just wear what God gave you and center yourself at times!
3. Lead by Example. Whenever giving advice and offering an opinion on an issue, be sure to practice what you preach. People don't want to follow someone who says one thing and does another. In other words... Walk it Like You Talk it!