Since going natural I have often felt undesired due to the lack of acknowledgment of the beauty of my natural hair. I was a girl who was used to men hitting on me, and when I went out, men gave me lots of attention; the minute I went natural, most of this disappeared.
Every now and so often there are still men that approached me, but they are of a much lower caliber than what I was used to. It can be disheartening, and often I feel like I am in the midst of some great trial of inner strength and self-confidence.
I know at any point in time that I could don a wig* or a sew in and immediately receive the same attention that I was previously used to, but there is something about placing yourself in a position of discomfort that is important for self-awareness, self-love, and growth.
Although the strange thing is, I know this lack of attention paid to my natural hair is only going to last for a period of one to two years as my hair is presently hanging in that “awkward growth phase” where it is too long to be short, and yet still too short to be long.
I know that after my natural hair reaches a point where it grows past the length of my shoulders unstretched, the stream of attention I once received will return with a vengeance….but I can’t shake the feeling that at that point that the majority of attention I will receive will originate from other black women who are curious about how I achieved such lengths. I often wonder if the men will be in tow, or if they will remain as silent as they have been towards me for the past couple years.
My confidence has strengthened because without everyone else to tell me how beautiful I am, I have forced myself to repeat this piece of knowledge to myself in the mirror.
This was something I first did when I was twelve years old, because none of the boys at school ever told me they liked me, and my parents had never once said I was beautiful.
I was the girl whom boys talked about behind my back with excitement, but never once said anything to my face. This strange reality became clear to me one night in college when a male friend of mine decided to break “guy code” and reveal to me that all the men at the party I was in attendance at where talking about how beautiful I was, but not one thought that they would have any success with me.
It was a strange revelation, but it gave me insight to the level of cowardice that exists in “men” today. I am a kind and friendly girl; in my mind, not at all intimidating. But the man of today is more likened unto a boy, his ego is fragile, his level of confidence deeply linked to an imagined correlation with money and power.