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  • Writer's pictureRubi G.

i am curly beautiful

My mother-in-law is not fond of my pajon. Oftentimes, sliding in snarky comments like, “No te ofenda, pero te ves mas linda con el pelo lasio”. Or questioning, "ay porque tu te dejas ese pelo asi?" At first, it bothered me because everyone in my family accepts me and encourages me to be my most authentic self. My family loves my pajon. Everyone surrounding my family loves my pajon and wonder how I even go about getting it so big. My mother-in-law, on the other hand, with her fair skin, pixie cut, and dead hair- can not accept me for me.

I decided to go completely natural right after birthing my second son approximately four and a half years ago. I was tired of spending endless hours in a beauty salon, smelling burnt hair. After being gifted some shea moisture products by a soror and speaking to her for hours about naturally curly hair, I instantly decided to go for it. At that moment, I decided to embark on a natural hair journey. Unfortunately, I had never seen my natural curl pattern because my mother had my hair relaxed when I was about 8 years old. And so I was excited and intrigued. Oh! but what a struggle it was. I watched endless amounts of youtube videos to learn how to be natural. I tried an indefinite amount of hair products to see which ones responded best to my very dry and frizzy tresses. It's been a battle, to say the least. I’ve loved and I hated this journey. I've had about two relapses. I missed my straight hair so much that I returned to the salon and had it straightened. I just wanted a brief reminder of what I looked like with straight hair. I also just wanted to give myself a break- because the wash and go life is not as easy as it sounds.

Rocking my natural pajon, my afro, is empowering. I receive many compliments from men and women alike. This pajon and the color of my skin is a constant reminder that my ancestry can not be denied. It is proof that somewhere in my DNA Africans did in fact inhabit my family’s native land. It's a reminder that somewhere down my lineage there was an intermingling of some sort. My mother’s skin is very light while my father’s skin is dark. Most of my relatives are light-skinned while I am the darkest of all. My grandmother has very fine hair and my youngest Aunt has a lustrous, straight mane. Clearly, there was some Spaniard and African mixture going on with my ancestors. But, I, the darkest in my family, with the tightest of curl patterns am proud to represent my ancestors. Comments from my mother-in-law will not phase me. She’s either going to love me unconditionally or she’s going to shut down her opinions about my hair. My intention is to be my most authentic self wherever I go. I intend to be a role model of self-love and natural beauty to those around me.

My mother-in-law will not keep me or my hair imprisoned because she believes straight hair is what makes me beautiful. If eleven years in she can't see what her son sees in me, she'll never see it. My ancestors were already enslaved and now we are (somewhat) free. Free to be whoever we want to be. To show up in the world how ever our souls desire to be. With that said, my mother-in-law will not offend me with her unsolicited opinions. I hope, however, that she is not offended when I wear my crown of curls as a sign of protest to her enslaving opinions of beauty.

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