I cut my hair on Sunday March 27th. It was something that had came to me to do in spurts over the last two years or so. It would be this wild idea that popped in my head after the frustration of dealing with my myriad of hair issues and the mixed feelings I held about wearing wigs. Cutting my hair is similar to what it felt like when I stopped wearing wigs religiously and just wore my natural; bad assed and necessary. Black women and our hair is always a thing. No matter how we wear it , no matter how long or short, it always comes with some shit . It is at once a measure of pride as well as a source of constant pressures. It is a force amongst us and the complicated history of being a Black woman means that our hair remains a very hot topic no matter how we wear it. I ,must add being a large bodied, darkskin transwoman, it is bold as fuck of me to break away from conventional measures of beauty. Most transwomen’s first foray into womanhood is through how we wear our hair. Hair is seen as one of the quickest ways to fem yourself up. In this Eurocentric society, long ,straight hair is the ideal. Hair itself should be long whatever your texture. It is seen as the mark of beauty and of womanhood itself. Much like when I initially went natural, I used it to measure my own womanhood. The reasoning was ,” Am I a woman because I wear my hair in styles endorsed by conventional femininity or am I woman in spite of it?” I’ve come to find that I still felt beautiful and womanly with my natural hair. I’ve always loved natural hair and as a Black woman it is necessary for my own sense of self. By discarding white supremacist fixtures(i.e. wigs and styles not African), I could find a way of healing myself. Existing as one’s self should not be predicated on self hate.
I feel like to be a transwoman, you are forced to accept yourself in so many ways as never being good enough. The pressure to conform to models that we will never genuinely meet leaves us constantly feeling the need to nip and cut and adorn and embellish. And I’m not knocking it because privileges are real and for some women their only way of being seen as a woman in the world is to conform as much as possible. This includes cis women too. Magnify it by a 1000% the pressure for Black women who barely get seen as women in this country period. I’ve found that cutting my hair has been like a major fuck you to the systems that be. I’ve found a peace in just being myself without the baggage of hair. I’ve found it restorative to show up in the world as I am.
I cut my hair on Sunday March 27th and later that night the Oscars aired. The next day, I’d find out about the slap that had everybody in their feelings. It’s past time that people stop playing with Black women and taking us for fucking jokes. It’s past time that our hair ,our bodies and our lives become pieces for everyone to consume, mimic and discard as though we are nothing. We are just as good as any other race of women. We are as much of women as any other race of women. They attack us cause the shine is too great. They beat us down cause still we rise. And they try to clown us cause they envy that which they can never be. Beautiful Black Women.
I’m not sure where my hair story will go from here. I do feel like I won’t ever be afraid again to cut it all off. I do feel as though I won’t be beholden to any style or length especially in textures not my own. I have to re-learn a lot of things. I have to continue to find ways to purge the harms I’ve absorbed as a Black transwoman and a lot of that is battling the messages and messengers who say I shouldn’t exist or that my existence is predicated on a conformity that endorses self hate. My work will never be done . I , along with millions of other Black women are doing the work and I love it. We owe it to the ancestors, our descendants and ourselves .
The haircut suited her. It allowed for no pretense, took away any shred of allegiance, declared her a forever rebel by the audacity of the thing. It had been years in the making that moment when those clippers took away that tortured crown. A breakthrough moment, a permanent and temporary fix to a problem never solution-ed.
It was never ending the plight of her hair. All the stages she took it through, all the styles she tried, all the baggage she’d accumulate and all the dips and dives of esteem. How it never blossomed. How it would reach one point and not proceed and always fighting some element. Its poor state a reflection of its’ owner all beaten down shred of a bitch who fought her hardest every day to retain some dignity, to own herself flaws and all . Forced to be in the competition, forced to resign herself to her place on the totem pole, to from the bottom look at all the rest in their varying degrees of baggage and self hate, extolling and praise.
The haircut suited her. It forced her to trust her face, to love her body with thrusts of a can’t be stopped. It took away their version of woman. It removed the idol of femininity they forced her to pray upon. She became her own god. She became her own woman.