Is our curly hair a shame?

Aisha El-hoseny  

Negro, Ugly, Dirty, Creepy and Weirdo, that’s how I’ve been called on my first day at my elementary school because of my curly hair. It never ended at this limit as they waited for me after the school hours and threw rubbish on my hair. The only solution according to my mother for that curly missed-up hair is to “Make it GO AWAY”, rather than punishing those bullying kids, or learning to embrace my hair and make peace with my natural look.

I have had curly hair since my birth. Basically, it consists of tight synaptic rings which would remind you of the telephone cables in a very crowded neighborhood once you saw it which implies that curly hair is something awful that needs to be got rid of. As a result, I had to visit the hair dresser every week to straighten it. I had to bear grudgingly the hair dryer heat that was continuously burning my neck. I have been ordered every hour to brush my hair, so that it doesn’t look chaotic, inappropriate or indecent.

Women are discriminated all over the world according to their hair textures. And believe me it’s “a big deal”. It’s a big deal when you get rejected while applying to your dream job or forbidden from entering the school till your hair is managed or moreover you become discarded and doing your hair will be like doing a battle with no chance to win. It will start to feel like a flaw, needed to be made up for. They will convince you that you’re not pretty enough and you don’t meet the society’s beauty standards. And by society, I mean neither the Egyptian society nor the Arab society, but the international one that formed this manipulating and racist image to persuade us that no woman is more beautiful than a Hollywood actress, walking proudly on the red carpet with her “WHITE SKIN” and “BLOND STRAIGHTENED HAIR”.

Apparently, the answer is no, our curly hair is not a shame and no more burden than a straight hair or wavy one. Although it looks sometimes amazing and you love it, other days you would happily shave it off. it’s not really about our hair in itself , but being able to show ourselves with no fear of rejection or being insulted or stereotyped . We deserve to go naturally and wear our hair, growing from our scalps as well as not covering up our scares or stretch marks.

Finally, the moment we annihilate our natural look, we lose our individuality.

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