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My Hair and My Self-Esteem

About this sample

About this sample


Words: 272 |

Pages: 1|

2 min read

Published: Jul 18, 2018

Words: 272|Pages: 1|2 min read

Published: Jul 18, 2018

Picture me: the morose toddler, hands balled into fists as my mother pulled a wide-toothed comb through my full, coarse hair. Tears stung my eyes but I did not cry even when my mother held a ball of knotted hair in her palm, a triumphant grunt escaping her lips. Afterwards, I would lie still on my bed, transfixed by the orange and crimson lights behind my closed eyelids as my scalp continued to tingle.

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I hated my hair. Each characteristic- from its Afro texture to its thickness- promised a burdensome future. My mother's attempts to improve its appearance merely worsened my sentiments. However, I enjoyed a brief reprieve during the occasional visits to the local hairdresser. I would watch as Nneoma, the woman with the enchanted fingers, transformed my nest of hair into a breathtaking sight. Nneoma called this magic various names: suku, two-step, patewo. However, I was unable to attribute my improved esteem to the intricacies of any particular woven hairstyle. There and then, I determined to impart the same sense of joy and beauty to other young girls in my community.

African hair braiding is a skill that I chose to learn for both its practical and communal value. When I weave the hair of a Honduran friend into suku, for instance, I am struck by how braiding can serve to unify contrasting cultures. Although I may never attain the same level of prowess as Nneoma, I intend to hone my hair braiding skills. In this way, I will be able to infuse color, joy, and interest into my community, regardless of how far I stray from home.

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