Most naturals big chop because they want to get rid of relaxed or damaged hair. Is that it? Or is it in the hope of having long non-damaged hair someday? The answer to this question for some is a no brainer, “yes”. But, why can’t we wear our hair short just for the love of it.
We always think we need a reason to big chop, but that doesn’t always have to be the case. Normally, naturals do the big chop because they are starting on a natural hair journey or they’ve had damaged hair that they want to repair, while still holding on to the idea that having long hair is the ideal way to be beautiful. Fortunately, not every one of us think that way, but a good number of us do. Let’s be clear about this, nothing’s wrong with having long hair. It’s only damaging to our self-esteem when it becomes something that is idolized.
Most of us choose to conform to this narrow view of beauty. There are many reasons why this is so… For instance, there are psychological aspects that probably stem from slavery, but we do know a chunk of it has to do with societal pressure, propaganda, and lies. The kind of pressures that are being imposed on our young girls from an early age. Studies have shown that whenever the television comes on — girls’ self-esteem goes down and that of black boys as well. We know why that is. It’s because there are stereotypes about people who look like them that are being inordinately publicized that don’t make them feel good about themselves.
How would you feel if every time you access electronic media you see and hear people talk about beauty, but they’re not describing you? It’s as if you’re not part of the conversation or your appearance doesn’t contribute to the discussion. No one wants to feel like an outsider. Outsiders are outcasts, they don’t have friends, very limited resources are allotted with them, and they’re more likely to be lonely. We can understand how when someone is stigmatized like that they’ll do anything to be included. If certain people are excluded by virtue of their appearance, shape, size, hair type, or skin color then where do you think their self-esteem is going to go. Down!
An outside reason is not required for us, as women, to know that we want to change certain things about ourselves, as long as the choice is ours and not being made for us. We may want to change our hairstyles, our clothing choices, or lifestyle for any or no reason what-so-ever, but it has to be our individual choice. Why not rock a TWA for the sake of rocking one and still feel beautiful and gorgeous.
That’s precisely why this video is being posted because it reinforces this talk, which can be very liberating. It seems like, as women, we’re constantly being boxed into certain roles. We’re constantly bombarded with the media defining what beauty is and isn’t. It’s as if we can not defined it ourselves so we need institutions like churches, media, and government to define what it is. That’s not true, and we must not except that as truth either. As naturals, we must not conform to the “norm” we must resist that trend and set our own. We can defined the roles that we choose to play in life. Just because we choose to play certain roles doesn’t mean that’s who we are. Too many times these roles get conflated with who we are. Again, don’t get it twisted.
It’s certainly normal to keep or change things about us, we just have to make sure we’re doing it ourselves. Try not to succumb to the temptation of changing yourself in the hope of being liked. Don’t become the trend, but be the trend setter. Also, try not to integrate your life-roles with who we are as an individual.
When you begin to observe and step back a little, you will inevitably start to separate yourself from what you do, then the idea of who you truly are will begin to shine even if it’s just for a moment. There lies liberation, because it will come from within.
Here is a great video from Carmen who’s now on her 6th big chop. Enjoy!
Study finds TV can decrease self-esteem in children, except white boys
Readers Respond: Reactions to My Big Chop