"Short Hair New Birth" By Phoenixx Rocks

Updated: Nov 2, 2018

My story is like many, but still specifically tailored to a personal experience.....  I grew up moderately poor, black and constantly compared to the "standard" beauty. A standard I could and would never live up to. I also battled with my weight which was another obvious thing that made me a target, and I grew up in the early 90's where the celebrating of difference and variety had not yet begun. If you were not “slim”, “lighter skinned” with long luxurious hair, you were invisible or second place. I was none of the above.  I was tall, "Big BONED" with thick short hair. To make matters worse, I was an only child with a mother who wasn't the overtly "feminine" type (So learning to keep up with maintenance was trial and era). My hair has been damaged several times from perms, coloring, over processing and lack of knowledge. In the midst of learning what worked and didn't work, I looked differently from everyone in my family, which everyone passive aggresively mentioned as often as possible throughout my life, especially during my teen years. Once my pretty cousins arrived I became invisible. It didn't matter where we were, could have a cookout or a funeral. It was awful, and I began to obsess with my physical appearance, especially my hair.  At that point in my life, I had accepted being over weight, but every other detail  (My hair, nails and outfit) had to be perfect. My hair was a crown to me. It introduced me when I walked in. In my head, it was, “she's big, she's black, but that hair!! That hair, is done!”  For whatever reason, my subconscious believed as long as my hair was done, society would overlook the other "flaws" that made me second to the girls I had been overlooked by, (for my immaculate up keeping of appearance). I often would just assimilate as much of the image possible to "blend" in. I weeped for the girl I use to be.  By my teen years , I had a Aunt Patricia, who has now passed, that began getting my hair done at the beauty parlor. It was the first time I had regular hair care. My stylist Veronica, was super talented and began showing me all the possibilities with my short hair.  It was bittersweet. Although I was "done", I was still a slave to chemical processing. I was addicted to perm and still had not accepted my natural texture. When I could not continue going to Veronica, I again began damaging my hair. My hair would grow then fall out, then grow, then fall out, all over again. It was torture! As a young girl already insecure about so many other things, dealing with hair loss was the icing on the cake. This eventually led to an obsession to weave and wigs.  I can honestly say for at least 5-7 years, my scalp never felt the sunshine or the breeze. I felt defeated. I had given up. The irony is that I attended hair school and wore wigs straight through the course. That experience still didn't give me enough courage to challenge my tumultuous relationship with myself and my hair.  But about 3 years ago, I decided to fully go natural! The sad part was, I was still not comfortable with my natural texture. This created such an inner conflict because I'm known to those around me as the "cultured" friend. I always advocated for self love amongst all the African American youth I know. Yet, here I am, afraid to take my wig my off. I silently had a complex about wearing my short hair and as mentioned, being overweight, so the voices in my head were many (Lol). I knew this was something I couldn't avoid for much longer because the idea of being a hypocrite, even the slightest, didnt sir to well with me.  As my hair began to grow out, I was encouraged to lock it. I had attempted to lock my hair previously but became impatient. But, this time I was ready and willing to go through the process. While growing out my locks, I still wore wigs. Friends would ask why I didn't wear my hair out, and my explanation was "I hate the akward phase, once it grows longer I will". I psychologically still had not accepted that I had been brainshwashed my whole life to hate everything about myself (especially my hair and it’s length). I didn't just disown the texture, but everything about it.  But that had to stop!  One day in mid January of 2018 in the midst of an incredibly emotional cycle (Lol), I decided, “No more!!” I asked the same friend who began my locks to now shave it all off. He had suggested I do this many years back but had no clue how much I battled internally with hair and identity. I was now ready!! Really to take off all the masks, and shields that made it impossible to fully love and accept my self for who I truly was- freedom. He said to me" if your serious cut the locks off, and I'll do rest"  and I did. As I cut off my locks I cried, but those tears were no longer fear, they were a  “New Birth”.  I fully accepted myself, and the response from the world has been astounding! I realized what we all have been told but never really listened to. “When you truly love yourself, the world will love you back.” I'm now in a place where I don't think I want to grow my hair back again. I love my short hair! It screams “bold, fearless and self defined beauty!” I created my own standard of beauty and you should as too.

Phoenixx Rocks


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