Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Things Folks Do For Love

I have a co-worker who is going natural. She said she was ready to cut her hair off, but she has to go to a wedding this weekend for a cousin on her father's side. So she's just going to get it blown out and flat ironed. I asked her why didn't she just cut it.

She said that her cousins/aunts on her dad's side of the family take after her grandfather in terms of features. Her words were, "they're all AKAs with long, straight hair." O_o So basically, if she showed up with her short natural, they would have a fit, ridicule her, etc. So she said she was going to just go ahead and straighten it out and just deal with it, and that she was doing it to keep the peace, for her dad's sake. This side of the family often berates her for her weight gain as well. She said when she was in college, skinny with long hair, everything was gravy.

Um...if my dad WAS alive, I just can't imagine him asking me to subject myself to this type of ridicule or behavior, or ask me to go through all kinds of changes to keep the peace with people who are CLEARLY too concerned about what's going on with everyone else's life. Thankfully neither side of my family is like this.

I told her that I can't fathom or envision putting myself into this type of situation purposely. I'm all about self preservation. Maybe I'm just selfish. I love my family to death, and I would hope that they would never subject me to anything like this. Nobody should be that concerned about what's going on with my follicles or weight gain except ME. And I would not be in attendance at that wedding.


Her story made me sad, yet grateful at the same time. I'm grateful I'm surrounded with the people I have in my life.


MzInspiredMind81 said...

I know what you mean. My mother can be one of those type of people.

She can be very condescending when it comes to remarks about a lot of things.

It took me taking a breather from her and emailing her a LONG letter before things finally got better.

I will NEVER understand why some people act this way.

Marilie said...

She just slayed me with the "all my cousins are AKAs with long, striaght hair" comment. I guess we ain't gon' neva get past that. LOL!

Monique said...

"all my cousins are AKAs with long, striaght hair"

I guess I'm a dark napped headed AKA then. LOL This was a little sad. Wow. When are we going to stop letting other validate and dictate our worth?

sayitlikethis said...

I am without a doubt selfish because there is no way that I would alter my appearance "to keep the peace."

That is 100% foolishness .

It sounds like SHE also has a problem being who she really is for fear of their backlash.

I'm glad (some) of my family isn't like that. On my donor's side of the family, they are big on gaining weight. The FIRST thing they always speak about is whether or not I'm thinner/bigger than the last time I've seen them.

I don't care b/c I see them about twice a year. Whateva!

And I'm throwing all kinds of side-eye to her comment about AKAs. I'm surprised she didn't add "light-skinned" to the description.

Did she even pledge a sorority? I wonder only b/c it sounds like she would pick one based on how a majority of the members looked.

Marilie said...

@Monique - I didn't even focus on that comment. She knows that's not all AKAs so I figured I wouldn't even waste brain cells going in on it.

@sayitlikethis - she did not pledge but was interested in a different sorority. And I'm with you - I wouldn't alter my appearance either. I wouldn't even participate in anything that involved them cray-cray chicks. Family or not!

Serenity3-0 said...

Reading this, I know the focus was on what her family thinks about her appearance, but part of me thinks that she's a prisoner in her own jail. She has her ideals also whether she admits it or not of what's beauty and she's probably feeling like she falls short. Yes, going natural is not easy adn you will always have nay sayers, but that's the point where you get some self resolve. We tell our kids all the time not to allow their peers to dictate who they are and their action, yet as an adult we are still too concerned with what the next one will say about us, so we just stay in the mainstream of things.

Marilie said...

@Serenity - that's true. We are told as kids, and parents tell their kids now, not to let others dictate what they do. And yet, here she is doing exactly that. I think it's internal as well. I just told her that one day she'd get to the point where what she thinks about herself is going to be more important than the shallow opinions of others. But no one can get her there, she has to get herself there.