In the early 2000's, India Arie was encouraging women to embrace their natural hair. India was letting women know that it's okay to be yourself when the world is telling you otherwise. When I was 14, I was trying to fit in with everyone else with straight, relaxed hair. That's how society was back then (and sometimes today). If you didn't have straight hair you were considered "lame".
I tried to embrace my natural hair, but felt like I wasn't able to fit in with the crowd. I would always flat iron my hair cause that was the thing to do. After flat ironing my hair just about every week, my hair was so limp and dry. Half of my hair was curly and the rest was straight. I had heat damage. It was then that I decided to start wearing my hair in it's naturally curly state. Random people were calling me Angie Stone or Jill Scott because of the way I was wearing my hair. I was so hurt by what they would say because I knew that it was meant in a negative way. I didn't understand why they teased me like that.
Over the years, I started to get more comfortable with my natural hair. It's crazy because people of other races liked my hair, but people of my own race would say things like, "Why do you have your hair like that?", "It's TOO thick. Just put a perm in it." Why do some people in the black community look down on natural hair? They're so fixed on putting chemicals in your hair. They feel if you wear your hair in its natural state, you aren't "cool" enough.
I had to learn how to love myself, as well as my hair and also learn how to maintain my natural hair. I'm here to tell all women who are feeling self conscious about their hair, learn how to embrace your natural hair and your beauty. Don't let society deter you from loving you. Once you learn more about how to take care of your hair, your confidence will skyrocket and no one will be able to tell you different.