my rebellion came at 16
when i decided enough was enough,
that i was tired of my long flowing hair.
i chopped it all off
and said goodbye.
goodbye to my so called
black girl’s paradise
of oh baby you got
good long hair,
it’s all hers,
what you mixed with?
got that Cherokee blood.
me cutting all my hair off
was considered anti everything black girl
yet you consider black beauty
anything but black beauty.
i was shunned at 16
for not following
the ritual of “our” black beauty
because i was one of the “lucky” ones.
hair grew faster than I wanted,
strong thick ashy brown hair
that goes with my ashy brown eyes
and my tan-ish light skin.
they said, she’s lucky
because all her hair is hers
and it grows.
there’s not indian up on that child’s head,
she’s a natural [black] woman
who has long good hair.
my rebellion was at 16
when i decided to chop off
that good hair goodbye.
and it just kept getting shorter and shorter.
at 20 i rebelled again,
grew my hair out and said goodbye to
hair relaxers, flatirons and blow dryers
decided to embrace my natural curls.
but natural means you are
the next african queen
and listen to neo-soul and drink grass juice
and do yoga while you recite alice walker and angela davis.
my rebellion became another box
instead of going against one grain
i found another to be thrown right in.
so many conflicted responses
no more good hair
but some said better.
forever i am said to be lucky.
“that’s all your hair”
it’s thick and grows fast
it’s curly not kinky
i just want to have your hair.
desired, but envied.
my rebellion has become my savior
my almost reason for existing
my hair has become a social statement,
more work than i would have thought of
since that day i was just too lazy
to find a new barber.
like most of my rebellions
i just was too lazy
and change just seemed to fit.
for i never meant to go against
society standards of what we call beauty.
but as i dig deeper
i just wanted,
i just wanted a change
to feel beautiful in my own skin
by my own words,
my own thoughts,
and my own desires.
i wanted to feel more
than what others said of me
of what others said i should be.
so maybe my rebellions
weren’t just reasons of laziness
maybe it does mean so much more?
my rebellion came at 16,
and my supposed revolution came at 20.
at 24 i’m still trying to figure it all out,
as my now crown of glory
or my greatest natural possession
as some would say…
of course only second best to what lies beneath
grows longer, stronger, and bigger everyday.
too soon to see if i’m truly enlighten
by the halo of hair
that covers where all my thoughts lingers.
at the end of the day
no rebellion or revolution
if i don’t have the intellect to back it up.
Originally posted on All Poetry.