All tied up

All tied up

I’ve worn head ties all my life, experimenting with shapes and colours and not just on bad hair days, haha!
In my teen years I was often laughed at for my head ties (the laughers were always as black as me) another manifestation of my outsiderness. The sting of derisive laughter has worn off but I remember it and I know the fear that those who laughed were harbouring.
In Nigeria I submit myself to the superior head wrapping skills of women who are artists of the cloth. Actually there’s a kind of effortless sense of style and awareness of the body that I admired in women both in Naija and Ghana.
But the body confidence exists alongside a paradoxical loathing of dark skin and natural hair. It weirds me out that this self-schism exists and I’ve been thinking of the ways that this affects me as a black woman living in the west.
It’s complicated and part of the uncomfortable conversation we need to keep having. When you see your reflection, are you seeing you or an amalgamation of your racial, historical and social complications?
Style is both personal and political and the negotiations black women constantly have to make are not always what you want to confront when you wake up to get dressed in the morning.

5 thoughts on “All tied up

  1. I won’t tell you anything new, but this is just the same with everything in life.
    You would think past teaches us at least anything, but alas.
    Feel free to disagree but the world changes rapidly, and none of us have no control whatsoever over it.
    For instance, imagine Obama had any balls to put Vladimir to his place, but it seems like it’s not happening, welcome third world war.
    A profound post, thanks!

  2. Pingback: Trinidad & Tobago: The Implications of Style · Global Voices

  3. Pingback: Trinidad & Tobago: The Implications of Style | Freedom, Justice, Equality News

  4. Reblogged this on staceyvanlee and commented:
    I had a similair years ago back home , I was coming out of the Soca Monarch competition at the Oval and as I walked out with my head wrap in Cobalt Blue some women saw me and here is the comment ” look dah one looking like a Baptist” , I never forgot the comment nor the cuss ah buss on them . My outfit was a pair of baggy jeans and a white vest and accessories and I am as we say home the typical red woman. So that comment pissed me off I could not understand how wrapping your head made me a Baptist , but that goes to show the how people try to stereo type according to your style . It took me some years before I started wrapping my head but I realised I am dressing for me not society.

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