When I opened up my instagram today I was met with a fitgirl photo from fitgirl_michelle2015. The photo on the left showed her at the beginning of her journey 4 months ago and the right photo was her recent photo. On the right she looked strong, happy, fit. Before and after photos are powerful because we see the results, we see a side we relate to and we see a side we want to achieve. But the problem is we see nothing else. We don’t see the struggle, the sick days, the days we fell off the training schedule, the tears, the disappointment. Instead, we idolize the desirable pic.
That’s my problem. I tell myself I want to get fit and I’ll start out but, oh, if I don’t see results I get discouraged and eat poorly and I have to start all over again. Well, what if this time, I keep it, I adopt it as my way of life and I keep at it? I want to find out how I would feel being strong, fit and confident. It’s worth it. I want to do it.
I got together with two of my college friends late last year. They had both moved out of town, one for school and the other for work, and while we all kept in touch this was the first time we had all been together since grad. My one friend J had mentioned earlier how she had inexplicable lost about a dime-sized patch of hair on her head. Strange. When I saw her though the patch had grown to be a little bit bigger than a quarter. But no big deal. After that she visited doctors and naturopaths, endured needles to her scalp and other methods of treatment.
About a week ago she texted us saying: “My mom is here. She came to take me to my horrible specialist appointment today where the doctor said I for sure have alopecia and there is nothing I can do to stop it. I cried at the appointment and in the street and at Milestones but then my mom fed me lots of wine and spinach dip and cheese and got me a really pretty jacket. Woohoo moms! So I might just shave my head instead of waiting for it to fall out and watching it get thinner and thinner?”
I had no idea it had progressed. She said she had 12 patches now. She went on to say: I am not my hair! I really like it though, but I don’t need it!
I was so happy to hear her say that. When I cut my hair it was a change for me. A shift. But my hair grew back. So not being in control, knowing after you cut your hair, it won’t come back entirely: that takes some mental adjustment for sure. She always has my support and she is going to be gorgeous with her hair or without because it won’t change who she is. She’s still the same beautiful, hilarious, quirky woman she has always been and for that I’m thankful. But I hope on days when she’s not feeling so pretty, that she still smiles because she is not her hair.
This video made me tear up a little.
Black Women’s Transition to Natural Hair
It’s beautiful. I like seeing other peoples’ feelings about their hair, their journeys. All the different types of hair, hair styles and the faces beneath them. I like that for people, me included, your confidence may have been removed or ruffled along with your relaxed hair. It’s true. But it’s so so cool to see that confidence, that self-assurance, that pride grow as your hair grows. You’re changing, as your hair is changing. And I love stories where women, get the Big Chop, they have a short ‘do and their hair grows. And then they decide to cut it short again, because yknow? It’s not a huge deal. And they like the look. They return to the look with a sweet fade and it’s just so nice to see that freedom. That release of apprehension. Did it once, you can do it again, and you can love it. It’s awesome.
The faces under these curls seemed very.. content and yknow what? They seemed very relaxed! 😉
What did you see in this video?