That being said, I am sad about this...
On the first day of second grade I picked Meazi up at 3:00. She started to tell me about her new classroom. I asked her if 'J' was in her class. She told me she was, and said, "But mom, there is one thing about that." I kept looking at her in the rear view mirror. Her face got a little contorted in a way I didn't recognize. She said, "Mom, she straightened her hair." J is Ethiopian/American- not adopted.
"I couldn't believe it mom."
I don't know how to describe what happened to Meazi while she was telling me about this. I know I should have been looking ahead, on the road, but her face was expressing so many things. I could tell that she had been taken down a notch. Her expression was sheepish, embarrassed, sad, insecure, confused- her little features held more emotion at one time than I thought possible in a face. It was like I was watching her thought process. She has really been trying to still embrace what she calls her freedom hair, but I see life, friends, beauty standards, and everything else, seeping quickly in and making her doubt her self, and her hair.
She doesn't need to be the spokesperson for natural beauty, I realize that. But it is more than that isn't it? I haven't seen the movie, Good Hair, but I think I need to. I can see my daughter being slowly pressured to not have an Afro-ever. I can see her being asked, in not so subtle ways, to conform. I can see her strong sense of identity shaken.
I see her being slowly convinced that freedom hair is all just a little bit too much. "I think I might like my hair straight" she said,"But just for a bit and then I would wet it to get it curly again."
Dear Meazi, tell that boy behind you who is complaining that he can't see around your hair to croon his neck, or move the hell over.
Smile at the next person who says something about your Freedom hair.
Tell your friend J that you absolutely loved her curls.
And rock on with your bad self.