Tuesday, February 7, 2012

whip it, shave it, rock it!

Willow Smith shaved her head, and it's got a lot of people talking. 
My honest opinion, I can't believe she was brave enough to to do it. In an era where black women are taking steps toward embracing their natural hair and learning to love a standard of beauty that includes and celebrates us as women, I think her actions show she's not buying into how anyone else thinks she should look.  When I made the decision to go natural about a year and a half ago, I wasn't brave enough to do a BC (let alone shave my head). So I did it the hard way, transitioning and dealing with two textures. Imagine, if I'd grown up with the image and belief that the length of your hair doesn't define your beauty, which is the message that she's providing. She's stylish and trendy, and creating her own image of what it means to be herself, and not letting anyone else define that for her.
There's been a lot of criticism of Will and Jada allowing her to grow up too fast, in the way she dresses and styles her hair. However, every time I see Willow she's covered up, her stomach isn't showing, and she's not wearing anything low cut, or revealing. If you're looking for little girls dressed in appropriately turn on Lifetime's reality show Dance Moms. The little girls are dressed in tummy baring little halter tops, and skin tight little shorts and tights-now that's inappropriate.
So no, I don't have a problem with the way Willow dresses, or how she does her hair, and chooses to express herself. In fact I would think that for the mother's who are criticizing Jada for allowing Willow to shave her head should take a look at the message that sends to young black girls a little more carefully before judging.
My six year old little cousin, who has beautiful naturally kinky curly hair, asked for a weave because she wanted her hair to move, and bounce, and hang down over her shoulders like her white classmates. Personally I don't have a problem with wigs, weaves, braids, or whatever women decide to do to their hair in pursuit of making themselves look beautiful. I just think it would be great if we could hold up more than one standard of what it means to be beautiful, and show little girls that you don't have to have long straight hair to be pretty.
So, Willow, whip it-shave it- rock it. I'm proud of you for showing that who you are isn't tied to what's on your head.

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